UofSC projects strong fall enrollment; announces elimination of planned furloughs
By Jeff Stensland, firstname.lastname@example.org, 803-777-3686
The University of South Carolina will begin sending thousands of early acceptance letters to fall 2021 applicants this week as the Columbia campus prepares to welcome back returning students for the spring semester.
More than 13,000 applicants will receive early admissions or deferment notices this week as overall applications for fall admissions jumps 17 percent over last year. Coupled with strong retention projections for current students this spring, the university announced Tuesday it would eliminate previously planned employee furloughs for the upcoming semester.
In a briefing to the university’s Board of Trustees, President Bob Caslen said the school’s commitment to delivering in-person education while also implementing a comprehensive strategy to mitigate COVID-19 on campus and in the community has strengthened the university and set a new standard for higher education amid the ongoing global pandemic.
“In the face of enormous obstacles, our faculty and staff have been remarkable in enabling the university to accomplish its mission of serving our students, our community and our state. They have set the standard for excellence and we are a stronger institution thanks to their unwavering dedication," Caslen said. "We are also stronger financially, which helps add certainty to our spring semester and beyond."
The university implemented a series of cost-saving measures earlier this year to offset the impact of the pandemic, including streamlined operations, deferral of capital projects, and voluntary pay reductions for senior administrators. During his State of the University address in September, Caslen announced the plan would allow the university to implement a tuition freeze for fall 2021.
UofSC was the first higher education institution in South Carolina to successfully reopen this fall and among the first in the nation to implement a comprehensive COVID-19 testing and mitigation strategy for its students, faculty and staff. It announced last month an expansion of testing in the spring, which will require both return and periodic testing for its campus community.
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