Two people walk their cart across the Horseshoe during move-in 2021

UofSC’s freshman class brings record GPAs

Overall Columbia enrollment at 34,700 in early estimates

This week, the University of South Carolina welcomes one of its largest incoming classes for the 2021-22 academic year, a class that sets a record for academic excellence. 

While admissions numbers are preliminary, the class of newcomers has a record of achievement in the classroom already, with an average grade point average of 4.4 (high school grade-point average, or HSGPA). The university’s reputation continues to grow both in academic excellence and outstanding student experience, drawing this large group of newcomers to the Columbia campus.

“We’re excited to welcome the Class of 2025 to campus as they begin their journey,” Interim President Harris Pastides said. “They have already accomplished much to become part of our Carolina family, and they will contribute a diverse set of perspectives, passions and experiences to our campus community. We look forward to all they will accomplish.”

Some highlights from the early admissions data include (all preliminary):

  • Approximately 8,050 new undergraduate students are enrolled on the Columbia campus, the second-largest group in school history. (The figure includes transfers and participants in the residential bridge program.) Fifty-three percent are from the state of South Carolina
  • This year’s freshman class earned a 4.4 HSGPA during their high school careers, highest on record at the university.
  • About 596 freshmen are enrolled in the South Carolina Honors College (4.9 HSGPA) and an estimated 1,400 freshmen are participating in the Capstone Scholars program (4.55 HSGPA). 
  • An estimated 75 high school valedictorians are in the freshman class.
  • An estimated 60 percent of the freshman class are women.
  • Over 16 percent of the new freshman class are first-generation college students.
  • Students hail from 44 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and over 25 countries. 
  • Including graduate students, overall enrollment is 34,700.

The university’s efforts to build a diverse student body that reflects the state of South Carolina continue, as the following preliminary figures show:

  • African American freshman enrollment has grown by 85 percent since 2016.
  • Underrepresented minority freshman enrollment has jumped 62 percent since 2016.
  • Hispanic freshman enrollment is up 53 percent since 2016.

“We continue to attract the best South Carolina residents and students from all over, as they see the value of a UofSC degree and want to enjoy life as a Gamecock,” said Scott Verzyl, vice president for enrollment management and dean of undergraduate admissions. “Our world-class education and tremendously vibrant and diverse campus culture give students an unparalleled student experience, giving them the opportunity to become future leaders, seek beyond-the-classroom experiences, develop strong relationships, master critical skills and grow as individuals. The University of South Carolina is proud to be a national destination of choice.”

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