Carolina Day brings UofSC community together
Advocacy day highlights university’s impact, thanks lawmakers for tuition support
By Communications and Public Affairs staff
On Jan. 26, University of South Carolina alumni and advocates will come together in support of the university’s efforts to build a stronger, healthier state — and to thank state legislators who have helped the university fulfill its mission to provide an affordable, accessible education.
Thanks to support from the State House in the form of tuition mitigation funding, the University of South Carolina has been able to freeze tuition for the past three years and announced in November that it would hold tuition steady for a fourth year during the 2022-23 academic year. Affordability and accessibility are key priorities of president-elect Michael Amiridis.
In addition to tuition mitigation, the university is making the case for funding to complete a new state-of-the-art medical education facility in the BullStreet district. The project, which will replace the existing School of Medicine Columbia, is the first step in a transformational health sciences hub in downtown Columbia.
From increasing opportunities for higher education to improving access to health care, the university is committed to fostering the well-being of our state and its citizens. Below, we look at some of the ways in which the University of South Carolina is advancing our state.
Access, diversity and student experience
The university is committed to making a college education accessible and attainable, and to providing a world-class student experience.
- South Carolina’s six-year graduation rate far exceeds the national average, and its number of African American graduates ranks in the top 3 percent nationally.
- Approximately 8,050 new undergraduate students, including transfers and participants in the residential bridge program, enrolled on the Columbia campus in the fall of 2021 – the second-largest group in school history. Fifty-three percent are from the state of South Carolina.
- More than 16 percent of last fall’s new students are first-generation college students.
- Underrepresented minority first-year enrollment has jumped 62 percent since 2016, with African American first-year enrollment up 85 percent and Hispanic first-year enrollment up 53 percent.
- Every student who sets foot on campus is welcomed warmly into the Gamecock family, as recognized by the university’s No. 1 ranking nationwide among public universities for first-year student experience.
Educating tomorrow’s workforce
The University of South Carolina plays a pivotal role in advancing the state’s economy, forging partnerships with leading industries and helping to develop leaders who are filling the state’s growing needs in key sectors.
- System-wide, the university awards more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees per year, helping to meet the state’s need for 70,000 additional baccalaureate degree holders — beyond current graduation rates — by 2030.
- The university is helping to retain the state’s most promising students with the nation’s best Honors College.
- The university is developing the state’s future knowledge workers: 55 percent of all research-sector degrees in the state are awarded by the University of South Carolina.
- The university’s cybersecurity programs — including a new degree program in the College of Arts and Sciences — are preparing tomorrow’s leaders to meet growing challenges in government and industry.
Building stronger communities
Throughout the state, the university is working to build stronger communities by improving individual access to health care, addressing the state’s teacher shortage and researching ways to solve complex public health challenges.
- As the population ages and more retirees move to South Carolina, the state’s demand for nurses continues to rise. The university system is helping to meet the state’s needs by graduating 700 nurses per year.
- UofSC’s planned Health Science Campus will drive medical innovation in the state and expand the university’s capacity to provide health services to rural areas of South Carolina.
- The university’s College of Education has launched several innovative programs aimed at addressing the state’s teacher shortage.
- The School of Medicine Columbia ranks No. 1 nationally for the percentage of its graduates who are practicing in health shortage areas.
- University faculty are active in many efforts to improve health outcomes for South Carolinians. From increasing the number of nurse practitioners in rural areas to a wide range of public health outreach efforts throughout the state —with initiatives ranging from telehealth to nutrition, communications disorders and aging issues — UofSC is working to improve the health of South Carolina residents.
Faculty, staff and students are invited to join in Carolina Day by sharing their own stories of how the university has impacted their life. Follow along online at @UofSCImpact on Twitter and share your own stories with the hashtag #UofSCImpact. Learn more at uofscalumni.org.
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