The Daily Gamecock

USC ranked No. 1 value college in SC

Clemson loses place in top 50

USC is among the 50 best value public colleges in the nation and No. 1 in the state, according to The Princeton Review’s 2011 rankings.

In The Review’s view, USC has greatly increased its value while other S.C. public institutions have fallen behind. Last year’s rankings included both Clemson and the College of Charleston but not USC. This year, USC was the only S.C. school to make the list.

“I think that everyone at the university has worked very hard, from the faculty to the administration to the student leadership, to make Carolina a better place,” said Jerry Brewer, USC’s associate vice president for student affairs. “I think there’s a good vision, and it just shows up in these rankings.”

The accompanying article from USA Today, which partnered with The Review for the ranking, said “fluctuation over three years in the list suggests that many colleges are struggling to stay affordable.”

The list is based on institutional data and student opinion surveys from 650 colleges and universities. It took into account academic quality, cost of attendance and financial aid opportunities.

Only the top 10 schools were given an ordinal rank; USC is among the unordered remaining 40.

North Carolina had five public schools make the list and Georgia had two. The University of Virginia was No. 1, and UNC-Chapel Hill ranked No. 8. Georgia was No. 5.

According to The Review, “USC boasts respected programs in business, nursing, journalism, chemistry, and hospitality management. Across the board, professors are approachable and knowledgeable in their fields, though, as at any large university, some are more concerned about their research than teaching.”

The Princeton Review also extolled USC’s Honors College, Greek life, Southern tradition, school spirit and championship victories in baseball and football.

In its “bottom line” on USC, The Review described the university as “extremely affordable,” citing that tuition and fees are around $9,300 and room and board around $7,700.