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University President Harris Pastides and others welcomed Carolina's biggest and best freshman class to campus.
University President Harris Pastides and others welcomed Carolina's biggest and best freshman class to campus.

Fall enrollment features best freshman class, record numbers

The count is in, and a record 20,521undergraduates are enrolled at the University of South Carolina’s Columbia campus.

Among them is the largest – and most academically gifted – freshman class in the university’s history.

University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides said the university has enrolled 3,930 freshmen and 1,200 transfers, totaling a record 5,130 first-year students. An additional 600 students are enrolled in the Bridge Program at one of the 16 state technical colleges so that they can have seamless transition to Carolina in the future.

“Despite the economic downturn, families know that a college education is the best investment for their children,” Pastides said. “They have placed their confidence in us to provide that education, and we are proud to welcome these outstanding students to Carolina.”

The average SAT score for freshmen is 1194, making this class the most academically prepared in the history of the university, he said.

“Over the past seven years, the average SAT score for the university’s incoming freshman class has increased approximately 90 points,” said Pastides. “In increasing the size of our class, we have not sacrificed quality, and that speaks well to the caliber of students who are choosing our university.”

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Fall 2009 enrollment

  • 20,521 -- Undergraduates on the Columbia campus
  • 41,070 -- Total enrollment on all eight campuses
  • 5,130 -- First-year students (3,930 freshmen, 1,200 transfers)
  • 600 -- Students enrolled in Bridge Program, preparing to transition from technical schools to Carolina
  • 1194 -- Average SAT score for all incoming freshmen
  • 1410 -- Average SAT score for the 320 incoming Carolina Honors College freshmen
  • 1306 -- Average SAT score for the 500 incoming freshmen in the Capstone Scholars program

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