University of South Carolina

Princeton Review cites USC as a 'Best Value'

The University of South Carolina Columbia has been recognized in The Princeton Review as one of the 50 “best value” public colleges and universities in the nation, the only South Carolina institution to make the list.

The Princeton Review’s “100 Best Value Colleges for 2011” list was released Tuesday, Feb. 22, in collaboration with USA Today and features 50 public and 50 private colleges.

USC was cited for having affordable tuition, awarding more than 1,000 need-based and merit-based scholarships for entering freshman each year, respected academic programs, faculty who are leaders in their fields of study and a vibrant student life and college town atmosphere. South Carolina Honors College was singled out for offering “select undergraduates a small, liberal arts college experience on USC’s campus” and personalized attention from professors.

Dr. Dennis Pruitt, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, said the ranking confirms that the university is honoring its commitment of offering an outstanding undergraduate education at an affordable cost.

“This national ranking clearly shows that the University of South Carolina is among the best public universities in the nation for academics and affordability,” Pruitt said. “Our record number of applications and the record number of freshmen who enrolled last fall show that students and their parents recognize our value and our excellence.”

Pruitt said the university’s Gamecock Guarantee, which promises that undergraduate tuition and the technology fee will be covered for up to four years for students who meet the program’s academic, financial and participation criteria, also is helping to keep the cost of a USC education manageable.

Princeton Review teamed up with USA Today to present the list of schools, which were selected on the basis of 30 factors, including academics, cost of attendance and financial aid.

The list is the result of an examination of those factors using institutional data and surveys of students and administrators from 650 colleges with outstanding academic programs. Most of the data analyzed came from surveys conducted from fall 2009 through fall 2010, while all cost and financial-aid data came from fall 2010 surveys. The percentage of graduating seniors who borrowed from any loan program and the average dollar amount of debt those students had at graduation also were considered.

The Princeton Review’s and USA TODAY’s websites post the full “100 Best Value Colleges” list with information about the colleges. USA TODAY’s website features an interactive map that enables readers to access a database with statistics and facts about each school and why The Princeton Review named it a “Best Value” college.

The citation for value and excellence is the second in less than two months. In January, USC was recognized by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine as being among the nation’s best values for public higher education -- delivering the “best B.A. for the buck.”

Pruitt said “best value” citations provide further assurance to students who are increasingly choosing a USC education.

“Students and their families who have made the University of South Carolina their ‘destination of choice’ for their college education are now assured their choice is a good consumer decision. It also is confirmation that Carolina is ‘delivering on the promise’ made to them as the flagship university for the state of South Carolina,” Pruitt said.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 02/23/11 @ 1:55 PM | Updated: 02/23/11 @ 3:15 PM | Permalink