College of Charleston, Wofford, or U of South Carolina

<p>I have been accepted at all three schools. I plan on majoring in Biology. There are many pros and cons about all three schools. Does anyone have any special information or experiences that would help me to make up my mind? Thanks in advance for your help.</p>

<p>Congratulations to you! What a lovely choice of schools. I know kids at all three and all three rave about their school. I strongly recommend you visit all three between now and the final notice date when you have to make your room deposit. </p>

<p>I have nothing negative to say about either of them. However, they ARE very different in personality and experience. Wofford is a great, but small and preppy liberal arts school that is perhaps the most academic of the three. Its biggest rival is perhaps Furman. CoC and USC are very similar in that they are state schools, with USC having a better prestige perhaps instate, but the CoC'ers would challenge that. USC has the best sports of all. It really depends on your personality and social scene and what you are looking for in a college experience. A biology major is rigorous and is filled with kids of dreams of medical school (though it is by far not the ONLY path to medical school if that is what you are thinking. I have heard of lots of kids with esoteric majors getting into med school: philosophy, english, religious studies, languages, etc) </p>

<p>Best of luck to you.</p>

<p>Does anyone know what reputations the schools have outside South Carolina?</p>

<p>All of them are fine. But that should not matter to you. What matters most is whether its the right fit for you.</p>

<p>South Carolina has some reputation for its international business program, but none of the schools have tremendous reputations outside of the south. However, C of C is building new science buildings currently, which may help your decision, as you have stated you want to major in biology. Plus there is a lot of work between MUSC and C of C, depending on what you are planning on using your bio major for.</p>

<p>These are my son's choices, too, except swap Wofford for UNC Asheville (also small LAC but more "hippie" than preppy.) We are doing a four day blitz, taking one last visit at each school, before he decides. We'd love any advice, too.</p>

<p>Here's one concern that maybe some of you can address: while UNCA is OOS for us, most students there are from NC because that state limits OOS admissions to about 18% Both CofC and USC have much higher OOS numbers. I really wanted him to have an OOS college experience. Would staying in SC actually be better??? </p>

<p>Sorry, Kent, to tag onto your post but I'd really love to hear your impresssions, too.</p>

<p>I do not mind you tagging onto my post. I am just a student and not a parent looking for information. The reason I started this thread is because a relative that is helping me with tuition is very interested in the reputations that my top three schools have outside the state. My parents and I just want me to be at the school that is best for me. I do not believe that my relative would withhold funds from me, he just wants me to make a well informed choice. I am curious as to why stillnadine's son chose UNC-Asheville, instead of UNC-Wilmington or Appalachian State as an OSS, or if he was waitlistested or could not get into UNC-Chapel Hill. If your son had the credentials to get into College of Charleston, I just do not understand why he did not apply to UNC-Wilmington, Appalachian State, or NC State in NC, instead of UNC-Asheville. Again, I am just a student and not a parent, and I do not know your son. I have not visited UNC-Asheville, but have heard it beautiful, but do not think it ranks with Wofford--just my opnion.</p>

<p>UNCA is a public LAC, focused on undergrad education only. All classes are taught by professors. It has a reputation as a place for more serious students than UNCW or AppState. He's not interested in a party school at all, which is why he is leery of CofC. He does not care about spectator sports, like football, so the fact that UNCA does not have one doesn't matter to him. The Open House really focused on academics. He really liked the "feel" of UNCA.</p>

<p>We visited AppState twice and I thought it might be a good fit but the school just did not appeal to him. He likes Asheville, the town, better than Boone (and certainly Spartanburg). Asheville has a music and art scene which is very appealing to him. (So is Charleston, for that reason alone.)</p>

<p>We did not visit Wilmington. CofC was similar for instate $$.</p>

<p>My sister worked at Wofford, so our vision is a bit tainted. The students she taught were very "conventional" and "conservative" and "wealthy" and "not that bright." My son does not fall into any of those categories! Yet, one of my son's friends has Wofford on his short list, along with UNCA and Furman. (They offered lots of $$.) He is more "conventional" but also brilliant. Living in upstate SC, I would rank Furman much, much higher than Wofford, academically and socially.</p>

<p>UNC-CH would have been a reach and OOS is very tough, NC State is too big. </p>

<p>Also, there is this. He looked at these schools when he was a junior and at the beginning of this year. UNCA felt safe and the profs he met were encouraging and interesting. Now, with a much improved SAT score and terrific grades (his best ever) in difficult classes, he may have approached applications differently and applied to more schools.</p>

<p>stillnadine, we have visited UNC-W, but not UNC-A. UNC-W is a lovely school, but it is much larger than UNC-A. I don't know if UNC-A vs. UNC-W makes all that much difference to be quite honest for graduate school or employment opportunities. JMO.</p>

<p>I forgot to add that my older brother is at Furman. Although we get along, I think that it is better for us not to be at the same school. Stillnadine--thanks for your comments on Wofford--this is certainly not something my College Counselor ever told me--perhaps he was trying to spare my feelings, since I tend to think of myself as a serious student with great intellectual curiosity. NC State just turned me off. I am also not a big fan of Boone, although my friends who go to App State love it and say the first year program is terrific. I have two friends who have gone to UNCA, they match the desciption of your son and they are extremely happy. My relative who will help me with tuition is turned off by UNCW's and CofC's reputation as party schools. I know serious students at both schools, but also know of some coming home after a year for enjoying the social life a little too much. I really cannot afford this kind of mistake. I had my doubts about CofC until I went to classes there-I really liked the profs and how the students were treated--lots of hand raising- discussions--of course I did see on guy asleep in the back of an Econ Class.
At any rate--thanks for your comments. I have never started a thread before. I think that it is interesting that although I am a student, I have been chatting and receiving information from parents I do not know.
I appreciate your comments and will probably check in from time to time--feel free to take this discussion where ever you wish. I agree with the poster who said at this point it does not matter where I go in regards to getting into Grad School.
Thanks for your help and I wish your students the best of luck!</p>

<p>Best of luck to you, too, Kent. A great adventure lays ahead. I hope your benefactor gets to visit CofC. We know lots of very smart, non-partying students who go there. It requires some self-discipline, because of the location of the college in the midst of downtown but serious students will always find a place. </p>

<p>And don't let my opinions alone turn you away from Wofford. My sister is very liberal and very "not conventional" and she did not really fit into a small, southern college. She is now tenured at a very, very large state flagship university and has a better "fit." </p>

<p>Take care,

<p>Well this thread certainly has developed nicely. A great conversation going on here. Let me chime in again, if I may.</p>

<p>Kent: Ask your brother, but if he is honest he will tell you that partying occurs at Furman, a supposedly dry campus. I know a half dozen kids there and they all report a significant underground of partying. No school is immune. </p>

<p>Zack: Congrats on getting into W and L. That is a real tough one to get into because its so small and very, very cliquey. Be warned, however, its got big time grade deflation and a very serious party scene and fraternity scene. You have got to be very disciplined to avoid all of that if you are a good student. </p>

<p>To the others: UNC-A is generally regarded as the next tier down from UNC-Chapel Hill and the most rigorous academically, immediately after NCState. Of course AppState and UNC-W students will argue with you vociferously about that. The biggest difference between UNC-A and AppState is the size of the school, and UNC-A really does function more like a liberal arts college, than a public state university, as AppState does. Most kids know that going in and make the appropriate choice. </p>

<p>A lot of folks completely overlook UNC-G, and UNC-Charlotte which is a mistake. Both schools are really gaining in reputation and have superb facilities. UNC-Charlotte is now also going to be Div 1-A in football and is building a stadium. UNC-G has an amazing School of Music and a very highly respected Accounting/Business program. </p>

<p>NCState is a stellar school. Its problem is its so big...bigger than Chapel Hill. But it has some internationally recognized programs like their School of Textile Science which is simply amazing....classified projects going on over there...and a gorgeous new separate campus. Gen. Hugh Shelton is a graduate of that school.</p>

<p>CoC and UNC-W both suffer from that "beach reputation", but they should not be judged as schools for beach bums. They are serious academic schools for those who want to apply themselves and get a good education. Its all about self discipline. </p>

<p>Wofford is a smaller less well known version of Furman in many respects. Furman students generally have higher stats, but I wouldnt be so quick to put down Wofford kids either. They have a pretty decent record of getting kids into graduate and professional schools. </p>

<p>Crunch time (now) for college admissions is always gut wrenching. I am sure you are grateful to have such wonderful choices ahead of you. But in the end, its your decision and your life, and hopefully your parents and family will understand that and be supportive of you, so long as your choice is made with eyes and ears open and its not based on a desire to engage in Animal House. Even Harvard has party animals.</p>

<p>When you make your choice, close the book on the others, send a nice letter of regrets and move on. Look forward and start making your plans. Buy the gear, as that helps to get you in the right mindset and close the book on the others. </p>

<p>As Yogi Berra once said, "When you get to the Y in the road, TAKE IT!" Best of luck to you.</p>

<p>I thought I might weigh in on some of the comments regarding Wofford. We live in the midwest and had similar concerns about whether our very liberal, non-preppy son would fit into a southern school. As he finishes his first year at Wofford, I am most pleased to observe that he feels extremely comfortable there. His professors have been wonderful and are very interested in getting to know him as a person. He describes his classes as very engaging with spirited discussions. We met his profs during family weekend and they obviously have great regard for divergent thinking. Most of them suggested that during the past few years Wofford has made a strong effort to attract students with diverse perspectives and those from a wider geographical area. We were shocked when he decided to join a fraternity, but it has been a great experience. He also has friends who did not choose to join a fraternity. The college seems to offer many different avenues and opportunities for leadership, service and study abroad.</p>

<p>Our son seems to have a great group of friends who share similar philosophies. During the election he also mentioned that it was interesting that students who had very different viewpoints could usually find at least some"common ground" on political issues. (Our son also visited Furman and, although it is a beautiful campus, he just felt that it was far more conservative than Wofford-- his perception. He was never advised that his Furman admissions counselor apparently left the school or the position, despite the fact that he had sent emails to that individual during the year.)</p>

<p>I would respectfully disagree with the parent who suggested that Wofford students are lacking intellectually. Our son is extremely bright as are so many of the students that we have met. Perhaps even more importantly there are many very hard workers at Wofford. One surprise for our son (who attended a rigorous prep school) was that Wofford is challenging for him and he has to work in order to receive A's. Our understanding is that Wofford has a pretty solid record of getting students into medical and law school.</p>

<p>As parents, we have been most impressed with Wofford. We have had many contacts with quite a number of departments, including Res Life, Admissions, Dining, Health Services, etc. Every encounter has been exceptional. Phone calls and emails have been promptly returned professionally and with southern charm. Enthusiasm for the college is apparent. During the move-in programs, we had the opportunity to experience an authentic tornado warning. We felt that the situation was handled incredibly well in a safe and efficient manner. The administration had to make many changes to the program as well as the time and location of the evening student/parent dinner and they made it appear effortless. We were quite impressed with the way in which the entire episode was handled. Observing how well school officials responded to a potentially dangerous situation actually made me feel much better about leaving him so far from home.</p>

<p>That is our Wofford experience after one year. I would encourage any student who is considering the school to meet Wofford students, professors and administrators before forming opinions about the college.There are a number of students who write blogs who are willing to answer questions about their experiences. Spend as much time on campus as you can and attend some classes. Good luck!</p>

<p>Dear 2Timer....Thank you very much for giving an account of your experience with your son. I have a lot of work to do tonight-otherwise I would ask you a lot of questions. It means a lot to me to hear from people who have first hand experience. By any chance, did your son also apply to or get into Sewanee, U of Richmond, or Rhodes? Why did he choose Wofford? From what you wrote, I think I am a lot like him. It seems to me that my friends who really liked Wofford also liked Sewanne, U of Richmond, and Rhodes. My parents' friends tell me that all of these 3 schools are better than Wofford and College of Charleston. I also got into these other 3 schoools. I did not mention these schools before because I realy liked USC, Wofford, and College of Charleston better, but also will admit that sometimes parents do know more than I do. Do you have any comments?</p>

<p>2Timer appears to be very much a Wofford booster and has only posted twice, both times to promote Wofford. Hmmmm. (I was trying to find more about this school and how it compares to the others mentioned on this tread.)</p>

<p>You've probably made your decision already but I would go to Wofford. Second choice for me would be College of Charleston.</p>

<p>Just please don't go to South Carolina :p</p>

<p>^^^ Why not U S Carolina?</p>

<p>^Pierre attends Clemson.</p>

<p>Now how did I miss that? :D</p>

<p>I think for biology, you will want a combination of great teaching and research opportunities. Wofford, while a great school, is too small to conduct much in the way of research. College of Charleston does a good amount of research with MUSC, while USC is big enough to sustain its own facilities. The opportunities will probably be considerably better at USC, but the issue there is competition. You will not be the only biology major, so you will probably have to network well to get in on the opportunities.</p>

<p>If you are looking at medical school, then you have to consider which school will have the biggest name and the best access. Chances are, if you go to Wofford, you will be limited to either USC Med or MUSC if you have a great resume coming out of school. College of Charleston and USC would probably put you on equal footing within the state, though USC is better known outside of the Carolinas.</p>

<p>I would say USC gets the edge for having a bigger name and its own medical school. That said, I don't think you can go wrong with College of Charleston if you plan on living in South Carolina or parts of GA and NC. A couple of my friends that went to C of C now work for Lab Corp of America in Charlotte, though I think the company is dominated by Gamecocks and Tarheels. Wofford is just too small IMO.</p>