Help Decision: College of Charleston, Florida, Florida State, South Carolina, Arizona

Agree. As soon as I saw USC Honors on the list I was wandering why this wasn’t at the top…at least to visit and investigate. It’s very competitive and stats that rival T20 schools. Well regarded and lots of opportunities. Their international business programs are among the best. Lots of international companies in SC and growing. Charleston is one of my favorite cities. It’s only 2 hours from Columbia.


She’s been twice to both U of SC and C of C. Our issue is Jewish life - or lack thereof. We are trying to investigate - reached out to several folks. It is strong at Charleston. though.

Charleston, as a city, campus is just so unique - and she fell in love.

Good insights though - and to share with her. If Greek is for her, it can happen anywhere for sure. That’s another $5K a year - no one plans for…ugh.

Looks like i’ll be working til i’m 90!!

Sounds like your going to give her what she wants. My husband did the same with my daughter. We took some options off the table (CA schools were too expensive for travel and American & Fordham were just too expensive). And I didn’t care for the American campus either. So she finally narrowed her 14 down to a final 4. One was somewhat off the table due to it being a bit over budget (and 10k more than her next option) but on April 30th my husband just told her to pick whichever one she wanted. And she picked the most expensive option of the 4. She is very happy there but I feel like my next 2 kids are going to be more restricted in their options since we overspent on her a bit. Luckily she is the only girl so no more “daddy’s little girl” decisions! I know he’ll be a bit stricter with the boys. She didn’t pick her highest ranked school but I think she’ll still do well and she is definitely being challenged academically.

where is she at? yeah - this is my 2nd and last - and my son did me a solid choosing Alabama over Purdue (for engineering)…saving me $80K…although I’d have preferred Purdue and was glad to send him there. Their housing is an issue - not enough. Alabama’s campus is gorgeous, new, and pristine. And yet he hated the dorm - go figure!!

She’s at Elon. Good luck with your decision!

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Thanks - we looked - I thought it was really nice. We had a private tour due to covid. I thought my daughter would love it. but the town was too small.

Great school though - up and coming.

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A friend’s daughter is in her senior year at CofC Honors and having a great experience. She did well at one of the most competitive high schools in the state and had several great college options. She loves Charleston, the way the campus intersects with the city and the opportunities she’s had at CofC.


This is neither here nor there in your case, but my D21 is headed to CofC and is super excited. This was one of her top schools and she was fortunate to be admitted during the EA round. We’ve heard lots of great things about the academic support, particularly with the Honors College (although my D is not in Honors), and about the school overall. OP, our kids will be classmates if your D ends up there. Sounds like you have a lot of great options on the table. Good luck in the decision! And, FWIW - we’re OOS with no merit, so we feel that pain, too. :wink:

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So no concerns with finding a good paying career, etc? That’s sort of my concern. Good info.


Thanks - it’s interesting to me that:

  1. if you’re from an academic common market state, they are not a part for some reason.

  2. The merit is like $10K less than U of SC. I read last year that some kids got $19K but it seemed to top at 12K this year. But again - understand your situation so sorry to hear. Hopefully your D can get a departmental or 2nd year scholarship.


The career will not be linked to the major but to what extra opportunities she has to show what skills that major taught her. That’s another reason why honors at CoC or USC matters more for this type of major: beside peer quality (essential for fruitful discussions and group projects), it means a personal adviser who knows her and will pass opportunities her way and help her in getting them (funding for research or study abroad, internship, specific volunteering in her field, etc.)


Good points. Thanks

I grew up in the DC area, (Northern VA) and I now live in Florida. For what it’s worth, other than Georgetown, which is beautiful and very highly respected, I wouldn’t send my kid to a DC college. American does have some issue with their facilities, and like you said, GW is just to integrated in the city. It doesn’t have the college campus feel we like and DC can be dangerous in some areas, like most big cities. My sister did her MBA at American, but she was basically only on campus for a few hours for class and lived off campus while she worked. If she loves DC so much Maryland might be a better option. I do love DC though, I don’t blame her. It’s such a great city.

As for Florida, it seems UF is the harder of the schools to get into. My daughter has many friends who applied with amazing stats and she only knows a couple of kids who got in this year, but did get into FSU. UF has a slightly higher reputation in the state. Although a degree from FSU, UF, or UM means a lot here. As far as size, yes, UF is huge, but every single person I’ve ever known who went to UF loved it. Also, Gators are a large tight community. Lots of networking opportunities with fellow Gators after graduation. That said, recently I’ve heard from a lot of kids that say academically the professors are pretty brutal there, and getting even more so, and they are very stressed. It sounds like your D is a great student, but if she isn’t planning on attending a super competitive graduate school, perhaps she doesn’t want to be so stressed with academics and have more free time for other college activities. This is where FSU wins out. The kids at FSU also love it and don’t seem as stressed out and they have plenty of activities. Classes tend to be smaller and the campus more contained. Every single person I know who has gone to FSU loves it. They have a great reputation here in FL, and plenty of campus spirit. Ok, so that took a lot out of me. It’s not easy for a ‘Cane to speak so highly of UF or FSU. LOL. State rivalries are strong here!

By the way, any school in Florida will have a good Jewish community. When I was at UM my best friend and roommate for three years was Jewish and I was really impressed with how many fun activities the Hillel had and how much support they offered.

Great info. Thanks. My D got into UMD as the “American Alternative” but there was no merit. We never went to look. For me, UM is $50K, UMD is $53K. FSU $23K or so - so it’s hard to justify. Great info on UF and FSU - coming from someone who went to the U. Thanks so much!!!

Taking money out of the equation which is hard to do -

I like Florida and Maryland at the top. Followed by FSU and COC.

If you put money back in, FSU seems like the right choice.

For Jewish Life, as you know - Maryland is very strong. South Carolina and even COC, not as much.

Michael, you will - thanks. My daughter is down to two - the two she felt the most spark (having eliminated American because of dad and $$).

C of C - where she’s Honors and an Intl Scholar - a cohort of 10-12 within Honors. Active Jewish life - actually they market so much about it.

U of SC - where there is quality, not quantity of Jewish life.

Yep, none are UMD (we never got there - no aid - so about $53K) or FSU - cheap but she just didn’t feel a spark.

I personally think Charleston is the right place but their ACT range (21-28) is behind U of SCs and U of SC claims the #1 Honors college and well - kids - look at pediegree. Not that U of SC is Harvard but…she sees the Honors College as such.

I just hope these kids find the right fit.

So that’s our final two - both Honors with the Intl Scholars as well at Charleston.

I think, while they have less majors, there’s more for her at Charleston - they have, in addition to Intl Studies…she has to have a second major and they have public health and urban studies…which few have.

U of SC has Public Health, Intl Studies (which i’m not sure is a great major)…so we’ll see.

Charleston is $34K (but she gets a 3-week trip to the Republic of GA) and U of SC about $28K. Money not a consideration.

It’s really - where is the better fit. To me, Charleston - but I’m not her.

Thanks for your insights.

Daughter applied to COC but withdrew after ED came through. It seemed like a winner to me.

Great - where did she end up?

U Miami. That was her favorite. Like with you it seems, her favorite becomes my favorite. Seriously, I was pleased with the choice.

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I eliminated Miami but for this reason - it’s $77K and we got $25K. So $52K.

Can I afford it? Yes - but at what point it college too much? We never visited and given she likes the schools on her list - with C of C I save $70K and U of SC - $100K.

I just have a heard time spending so much on an unknown. I would have loved to look further though.

Glad you thought well of C of C though - makes me feel better.