Need Help Deciding: UNC vs. South Carolina Honors vs. Clemson

I’ve been accepted to all three and can’t decide where to go. I’m in-state at North Carolina and a fourth-generation legacy student, but I worry about simply being a small fish in an incredible and big pond. The UofSC Honors college is ranked number one in the nation apparently, and my major there (Sports & Entertainment Management) is also ranked tops in the country. Both are extremely affordable for me and my family.

Clemson seems like the happiest campus of them all, and I would major in Sports Communication there. Football is also very important for me because I’m an aspiring coach. Clemson, though, is by far the most expensive of the three?

What should I do?

UNC CH or USC Honors are probably your two best choices.
Have you contacted your major’s representative to ask how common it is for students to have a student position with the college teams?

It’s common at both places. UofSC has mentioned it more, though, if that means anything.

Then, think of what sport(s) you’d like to work with and contact the team’s liaison or PR person to ask what sort of positions Sports Communication students can get.
You could also email each department to see whether they have study abroad programs that involve shadowing at a major professional team (Bundesliga, Premier League, Liga, Calcio, Ligue 1 especially)?
Are you thinking of a minor and is it easier at a university rather than the other?

All in all, it sounds like the best choice for you would be USC Columbia (Honors, topnotch major, professional opportunities, cost).

Birdbrain5, What did you end up doing?

My son (with a different major for Fall 2022) is debating the same question

UNC CH vs. USC Columbia honors college.

His major will be biology. A bit about us

UNC CH - higher ranking college while USC Columbia has a nationally recognized honors college. We are SC residents and his SAT is 1490 so he will get all merit based scholarship at USC while UNC CH will cost ALOT more.

Any advice, MYOS1634?

I am not @MYOS1634 but will offer my thoughts:

If your son’s intended major is biology, then there is probably going to be graduate or professional school in his future. Save the money on the front end with the undergraduate education, and use the savings to pay for graduate or professional school down the road.


Agree with @gandalf78 . Since you say UNC will cost ALOT more, sounds like you do have concerns about the budget. Please don’t have your son apply to schools you really don’t want to pay for . Set a budget and clearly communicate that to your son. USC Honors sounds like a great choice . Good luck!

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If medical school is your goal, I would choose UNC-CH. Much better school. I know MUSC gives more weight to an applicant from top schools like UNC over more of a mid-tier school like USC or Clemson.

There is a set amount of money I will provide and it will be up to him to use it for undergraduate and take the loan for graduate studies.

My condition is 3 to max of 4 hours from home :slight_smile: and he is respecting that.

Thank you all for your opinions and advise.

I was thinking about if undergrade college matters or just their MCAT.

I am sure there is some percent of weight on it as it shows one’s qualification (other than MCAT score)


That is great that you’re being direct with your son upfront about what your budget is and what you will pay for. We only committed to paying for undergraduate. Every family will be different in terms of what money they’re willing or able to provide.

I believe GPA and MCAT are the most important factors for med school programs.

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Yes, but all things being equal, the OP will get a boost from UNC, not from UofSC. Quality of school is a separate metric at MUSC.

Am I reading correctly, that he’s hoping to get into UNC-CH as an OOS at the end of January 2022 when their acceptances go out? Even with a 1490, getting in from outside NC will be a longshot, so that might make your decision easier. I do agree that cheapest is the best option if medical school is the goal, unless money is no object. Also, kids change their minds about careers all the time. Many consider the science classes at UNC-CH to be an effective tool to weed out those to whom science does not come naturally.

I don’t have a kid in med school (my D came to her senses at her UNC-CH orientation and switched from bio to business), but 4 of her close friends are in med school ( 3 of whom were undergrads at UNC-CH). In all of their cases, GPA’s MCAT’s and volunteer/work hours in a clinical setting meant 100-times more than where they went for undergrad. Of the 3 UNC-CH undergrads, none were accepted to med school on the first round. One was accepted to UNC on the second round, one is at Georgetown and one at ECU. Her other friend who was a UGA undergrad, was rejected at UNC in the first round and accepted to ECU.

I’m sure if your son ends up choosing USC’s honors college (which is very highly rated), maintains a high GPA and does well on the MCAT’s - he will have many opportunities for med school.

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True, change of major is likely