COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - Making a decision about college can be a hard choice, but the deadline is here.
Saturday is National College Decision Day, and while not every college in the country abides by it, the larger colleges in South Carolina do. It’s the day most prospective students need to decide where they want to go this Fall.
Officials at both Clemson University and The University of South Carolina both say things are looking up for universities in South Carolina compared to last year.
At Clemson University alone they say they’ve not only seen a 65% increase in applicants, but 17,000 more applicants than the previous record. Additionally, Clemson say they are seeing a 77% increase in out of state applicants.
Clemson Associate Vice President for Enrollment David Kuskowski said “We expected growth, it was just a little more than we thought. Last year with COVID was just a wild ride, ‘how are classes, are they in person or not, what does it mean to be online, can I defer,’ there were so many unique questions over the last year.”
Next year most classes will be in-person, so Kuskowski says most parent and student questions have been typical.
Kuskowski says the increase is not only because of the lower rate of COVID-19 infections but also because the Clemson admissions process has switched to being test optional and now accepts the Common Application. Now that Clemson is test optional, prospective students don’t need to take standardized tests.
Additionally, the Common App is an application that students can fill out and send to multiple schools to apply. This way students who wanted to apply to Clemson but didn’t have time to fill out an entire other application are able to apply with the click of a button.
The University of South Carolina says they have seen a 20 % increase in applications from last year. They also switched to being a test optional school this year and attribute part of that increase to that switch.
University of South Carolina Spokesperson Jeff Stensland says, “One thing many parents and students want to know is ‘what will the fall look like’ in terms of classes and campus life. We will continue to have responsible mitigation efforts on campus, but we are pleased that classes will be fully in-person and we anticipate a return to many of the larger in-person student activities that prospective students are seeking.”