Published on February 20, 2018 in Pacer Times, University of South Carolina Aiken’s college paper
USC Aiken is a small school, but it’s making a big name for itself.
According to the Edvocate, an organization devoted to enhancing the quality of education, USC AIken has made the list of 2018 Best Southeastern Colleges and Universities as No. 15, ranked with other presitigious schools such as Vanderbilt and Duke.
Matthew Lynch, editor of The Edvocate, compiled the list based on several factors. In determining the rankings, each university is analyzed for its affordability and access, graduation/retention rates, reputation, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, accrediation status of the universty and degree programs, employer and student success surveys and alumni giving/engagement.
In the school’s description, Lynch commented on USC AIken’s small sclass sizes and focus on the liberal arts and science cirriculum.
“I love the small classes because they seem to make the students closer and they also let me communicate more with my professors,” said senior English major Jennifer Nichols.
At a larger university, it ay be more difficult for students to stand out and make connections with professors.
“From someone who transferred to USCA from another school in South Carolina, USCA stands out because the professors are phenomenal. They care about the students and actually want them to succeed,” said Anna Coffey, a USC Aiken alumna.
Lynch wrote that it is an “excellent choice for veterans”, as well as noting that it “Ranks #1 among public schools and is best-value-choice,” considering its more affordable tuition of $10,500.
USC Aiken Chancellor Sandra J. Jordan realizes that reputations are not everything in defining a college’s worth. However, she is aware of the significance of USC AIken’s place on the list and its proximity therein to larger, more well-known institutions.
“We are running with a ‘heady’ crowed,” Jordan said.
Jordan noted that the other institutions listed are relatively better funded but despite that, USC AIken is still among the best in the South, and that is quite an accomplishment to celebrate.