Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Size: just over 10,000 undergraduate students, making us a typical mid-size school
Percent Women: 60% female
Tuition (one year): in-state students it is about $20,000, and for out of state students it is about $40,000
Most Popular Majors: Business, Social Sciences, Biology, Communications and Rhetoric, Visual and Performing Arts
Greek Life: about 20% greek life
Acceptance Rate: acceptance rate for incoming freshmen is about 70%
For more information about financial aid, scholarships, majors, study abroad, and average test scores, visit College of Charleston’s website at http://www.cofc.edu/
Why Choose C of C?
"The College of Charleston is hundreds of miles away from my hometown. Coming into college I was concerned about being "on my own" for the first time. But I must say, Charleston is such a welcoming city and the college has such a great community I've always felt safe and happy. The faculty members really make you feel like someone is with you every step of the way. My professors have gone above and beyond to make my learning experience more than a grade on a transcript."
"Before coming to college, I had no idea how I was supposed to feel at home while being somewhere I have never been before. It sounded impossible. Little did I know that the College is such an easy place to fall in love with. There is always something going on. Everyday has something different to offer. Through smaller classes, I've made stronger friendships that I know I will have for the rest of my life. So far, I have even gained first hand experiences that have helped me learn more within my major."
"Being from Long Island, New York, I've had the best of both worlds my entire life. The city is only a 30-minute train ride west and there's a beach within just a few miles of any town. When applying to schools, I knew I wanted to move away from home, but still be in a place with similar traits. Once I heard about the College of Charleston, I knew it was the place for me."
"Not only is there a friendly student body and a diverse selection of majors and minors, but the campus is beautiful and welcoming, the city of Charleston is my backyard, and Folly Beach is just a short drive away."
"C of C has definitely exceeded my expectations and has become my home away from home."
“My favorite thing about CofC is the fact that I know, without a doubt, that I’m living a once in a lifetime college experience. Charleston has everything- the beach, the history, the restaurants, the shopping, the people, the nightlife…even the celebrity sightings! I truly can’t imagine going anywhere else.”
"My personal favorite part of College of Charleston is the fact that it is located within a small city. It is not an overwhelming city with noisy traffic 24/7, but it has great shopping, lots of historical attractions, and there is always something to do."
"Everything downtown is within walking distance and you will always find yourself being active. I love riding my bike everywhere and seeing all the Spanish moss hanging from the beautiful trees on campus."
"Our school hosts the country's oldest classroom inside the most beautiful building on campus, Randolph Hall."
"Our graduation is held in front of this historical building in the gorgeous Cistern."
"CofC is truly a one of a kind school with a beautiful campus, great atmosphere, and awesome city. With just a 10-minute car ride to the beach, it is truly unbeatable."
"There are so many good things about CofC! However, there are some areas that could still be better. Personally, I have an issue with the parking situation on campus. There are a few options close to campus and other options a little further away, but they’re all pretty pricey and spaces are limited."
"I wish the college would improve on more affordable housing. Unfortunately, if you would like to live in the nicer options for housing on or near campus, the options aren’t very cheap. Because the campus is downtown Charleston and space is limited, it’s difficult to improve these areas, but hopefully CofC and help us out a little in the future."
"The rain is Charleston is sometimes unbearable! Streets can flood and you'd still have to go to class."
“Because Charleston is such a huge destination city, it sometimes sucks that as students, we’re often too busy with school to take full advantage of all the city offers. Everyone else is here on vacation!”
“The weather’s pretty crazy here…not necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes you’ll walk out in the morning wearing three layers, and be sweating in 70 degree weather within an hour. You can never trust your weather channel app here!”
New Collegiate on Campus
"Orientation happens for a few days in the summer, and new students can choose to come down for a few days in June or July, or choose the orientation session right before the first day of classes, allowing them to move in a bit earlier than all other freshman students. If you are a girl participating in sorority rush, you will also have the chance to move into your residence hall a few days early."
"During orientation you will be divided up into small groups of 5 to 20 other new students, and you will have an orientation leader who will guide your new group through info sessions, icebreaker games, and tours of the college. The other students in the group may very well become your first friends here at the college! You will also be given time to choose your classes for the upcoming semester. Orientation lasts a few days, and participants have the option of staying in a residence hall on campus with other new students, or staying in one of the area's many hotels with their families."
"During your first year at the College of Charleston, you will most likely be living among all underclassmen (Freshmen and a few Sophomores) in one of the 9 underclassmen residence halls. You can choose your roommate independently using Facebook or a roommate-matchmaking service (roomsurf.com) or you can allow the college to match you up with a roommate."
"Freshmen tend to stick together since they are all living with one another, but if you get involved in Greek life, sports teams or other on-campus organizations it is very easy to meet upperclassmen."
"All freshmen participate in Convocation during the first week of school. During this ceremony, new students will join together in the Cistern Yard and sign a ledger, stating they are part of the freshman class here at the college. The ledger then is stored in the college President's house, where it will remain for years to come. The ceremony is an excellent time for freshmen to bond with one another and enjoy the beautiful College of Charleston campus."
All About Academics
"We have over 10,000 undergraduate students here at the College, but the biggest class I've had here was 50 students. In most of my classes, I'm one in twenty, meaning the professors know so much more than just my name. Small class sizes allow for meaningful, mentor-mentee relationships to blossom between students and professors. While I have loved exploring the city of Charleston and learning about my field of study, I have loved getting to know my professors even more. The faculty here at the College of Charleston is one of a kind; they want you to succeed not only as a student but also as a person." If that's too long… then: "There may be over 10,000 undergraduate students here, but I've never been in a class of more than 50, which has allowed me to establish meaningful professional relationships with professors I admire most. I've also come to learn that the majority of the professors here at the College want you to succeed not only as a student but also as a person."
"Some of CofC's most popular departments are business, biology, visual and performing arts, and communications. I have many different friends that are majoring in each of these areas and enjoy interacting with the professors each day."
"I am a Biology major and Dance minor in the Honors College so the workload can be intense at times, but professors really encourage me if I am struggling. If I don't understand the material, have questions about a grade, or need inspiration for an assignment my professors are always there to help."
"The advising counselors are great. They re-plan schedules and reassure me when I feel stressed or overloaded. Registration usually sneaks up on me and can be stressful if I do not plan in advance. I recommend meeting with multiple advisors and talking with peers to make sure you are taking the right steps before your registration date. This will help you to get the classes you want or need from the get-go. No one wants to take an unnecessary class!"
"Fulfilling those general education courses would've been much easier if I had taken my AP courses in high school more seriously - then I could've exempted myself from some obnoxious classes. Attending a liberal arts school means lots of general education requirements that take time away from fulfilling major requirements; however, everyone is in the same boat. Everyone has some general education courses to take and the professors know that as well. Usually these courses are much simpler and you can take them with friends that you wouldn't normally be able to have classes with. They can be fun if you plan correctly!"
"You get to study with friends in the library. I like studying in the library - my focus is better there than it is in my room. Also, there are always people in the library and it reminds me that I am not the only person studying!"
Learn From the Best
“Personally, I have enjoyed all of the professors I've had from the Department of Communication. Most of my professors have been current or former professionals (PR executives, journalists, magazine writers) who give our classes a "real-world"-like atmosphere”
“I feel like I am not just learning from a textbook, but learning useful lessons that will stay with me when I am out in the working world. Some of the most popular majors include Business Administration, Communication, and Biology.”
“Classes become smaller, more specialized, and personal as you move into your Junior and Senior year. I haven't had a class larger than 20 people since my second semester here at the college. Professors know your name and want you to succeed. Office hours are definitely worth going to. Most of our faculty have their offices in beautiful historic Charleston homes dotted all around campus. I've even heard of professors holding review sessions on their office porches while serving sweet tea and cookies!”
“I’m involved in the business school as a Marketing major, and in the Communications department as a Comm. minor. I’m constantly getting emails from both departments about internship opportunities, speakers on campus, etc. There are so many ways to make networking connections with professors and alumnus, both nationally and locally.”
“Just as an example of how stellar the faculty is, I’m currently in an upperlevel Marketing class, called the Business of Television. My class is taught by the CEO of Litton Entertainment, Dave Morgan. Even though I just started taking this class, I can already tell it’s going to be one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. He’s friends with the execs of companies like NBC! CofC only hires the best of the best.”
Interests and Involvement
“There are over 200 clubs at CofC, and more and more are founded by students every week. We have volunteer organizations, athletic organizations, academic organizations, and some that are just for fun, to find people with similar interests to yours!”
“When you come for orientation you will go to a student activities fair where you can learn more about the activities offered, and there is another fair early in the semester. The student body also receives emails every few days about things going on, and there are flyers all over campus advertising fun things to get involved with.”
“We have everything from the culinary club (which is essentially just a group of students getting discounts at all the amazing restaurants in the city and eating together!) to the Volunteer Corps, which sends students out to help with all different types of services in the area.”
"If there is a club that you want to start which isn't already on campus, all you need is to get a group of friends together, fill out some forms, and get it started through our School Government Association! It's a super easy process."
“I am in the campus tour guide association, the public relations society, a new student-alumni organization called Committed to Charleston, two different honor societies, and I’m heavily involved in my sorority. My overall experience at CofC would be vastly different if I wasn't involved in everything I'm involved with- I love everything I do, and I urge all college students to get involved on campus!”
“CofC is known for many things: its beauty, its history and its location. However, one thing we lack is a football team. No worries! There is nothing quite like being in the student section at a College of Charleston basketball game. Especially when your team is playing your rival school. The Citadel is also located in downtown Charleston, and we always draw a huge turnout for our cross-town rivalry game. We want to "claim the city", and having all of the students there makes for a fun and lively group that feeds off of each others' energy.”
“The games are always packed with students and fans from across the country who come to see the Cougars dominate. Being a student gives you the right to go crazy at games, from decking yourself out in body paint or by booing the other team during foul shots to storming the court after a hard-fought win.”
“College basketball has truly grown over the past years, particularly at CofC. It is now featured in the national spotlight and people across the country have gotten to known our school simply through our successfully blossoming program and the big names it has produced, including former guard Andrew Lawrence who represented Great Britain in this 2012 Summer Olympics and former Los Angeles Laker Andrew Goudelock who filled in for Kobe Bryant! As a member of the CAA Conference, we play teams in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Virginia, so you can find CofC Sports just about everywhere today!”
“Club and intramural sports are also big aspects of student life at CofC. Just about any sport you can think of offers a club or intramural team, from soccer to ultimate frisbee to quiddich! Club teams get a chance to compete with other universities and travel to cool locations or other campuses and have great experiences.”
“Our club tennis team has gone to the national tournament almost every year and it has been in Arizona and California! Intramural sports pit student teams against other students and offer friendly, healthy inter-school competition. Net nights are also a fun way to play a sport socially-volleyball, basketball and racquetball net nights offer a no-stress environment for students to try new sports, meet people and be active!”
“Being a woman on campus is great. Since being in high school, I have become a lot more confident. Walking around campus I always have a huge smile on my face. On campus girls usually wear leggings, crop tops, or dresses. It depends on what you're in to, but that’s what I see a lot of.”
“I am double majoring in Women Gender Studies and Political Studies. Personally, I like the gender ratio. There are usually only 2 to 3 guys in my classes. It’s hard to find a boyfriend, but there are plenty to look at. --- is that enough?”
“Girls are very diverse here at CofC. We have some preppy sorority girls…okay, a lot of preppy sorority girls, but you can also see girls who follow all different fashion trends. Our Women and Gender Studies program is huge, and super fascinating- a lot of students take the intro class just for humanities credit.”
“Some girls flinch at the idea of going to a university with only 40% guys, but I’ve never had an issue meeting boys! That’s one of the great things about living in a city- you’re not just restricted to your own student body.”
“Overall, Charleston is a great place to be a woman. We have so many opportunities here to thrive, both socially and academically. We are treated as equals here- being from the North, I was concerned about the Southern stereotype of sexism, but I haven’t seen that here at all.”
Food & Drink
“There are two buffet style dining halls on opposite sides of campus where you can use your meal swipes. Both have the regular salad bar, sandwich station, pizza, and pasta bar. Then they have changing options every day - Liberty has more options because it's bigger but my friends and I always preferred the smaller City Bistro.”
“I have to say, the desserts were always my favorite, and you can't go wrong with City Bistro's smoothies! If you're curious about specific meals you can check out the menus online! The dining halls seem to be really good for the first week but like any other cafeteria, the meals get old and you get tired of eating the same things over and over.”
“Other on campus food options include Einstein Bros. Bagels, Chick-fil-A, the food court in Stern Center with Jole Mole, Boar's Head, and Burger Studio, and Java City in the library and the P.O.D. in the Education Center where you can use dining dollars.”
“Most people stop eating in dining halls when they move off campus generally after freshman year. I mean, we live in Charleston! There are honestly probably hundreds of restaurants in walking distance! This is where the Off Campus Meal Plan comes in handy. The Off Campus Meal Plan can be used at over 50 of our favorite restaurants in Charleston!”
“One thing I really like about on campus food is the variety- we have lots of different places to go, right on campus. We’re also getting an on campus Starbucks put into our library as of fall 2014! There are loads of places without seconds of campus to eat as well- we’re getting a Chipotle a block away from campus this summer!”
“The Charleston social scene is full of possibilities. Fraternities are almost always having house parties on the weekends and non-fraternal house parties are also common. If house parties aren’t your thing, Charleston has a wide variety of bars that offer dancing, djs, and live bands.”
“While Charleston is a great party spot, other weekend opportunities are available and encouraged, such as laying out in Marion Square, going to one of the many amazing local restaurants, taking a walk to the beautiful battery, going to one of the many beaches surrounding the city, or visiting a historic site like Boone Hall. Whichever your preference, there is a social spot in Charleston for everyone”
“Whenever I go out, I’m always meeting new people and making new friends. There are so many opportunities to meet new people- whether at parties, concerts, coffee shops, etc. I also seem to see lots of familiar faces when I’m out, which is really cool too. I like getting to know people outside of class!”
“The school has something called CAB- which is Cougar Activities Board. They plan fun events on campus, both on the weekend and during the week, for students who want to have fun on campus, without drinking. We have free movie nights, student fairs, and concerts. They’re in charge of our Homecoming week as well! It’s a great alternative for students who aren’t necessarily all about partying.”
“Overall about 89% of freshmen live on campus, and about 30% of students live on campus throughout their four years. The dorms are all very safe, with RA's or public safety officers always monitoring who comes in and out.”
“All of our residence halls are constantly being improved on- when it comes to choosing which to live in, it doesn't come down to which is the nicest- it matters more how you want to live. Some dorms are more communal, where you share a common living room with up to 7 other people, which in others you share a room and bathroom with just one roommate. You can either choose your own roommate, or fill out a survey and get matched with someone.”
“We have mostly co-ed dorms, but we also have one all female, and one all male. CofC also has a youtube channel where you can click on each different residence hall and do a virtual 'tour', where an RA will walk you through the dorm and the rooms.”
“As an incoming freshmen, if you put your deposit in on time, you are guaranteed housing your first year, though you're not required to do so. We also have historic houses on campus that students can live in, which is a really unique thing about CofC.”
“There are also apartments on campus for upperclassmen to live in- there's a bit more freedom than living in a freshmen dorm, but you still pay easily through the school, and are in a great location. A lot of students choose to live off-campus at some point during their four years, but not all do.”
“Going to CofC doesn’t make you feel like you’re away at college. It makes you feel like you are living in one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world, and just happen to attend class."
"Attending CofC has made me significantly more independent as a person, because you are absolutely living in the city on your own and are immersed in the culture of Charleston. There is essentially no separation between the college and the city. You are taking classes in buildings one street behind King Street (one of the most famous shopping streets)."
"There are an abundance of 5 star restaurants, cute little diners, and well-known chain restaurants all around you."
"The nightlife is incredible."
"Students are able to be involved in activities both on campus and off if they choose to do so (and many do). It is also not uncommon for students to have internships off campus, because the city is right in their backdoor. This helps open up so many opportunities for students, and really gets them true job experience."
"It’s pretty impossible not to love Charleston. Choosing CofC was the best decision I’ve ever made.”
HC's Complete College Guide: College of Charleston
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