U of South Carolina reports 2nd largest freshman class

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The University of South Carolina says it has drawn among its largest freshman classes in history, along with increases in enrollment at its flagship campus for the fall semester, beginning amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The state's largest four-year college reported welcoming its second-largest freshman class, who are among more than 35,400 total undergraduate and graduate students, for the fall semester, The Post and Courier reported Tuesday, citing preliminary data released this week.

About 7,750 new students are on the Columbia campus, and more than half of the new students are South Carolina residents, according to the university's data.

While the flagship campus reported a slight increase in overall enrollment, most of its seven satellite campuses did see slight decreases compared to October 2019 data, according to the preliminary numbers.

The figures come as some colleges and universities across the nation have scrambled to close budget holes after early closures during the spring 2020 semester triggered deep financial losses.

This spring, many schools worried that large numbers of students would possibly not return amid virus fears, an economic downturn leaving many Americans unable to afford tuition and a drop-off among international students.