Coming to Carolina makes sense

  • The University of South Carolina is commended by Kiplinger Personal Finance and The Princeton Review for its stellar education and affordable rates.
  • USC is the only university in the state to receive the Carnegie Foundation’s highest research designation.
  • Columbia, South Carolina consistently ranks among the most livable and affordable midsized towns.
  • Citing a diversified economy, prime geographical location, and moderate climate, Kiplinger recently named Columbia among the top “10 Great Places to Live.”

The University of South Carolina has several programs to help you make informed choices about your finances. Below are a few resources designed to help you improve your present and long-term financial well-being.


$tart $mart Workshops

The Graduate School, Career Center, Graduate Student Association, and Center for Teaching Excellence have all teamed up to bring you $tart $mart Workshops throughout the 2013-2014 year. $tart $mart is a joint effort of the American Association of Women and The WAGE Project that teaches students how to negotiate for equitable pay and overcome the gender wage gap. All graduate students, regardless of gender, are invited to attend to participate in the workshops.

Legal Services for Students

Students can meet with an attorney in the Russell House University Union for consultations on a variety of issues, including landlord-tenant questions, housing, consumer protection, probate law, domestic relations and employee law. Educational programming on these issues also will be offered to students. The service, which is housed in the Department of Student Life, is offered through a partnership with South Carolina Legal Services and funded by the campus activity fee.

Emergency loans

The University of South Carolina recognizes that certain unexpected circumstances may cause students to need financial assistance on a short term basis in order to meet financial expenses. In an effort to meet this need, eligible students may borrow money, up to $500, through the University’s Emergency Loan Program. Emergency Loans are due 30 days from the date the loan is made. If you are interested in having a consultation, please contact Jane Bouknight at the Student Success Center at 803-777-5577.

USC Career Center

The USC Career Center is a great resource for graduate students. Financial literacy services range from understanding your earning potential to how negotiate a first job offer. Examples of current initiatives include:

  • Students interesting in profession-specific advice can take advantage of Spur Connections, a program which features alumni-to-student advising.
  • Graduates entering the academic job market are encouraged to take advantage of Interfolio, a low-cost credentials service that simplifies the process of managing and sending academic credentials to a search committee.

Online Resources

GradSense is a unique online education platform that provides students with important financial information about the value of pursuing an advanced degree. Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Science Foundation and the National Center for Education Statistics, GradSense was researched, designed and developed by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) in collaboration with TIAA-CREF. Along with median debt and income data, the GRADSENSE WEBSITE also provides students with loan repayment advice, spending tips, and career guidance.