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University of South Carolina's freshman class has highest average GPA on record

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The University of South Carolina's incoming freshman class features a record 4.4 average GPA and more in-state students than ever before. 

The university welcomed approximately 8,050 new undergraduate students last week, the second-largest group in the school's 220-year history, with 53% from South Carolina, according to preliminary admissions numbers provided by the school. The freshman class, estimated to be 60% women, includes 75 high school valedictorians and 596 enrollees in the South Carolina Honors College. 

"We're excited to welcome the Class of 2025 to campus as they begin their journey," Harris Pastides, interim university president, said in a news release. "They have already accomplished much to become part of our Carolina family, and they will contribute a diverse set of perspectives, passions and experiences to our campus community."

More than 16% of the incoming students are first-generation college students, according to the release. The freshman class features representatives of 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and more than 25 countries. 

The university's African American freshman enrollment has grown by 85% since 2016, with Hispanic freshman enrollment up 53% in the same time span.

Including graduate students, the university's overall enrollment is 34,700.

"We continue to attract the best South Carolina residents and students from all over, as they see the value of a UofSC degree and want to enjoy life as a Gamecock," Scott Verzyl, vice president for enrollment management and dean of undergraduate admissions, said. "Our world-class education and tremendously vibrant and diverse campus culture give students an unparalleled student experience, giving them the opportunity to become future leaders, seek beyond-the-classroom experiences, develop strong relationships, master critical skills and grow as individuals."

Reach Melinda Waldrop at 803-726-7542.

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