Feb. 29, 2024

“Hey, y’all!”

I knew I was in the South when I heard every one of the four tour guides start her introduction that way. 

Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, is a private liberal arts college of 1800 undergraduates living and studying on a classically green campus dotted with bright white buildings. The Chandler Center for Environmental Studies and the center for arts are more modern buildings that nonetheless fit into the overall beauty of the campus. The arts center has a Chihuly glass sculpture on the ceiling and a contemporary mixed-media display. The new freshman dorm, Richardson Hall, looks like a gleaming white resort hotel.

I can see why 90% of the students choose to live here all four years. The housing for seniors is set up as houses modeled after those in Charleston, with the feel of a true neighborhood. I saw students walking their dogs on the lawns stretching between the rows. 


The tennis complex repeats the white-and-green motif on a terraced hillside. Tennis is one of 19 Division I sports for Wofford Terriers, along with football, women’s lacrosse, baseball, softball, basketball, women’s volleyball, and golf. 


With a student-to-faculty ratio of 12 to 1, the class sizes average 16 to 25. Wofford is on a 4-1-4 calendar, with the January term (the “1” between fall and spring) required all four years. The interim term can be fulfilled with classes on campus or abroad with faculty, with interning or research or a self-designed project undertaken with a faculty adviser.


Wofford recalculates your core GPA using math, science, history, English, and foreign language grades. The average comes to 3.7 to 3.8. This GPA, plus a rating for rigor, makes up 60% of a candidate’s score. The remaining 40% comes from essays, activities, and if submitted, test scores. Letters of recommendation are used solely to give context to the application.

Each applicant gets at least three reads before the committee decides to deny, waitlist, or admit. The territory representative reads first (a good reason to get to know your rep). All are considered for merit aid, and all who submit the FAFSA are considered for Wofford’s institutional grant aid. Total cost of attendance for 2024 equals $72,325, so aid can help put a dent into that cost. South Carolina residents have access to state scholarships as well. Transfers are also eligible for merit aid.

Wofford has a strong biology program, especially for those on the pre-med track, and there are pre-professional tracks for law, dentistry, and pharmacy. Eighty percent of medical school applicants from Wofford get into med school on their first try.

Student Success Team

I was impressed with the level of advising at Wofford. Every student gets a student success team of advisers: a peer, a faculty member, a staff member, and a personal librarian to orient them to college research. Students meet the faculty adviser before registering for classes. Once they declare a major, usually sophomore year, their adviser switches to a professor in their major. Athletes have a sports adviser, pre-professional students have advisers for their tracks, and Terriers even have advisers for their minors.

The wellness center houses support for learning differences and students can access up to 15 sessions of mental health counseling.

A place to figure out your life

I’d say Wofford leans conservative, but it’s not a religious school in spite of its Methodist affiliation. When asked about politics, a tour guide said they keep their politics to themselves. Most out-of-state students come from Georgia or North Carolina. You may have a slight advantage if you’re from another state since they’re looking to grow their out-of-state enrollment.

Wofford admissions folks said it’s a place to come “to figure out your life.” Students who would thrive here are interested in a challenging academic environment but are also interested in contributing to community, to making a difference. Student panelists said that it’s a good place to be undecided, a good place to find your passion.

Wofford College, a place to find your passion