SC State MapWhat do the son of a famous orchestra director, a 16-year-old student with enough credits to be a college junior and a student featured in a Brad Paisley video have in common? They are all members of the College of Charleston Class of 2012.

This year, the College received more than 12,000 applications. In evaluating these applications, the admissions office sought students who excelled in a rigorous academic program, who were interested in a broad liberal arts education, and who had a diversity of backgrounds, experiences and interests. Suzette Stille, director of undergraduate admissions, said, “This year’s class is tremendously industrious. They worked while in high school, have already studied abroad and travelled widely, participated in numerous clubs and organizations, and have volunteered significant time to community service. It’s an impressive bunch!”

Stille says the group is characterized by its enthusiasm for the school. The “CofC ’12” Facebook page has over 1,055 members. High school students applied to more colleges than ever this year, yet most Class of 2012 members report that the College of Charleston was their first choice. Not surprisingly, they also say that their parents were tremendously influential in the decision.


United States Map“Admission and enrollment at the College of Charleston are not about a prize won but rather, a match made,” said Don Burkard, associate vice president for enrollment planning. “Student leadership and student engagement are essential to the vitality of college campuses and their partnerships with surrounding communities. I am very impressed with the incredible leadership and civic engagement within the class of 2012. The demonstrated leadership, talent and creativity of this class fit well with our core values, and especially with our recent approval by the Bonner Foundation of Princeton, NJ in support of a Bonner Leaders Program at College of Charleston. All of this is a tribute to our growing reputation as an institution that fosters innovation and student engagement.”

Class of 2012: By the Numbers

2,000number of freshmen
960number of transfers and readmitted students
43number of states represented in addition to the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands
11number of countries represented
66percent of females
34percent of males
16youngest member of the Class of 2012
26oldest member of the Class of 2012
9,977number of miles traveled to the College of Charleston by the student who lives farthest away (from Singapore, Singapore)
87number of student-athletes
47number of student-athletes on scholarships


Class of 2012: A Closer Look

  • Most common female students’ name: Emily, Lauren, Elizabeth
  • Most common male students’ name: William, Andrew, James
  • Five largest feeder high schools: Wando High School (85), Fort Mill High School (40), Myrtle Beach High School (29), West Ashley High School (28), Hilton Head High School (24)

The Class of 2012 includes:

  • The great-grandson of artist Elizabeth O’Neill Verner.
  • A Coast Guard reservist.
  • A Congressional Award Gold Medal winner.
  • A 16-year old salutatorian with enough transfer credits to be considered a college junior.
  • Several students who started their own charities.
  • Students who found their roommates on Facebook.
  • A student who personally raised $3,000 for a heart transplant for a student at a rival high school.
  • The winner of the gold medal in figure skating at the 2006 Keystone State Games.
  • Several students battling cancer.
  • A student who learned how to play basketball from College of Charleston standout Jermel President.
  • A second-degree black belt in tae-kwon-do.
  • A student whose first language is Arabic.
  • A member of the 2008 Guatemalan Olympic Sailing Team
  • A sailor who placed 6th at the International Flying Junior World sailing competition and 11th at the US Nationals.
  • Recipients of hundreds of awards
  • More than 200 first-generation college students, including one who is coming from Hawaii.
  • Two-time SCISA State Triple-Jump Champion.
  • The daughter of the honorary Consul General of Albania.
  • A student nominated to be a national congressional page.
  • A half-Puerto Rican and half-Cuban Eagle Scout who is also a drummer.
  • A student who played in the marching band featured in Country Singer Brad Paisley’s “Online” video.
  • A winner of the Eugene O’Neill Young Playwright’s Competition.
  • A student featured in Bill Clinton’s book, Giving.

Class of 2012: Academic Profile

The average freshman accepted for fall 2008:

  • Scored between 1080 and 1230 (in-state), and 1160 and 1290 (out-of-state) on the SAT.
  • Scored between 23 and 26 (in-state), and 23 and 28 (out-of-state) on the ACT.
  • Graduated in the top 16 percent of the class.
  • Had consistent academic achievement in the A/B range.
1919 valedictorians, 19 salutatorians (16 from SC public high schools)
126number of Palmetto Fellows
7National Merit Program Scholars
2National Achievement Program Scholars
369entering freshmen with Presidential Scholarships
14entering freshmen with Avery Scholarships


Honors College: Class of 2012 A Closer Look

The Honors College Class of 2012 includes:

  • Two students who were home-schooled.
  • Three students who graduated early from high school.
  • Two siblings who are not twins.
  • A student who has served in the military in Iraq.
  • The son of a famous orchestra director.
  • Eight students who attended the Governor’s School of South Carolina at the College of Charleston in 2007.
  • A 16-year old high school student arriving with enough transfer credits to be a college junior.


Honors College: Class of 2012 Academic Profile

189total number of freshman
1320average SAT
30average ACT
4.32average GPA weighted
3.76average GPA unweighted
93%average percent rank in class
85number of in-state students
104number of out of state students
56number of males
133number of females
12% coming in with enough transfer credits to be a college sophomore


Honors College: William Aiken Fellows Society Profile

The William Aiken Fellows Society is a group of highly capable students who have the potential to successfully pursue national and international opportunities reserved for top scholars. Throughout their college careers, William Aiken Fellows work closely with the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards and participate in numerous programs designed to create leadership opportunities, enrich their academic experience and prepare them for graduate work and beyond.

Academic Profile

18total number of students
1420average SAT
32average ACT
4.52average GPA weighted
3.89average GPA unweighted
98%average percent rank in class
8number of in-state students
10number of out of state students
14number of females
4number of males


Class of 2012: Beloit Mindset

Each August for the past 11 years, Beloit College in Beloit, Wis., has released the Beloit College Mindset List. It provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college. See what Beloit says about the Class of 2012.


Class of 2012: Spotlight

Christina Arguello


Christina Arguello

Christina Arguello

In high school, Christina played in the marching band that was chosen to perform in Brad Paisley’s recording of his hit song Online. When Paisley was asked to perform the song at the Country Music Awards, he took part of that band with him, including Christina. She said, “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We got to play with professionals and work with famous people. It was hectic, but also a lot of fun!” At the College of Charleston, Christina is enrolled in flute choir and flute lessons and hopes to play the flute and piccolo in the College’s Wind Ensemble.

Sam Graebner


Sam Graebner

Sam Graebner

As a high school student, Sam won the Eugene O’Neill Young Playwrights Competition with his original, one-act play entitled What First Amendment? He explains that the play is comedy about a fairly normal man who writes a letter expressing his feelings regarding the government and his disgust with the current state of affairs. Immediately after sending off this letter, he is visited by two bumbling Secret Service agents who arrive to “make his opinions more American.” At the College of Charleston, Sam plans to hone his writing skills with the intent of writing professionally in the future.

Christine Lindner

Christine Lindner

Christine Lindner

While still in the eighth grade, Christine and seven friends started the charity H.O.P.E (Help Other People Endure) to benefit South African children. She remembers, “When we first came up with the idea, our parents thought it was cute, but they didn’t actually think it would be successful.” By their senior year in high school, these students had raised more than a million dollars hosting events like a fashion show that featured top designers, including Badgley Mischka, and a battle-of-the-bands concert with host Nick Lachey. H.O.P.E. was also featured in former President Bill Clinton’s book, Giving, and on Good Morning America. Ultimately, Christine said, “Visiting the South African village for the past three summers has taught me that doing the simplest things can help and save the lives of many in need. It has made me realize that helping others is something I want to do for the rest of my life.”