Class of 2013 Freshman Profile


What do a hibachi chef, a U.S. Army Sergeant and a published poet have in common? They are all members of the College of Charleston Class of 2013.

The College received a record-breaking 13,000 applications for the 2009–2010 year, and the top applicants were selected for the Class of 2013. Students turned down hundreds of other top universities, from Wake Forest to Florida State University in order to attend the College of Charleston. These undergrads represent a broad range of interests and talents and form one of the most geographically diverse classes in the College’s history. Students come from as close as a few blocks away and as far as the North Pole (Alaska). There are a record 18 students from California along with others who graduated from high school in Europe, Asia and Australia.


“The Class of 2013 brings with them a broad range of experiences from significant involvement in community service to substantial leadership experiences and a global outlook,” said Suzette Stille, director of undergraduate admissions. “We are excited to see the mark the Class of 2013 will leave on the College. Their potential for contribution to this institution and city is tremendous.”

Class of 2013: By the Numbers

2,194Number of freshmen
1060Number of transfers and readmitted students
46Number of states represented in addition to the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands
11Number of countries represented
16Youngest member of the Class of 2013
26Oldest member of the Class of 2013
110Number of students from one state other than SC (NC)
9,977Number of miles traveled to the College of Charleston by the student who lives farthest away (from Singapore, Singapore). There is a transfer student from New Zealand and a freshman from Sydney, Australia.
55Number of student-athletes on scholarships


Class of 2013: A Closer Look

  • Most common female students’ name: Sarah, Lauren, Elizabeth, Katherine
  • Most common male students’ name: John, Matthew, William, Andrew
  • Largest feeder high schools: Wando High School (78), Fort Dorchester High School (31), Lexington High School (31), Bishop England High School (27), Summerville High School (26)

The Class of 2013 includes:

  • Two Honors College students who scored a perfect 800 on the verbal section of the SAT and one who scored a perfect 800 on the math section of the SAT.
  • Two trilingual students.
  • A student from the North Pole (Alaska).
  • A member of the U.S. Sailing Team.
  • A published poet.
  • An Honors College student entering with 56 credits (nearly junior status).
  • A former Marine.
  • A Native American dancer who also makes Native American dance ensembles.
  • A competitive downhill skier.
  • Several high school student body presidents.
  • A student who spent two years in Kazakhstan teaching children to speak English.
  • A student who sang in Beijing for the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.
  • Several business owners and entrepreneurs.
  • A member of the U.S. Pony Club who is also a competitive sailor.
  • A student who was attacked by a shark.
  • Several Eagle Scouts.
  • A student who was in the Navy.
  • A student who climbed Grand Teton’s Exum Ridge.
  • Several students who served as interns in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.
  • A student who lived on a ship that reached out to the less fortunate in Africa.
  • A descendant of Arthur Middleton.
  • A student ambassador with People to People.
  • A 17-year-old who has lived in seven states, attended eight schools and moved 12 times.
  • A three-time South Carolina pole vaulting champion.
  • A stringer at CosmoGirl!
  • A student who invented a shark repellent surfboard.
  • More than 20 certified lifeguards.
  • A U.S. Army Sergeant.
  • A U.S. Secret Service Federal Officer.
  • A hibachi chef.

Class of 2013: Academic Profile

The middle 50 percent of freshmen accepted for fall 2009:

  • Scored between 1080 and 1240 (in-state), and 1140 and 1280 (out-of-state) on the SAT.
  • Scored between 22 and 27 (in-state), and 25 and 29 (out-of-state) on the ACT.
  • Graduated in the top 19 percent of the class.
  • Had consistent academic achievement in the A/B range.
17Number of valedictorians **
18Number of salutatorians **
168Number of Palmetto Fellows
7National Merit Program Scholars
2National Achievement Program Scholars
439Entering freshmen with Presidential Scholarships
11Entering freshmen with Avery Scholarships

* The information above is preliminary. Official data will be available in October 2009.
** 26 of these Valedictorians and Salutatorians are from South Carolina.

Honors College: Class of 2013 Academic Profile

197Total number of freshman
1330Average SAT
30Average ACT
4.38Average GPA weighted
3.76Average GPA unweighted
94%Average percent rank in class
116Number of in-state students
81Number of out of state students
11percentage 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.

13Total number of students
1430Average SAT Score
32Average ACT Score
4.83Average GPA weighted
3.95Average GPA unweighted
98%Average Percent Rank in class
9Number of in-state students
4Number of out of state students
10Number of females
3Number of males

Class of 2013: Beloit Mindset

Each August for the past 12 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 2013.

Class of 2013: Spotlight

Henri Paul Watson

Henri Paul Watson

Henri Paul Watson

Henri Paul Watson is an internationally ranked paintball player, inventor and motor enthusiast. About paintball, he says, “The time when I realized we were getting to be a serious team was when I actually started making money for playing paintball, selling my jerseys online for $50 or more, and when we made the centerfold of a magazine.” But, that wasn’t enough to keep him occupied. His obsession with making things better, faster, stronger or just cooler has fueled several inventions. He used scrap metal to build a go-cart that goes 50 mph and he plans to leave it in his hometown of Ridgeland, Miss., for his younger brother to “tear up the neighborhood.” He also put a Weedeater engine on his mom’s bike and recently broke the news that he’s taking it with him to the College of Charleston. The guy on the bike flying by you at 25 mph is Henri Paul! “If I could offer advice to people, I would say to be persistent and don’t be in a hurry,” Watson says. “You will perpetually be 15 minutes from finished no matter what.”

Lauren Foster

Lauren Foster

Lauren Foster

This Forest Hill, Md., freshman was part of an a cappella choir tapped to sing at the opening of Olympic City during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. They sang in three major concerts and many impromptu ones in between trips to the Water Cube, Birds Nest and Olympic Village. She says, “One of the coolest things about the experience was living for 15 days in a different culture and trying all the foods. Not many people can say they’ve walked the Great Wall of China, but I feel very privileged to say that I did, in flip-flops!” At the College of Charleston, Lauren plans to belt out Dave Matthews Band and John Butler Trio songs in the shower. Watch out roommates! Oh, and she is hoping to be involved in an a cappella or vocal group.

Dusty Ellis

Dusty Ellis

Dusty Ellis

Imagine organizing a Boy Scout troop in Iraq, while living in Castle Rock, Colo. Now imagine doing it at age 14. That is what Dusty Ellis did for his Eagle Scout project. He went beyond the usual Eagle Scout projects to reach kids who didn’t have the resources and opportunities he did. Collecting money, camping gear and survival supplies, Dusty navigated governmental red tape to send the supplies to a group of Iraqis he selected. “After a year and a half of work, with help from dozens of people in four countries, I received an e-mail in broken English thanking me for everything, with a picture of the scouts and their boxes of supplies,” says Dusty, adding that the coolest thing about the project is its impact on younger scouts. “They were usually like, ‘Wow I’d never thought of doing something like that,” he says. “And then they would go off and start trying to come up with projects no one had done before.” At the College of Charleston, Dusty plans to study Arabic and the Middle East and hopefully pay the Iraqi scouts a visit in person one day.

Elisa An

Elisa An

Elisa An

Learning a foreign language can be tricky. Not to mention learning several. Elisa An is fluent in Spanish, Korean and, of course, English. She says, “The coolest thing is that I can switch between languages mid-sentence (well, that’s what my friends think).” She grew up speaking Korean in Los Angeles before moving to Charleston at age 6 and learning English. Then, in high school, she tackled Spanish. “I like knowing different languages because you can reach a wider variety of people by diminishing the language barrier,” she says. Elisa is starting Latin when she arrives at the College of Charleston, with plans to take on French and German as well.