The University of South Carolina’s football team is rising in the national rankings … but the school’s academic fortunes are slipping according to the latest data from U.S. News and World Report.  Meanwhile Clemson University’s progress remains stalled after this website exposed its shameless attempts to artificially boost its ranking with this influential publication.

USC now ranks No. 115 nationally among all U.S. universities – a four-spot decline from last year.  The school also slipped one spot – to No. 55 – among public universities.  This comes despite a budget increase of nearly $50 million – and yet another round of tuition hikes.

Meanwhile Clemson held onto its No. 68 ranking after plummeting seven spots a year ago.  Clemson also maintained its No. 25 ranking among public schools after dropping three spots last year.  Clemson was steadily moving up in the national rankings until this website exposed its efforts to manipulate data to cater to U.S. News and World Report rankings criteria.

Clemson’s fixation – reported first on FITS – quickly morphed into outright duplicity and embarrassing childishness on the part of its president, James Barker, who sought to boost his school’s status by ranking it ahead of Harvard, Stanford and other top-tier institutions of higher learning.

South Carolina has always spent a disproportionately high percentage of its state budget its bloated, duplicative network of colleges and universities – a problem that has been exacerbated in recent years as these institutions have veered wildly from their core mission of educating students.  Thanks to the “leadership” of S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell, our state’s colleges and universities have been designated as “economic development” centers – with disastrous consequences for taxpayers.

Tuition at Clemson tripled during the previous decade (from under $4,000 to nearly $12,000 for in-state students), while tuition at USC more than doubled over the same time period.  This year in-state tuition at USC is $10,488, while out-of-state tuition is $27,643.  At Clemson, tuition is $13,000 for in-state students and nearly $30,000 for out-of-staters.

U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges