The new college should help USC better compete with for-profit colleges for students who have the equivalent of a two years of college credits but cannot attend classes on a residential campus.The university hopes to triple the number of students taking web-based courses by 2018. Already, USC is offering more classes online to “traditional” students, who go to classes on campus, to help ease the strain of its increasing enrollment and entice more students who want to take classes on their own schedules.Palmetto College quietly opened its enrollment last week. It has attracted more than 25 students who can take classes in seven majors.
Pastides said former USC star running back Marcus Lattimore, who is leaving college after three years to enter the NFL draft, will complete his degree through Palmetto College.The online programs offered through Palmetto College come from each of USC's four-year campuses. USC Columbia is offering elementary education, liberal studies and organizational leadership courses. Criminal justice and nursing classes come from USC Upstate, business classes from USC Aiken and human services courses from USC Beaufort. USC is starting a marketing campaign for the online college and expects it to have 500 students when classes start in the fall.Pastides said the university did not put the South Carolina name on the college to emphasize that all students — regardless of where they went to college previously — can enroll with at least 60 hours of college credits.A semester of tuition to Palmetto College will cost S.C. residents $4,367 — about $900 less than tuition at USC's main campus this year