The Converse Advantage
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The Converse Advantage

The Converse Advantage

What makes Converse unique?

Converse combines room to find your own voice—in an environment where opinions are valued and sought after—with strong academic programs in the arts, sciences and education, an uncommonly low student-faculty ratio of 13:1 and a unique vision for student-faculty collaboration and research. We value being creative and collaborative in every pursuit—so much so that every student has the opportunity to participate in experiential learning while at Converse—things like internships, student research, leadership development, community service and study-travel.

Find your voice, discover your value, and develop your unique vision at Converse.

Converse students are creative, versatile problem solvers and communicators who have a clear understanding of the value they bring to the world. From a month-long trip to Qatar to booking bands for a local festival, see how our students are making the most of their time here at Converse!

  • The U.S. Department of Education cites Converse among the top private colleges in the nation for “excelling in access and success.”
  • Washington Monthly ranks Converse among the top master’s universities in the nation based on: Social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), Service (encouraging students to give back to their community).
  • Converse is the top-ranked private Regional University in SC, a Top Regional College for Undergraduate Teaching, and a Top Ten Best Value by U.S. News & World Report
  • The National Survey of Student Engagement ranks us in the top 10% of colleges in the nation for enriching educational experiences.
  • Forbes includes Converse among America’s Top Colleges based on student outcomes
  • The New York Times featured Converse in a front page article for our bold move to reset tuition by 43%, noting “the college is on an upswing, with the largest freshman class in years, a new genetics counseling program, a new field house and a strong music school.”

Converse faculty are committed to providing transformative learning experiences for our students. They are also practicing professionals, international performers and award-winning authors, artists, scholars and researchers. On top of all that, they still find time for things like chairing the “Okra to Opera” conference on Southern culture, leading students in service projects like mentoring immigrant children learning English, and lecturing on biomedical ethics in Iceland.

  • 95% of full-time Converse faculty hold the terminal degree in their fields
  • 82% of courses are taught by full-time faculty
  • Converse has earned three South Carolina Professor of the Year awards since 2007 by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for the Advancement of Support Education (CASE)

Our students succeed – in school and afterward.

  • 94% of Converse graduates complete their degree in four years or less – that’s 3X the rate of their peers at public universities.
  • Our undergraduates are more likely than their peers to participate in faculty-mentored research, to earn SCICU research grants, and to present their research at conferences. They leverage these experiences to get into top grad schools.

Over the last decade, we’ve had:

  • 5 Fulbright Assistantships
  • 2 Goldwater Scholarship finalists
  • 2 University Innovation Fellows
  • A John Jay Institute Fellow
  • An Abreu (Sistema) Fellow
  • A Goldman Sachs Rising Leader
  • An Elie Weisel Ethics Prize finalist
  • Presidential Management Fellows
  • A White House Champion for Change

Our graduates get accepted at places like:

  • Yale University
  • Texas A&M
  • Harvard University
  • The Julliard School
  • James Madison University
  • Columbia University
  • Princeton University
  • Boston University
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Texas Health Science Center
  • New York School of Interior Design
  • Georgetown University

Outcomes from the Class of 2018:

  • 67% participated in service opportunities on and off-campus
  • 51% held an internship during their time at Converse
  • 28% participated in study travel, visiting Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Spain, Morocco, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Cuba and the Netherlands
  • 21% are student athletes
  • 13% are Converse II students, age 24 and older
  • 20% completed independent research or independent creative experiences at Converse

Notable Converse Graduates:

Lily Strickland – Pulitzer prize-winning composer
Kimilee Bryant – Broadway star; earned lead role of “Christine” in Phantom of the Opera
Ellen Bryant Voigt – MacArthur Foundation Fellow and “Genius Grant” recipient, Poet Laureate of Vermont
Pat Hickerson – Major General U.S. Army; retired as highest ranking female officer
Scott Laughlin – Co-founder and associate director of Disquiet International Literary Program in Portugal

Richard Troxell – Opera star of Scorsese’s Madam Butterfly film; sung on TV for Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon
Carol Connor – First female circuit court judge in South Carolina
Casey Addis – U.S. Foreign Service Officer
Ron Gardner, Scott Turner and Russell Booker – Superintendents of Spartanburg County School Districts 1, 5 and 7
Harriet O’Neil – Texas Supreme Court Justice
Cheryl Woody – Deputy crew commander for Titan IV Rocket launches