Providing a transformative undergraduate experience


Preston Residential College Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I choose to apply to live in Preston?

Preston is a great living option for students who are ready to make the most of their Carolina experience! Preston is known across campus for its close-knit community. Students who live in Preston are afforded the opportunity to return to our community for the next year through our re-application process. Preston is one of the few residence halls on campus that set aside space specifically for upperclass students. We offer our residents numerous opportunities for leadership development, service to the community and FUN! In Preston, if you can dream it, we can probably do it.


Why is it called Preston Residential College?

We are called Preston Residential College, rather than Preston Hall or Preston Dorm, because we are so much more than just a place to live! Preston is the University's only residential college because students live together and:

  • build community over food in our private all-you-care-to-eat dining facility;
  • interact with USC faculty staff and Columbia community members at various events;
  • have the opportunity to take Preston-only courses;
  • take advantage of numerous leadership and service opportunities; and
  • enjoy the unique opportunity to really get to know our live-in Faculty Principal!


How much does it cost to live in Preston?

For 2017-2018, Preston Residential College is the most affordable co-ed, suite style option for full-time USC students.

Room type Semester Yearly
suite-style rooms (193 beds) $3,140 $6,280
apartments (36 beds) $3,510 $7,020

You can compare costs for all residence halls here.


What types of rooms are in Preston?

Our rooms are suite-style, which means that two people share a room, and two rooms share a bathroom. Preston also has apartments, which are two people to a room, with a private bath. Three of these rooms share a common space with a private living area and full-size refrigerator. Apartments are located on the northwest and northeast corners of each floor. Room rates for apartments are higher than regular Preston rooms.


How do I apply to live in Preston?

All students interested in becoming a part of the Preston Residential College community must apply to live here. Applications are available through University Housing and submitted though Self Service Carolina. Our applications are reviewed in three phases:

  1. Current Preston residents (applications due in October for the next academic year)
  2. Current USC students who do not currently live in Preston (applications due in October for the next academic year)
  3. Incoming students (deadline in May)

Applications are reviewed by a committee of Preston students and staff and based on a student's academic and co-curricular interests, as well as the potential to enhance our community. Returning residents and current students are also subject to grade checks, as we expect our residents to maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA. University Housing is responsible for all roommate requests, as well as final room assignments.


Why does Preston want residents to dine together?

Preston is all about community! What better way to continue building community than over food! Our residents are frequently joined by faculty and professional staff members from around campus and the greater Columbia community. Get a chance to interact with faculty in a different environment.


What's the difference between the Preston meal plan and other options?

The Preston meal plan will work just like everyone else's on campus. The only difference you'll ever notice is if you bring a friend from another residence hall to dinner at PDining. You'll use just one swipe, while your guest will use a swipe and have to pay the difference with Carolina Cash, Meal Plan Dollars, etc. Meal plan information can be found on the Carolina Card website.


I just joined a fraternity/sorority, and they have a required meal plan, too. What are my options?

Social fraternities and sororities also understand and appreciate community. Unfortunately, we cannot release a student from the Preston meal plan based on participation in another organization on campus.