Students leafing through a binder on a bench in the quad

Social Sciences & Business Research Lab

History, Political Science, and Philosophy

South Carolina School Property Tax Survey Results

Our research team has now analyzed the results of the school tax survey as completed by respondents in 2021. See the report of findings by going to the following web page:
Click here to learn more about the survey.
Thanks to everyone who submitted their responses to our confidential survey through mail or the online portal.

Christie Hightower working with POLI 301 student Christine Posadas-Kelman at the North Augusta First Baptist Church family life center where N. Augusta #29 was located.

Who are we?

  • The Social Sciences & Business Research Laboratory (SSBRL) is the product of collaboration from both faculty members and administrators to provide an institutional research setting for the University of South Carolina-Aiken community, the greater CSRA, and beyond. The SSBRL supports student learning, scholarly research, and community service by providing the facilities and expertise to produce professional quality surveys using a wide variety of formats, from focus groups to telephone surveys. We share findings from public surveys so as to increase knowledge about public opinion in the region. (See links to the left.)
  • In the near future we plan to provide Web based surveys that can quickly tap public opinion for a variety of demographic groups. Look for "Aiken County Opinion Net" in the year to come!

Who uses the SSBRL?

  • The SSBRL provides academic support for the College of Humanities & Social Sciences, the School of Business, and other units of the USCA community who require empirical research in their course work or one's own personal research projects.
  • The SSBRL conducts research for private businesses, industries, government or community agencies, and private individuals, including political candidates.  Typical research designs employed include mail out and telephone surveys as well as focus groups.


  • Marketing study for a major bank in Aiken County
  • Focus group of affluent consumers in Augusta to see what attracts them to Aiken downtown
  • Models of successful retail outlets in attracting Augusta consumers
  • Education and training needs for a major governmental employer in the county
  • Tracking lost retail sales in the county to Augusta
  • Perceptions that realtors have for lending institutions in Aiken
  • Focus groups on patient satisfaction for a major medical provider
  • Economic impact study of an annual crafts fair
  • Study of member desires in a major private recreational organization
  • Economic impact study of moving administrative offices to a new location
  • Needs assessment for a day-care center
  • Human service needs assessment for a major funding source
  • Students specializing in survey methodology, conduct demographic research gaining experience while increasing their knowledge of computer science, research methods and building interpersonal skills.

How can the SSBRL serve you?

  • The SSBRL will work directly with members of the USCA community by providing suggestions and/or designing research exercises and projects.
  • The SSBRL will assist students in performing those exercises/projects and allow students to use its facility as a means of conducting research.
  • The SSBRL will serve as a resource to the USCA community in meeting their own research needs.
  • The SSBRL will offer its facility and staff to the greater public for hire to conduct individual survey research needs.

How much will the research cost and what standards apply to our work?

  • The SSBRL's personnel will design, conduct the survey and provide analysis in both a timely and cost-effective manner.
  • All public opinion research we perform meets the standards of ethics under the American Association of Public Opinion Research (


Email or call us!

For further information contact:

Matt Thornburg, Assistant Professor of Political Science

SSBR Lab Chair


(803) 641-3222 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bob Botsch, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science
SSBRL Chair Emeritus
The Social Sciences & Business Research Laboratory
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The University of South Carolina Aiken
471 University Parkway
Aiken, SC 29801