University of South Carolina

Admissions


Scholarships for South Carolina Residents

The University of South Carolina Office of Undergraduate Admissions offers many different kinds of merit scholarships for freshmen who reside in South Carolina. While these awards generally cannot be combined with one another, they can be combined with a South Carolina state lottery funded scholarship, making your USC education even more affordable!

Stamps Carolina Scholars Award *
Annual value: $10,000
Enrichment fund: $8,000
Four-year value: $48,000


Carolina Scholars Award *
Annual value: $10,000
Four-year value: $40,000


Hamilton Scholars Award *
Annual value: $7,000
Four-year value $28,000


The Stamps Carolina Scholars, Carolina Scholars and Hamilton Scholars Awards are the University of South Carolina’s most prestigious awards bestowed on South Carolina residents. If you have a strong academic record and are a leader in your high school and community, we encourage you to apply for the Top Scholars competition for these awards. Fifty scholar candidates are invited to participate in an interview weekend, after which 25 candidates are named Carolina Scholars and 25 are named Hamilton Scholars.

Additionally, the top five candidates named as Carolina Scholars will be nominated as Stamps Carolina Scholars and will interview for the chance to receive an enrichment stipend to fund opportunities such as undergraduate research, study abroad, service projects or unpaid internships. Candidates must participate in the entire weekend (Feb. 21-23, 2015) in order to remain in consideration for these awards. Last year, Carolina and Hamilton Scholars had an average SAT score of 1488 (ACT score of 33) and had an average weighted GPA of 4.86.

To apply for this award, you must submit both a USC application and a Top Scholars application supplement to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. The deadline for the Top Scholars application is Nov. 15.

Lieber Scholars Award
Annual value: $10,000
Four-year value: $40,000

The university annually awards scholarships to National Merit Finalists, National Achievement Finalists and National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholars. The competition for these awards begins when you take the PSAT/NMSQT in your junior year of high school. To be eligible, National Merit Finalists must list the University of South Carolina as their first choice through the National Merit Corporation. National Achievement Finalists must send a copy of the National Achievement Finalist certificate to the admissions office. The National Hispanic Recognition Program will send USC the names of scholars selected for its program. No scholarship application is required. The Lieber Scholars Award is one of only two USC scholarships that can be combined with another university-issued scholarship (the other is the USC STEM Supplement).

Alumni Scholars Award *
Annual value: $5,000
Four-year value: $20,000

Sponsored by the Carolina Alumni Association, these awards signify outstanding achievement in academics, leadership, talent and service. In 2014, recipients of this award had an average SAT score of 1517 (ACT score of 33) and an average weighted high school GPA of 4.79.

To apply for this award, you must submit both a USC application and a Top Scholars application supplement to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. The deadline for the Top Scholars application is Nov. 15.

Trustees' Endowment Scholars Award *
Annual value: $5,000
Four-year value: $20,000

You may receive this scholarship if you are an incoming freshman who is academically talented or who demonstrates financial need. This scholarship is one of our premier awards, and candidates typically present high SAT or ACT scores and an excellent GPA.

Valedictorian Scholars Award *
Annual value: $3,000
Four-year value: $12,000

If you are ranked first in your class at the end of your junior year or later, be sure your high school guidance counselor notes it on your transcript, as you may be eligible for the Valedictorian Scholars Award. The sole criterion for this award is class rank.

Dean's Scholars Award *
Annual Value: $3,000
Four-Year Value: $12,000

In 2014, recipients of this award had an average SAT score of 1386 (ACT score of 31) and an average weighted high school GPA of 4.55. Note that if you are named a Palmetto Fellows Scholar by the Commission on Higher Education, you will automatically qualify for the Dean’s Scholars Award.

University Scholars Award *
Annual value: $2,000
Four-year value: $8,000

For freshmen entering in 2014, recipients of this award had an average SAT score of 1299 (ACT score of 29) and an average weighted high school GPA of 4.13.

Thornwell Scholars Award *
Annual value: $500
Four-year value: $2,000

In 2014, recipients of this award had an average SAT score of 1226 (ACT score of 27) and an average weighted high school GPA of 4.23.

USC STEM Supplement
Annual value: $3,300 freshman year only

To support students pursuing degrees in science, math, technology and engineering fields (STEM fields), USC offers this one-time, freshman-year-only award supplement to all admitted freshmen who are named Palmetto Fellows and who enroll in a STEM-eligible major. Visit this page for a list of STEM-eligible majors. The USC STEM Supplement may be added to any other Admissions Merit Award.

* May not be combined with any other Admissions Merit Award, except for Lieber Scholars Award and/or USC STEM Supplement.

 

State Scholarships for S.C. Residents

The state awards several different types of lottery-funded scholarships to eligible South Carolina residents. Any one of the awards listed in this section can be added to any university-issued scholarship.

Palmetto Fellows Scholarship *
Annual value: up to $6,700 for the first year
Four-year value: up to $29,200

You are eligible to apply for this state-awarded scholarship, worth up to $6,700 for the first year and up to $7,500 for the next three years, if you are an S.C. high school student with exemplary academic credentials. For more information, contact your high school guidance counselor or the S.C. Commission on Higher Education. Palmetto Fellows recipients are not eligible for LIFE or S.C. HOPE scholarships.

LIFE Scholarship
Annual value: $5,000
Four-year value: $20,000

The Legislative Incentives for Future Excellence Scholarship is a state-awarded scholarship valued at $5,000 per year. If you meet two of the following three requirements, you are eligible for this scholarship: 1) your final, cumulative grade point average is at least a “B” (3.00); 2) your SAT score is at least 1100 on critical reading and math sections combined (ACT composite score of at least 24); or 3) you graduate in the top 30 percent of your class.

Palmetto Fellows and LIFE Scholarship Enhancements
Annual value: up to $2,500 beginning sophomore year
Three-year value: up to $7,500

Palmetto Fellows and LIFE Scholarship recipients enrolled in certain math and science majors may be eligible for an enhancement award beginning in their second year of enrollment. Eligible students must have completed 14 hours in mathematics or life or physical science, or any combination of both, during their first year. Complete information on the enhancement is available at sc.edu/financialaid.

South Carolina HOPE Scholarship
Annual value: $2,800

The S.C. HOPE scholarship is state-awarded and valued at $2,800 for the freshman year only. If your final, cumulative GPA is at least a “B” (3.00) and you do not qualify for a Palmetto Fellows or LIFE scholarship, you are eligible to receive this scholarship.

* While the vast majority of incoming freshman Palmetto Fellows Scholarship recipients will receive $6,700, there is a cap on the total amount of funding that can be awarded to an individual student per year from the state of South Carolina. If the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, in combination with all other sources of gift aid (scholarships and grants), including federal, state, USC and private funds, exceeds the recipient’s cost of attendance cap, adjustment to the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship will be made in order to prevent an overaward. The 2014 cap is $25,985.
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