Gamecock Guarantee graduates 1st class
Instructor Leslie Haynsworth said she sees Gamecock Guarantee students in her freshman English class who have a “comfort level and a willingness to speak up” in smaller classes with students from similar backgrounds. “They gain the confidence as freshman to know they can succeed here.”
That’s been part of the reason for Kwade Channell’s success. Channell is a Gamecock Guarantee student who will be graduating this weekend with a degree in accounting and finance from the Darla Moore School of Business. A native of Greenville, he will head to Pittsburgh after graduation for a finance and accounting internship with Eaton Corp.
“As Opportunity Scholars and Gamecock Guarantee students, we had smaller classes to start and had two or three classes with the same group. We got more one-on-one time with the professor and we were able to form study groups and relationships,” Channell said. “It taught me the fundamentals, so when I got to other classes I had the study skills.”
Channell has also been an active University and Presidential Ambassador, leading tours for prospective students and helping host events on campus. He said he came to Carolina because of the strong business program along with service opportunities outside the classroom.
“I chose Carolina because I was looking for a school that would give me opportunities within the school and within the city,” he said. “I was accepted at USC, Clemson and the College of Charleston. USC did the most to help me afford a quality education, offering me scholarships on top of the Gamecock Guarantee.”
The Gamecock Guarantee covers the cost of undergraduate tuition and technology fees at USC, providing each participant a minimum of $2,500 a year. If the award combined with other grants and scholarships in the student's financial aid package does not meet the cost of tuition and technology fees, then the Gamecock Guarantee will cover the difference. In other words, Gamecock Guarantee recipients who retain eligibility and graduate in four years will not pay any tuition or technology fee from their own pockets.
That means students are leaving college with a degree and little debt.
“I don’t have any debt coming out of undergraduate school,” Schoultz said. “I’m going to be stepping into some debt for law school, but this has made law school more affordable in a sense.”
USC leaders will watch the first Gamecock Guarantee students graduate this weekend with plenty of Gamecock pride.
“It’s tremendously gratifying to see this first group of students graduate. They are all bright, talented students, but many of them have said that without the Gamecock Guarantee, they wouldn’t have been able to attend college. With the program’s support, they’ve not only attended, they’ve thrived. They’ve taken advantage of every opportunity that Carolina has to offer – student organizations, undergraduate research, community service, study abroad and as such are now prepared to provide leadership to their university and their community,” Pruitt said. “And now they’re graduating with the skills they need for lifelong learning and success. It’s an important milestone in their lives and in the history of the University of South Carolina.”
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