Gamecock Guarantee covers tuition for state's neediest students
"When I think about the Gamecock Guarantee and the support that the Opportunity Scholars Program has provided for my first semester at USC, I feel blessed," Addison said. "I have been brought into a community of loving and caring professors, advisers, and fellow students. There is a sense of community and a common bond that have been created by all involved in this program. More than anything, I am thrilled that, because of this program, I do not have to add any financial or emotional burdens to my mother. I have not had to ask her once to help me out financially with anything regarding paying for school. It is such a relief to know that because of this program, I can continue my dream of being at the University of South Carolina and continue to make my mom proud by accomplishing all that she has ALWAYS told me that I could."
Addison wasted no time in becoming involved in campus life: she is a member of Freshman Council and a University Ambassador.
To be eligible for the Gamecock Guarantee, a student must be accepted to the University of South Carolina Columbia as a first-time, full-time freshman for fall semester, be a first-generation college student (neither parent earned a four-year degree), and qualify for a Pell Grant and complete a federal financial-aid form (FAFSA) with a family income no greater than 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines, or approximately $33,000 for a family of four.
The amount of financial help that students receive through the Gamecock Guarantee, so that tuition and technology fees are covered, varies depending on other scholarships and grants each student may have earned. Regardless, all students receive a $2,500 award through the Gamecock Guarantee, which can be applied to expenses such as books or supplies if tuition and technology fee costs have been met by other scholarships and grants.
"Our goal is to limit or eliminate altogether educational debt for Gamecock Guarantee students and their families and create a college-going culture for all citizens of South Carolina," Verzyl said.