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Office of Undergraduate Admissions

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Steps in the Process

Whether you're in the 9th grade, 12th grade or somewhere in between, there are steps you can take right now to prepare for college. These tips will help guide you on your path to South Carolina.

The fact you're reading this means you're on the right track. Reading college websites and learning about admissions requirements is an important step in preparing for college!

9th grade

It's never too early to start preparing for college – even as early as your freshman year.

Select three dream schools.

Visit Big Future to compare up to three universities in terms of location, type, campus life, admissions, cost and financial aid. Select the criteria that are most important to you, and if you can, take a virtual tour. It's never too early to get a feel for each campus.

Get involved.

Participate in two or three clubs or organizations that you find interesting. If you can't find one that interests you, start your own! It's a great way to pursue what inspires you. Don't forget to look outside your school and explore different volunteer opportunities.

Develop study skills.

Finding a way to efficiently study can be a daunting task, but your grades will reflect your hard work. Using a planner is very important in aiding time management. Color coding and concept maps are great tools for visual learners. Flash cards are a convenient study tool because they allow you to study anywhere.

10th grade

Keep working to build a strong foundation your sophomore year.

Meet your local admissions rep.

The University of South Carolina has dozens of admissions representatives spread across the country ready to answer your college questions. Find the rep closest to you, and don't be afraid to ask questions!

Check in with your high school counselor.

If you haven't already done so, look over UofSC's admissions requirements with your counselor. How does your current schedule compare to our course requirements? See how your four-year plan is coming along.

11th grade

Once you're a junior, it's time to amp up your college research.

Find a way to pay.

Check out financial aid options at the colleges and universities that interest you. Search for scholarship opportunities on reliable websites, such as and the College Board. You can review scholarship information, including GPA and test score averages, for last year's UofSC freshman class.

Get with the program.

What are you interested in? There's a major for that! You can study just about anything, from fashion merchandising to marine biology. Explore your options, then talk to your counselor about how to fit your field of interest into your high school career.

See it in person.

Visiting campus in person is the best way to determine how you really feel about a school. You can schedule an appointment online to visit UofSC, where you'll attend an information session and take a campus tour.

12th grade

It's senior year. You've done your research, visited schools and now you're ready to apply.

Make a calendar.

Organize college visits, application and credential deadlines in a single place, where you can easily see what's ahead. Review our tips for applying before you submit your application.


Make sure you meet all deadlines and read your application carefully before you submit it.

Keep calm and carry on.

Waiting to hear back from colleges can be nerve-wracking, but make sure you're taking the time to enjoy your senior year!

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.