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Palmetto Pathway

UofSC Admissions is currently processing Palmetto Pathway applications for fall 2021. We anticipate that all applicants should be receiving their electronic letters and “next steps” information during the week of April 05 – 09, 2021.  In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Laura Carnes at 803-576-6045. 

We appreciate your patience and look forward to working with your students as they begin their journey at the University of South Carolina.

What is Palmetto Pathway?

Palmetto Pathway is an invitation-only program that provides an alternative way to enroll as a full-time student at the University of South Carolina. The University of South Carolina Columbia and Palmetto College's UofSC Lancaster campus have partnered to provide a comprehensive academic and residential program to prepare students to transfer from Palmetto College to UofSC Columbia. Students must earn 30 transferable credits and a minimum 2.0 UofSC GPA during their Pathway year to be considered for system transfer admission to UofSC Columbia. Please note that some majors have a higher GPA and/or course requirement. Please review UofSC Columbia’s system transfer admission requirements.


Are all majors eligible to participate?

Palmetto Pathway is a cohort program with select course offerings. Therefore, students with intended majors in the College of Engineering and Computing, the College of Nursing and the College of Pharmacy are not eligible to participate.


Where do students attend classes?

Palmetto Pathway students take classes on the UofSC Columbia campus. 


What courses are available to Palmetto Pathway students?


Example Course Offerings:

  • ARTE 101 – Introduction to Art
  • BIOL 110 – General Biology
  • BIOL 110L – General Biology Laboratory
  • CSCE 101 – Introduction to Computer Concepts
  • ECON 224 – Introduction to Economics (online)
  • ENGL 101 - Critical Reading and Composition
  • HIST 111 – United States History to 1865
  • MATH 111 – Basic College Mathematics
  • PSYC 101 – Introduction to Psychology
  • SOCY 101 – Introductory Sociology
  • SPAN 109 – Beginning Spanish I
  • SPCH 140 – Public Communication
  • UNIV 101 – The Student in the University


Do I have to apply and complete a new application for Palmetto College/UofSC Lancaster?

UofSC Columbia and Palmetto College/UofSC Lancaster have partnered to share admissions information. You do not need to complete a new application.


Where do students in Palmetto Pathway live? May I live at home if I live in the Columbia area?

Palmetto Pathway students will live in the Bates House residential community on the University of South Carolina Columbia campus. Bates House is a traditional style residence hall that includes wireless internet access, microfridge, 24-hour computer lab, newly renovated study lounge and the Bates Diner, an all-you-care-to-eat dining facility. Laundry and kitchen facilities are also located in the residence hall for your convenience. Palmetto Pathway is an academic and residential program, so participation in the residential component is both necessary and required.


May I keep a car on the UofSC campus?

Palmetto Pathway students are not encouraged to bring a vehicle to campus. Due to upcoming campus construction, parking near Bates House will not be available. Students who choose to bring a vehicle to campus will be required to purchase a UofSC parking pass to park their vehicles on campus.


What are some of the advantages of being a Palmetto Pathway student?

Over the course of their pathway year, students will benefit from a variety of support programs on the UofSC Columbia campus, including the Student Success Center. Students will also have access to many University of South Carolina campus activities, including most clubs, organizations and intramural sports. Students will be eligible to matriculate to the University of South Carolina Columbia upon successful completion of Palmetto Pathway program requirements, which include meeting the system transfer admission requirements for their intended major.


Are there any participation restrictions for Palmetto Pathway students?

Pathway students cannot join social fraternities or sororities, hold office in a club or organization, participate in intercollegiate athletics, or take part in activities that require UofSC Columbia course enrollment, including ROTC. Pathway students are eligible to participate in the marching band and are exempt from the marching band course. Students interested in the marching band should reach out to the marching band office directly.


How can I ensure I will attend the University of South Carolina after being in Palmetto Pathway for one year?

Students will be eligible to attend the University of South Carolina Columbia after meeting four key requirements: (1) earn at least 30 transferable credits during their Pathway year; (2) earn at least a 2.0 UofSC GPA during their Pathway year; (3) achieve a minimum 2.0 cumulative transferable GPA or higher for their intended UofSC major (some majors require a higher GPA and/or course requirements for admission consideration); and (4) remain in good conduct and financial standing at UofSC Columbia and Palmetto College. Some majors also require completion of specific courses. You will find comprehensive information about UofSC Columbia’s system transfer requirements for all majors here.


How long do I participate in Palmetto Pathway?

Palmetto Pathway is a one-year academic program designed to help students seamlessly transfer into the University of South Carolina. Students must earn 30 transferable credit hours during their Pathway year and be eligible for system transfer admission consideration by the end of their spring semester.


May I transfer after taking UofSC Lancaster courses via Palmetto Pathway after one semester?

Palmetto Pathway students must commit to participate in the program for the full academic year, including both fall and spring semesters. Students are expected to be enrolled full time and complete 30 hours of transferable credit via UofSC Lancaster in order to enroll at UofSC Columbia to the next fall term.


Will my dual enrollment/AP credits count toward the required 30 transferable credit hours needed for admission?

While prior college-level coursework (either dual enrollment or AP/IB credit) attempted before Palmetto Pathway enrollment will contribute to your advising during the Pathway year and will follow you to UofSC (pending course articulation), it does not count toward the 30 transferable credit hours needed to be considered for admission to UofSC Columbia. Pathway students must earn 30 transferable credit hours during their Pathway year. Please be sure to send transcripts for all college coursework, including Teacher Cadet, and all AP/IB scores to UofSC Columbia. Note: Dual enrollment does affect your overall transfer GPA (and UofSC GPA, if applicable)!


What is the cost to be in Palmetto Pathway?

The Palmetto Pathway program fee covers academic success programs, student activity fees, health center fees, wellness center access, and other program-specific offerings from both institutions. Your tuition cost per semester will vary depending upon your legal residency status and your total number of credit hours each semester:

***The following is the 2020-2021 fee table









 Program Fee Residents*




 Technology Fee*




 Housing Fee***




 Meal Plan****




 Total Fees





*2021-2022 academic year tuition and program fees will be set in summer 2021 by the Board of Trustees.

**Fall term fees include one-time application and enrollment fees. A deposit of $750 is required for fall, and applies as an advanced payment toward the program fee for fall.

***Housing rates provided here are estimates. Official 2021-2022 on campus housing rates are pending Board of Trustees approval in the summer.

****This estimate is based upon a required ten-meals-per-week plan minimum requirement. Additional plans are available.

How can I be considered for financial aid in Palmetto Pathway?

Students enrolled in Palmetto Pathway will have their financial aid administered by Palmetto College. Pathway students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and list UofSC Lancaster on their FAFSA (school code: 003453).


Am I eligible for any of the state scholarship and financial aid programs as a student in Palmetto Pathway?

Students who qualify for any state aid program, including the SC LIFE Scholarship, Lottery Tuition Assistance or SC need-based grants, are eligible for the award as a Palmetto Pathway student. Please consult the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education's website at for specific rules outlining state financial aid program requirements. Note: South Carolina state scholarships are available only to South Carolina residents.


Am I eligible for all University of South Carolina athletic events as a student in Palmetto Pathway?

Palmetto Pathway students will pay the athletic event fee as part of their program fee. Students will be eligible to request tickets to football, men’s and women’s basketball, and baseball games through the online student ticketing website. For other Gamecock athletic events, admission is granted by showing your CarolinaCard. This fee confirms a student’s eligibility and provides access to the online ticketing system. It does not guarantee a student a ticket.


Do I have to purchase a meal plan at the University of South Carolina? 

Yes; Palmetto Pathway students are required to purchase a minimum ten-meals-per-week plan at UofSC.