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School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment

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GeoScholar Scholarship Program

The GeoScholar Scholarship Program provides financial and academic support for underrepresented students who have demonstrated financial need and are pursuing undergraduate degrees in the geosciences at the University of South Carolina.

Geosciences at South Carolina include Environmental Science, Geology, Geophysics and Marine Science. This scholarship can be renewed for four years and, in some exceptional cases, for a fifth year, making it a very valuable award.



You must be admitted to USC Columbia and show financial need (defined as the Cost of Attendance for USC Columbia minus the Estimated Family Contribution) by completing the FAFSA.

Students are selected using a combination of academic excellence (class ranking, science courses taken, etc.) and non-cognitive assessments (e.g., motivation, leadership experience and community service, self appraisal, etc.). Letters of reference are critical and must attest to a student’s academic potential and commitment to learning.

Applications from individuals who are members of a group that is historically under-represented in the geosciences, including students who are African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Hispanic or Latino, female, first generation college students, and students with disabilities are encouraged to apply. There is no age limit, and non-traditional and transfer students from two-year institutions are also encouraged to apply.


Value of Award

GeoScholar Scholarship Recipients may receive up to $7910 per year in financial aid and housing in their first year and $5000 per year thereafter, renewable up to four years.  In certain circumstances, students may be eligible for a fifth year of aid.  This a four-year value worth approximately $22,910 and the award may be combined with other sources of state and federal-based aid.  Benefits include a series of common courses and academic support programs, research opportunities, and one on one mentoring with faculty throughout the year. All activities are fully integrated with the geoscience majors. First year students are housed together in the Green Quad, a centrally located LEED certified facility that is one of USC's popular Learning Communities



GeoScholars applications are generally due in March, and notifications of awards will be made in the second week of April. You should also complete and submit all FAFSA documentation as soon as possible and definitely by February 1 to ensure priority consideration. Applications after April 1st will be considered pending availability of funds.

Your application packet should include the following:

  1. Completed SEOE  Application Form [pdf]
  2. Unofficial electronic copy of High school/University Transcripts and test scores (either ACT or SAT)
  3. Electronic Resume (pdf and Word Documents accepted)
  4. One page statement that includes why the scholarship is needed to achieve educational and career goals (pdf and Word Documents accepted)
  5. Letter of recommendation from a teacher or mentor (Adobe or Word documents accepted). This may be emailed separately with the applicant's name in the subject line.

Your completed application must be submitted electronically by email to the GeoScholar Coordinator: All applications will receive confirmation of receipt.

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