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Office of Undergraduate Admissions


  • Top Scholars Banner

    Jacob Dustan, Carolina Scholar

    "Carolina has become a part of me, a welcome I never expected, a transformative four years that will stay with me for life."

  • Top Scholars Banner

    Sona Chowdhary, Carolina Scholar

    "As a student at USC, I have had the privilege of meeting such a diverse, passionate and lively group of people."

  • Top Scholar Banner

    Elizabeth Moore, Carolina Scholar

    "My time as a Gamecock has not only taught me how to be an engineer, but has shown me the importance of passion, service and discovery, and that's something I am forever grateful for."

  • Top Scholars Banner

    Camille Harris, McNair Scholar

    "Being a McNair Scholar catapulted me into a land of opportunity where money was no object; all I had to do was decide."

  • Top Scholar Banner

    Morgan Lundy, McNair Scholar

    "This scholarship open up everyone of these doors, and I am slowly realizing what privilege it has been. It has shaped who I am today, and I will be forever grateful."

Top Scholars

Distinguished by their extraordinary academic talent, exemplary character and remarkable leadership skills, Stamps, Carolina, Hamilton, McNair and Horseshoe Scholars are outstanding students whose ideas and abilities will shape the world of tomorrow. These awards are the most prestigious undergraduate scholarships at the University of South Carolina, and our current and incoming Top Scholars represent the best our nation has to offer.

Choose a program below to see the full list of associated benefits:

Stamps Scholar

Stamps Scholar Benefits

Stamps Scholars will receive all of the benefits of the Carolina and McNair Scholars, and will receive an additional $10,000 to be used for enrichment opportunities during their undergraduate tenure. Students will extend their personal, academic, and professional development with the funding of additional high-impact activities. These funds will be approved on a case-by-case basis and awarded to students for opportunities such as undergraduate research, study abroad, service projects or trips, internships, and more.

Academic Profile for Stamps Scholar Students

Last year, Top Scholars had an average SAT score of 1507 (ACT score of 33) and an average weighted GPA of 4.83.

Please also review this brochure about the Stamps Scholarship.

Carolina Scholar

Carolina Scholar Benefits (for South Carolina students)

  • Monetary Award: $15,000 per year
  • Choice of Laptop: Students receive their choice of a Mac or PC laptop.
  • First-Choice Parking: Beginning freshman year, students are able to purchase a parking space in a garage of their choice without being placed on the waiting list.
  • Communication: Students receive a weekly email with reminders of office-sponsored programs and deadlines, as well as opportunities and university announcements.
  • First Year Scholar Mentor and Scholar Buddy: Students are assigned a university faculty member within their major or other area of interest. Freshmen are also assigned an upperclassman to correspond with the summer before they begin college at USC.
  • First Year Scholar Programs: Orientation and Welcome Reception, day-long retreat, and two mentor gatherings each year.
  • Calendar of Programs: Fall event (dinner, reception, and/or cultural event); spring dinner with donors; and other programs planned as resources allow. Past years have included a cooking lesson with Ms. Moore-Pastides and an Etiquette Dinner.
  • Speaking Opportunities: When opportunities arise, students are often asked to attend special events where a student presence would be helpful; sometimes students are asked to speak about their university experience.
  • National Fellowships Advisement: Students interested in considering these competitions have full access to advisors over all four years.
  • Holistic Advising and Drop-In Hours: A staff advisor is available to discuss academic (but not course selection) and co-curricular plans all four years. First and second year students receive special invitations to initiate these connections. Drop-in hours are established to provide students weekly times when an advisor is available to chat on a drop-in basis.
  • Top Scholar: A keepsake publication celebrating the accomplishments and future plans of the graduating senior scholar class.

Academic Profile for Carolina Scholar Students

Last year, Carolina and Hamilton Scholars had an average SAT score of 1507 (ACT score of 33) and an average weighted GPA of 4.83.

Hamilton Scholar

Hamilton Scholar Benefits (for South Carolina students)

  • Monetary Award: $10,000 per year
  • Choice of Laptop: Students receive their choice of a Mac or PC laptop.
  • First-Choice Parking: Beginning freshman year, students are able to purchase a parking space in a garage of their choice without being placed on the waiting list.
  • Communication: Students receive a weekly email with reminders of office-sponsored programs and deadlines, as well as opportunities and university announcements.
  • Scholar Buddy: Freshmen are assigned an upperclassman to correspond with the summer before they begin college at USC.
  • First Year Scholar Programs: Orientation and Welcome Reception, and day-long retreat.
  • Calendar of Programs: Fall event (luncheon, reception, and/or cultural event) with a distinguished host, as well as other programs planned as resources allow, such as an Etiquette Dinner.
  • Invitations to Special Events: Students are often invited to special events such as a tailgate with University President and First Lady, Dr. and Ms. Pastides.
  • Speaking Opportunities: When opportunities arise, students are often asked to attend special events where a student presence would be helpful; sometimes students are asked to speak about their university experience.
  • National Fellowships Advisement: Students interested in considering these competitions have full access to advisors over all four years.
  • Holistic Advising and Drop-In Hours: A staff advisor is available to discuss academic (but not course selection) and co-curricular plans all four years. First and second year students receive special invitations to initiate these connections. Drop-in hours are established to provide students weekly times when an advisor is available to chat on a drop-in basis.

Academic Profile for Hamilton Scholar Students

Last year, Carolina and Hamilton Scholars had an average SAT score of 1507 (ACT score of 33) and an average weighted GPA of 4.83.

McNair Scholar

McNair Scholar Benefits (for out-of-state students)

  • Monetary Award: $15,000 + tuition reduction. The four-year value is more than $135,000.
  • Choice of Laptop: Students receive their choice of a Mac or PC laptop.
  • First-Choice Parking: Beginning freshman year, students are able to purchase a parking space in a garage of their choice without being placed on the waiting list.
  • Communication: Students receive a weekly email with reminders of office-sponsored programs and deadlines, as well as opportunities and university announcements.
  • First Year Scholar Mentor and Scholar Buddy: Students are assigned a university faculty member within their major or other area of interest. Freshmen are also assigned an upperclassman to correspond with the summer before they begin college at USC.
  • First Year Scholar Programs: Orientation and Welcome Reception, day-long retreat, and two mentor gatherings each year.
  • Calendar of Programs: Fall event (dinner, reception, and/or cultural event); spring dinner with donors; and other programs planned as resources allow. Past years have included a cooking lesson with Ms. Moore-Pastides and an Etiquette Dinner.
  • Invitations to Special Events: Students are often invited to special events such as a tailgate with University President and First Lady, Dr. and Ms. Pastides.
  • Speaking Opportunities: When opportunities arise, students are often asked to attend special events where a student presence would be helpful; sometimes students are asked to speak about their university experience.
  • National Fellowships Advisement: Students interested in considering these competitions have full access to advisors over all four years.
  • Holistic Advising and Drop-In Hours: A staff advisor is available to discuss academic (but not course selection) and co-curricular plans all four years. First and second year students receive special invitations to initiate these connections. Drop-in hours are established to provide students weekly times when an advisor is available to chat on a drop-in basis.
  • Top Scholar: A keepsake publication celebrating the accomplishments and future plans of the graduating senior scholar class.

Academic Profile for McNair Scholar Students

Last year, McNair and Horseshoe Scholars had an average SAT score of 1545 (ACT score of 34) and an average weighted high school GPA of 4.80.

Horseshoe Scholar

Horseshoe Scholar Benefits (for out-of-state students)

  • Monetary Award: $11,000 + tuition reduction. The four-year value is more than $119,000.
  • Choice of Laptop: Students receive their choice of a Mac or PC laptop.
  • First-Choice Parking: Beginning freshman year, students are able to purchase a parking space in a garage of their choice without being placed on the waiting list.
  • Communication: Students receive a weekly email with reminders of office-sponsored programs and deadlines, as well as opportunities and university announcements.
  • Scholar Buddy: Freshmen are assigned an upperclassman to correspond with the summer before they begin college at USC.
  • First Year Scholar Programs: Orientation and Welcome Reception, and day-long retreat.
  • Calendar of Programs: Fall event (luncheon, reception, and/or cultural event) with a distinguished host, as well as other programs planned as resources allow, such as an Etiquette Dinner.
  • Invitations to Special Events: Students are often invited to special events such as a tailgate with University President and First Lady, Dr. and Ms. Pastides.
  • Speaking Opportunities: When opportunities arise, students are often asked to attend special events where a student presence would be helpful; sometimes students are asked to speak about their university experience..
  • National Fellowships Advisement: Students interested in considering these competitions have full access to advisors over all four years.
  • Holistic Advising and Drop-In Hours: A staff advisor is available to discuss academic (but not course selection) and co-curricular plans all four years. First and second year students receive special invitations to initiate these connections. Drop-in hours are established to provide students weekly times when an advisor is available to chat on a drop-in basis.

Academic Profile for Horseshoe Scholar Students

Last year, McNair and Horseshoe Scholars had an average SAT score of 1545 (ACT score of 34) and an average weighted high school GPA of 4.80.

*The College Board redesigned the SAT and first administered it in March 2016. We are referring to it as the rSAT. SAT averages listed on our website, and in our publications, refer only to scores that occurred before the rSAT was introduced. For more info visit our FAQs page.