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Office of Undergraduate Admissions


Top Scholar Selection and Awarding Process

Top Scholar review is a holistic process that evaluates aspects from the student's application including, but not limited to, academic achievement, leadership potential, a commitment to serving others, intellectual curiosity, high school course rigor, interest in the university, and letters of recommendation.

Once a student has submitted an application by the November 15th deadline, they will be reviewed for admission into the Honors College and consideration for the Top Scholar program. Applications are reviewed multiple times by faculty and admissions staff. Applicants with superior performance in multiple categories are then chosen to be Top Scholar Candidates.

We highly encourage students to submit the general admissions application by the early answer deadline on October 15th. After submitting this application, you may submit the South Carolina Honors College/Top Scholars application by November 15th.

Fifty in-state and 45 out-of-state candidates are invited to two Top Scholar weekends, where they will learn more about the Top Scholar program and have the opportunity to interact with students, faculty, and staff. During this weekend, Top Scholar candidates participate in a 30-45 minute interview to determine which scholarship they will receive.

For in-state candidates, we award 5 Stamps Scholarships, 20 Carolina Scholarships, and 25 Hamilton Scholarships.

For out-of-state candidates, we award 5 Stamps Scholarships, 20 McNair Scholarships, and 20 Horseshoe Scholarships.

All candidates who attend Top Scholar Weekend will receive Hamilton or Horseshoe awards at a minimum. Top Scholars then have until May 1 to accept their award.