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Office of Undergraduate Admissions


Student studying on USC's historic horseshoe

Gamecock Guarantee

The Gamecock Guarantee is a need-based financial and academic support initiative to help make attendance at the University more affordable.

To be eligible for this program, you must be an S.C. resident, a first-time and full time freshman, and from a low-income family. You must also be a first-generation college student and be entering as a freshman in the fall semester. All freshmen admitted into the University, including those in the South Carolina Honors College and the Capstone Scholars Program, can receive this award. There is no separate application process. Eligible students must apply for admission by Dec. 1 and submit a FAFSA and any additional information requested by the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships by April 1.

The Gamecock Guarantee covers the cost of undergraduate tuition and technology fees at USC Columbia. At a minimum, it provides each participant an award of $4,500 per year. If this award combined with the total of other grants and scholarships in the student's financial aid package does not meet the cost of tuition and technology fees, then the Gamecock Guarantee will increase its support to cover the difference. In addition to the $4,500 grant, students receive comprehensive academic support services administered by the TRIO Programs office.

Learn more about Gamecock Guarantee benefits and eligibility criteria.