The University of South Carolina developed the Carolina Scholars program in 1969, and through generous private support, we have expanded the program from nine students in its first year to more than 80 scholars on campus. Since its inception, 702 scholars have participated in the program, which has been an integral factor in keeping many of the state's most academically talented students in South Carolina.
Established in spring 1998, the McNair Scholars program is a prestigious scholarship for out-of-state students supported by a generous gift of $30 million from USC alumnus Robert C. McNair and his wife, Janice. McNair Scholars now represent 19 states and are among the nation's brightest students.
A gift from the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation has allowed for the expansion of the Carolina Scholars program beginning in fall 2013. Founded by Penny and E. Roe Stamps IV, the Stamps Foundation has partnered with 33 universities and provides merit scholarships to nearly 300 undergraduates across the nation. Stamps Carolina Scholars receive the benefits of being Carolina Scholars plus an additional enrichment fund of $8,000.
Finalists to the Carolina and McNair Scholars programs also receive a monetary award, first-year programing, and a calendar of events. In-state finalists are awarded the Hamilton Scholars award and out-of-state finalists are awarded the Horseshoe Scholars award.
Distinguished by their extraordinary academic talent, exemplary character, and outstanding leadership skills, Scholars are unique students whose ideas and abilities will shape the world of tomorrow. These young scholars personify not only the ideals Ralph Waldo Emerson spoke of when he said, "Character is higher than intellect," but also the University's own motto: "Learning humanizes character and does not permit it to be cruel."
As Top Scholar (PDF) chronicles, these scholars have significantly enhanced the reputation of the University.
A continuing goal of scholar programs is to create a community of students with a united and visible identity. First-year scholars participate in an Orientation and Welcome Reception and the Scholar Buddy program, as well as participate in annual special events which bring the scholars together. All scholars receive the benefit of co-curricular advising and drop-in hours from the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs staff.
Through the generosity of the University's donors, these prestigious scholarship programs will continue to improve and grow.