Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs

Scholar Programs

Scholar Awards


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, 800 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 18 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 40 universities and provides merit scholarships across the nation. Stamps Scholars receive the benefits of the Carolina or McNair Scholarship plus an additional enrichment fund of $10,000.

The university also welcomes up to 25 in-state Hamilton Scholars and 20 out-of-state Horseshoe Scholars each year. As a part of the larger scholar community, these students equally contribute to the exceptional academic talent on campus. Hamilton and Horseshoe Scholars excel alongside their Carolina, McNair and Stamps peers to create a strong, unified body of Top Scholars at the University of South Carolina.


Scholars Annual Report (PDF)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.

To Apply

Scholars Awards are administered through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions — see the Financial Aid and Scholarships link for application information.
Columbia, SC 29208 803-777-0958
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