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College of Engineering and Computing

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First Generation Students

In the College of Engineering and Computing, we know the key to innovation is diverse points of view. Supporting first generation students supports our mission to solve the problems of tomorrow, and we're proud to provide services tailored to this unique group of problem-solvers. Learn more about our first-generation students and the programs that support them in the CEC.

CEC Summer Start and First Generation Scholars Program

July 11-30, 2021

Newly-admitted first generation students are invited to become Summer Start Scholars during the summer of 2021. Students in this brand new program will have the opportunity to live on campus for three weeks prior to the start of the fall semester. You'll be able to get familiar with campus, take a three-credit-hour class, and meet your new classmates and teachers. Best of all, the program is completely free AND you'll receive a four-year, $1,000 scholarship.

Summer Start details:
  • Spend your mornings taking a three-credit-hour Industrial Design course that fulfills a Carolina Core AIU
  • Spend your afternoons making connections with faculty and staff across campus
  • Connect with other engineering and computing freshmen
  • You'll be matched with a CEC Peer Mentor
  • Get customized mathematics review and tutoring
  • Enjoy free on-campus housing and meals for the duration of the three weeks
  • Receive a $1,000 scholarship, renewable for four years of undergraduate study

To be eligible, students must:

  • Currently be accepted to the University of South Carolina
  • Intend to major in a program offered by the College of Engineering and Computing
  • Be considered "first generation" by the UofSC Admissions Office. Generally, this means that neither of your parents received a four-year degree.

The number of participants in the Summer Start Scholars program is limited. Upon submission of the online application, students will be evaluated primarily on merit and the strength of their written statement of interest in the program.

Once notified, participants must submit a refundable $25 deposit to reserve their spots.

Apply Now

Use the form below to start your application to participate in the Summer Start Program and become a CEC First-Generation Scholar.

*Required fields

Write a 1-2 page double-spaced essay that addresses at least one of the following 4 questions: 

1. Why do you want to study engineering or computing?
2. What events in your life helped steer you in this direction and where would you like the degree to take you?
3. Describe an academic, personal or life challenge you have overcome.
4. What do you like to think about, read, or explore?

Please read the terms and conditions carefully and select "Agree" below if you understand.

  • I identify as a freshman "first-generation" student (i.e. My parents did not complete a four-year degree).
  • I commit to attending the College of Engineering and Computing's Summer Start program from Sunday, July 11 to Friday, July 30.
  • I understand that I will be expected to reside in the housing option provided by University of South Carolina during this program.
  • I understand that breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided by the program, and I will notify the program contact of any dietary restrictions.
  • I understand that I will be enrolled in a 3 credit hour course which will meet certain course requirements and will impact my GPA at the UofSC. I will attend this required class each day and complete all assigned course work.
  • I understand that a refundable $25 deposit must be paid to reserve my spot upon notification of acceptance into the Summer Start program.

Please read the above terms and conditions carefully and select "Agree" if you understand. *

Applications are open until 5 p.m. on May 1, 2021. See eligibility and selection deatils below. Questions about the Summer Start Scholars Program should be directed to Brian McCaster at


Meet first-gen students and alumni:

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.