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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 Scholars and First Generation Scholars Program

2023 Dates: July 9 - 29 

Newly-admitted first generation students are invited to become Summer Start Scholars during the summer of 2023. Students in this  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 can fulfill a degree requirement
  • 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
  • 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
  • Experience Columbia with off-campus activities

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.

The 2023 Summer Start Scholars Program is being planned now.

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.