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National Fellowships and Scholar Programs

Top Scholars

Scholar Expectations

While your award offers immediate recognition of your current achievements, it also carries an expectation that you will actively engage in your college life at the university, and that your ongoing academic, leadership and service pursuits will enrich the Carolina community.

Award Requirements and Renewal Criteria

The Stamps, Carolina, McNair, 1801 and Horseshoe Scholars awards are primarily funded by the generous contributions of donors, and secondarily, by USC. Great effort is expended by the university to secure and maintain funding for these elite programs.

We look forward to welcoming you to campus, and we will follow your college career with interest as it unfolds. Each criterion must be met each year in order to renew your scholarship for the following fall.

Academic Requirements

Your scholarship may be renewed for four consecutive years (eight semesters), provided you:

  1. Enroll for at least 12 credit hours at the university as a first‐time, full‐time freshman in the fall semester.
  2. Maintain full-time enrollment each consecutive spring and fall (at least 12 credit hours per semester).
  3. Maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA. If you fall below the minimum requirement during the regular school year, you may be eligible to attend summer classes in order to improve your GPA.

Participation in Events and Meetings

Scholars are expected to participate in the enhanced undergraduate experiences designed for academically talented students by National Fellowships and Scholar Programs. These experiences include, but are not limited to, programs, events and one-on-one meetings, including related evaluations and assessments.

Calendars of activities and events will be provided to scholars at the beginning of each semester. Communication with this office as your collegiate home base is very important, so you will be asked to complete a Top Scholar Update form each year in order for us to capture any new or changed information. Receipt of this award also acknowledges your interest in and willingness to participate in the life of the university campus, including those opportunities and programs provided by the South Carolina Honors College.

Thank You Notes

Each year, scholars are required to write one note or letter (not an e-mail) to their scholarship donor(s). While we will remind you of this obligation, it is solely your responsibility to fulfill this requirement each year in order to continue to receive your scholarship. Failure to submit a donor note during the fall semester will result in the revocation of your scholarship for all subsequent semesters enrolled.   

Additional Details 

  • Your donor contact information will be provided to you by the end of August each fall semester.
  • Donor notes are due the Tuesday before the University closes for Thanksgiving recess
  • You may complete your correspondence on your own, but opportunities will be provided for you to do this during social events throughout the fall semester.
  • You must submit your notes and letters (donor correspondence) to the Development Office of the South Carolina Honors College or to National Fellowships and Scholar Programs.
  • Students who are on leave of absence will not receive their scholarship funding and are not required to complete donor correspondence. Students who are enrolled but away from campus for programs such as study abroad, National Student Exchange or Washington Semester are responsible for their donor correspondence.  


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