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Applying to CarolinaLIFE

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Admissions Criteria

Applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years old and have completed high school (a high school diploma is not required).
  • Have a documented intellectual disability*
  • Maintain respect for their self and others, and work to achieve their desired post-college goals and outcomes.
  • Demonstrate a desire to attend CarolinaLIFE and work toward independence while utilizing natural supports and adhering to the policies and procedures of the University of South Carolina and those specific to the CarolinaLIFE program regarding attendance, participation, grades, and conduct.
  • Be able to attend all university and program classes, employment commitments, and academic lab sessions.
  • Undertake activities of daily living without direct supervision (e.g., personal hygiene, self-administering medication, basic first aid and safety needs, etc.).
  • Navigate campus independently (cross roads independently, ask for assistance when needed, communicate needs effectively).

*Prospective students who demonstrate support needs reflective of our current student population but who do not specifically have an intellectual disability will be considered if spots are available. Students without a diagnosis of ID are not eligible for federal financial aid or state funds for needs-based scholarships and/or grants. 


Admissions Process

CarolinaLIFE is a non-degree certificate program. Transfer credits from other colleges or postsecondary programs do not apply. CarolinaLIFE applications for the 2024-2025 cohort will be released August 1, 2023. It is to your advantage to plan ahead and apply early, as applications will be reviewed periodically (for details on this review process, see bulleted list below). Applications with missing items, or those submitted after October 13, may not be considered. In addition to submitting the required documentation, qualified candidates will be invited to participate in a 1:1 virtual interview with a CarolinaLIFE staff member. Based on committee review, final candidates will be invited to an on-campus interview. Pending university protocol, interviews may occur via an online platform. Admission to CarolinaLIFE is selective. Meeting basic requirements does not guarantee admission to the program.


Fall 2024 Cohort Admissions Calendar

  • Applications open:  August 1, 2023
  • Fall Information Night: September 13, 2023
  • Priority/first wave application deadline:  September 22, 2023
  • First wave Zoom Interviews:  Week of October 2, 2023
  • Second wave application deadline: October 13, 2023
  • Second wave Zoom interviews: Week of October 23, 2023
  • First wave on campus interviews: November 3, 2023
  • Second wave on campus interviews: November 20, 2023
  • Admissions decisions will be made by January 31, 2024.  Any students on the waitlist will be notified by March 29, 2024.

All application materials must be completed by the APPLICANT. Applications completed by family members or support personnel will not be considered. Applicants may have support in physically typing responses, however responses must be their own. We are interested in learning about the applicant in the applicant's own words.


How to Apply

Our application for the Fall 2024 Cohort will open August 1st. Use this link to apply.


Application Checklist

Complete Online Application.

PLEASE NOTE:  Applications must be completed and submitted in one session.  Applications cannot be started and saved to submit later.  All incomplete applications will not be submitted.

Upon completion of the application, please email the most recent copy of your IEP AND a psychoeducational evaluation completed with the past five years to

To submit a reference form, please copy and paste the following link and send it to your references to complete.  You will need 3 references:

CarolinaLIFE WILL NOT review your application until ALL THREE reference forms are received.  References should not be family members or friends.  References may be contacted by CarolinaLIFE to ensure that their form is reflective of their true opinion of the applicant's ability and/or drive to be successful in college.  Falsification of this information is subject to immediate loss of consideration.  Applicants are responsible for ensuring the completion of reference forms.  CarolinaLIFE will confer with applicant once all materials are received.


 Please Note

  • All application materials submitted will be destroyed immediately after final decisions are made for those students who are not accepted.
  • Students are required to complete the application process in full if they are resubmitting an application.

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