Freshman Admission

Students should prepare for the challenges at USC Aiken by taking a strong college preparatory curriculum in high school.  High school courses selection, standardized test scores, and an Admissions Index are all used to determine admissibility.  We search for students who will be USC Aiken's future community of leaders, learners and thinkers, and whose education will be enhanced by diverse experiences and who will be prepared to serve and participate in all segments of society.  To be admitted, students will need to:

  • Complete the 21 high school course prerequisites at the college prep or higher level (honors, Advance Placement, dual credit, etc)
    Course Unit
    English 4 units
    Mathematics (Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, higher level) 4 units
    Laboratory Science (Biology, Chemistry, higher level) 3 units
    Social Science 3 units
    Foreign Language (must be sequential) 2 units
    Academic Electives 4 units
    Physical Education or ROTC 1 unit
  • Demonstrate strong high school performance (through curriculum attempted, grades earned, and class rank)
  • Exceed minimum SAT or ACT standards (excluding writing test results)
  • Score appropriately on the Admissions Index, a formula which uses two variables: the high school grade point average computed on core college prep courses and the SAT/ACT scores.  Of these two variables, the high school grade point average is the more important and has twice as much weight in the formula.



All freshman applicants must submit the following items:

  • Freshman Application with $45 application fee
  • Official high school transcript
  • Official SAT and/or ACT score



            The University provides a provisional admission program for high school students who do not meet requirements for regular freshman admissions, but who demonstrate academic potential.  Such students may be admitted to the First Pace program, providing an avenue for those students with high school grades, class rank, and/or standardized test scores which are below standards to be regularly admitted.  Students admitted through the First Pace program will be subject to certain limitations and requirements approved by the Scholastic Standing and Petitions Committee (SS&P).  These limitations and requirements will be specified in the letter of acceptance and can include items such as course registration, "intrusive" advising, and special workshops among other things.  Failure to meet the requirements of the First Pace program may affect a student's enrollment status.


            Under exceptional circumstances a high school student wishing to leave high school prior to graduation and enroll full-time at USC Aiken may apply to this program.  The student must demonstrate both academic and social skills needed for college.  To be considered for this program, the student must submit credentials indicating they are likely to enjoy academic success on the collegiate level.  In addition to the application and application fee, these include:

            • a cover letter requesting admission
            • a letter of approval from parent or guardian
            • a letter of comment from his/her high school principal
            • high school transcripts
            • achievement and PSAT/SAT or PLAN/ACT scores if available.