Program Criteria

A prospective student is eligible for the Gamecock Guarantee if he/she is a South Carolina resident and meets the following criteria:


  • applies for admission by December 1
  • is admitted to the University of South Carolina’s Columbia campus
  • enrolls as a first-time, full-time freshman student in the fall semester after being admitted to a program (admission must be within 5 years of high school graduation)
  • pursues a bachelor’s degree
  • is a first-generation college student (neither parent completed a four-year college degree)
  • Financial

  • submits the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1 and provides any required application documentation by March 15
  • family’s income for the most recently completed tax year is not greater than 150% of the Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines
  • eligible to receive a federal Pell Grant
  • After becoming Gamecock Guarantee participants, students maintain their eligibility by:

  • remaining eligible for a federal Pell Grant
  • submitting the FASFA by March 1 of each year and providing any required application documentation actions by March 25
  • making satisfactory academic progress for financial aid eligibility
  • participating in the array of programs and services offered to ensure their success
  • remaining enrolled as a full-time student at USC Columbia, pursuing a degree
  • maintaining South Carolina residency status