USC Aiken expands affordability for South Carolina's top students

The University of South Carolina along with USC Aiken announced Friday (Oct. 13) the USC Commitment, a new affordability initiative to cover tuition and academic fees on all system campuses for in-state students graduating in the top 10 percent of their high school class and whose family's annual household income is below $80,000.

The USC Commitment initiative, which will begin with the fall 2024 freshman class, follows an admissions plan unveiled in August offering guaranteed systemwide admission to South Carolina high school students who are ranked in the top 10 percent of their class for USC Columbia and in the top 20 percent for all other USC campuses.

"Across South Carolina, we know there are bright, hard-working students who deserve the opportunity to earn their college degree but who do not have the financial resources to make this happen. We want them to know the doors are open for them at USC," USC President Michael Amiridis said. "Together with our plan to admit the state's top high school graduates, the USC Commitment ensures that a USC degree is within reach for all students who demonstrate merit and financial need."

The plan announced Friday will cover four years' worth of tuition and academic fees.

Eligible students must meet the following criteria:
  • South Carolina residents who graduate in the top 10 percent of their high school class
  • Students whose annual family income is below $80,000
  • Students who have completed a Free Application of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Students must continue to meet academic eligibility requirements
  • USC Aiken has held tuition steady for six consecutive years for South Carolina residents.
"At USC Aiken, we recognize the immense potential of high-achieving students across our state and the importance of an affordable and accessible education in helping them capitalize on that potential. With this new system initiative, we are committed to ensuring that financial constraints do not stand in the way of academic and professional excellence. This is not only core to our mission, but also underscores our work to enhance the social and economic well-being of our graduates and the South Carolina communities where they've made their homes," said USC Aiken Chancellor Daniel Heimmermann.