Aiken Scholars Academy

an elite academic experience on USC Aiken's campus


  • Aiken Scholars Academy is a partnership between the University of South Carolina Aiken (USC Aiken) and Aiken County Public School District (ACPSD) to create an academic school of excellence. The school will provide an elite academic experience for qualified students and is set to open in fall of 2018. The Academy will offer advanced students an engaging educational experience that introduces and then immerses them into the collegiate environment.


  • WANT TO TAKE A VIRTUAL COURSE THIS SUMMER? Information to sign up for the Aiken County Virtual Academy Summer classes can be found here.

    Need Geometry?  Students who need the course in order to maintain their selection at ASA should contact their middle school counselor for assistance in registering and approval. The course begins June 12th and ends July 26th.

    Need Computer Applications/Keyboarding? We recommend students who have not completed a full credit in a computer science course(s) to take them this summer through ACVA. Use the link above for registration information.

    Need PE? Students wanting to take their PE credit this summer can do so through Virtual SC. Please visit their website to create an account and register. Please make sure you contact your middle school counselor for assitance.

    Any non-ACPSD students atteding ASA in the fall who need support in registering for summer coursework please contact Mrs. Messick or Mrs. Altringer.

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  • WE ARE HIRING! Aiken Scholars Academy is looking for highly qualified teachers in English, Math, Science and Social Studies. Please visit the ACPSD Human Resources page for details about each position, required certifications, recommended endorsements and instructions on how to apply.

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  • *NEW INFORMATION SESSION -Attention students and parents, we will host an information night for current 7th grade students Thursday, May 24th from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at USC Aiken Student Activities Center. This is for anyone who may be interested in applying for the Second Cohort of students in the fall of 2018. Please reply your attendance

     RSVP 5/24/18

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Q & A

  • What is the Scholars Academy?  Aiken Scholars Academy (ASA) is a partnership between USC Aiken and Aiken County Public School District (ACPSD) to create an academic school of excellence. This school will provide an elite academic experience for qualified students.

    When will the school open?  The school will open in August of 2018, with a beginning enrollment of 50 ninth grade students. Students from all over the county will be able to apply for enrollment.

    Who can apply to attend the Scholars Academy?  Rising 9th grade students (for fall 2018) with a proven record of academic excellence should apply. Standardized test scores, report card grades, writing samples, and recommendations will be a part of the application process. For the 2nd cohort, an interview component will be added after the intial application review process. Potential students must reside in Aiken County.

    Where will the classes take place?  Initially, classes will be taught in the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center. Slight renovations to existing facilities to create appropriate spaces may be necessary as the Aiken Scholars Academy grows into its second year.

    How can my child participate in sports or other extra-curricular activities?  Students wishing to participate in extra-curricular activities can join those offered at the high school for which they are zoned. Parents must make arrangements to transport their children to and from these activities.

    How much interaction will my child have with the college students?  During the freshman and sophomore years, high school students will have limited access and exposure to USC Aiken students. During the junior and senior years, Aiken Scholars Academy students will be fully immersed in the collegiate experience. While students will not attend classes their freshman and sophomore year with college students, they will encounter students informally in common spaces like the library, computer lab, Student Activities Center, etc...During the junior and senior year, students will be dual-enrolled, taking USC Aiken courses.

    Are the classes offered here honored at all in-state institutions? What about out-of-state?  There is a state articulation agreement between SC Colleges for accepting transferable credits ( Many out-of-state colleges will accept credits from SC Institutions. ASA advisement  will be provided to determine transferability.

    Will the grading scale be based on the school district’s standards or the university’s?  High school courses taught by high school teachers will follow all instructional and grading policies for ACPSD. Requirements and expectations will be communicated to students and parents. College courses will be taught  according to college standards and grading. College courses will be reflected on the high school transcript, along with the numerical grade for the course. All courses, high school and college level, will factor into the high school GPA. Additionally, the college  courses will be reflected in their post-secondary transcript.

    How large will the individual classes be?  Class sizes will be slightly smaller than an average high school class, with student to teacher ratios of approximately 25 to 1.

    Will ASA students change classes their freshmen and sophomore years?   Students will transition to classes within the Aiken Scholars Academy building (Ruth Patrick Science Education Center).

    Will my student have to apply to the university as a sophomore to take courses as a junior?  No. Students enrolled in the Aiken Scholars Academy and in good academic standing following their sophomore year will seamlessly transition into USC Aiken college classes in the discipline of their choice.

    How can I prepare my middle schooler now to be competitive/accepted?  Students applying to the Academy must be enrolled in English I and Algebra 1 or Geometry in 8th grade. If students do not complete Geometry in 8th grade they must complete in the summer through ACVA. Additional rRecommended coursework includes Computer Science, World Language and Pre-Writing (iNFUSION Summer Experience in the summer before 8th grade). Students should maintain good grades and are encouraged engage themselves in their school and community.

    What is the application process for the ASA?  Details, dates and a timeline for the ASA will be accessible to students and parents directly on the ASA website (

    When will my child be advised of acceptance?  The application process will began Novermber 2017, with a deadline of January 19, 2018. Students will be provided an invitation no later than March 1, 2018. Student commitment deadline is March 15, 2018.

    Where can we get more details on ASA?  The ASA website will also be updated regularly to reflect logistical details being finalized by the work group of ACPSD and USC Aiken staff.

    How will academic scholarships be affected with such a small number of students? Although each scholarship opporunity must be researched, state scholarships provide for means of qualification other than class rank. Please review the qualification information for Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Program and LIFE Scholarship by following the links here. 

Engagement Timeline

USC Aiken

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