an elite academic experience on USC Aiken's campus


  • CONGRATULATIONS SCHOLARS!!!!! We are so proud to announce a 100% pass rate on the Biology End of Course Exam, with 30 PERFECT SCORES!!!!

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  • acGATEWAY APPLICATION 2019- The 2019 acGATEWAY Application is available January 11, 2019 - Febraury 8, 2019.  Please use the link provided to complete the application.  All participants that are new or returning must have an updated application on file to be considered. Please visit the ACPSD Gifted and Talented website for additional information.

    acGATEWAY Application

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  • SRSLA SPEECH CONTEST - Savannah River Site Leadership Association is Sponsoring a Speech Contest, the deadline to indicate participation is Thursday, January 17th. See FLYER for more information and key dates.

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  • GROUNDHOG SHADOWING DAY! Aiken Works is gearing up for Groundhog Shadowing Day on Friday, February 1st. Students around the country, including Aiken County, will shadow professionals from hundreds of professions, as they all observe, not just any Groundhog Day, but Groundhog Job Shadow Day. 

    Groundhog Job Shadow Day aims to:

    • provide students with an up-close look at what a "real job" is like,
    • help students see the connection between what they learn in the classroom and what they will need to achieve their goals,
    • show students that they have choices in life, and
    • motivate students to achieve.

    A job shadowing experience might make a difference in the life of a student by giving that student a new vision for their future. It may even provide inspiration that can change a student's life forever. This opportunity is open to all Aiken Scholars Academy students.

    There are some shadowing opportunities available through Aiken Works. Please see Mrs. Alford to look at options and determine if there is a fit for you and your future. Some students may want to utilize their own personal connections within the business community to participate in shadowing. For instance, many students want to shadow a neighbor, family member, etc. In these instances, we are asking that students complete the usual job shadowing permission form along with a letter completed by the business or person they wish to shadow prior to participating in shadowing (see below).

    A copy of all job shadowing permission forms, along with any employer letters, should be turned into the main office at ASA no later than Thursday, January 17, 2019. This will be an excused absence for scholars who choose to participate. Please feel free to email Mrs. Messick or Mrs. Alford if you have any questions regarding this opportunity.

    Business Letter

    Shadowing Permission Slip

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  • ORDER YOUR ASA YEARBOOK TODAY! Yearbooks are available for pre-order today for $35.00. Sales will be open until 2/22/2019.

    Two options to order:

    Visit the Jostens website to order online at

    Print the order form below and return to the school. 2019 Yearbook Order Form



    The Yearbook staff is also selling Phoenix Pride Ads. Ads are available in two sizes where you can express your pride for your scholar and thier accomplishments or show appreciation for a faculty member. Limit 1/8 page per scholar until deadline, if additional space opens we will notify parents.

    1/16 - $10.00

    1/8- $20.00

    Art and full payment are due by February 6th. Print the order form below and return with payment to the school (payment can be made via online payment system or cash/check directly to the school).

    Phoenix Pride Order Form

    Space is LIMITED, order your ad today!

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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 advanced academic experience for qualified students. The Academy will offer advanced students an engaging educational experience that introduces and then immerses them into the collegiate environment.

    When did the school open?  The school opened its doors to the first cohort of students in August of 2018, with a beginning enrollment of 50 ninth grade students from all over the county.

    Who can apply to attend the Scholars Academy?  Rising 9th grade students 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. Only 50 students will be accepted annually. Students must reside in Aiken County and are required to show proof of residency upon enrollment.

    Where do classes take place? Currently, classes are taught in the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center on the University of South Carolina Aiken campus. A new building will be renovated to house the school in the future with plans to open in the 2020-2021 school year.

    How can my child participate in sports or other extra-curricular activities?  Students wishing to participate in athletics can join those offered at the high school for which they are zoned as long as they meet SCHSL eligibility requirements. ASA will offer extra-curricular activities as well for student participation. Parents must make arrangements to transport their scholar to and from activities at the zoned school outside of regular school hours and for activities at ASA that take place after school hours.

    How much interaction will scholars 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 when selecting courses. Students are encouraged to research the institutions they want to attend for transferable credits.

    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 via course syllabi. 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 25:1.

    Will ASA students change classes their freshmen and sophomore years?   Yes, scholars 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. Scholars 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 recommended 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?  The application will open each fall with ample time for students to complete and submit. 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? Applications will open in November, with a submittal deadline in January 31st. Applicants will be notified of acceptance prior to Spring Break.

    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. Please contact the school if you have additional questions 803-306-1400.

    How will academic scholarships be affected with such a small number of students? Although each scholarship opportunity 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. 

USC Aiken

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2019-2020 Application

  • ARE YOU INTERESTED IN BECOMING A SCHOLAR? Visit the Future Scholars Tab above for the most up-to-date information about upcoming sessions for parents and students interested in applying to hear about the school, talk with current students and parents, and view information presentations. We look forward to meeting you and potentially welcoming you to the 2019-2020 Freshman Class!



    Visit the Future Scholars tab above to preview the application and get directions on submission.


  • MATH TUTORING- Thursdays's 3:30-4:15 p.m.

    MATH SIGN UP weekly for planned attendance.




  • 1/14/19-1/18/19

    Date  Event
    14-Jan Biology Tutoring 3:30-4:30
      Yearbook Staff Meeting 3:30-4:30
    15-Jan Academic Team 3:00-4:00
    16-Jan Service 365 2nd Half ILT
    17-Jan 2nd Semester Begins
    18-Jan NO SCHOOL - District Profressional Development Day
    21-Jan NO SCHOOL - MLK Day


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