an elite academic experience on USC Aiken's campus

  • Our vision is to create an environment that focuses on the whole student where we facilitate the learning process in order to build the knowledge and skills geared towards preparing scholars for their future. We will accomplish this by providing scholars with a unique educational experience immersed in the college atmosphere. In collaboration with the University of South Carolina Aiken, ASA provides a high-quality education through rigorous high school and college coursework in a nurturing and supportive learning environment to prepare scholars for entrance into an ever-changing and advanced society.


  • AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY TUTORING- Tutorting will be offered after school Monday's, Tuesday's and Thursday's leading up to the AP Exam on May 14th. Transportation WILL BE provided to the home. Use this LINK to sign up for each session and transportation.


    Tutoring Schedule Topics

    Week 1 –

    ·     Monday, April 22nd – Unit 1 (Introduction to Geography) 3:15 – 4:30

    ·     Tuesday, April 23rd – Unit 2 (Population) 3:15 – 4:30

    ·     Thursday, April 25th – Unit 3 (Culture) Review 3:30 – 4:30

    Week 2 –

    ·     Monday, April 29th – Unit 4 (Political Geography) Review 3:30 – 4:30

    ·     Tuesday, April 30th – Unit 5 (Agriculture) 3:15 – 4:30

    ·     Thursday, May 2nd – Unit 6 (Development/ Industry) 3:15 – 4:30

    Week 3 –

    ·     Monday, May 6th – Unit 7 (Urban Geography) 3:30– 4:30

    ·     Tuesday, May 7th – Practice Multiple Choice Questions – 3:15 – 4:30

    ·     Thursday, May 9th – Free Response Question workshop/practice 3:15 – 4:30

    Week 4 –

    ·     Monday, May 13th – Cumulative Review (Fill in gaps, go over last-minute questions) 3:15 – 4:30

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  • SCHOLAR VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES - Are you looking for a way to meet your volunteer hours? We have several opportunities coming up, sign up with Mrs. Scott, Mrs. Messick or on the bulletin board TODAY!

    • April 26th- Special Olympics. ASA is sponsoring a class from Aiken Elementary.
    • May 3rd- Relay For Life at USCA. Times TBD
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  • RELAY FOR LIFE-  ASA will be sponsoring Relay for Life Team in 2019! We have set a goal to raise $1000. This fundraiser is a community-based event, which means no two Relays are the same, but they all support the American Cancer Society’s mission.  

    Funds raised support cancer patient programs and groundbreaking research that can help save lives. This event also celebrates over 15.5 million cancer survivors nationwide. 15.5 MILLION. That’s huge. That’s why we'd love your support. ALL donations, as well as luminary purchases, can be made through our team page (No funds will be collected at the school):


    ASA Relay For Life Team Page

    The actual Relay For Life event will be held May 3rd at USC Aiken. Additional information will be distributed to scholars to volunteer and participate in this event.


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  • HAVE A QUESTION? - We welcome your questions and appreciate your interest in the Aiken Scholars Academy. Submit your inquiries using the question mark icon above.

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District Headlines

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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Applicant Updates

  • Selection letters were mailed out Friday, April 5th! If you don't receive something by Friday, April 12th, please email For those accepted, committments must be made by April 22nd, use the link found in your letter.

    Congratulations to our new cohort of Scholars!


  • 4/22/19-4/26/19

    Date  Event Details
    22-Apr Special Olympics Permission Slips Due  
      AP HUG Tutoring 3:15 - 4:30  
    23-Apr AP HUG Tutoring 3:15 - 4:30  
      PTO Interest Meeting 6:00  
    24-Apr Book  Club   
    25-Apr AP HUG Mock Exam 12:00-3:00  
      Math Tutoring 3-3:45  
      AP HUG Tutoring 3:45-4:30  
    26-Apr Special Olympics trip Bring lunch or $ for food; Weather Make up day is May 3rd


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  • AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 3:15-4:30

    Transportation Provided- USE LINK to sign up in advanced for bus services.


    MATH TUTORING- Thursday's 3:15-4:15 p.m.



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