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University of South Carolina
820 Main St.
123 Wardlaw College of Education
Columbia, SC 29208
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Program Contact Abigail Mojica- Program Coordinator
Phone 803.777.6092

CarolinaLIFE is an individualized, non-degree, certificate-based program for students with identified, diverse learning needs (e.g. intellectual disability). The program curriculum focuses on five core areas:

  • academic instruction
  • career education and training
  • independent living
  • social and community engagement
  • personal development

The program philosophy is founded on inclusion and individualization, based on each student's interests and support needs. CarolinaLIFE students have access to opportunities offered to all University of South Carolina students such as participation in USC courses, on-campus housing, student organizations, sporting events, work-study, and commencement. 

Public or private: Public
Type of school: 4-year college or university
Is this program a federally funded TPSID program? No
Students in this program: Have graduated or exited from high school
Number of students: 18
Deadline to apply to this program: December 1st
Requirements for admission to this program:
  • 18-24
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism
  • Specific Learning Disability
Program length: 4 years
Acceptance, Retention, and Completion Rates
Percent of students applying who are admitted: 15%
Retention rate: 100%
Cost of the program: South Carolina Resident Tuition and Fees- $10,649 South Carolina Resident Room and Board- $4,145 Non-resident Tuition and Fees- $13,077 Non-resident Tuition and Fees- $4,145
Is this program able to provide federal financial aid as a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP)? Yes
Students pay for the program in the following ways:
  • Private pay (student and family)
  • Tuition Waivers
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Funds
  • Scholarships
  • Federal Financial Aid
  • Grant Funding
Scholarships available:

Funding is available to students through the following sources:

The South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department provides qualifying students with an open Vocational Rehabilitation case in South Carolina, up to $1,850 for tuition and a textbook stipend each semester.

Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, and College Transition Connection SC Need-Based Grant are needs-based grants that have provided qualifying students up to a total of $8,000 in funding per semester.

Students take these types of "typical" courses (with students who don't have disabilities):
  • Typical college courses for audit
  • Typical Continuing Education courses
Students take courses that are only for students in this program: Yes
Information on special classes:

Students take 15 credit hours of coursework each semester. Coursework consists of both USC and specialized small group classes*. Students audit USC courses that align with their interests and goals. Our specialized small group courses are guided by our students' needs and interests. Topics for these courses include: personal finance, employment, communication, relationship development, health, technology, community involvement, and self-awareness. As a supplement to their coursework, students participate in at least 3 hours of individual academic lab sessions per week. During academic lab, students work alongside an academic coach to complete assignments and develop study habits, and receive additional instruction.

*A program of study is created based on student's interests, motivation, and support needs. As an individualized program, CarolinaLIFE strives to create an environment for optimal student growth. Each student's courseload and number of university versus small group courses can vary. 

Classroom/academic time spent only with other students in this program: Between half the time and 75% of the time
Credential(s) students earn upon completing the program: CarolinaLIFE Certificate of Completion
The credential(s) is/are: Awarded by program, not officially recognized by Institute of Higher Education
Percent of students in this program have paid work while attending the program: 100%
Other career development activities are:
  • Internships
  • Volunteer work
  • Community Service
  • Work Study
Percent of students in this program that had paid work after exiting the program: 100%
We offer the following specialized credentials:


Housing is provided to students: Yes
Housing options available:
  • Inclusive on campus
  • Inclusive off campus
Students participate in student organizations on campus: Yes
Proportion of time spent only with other students in this program: None of the time
Students have participated in these social/extracurricular activities and organizations:

Students at the University of South Carolina join a vast and vibrant campus community. The university offers opportunities to join a variety of campus groups, formal organizations, and campus events to support students in their personal and professional development. Additionally, USC is in the heart of Columbia’s downtown and is within walking distance of many of the city’s most popular districts. CarolinaLIFE peer mentors provide natural social support to facilitate student connections to the university.

Last updated: Thursday, December 6, 2018 - 13:32