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Applying to CarolinaLIFE

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Admissions Criteria

Applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years old and have completed high school (a high school diploma is not required).
  • Have a documented intellectual disability*
  • Maintain respect for their self and others, and work to achieve their desired post-college goals and outcomes.
  • Demonstrate a desire to attend CarolinaLIFE and work toward independence while utilizing natural supports and adhering to the policies and procedures of the University of South Carolina and those specific to the CarolinaLIFE program regarding attendance, participation, grades, and conduct.
  • Be able to attend all university and program classes, employment commitments, and academic lab sessions.
  • Undertake activities of daily living without direct supervision (e.g., personal hygiene, self-administering medication, basic first aid and safety needs, etc.).
  • Navigate campus independently (cross roads independently, ask for assistance when needed, communicate needs effectively).

*Prospective students who demonstrate support needs reflective of our current student population but who do not specifically have an intellectual disability will be considered if spots are available. Students without a diagnosis of ID are not eligible for federal financial aid or state funds for needs-based scholarships and/or grants. 


Admissions Process

CarolinaLIFE is a non-degree certificate program. Transfer credits from other colleges or postsecondary programs do not apply. CarolinaLIFE applications for the 2023-2024 cohort will be released August 22, 2022. It is to your advantage to plan ahead and apply early, as applications will be reviewed periodically (for details on this review process, see bulleted list below). Applications with missing items, or those submitted after October 3, may not be considered. In addition to submitting the required documentation, qualified candidates will be invited to participate in a 1:1 virtual interview with a CarolinaLIFE staff member. Based on committee review, final candidates will be invited to an on-campus interview. Pending university protocol, interviews may occur via an online platform. Admission to CarolinaLIFE is selective. Meeting basic requirements does not guarantee admission to the program.


Fall 2023 Cohort Admissions Calendar

  • Fall information night: August 24, 2022
  • Priority/first wave application deadline: September 11, 2022
  • First wave Zoom interviews: September 19, 2022
  • First wave On-campus interviews: October 28, 2022
  • Second wave application deadline: October 3, 2022
  • Second wave Zoom interviews: Week of October 3, 2022
  • Second wave On-campus interview: November 11, 2022

All application materials must be completed by the APPLICANT. Applications completed by family members or support personnel will not be considered. Applicants may have support in physically typing responses, however responses must be their own. We are interested in learning about the applicant in the applicant's own words.


How to Apply

Our application for the Fall 2023 Cohort is now live! Click here to start your application today!


Application Checklist

Upon completion of the application, please email the most recent copy of your IEP OR an psychoeducational evaluation completed with the past three years to

To submit a letter of recommendation, please copy and paste the following link and send it to your references to complete. You will need 3 letters of recommendation:

CarolinaLIFE WILL NOT review your application until ALL THREE letters of recommendation are received. References should not be family members or friends. References may be contacted by CarolinaLIFE to ensure that their letter is reflective of their true opinion of the applicant's ability and/or drive to be successful in college. Falsification of this information is subject to immediate loss of consideration. Applicants are responsible for ensuring the completion of reference letters. CarolinaLIFE will confer with applicant once all materials are received.


 Please Note

  • All application materials submitted will be destroyed immediately after final decisions are made for those students who are not accepted.
  • Students are required to complete the application process in full if they are resubmitting an application.

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