USC Bridge Program

If you’re a first-time college student and your ultimate goal is to attend The University of South Carolina in Columbia, the Bridge Program might be perfect for you.

The Bridge Program is a partnership between South Carolina’s technical colleges and The University of South Carolina to help recent high school graduates make the leap to university life. Some Bridge students may not have been accepted because of space limitations at USC. Others need to polish their academic record in order to attend.

In addition to transferable credits, the Bridge Program provides other support including USC campus tours, transfer mentors and assistance with applying for financial aid.

How it works

Bridge students begin their studies at Aiken Technical College. Transfer usually requires at least 30 semester hours and most students spend at least a full year at ATC. Sometimes, students who meet USC’s freshman admission requirements can transfer after one semester.

Those who are interested can earn a two-year associate’s degree from Aiken Technical College, even if they transfer before completing all degree coursework. These students ‘reverse transfer’ courses credit from USC back to ATC.

Promotion and Eligibility

The program is intended for first-time college attendees who are recent high school graduates. Students must express their desire to attend The University of South Carolina in Columbia.

Bridge candidates are identified in one of two ways:

  • Students denied admission to USC for academic or space available reasons and who live in the Aiken Technical College service area will be notified of the Bridge Program option by the USC Admissions Office.

  • Aiken Technical College may notify prospective or newly enrolled students about the availability of the program.

Contact our admissions office to learn more about your eligibility for the Bridge Program.


First year admission is determined by Aiken Technical College. Transfer is determined by admissions policies at The University of South Carolina.

Program Components

Some of these program components will be delivered virtually. All components are available to all participants.

Fall Activities

  • Introduction to the Bridge Program and The University of South Carolina

  • Session explaining admissions, financial aid and student success program

Spring Activities

Bridge Program students have the opportunity to meet with:

  • Admissions

  • Financial Aid

  • Student Success Program

  • Career Center

  • University Housing

  • Representatives from their chosen academic area

Students will also be offered the opportunity to take a campus tour.

Special Opportunities

Students can choose to be matched with a transfer student mentor the semester before entering the University of South Carolina. Mentors answer questions as the student prepares for transition to the Columbia campus and keep in touch with transfers throughout their first year at USC.

After transferring to the Columbia campus, Bridge Program students will attend a session designed just for them to support their personal and academic success.

View the Bridge Program agreement

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