SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — USC Upstate has been awarded a $750,000 grant to recruit students from low-income households who are interested in studying biology and chemistry. The grant was awarded by the National Science Federation.

The university said it will use the funding to “establish the Career Readiness to Inspire STEM Proficiency and Retention (CRISPR) program, which will help boost the recruitment, retention, and graduation of STEM students.”

“We know that we have students out there who, without some additional assistance, would not be able to attain these degrees in biology and chemistry,” said Dr. Jeannie Chapman, USC Upstate’s Dean of College of Science and Technology.

The grants will be awarded to two groups of seven students who come from low-income households. Each students will receive up to $8,100 a year for up to four years.

Chapman said the university hopes the program will give students skills to be successful in the workforce.

“We are in a region of the country that is very rich in industries and organizations that need graduates who are trained in the biological and chemical sciences,” said Chapman.

Scholarship recipients will be connected with different programs to prepare them for life after graduation as well as mentorship and internship opportunities in the Upstate. 

“We really feel like this is a win-win not only for the students who need that extra financial aid, but also for the industries in the area who we know have a demand for skilled workforce in chemical sciences and biological sciences,” said Chapman.

The first group of scholarship recipients will begin classes in the Fall 2023, while the second will begin in Fall 2024.

Eligibility requirements and information on how to apply for a scholarship can be found here.