The Office of School Counseling (OSC) is a safe space for students and an active hub of activity and information. Counseling is available for all students and the OSC members assist students with course selection, college and career planning, and general wellbeing. The Director of School Counseling guides students through college and scholarship applications. Our Academic Assistance Coordinator oversees the design and implementation of Individual Education Plans (IEP’s) and 504 plans. The OSC also supports all Govies in their transition to the school and through any academic and artistic challenges. 

Graduation Requirements

South Carolina State Diploma Requirements

> 4 Credits of English / Language Arts
> 4 Credits of Mathematics
> 3 Credits of Science
> 1 Credit of U.S. History and Constitution
> .5 Credit of Economics and Personal Finance
> .5 Credit of American Government
> 1 Credit of Other Social Studies
> 1 Credit of Physical Education or JROTC or Marching Band with PE
> 1 Credit of Computer Science
> 1 Credit of World Language or Career & Technology Education
> .5 Credit of Personal Finance
> 6.5 Credits of Electives
> 24 Credits in Total

Please see the Course Selection Guide for additional information on course selection and policies. The OSC works with high schools statewide (public, private, virtual and home) to transfer credits earned to your SCGSAH transcript.

College Admissions Requirements
  • 4 Units of English: All four units must have strong reading (including works of fiction and non-fiction), writing, communication, and researching components. It is strongly recommended that students take two units that are literature based, including American, British and World Literature.
  • 4 Units of Mathematics: These units must include Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry. A fourth higher-level mathematics unit should be taken before or during the senior year.
  • 3 Units of Laboratory Science: Two units must be taken in two different field of physical, earth, or like sciences and selected from among biology, chemistry, physics, or earth science. The third unit may be from the same field as one of the first two units (biology, chemistry, physics and/or earth science) or from any laboratory science for which biology, chemistry, physics and/or earth science is a prerequisite. Courses in general or introductory science for which one of these four units is not a prerequisite will not meet the requirement. It is strongly recommended that students deciding to pursue careers in science, mathematics, engineering or technology take one course in all four fields: biology, chemistry, physics and earth science.
  • 3 Units of Social Science: Three units of Social Science are required. One unit of U.S. History, a half unit of Economics, and a half unit of Government are required. World History and Geography is strongly recommended.  
  • 2 Units of World Language: Two units with heavy emphasis on language acquisition.
  • 1 Unit of Fine Arts: One unit of appreciation of history or, or performance in one of the fine arts. This unit should be selected from among media/digital arts, dance, music, theater, or visual and spatial arts.
  • 1 Unit of Physical Ed or JROTC: One unit of physical education to include one semester of personal fitness and another semester in lifetime fitness. Exemption applies to students enrolled in Junior ROTC and for students exempt because of physical disability or for religious reasons.
  • 2 Units of Electives: Two units must be taken as an elective. A college preparatory course in Computer Science (i.e., one involving significant programming content, not simply keyboarding or using applications) is strongly recommended for this elective. Other acceptable electives include college preparatory courses in English, Fine Arts, World Languages, Social Science, Humanities, Mathematics, Physical Education, and Laboratory Science (courses for which biology, chemistry, physics, or earth science is a prerequisite)

Course Selection & IGPs

Course Selection Guide

Review the 2024-2025 Course Selection Guide

IGP Information and Date Range

All students and their parents or legal guardians are required by the Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA) to meet with their School Counselor to develop and annually update an Individual Graduation Plan (IGP). IGPs allow students to identify their post-graduation goals and support them with academic course selection. During the 30 minute IGP conference, students and parents identify post-graduation goals based on the educational requirements of their chosen career path.


Given our size and scope SCGSAH does not offer PE, IT Fundamentals, or Health in our regular class schedule. Govies routinely take PE, Health, and IT Fundamentals on VirtualSC, either over the summer or during the school year as part of their regular schedules. We provide information on registration deadlines and proctor exams or connect students with an online exam option. If a course is offered in our school and fits into a reasonable course load, we require our students to take the course in person with us. In extenuating circumstances, the Office of School Counseling will consider individual requests for additional online coursework. 

College Application Information & Timeline

Sophomore Year
  • Take the PSAT and review your results carefully to determine what area(s) to focus upon for improvement.
  • Begin to think about colleges and/or other postsecondary options.
  • Continue to build your resumé of activities and interests.
  • Come in for personal counseling when needed.
  • Attend the Governor’s School College Fair.
  • As you select coursework for the following year, review course guidelines set by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education.
Junior Year
  • Visit virtual college fairs, talk to friends and alumni, look at various college guides, and ask counselors and teachers for suggestions.
  • Talk to your parents about the finances: will you need a scholarship? A job? Loans?
  • Take the PSAT/NMSQT in the fall. Take Advanced Placement Program® Examinations at the end of appropriate courses of study.
  • Take the SAT or ACT tests in the spring.
  • Ask for viewbooks and browse online class catalogs (especially if you have an unusual or specific interest).
  • Meet with your school counselor and with your parents, develop a list of colleges of interest. Consider visiting colleges during extended breaks and over the summer if they are open for tours.
  • Mention your plans to the teachers who might write your recommendations. Continue to build your resumé.
  • Keep a journal or collect interesting “important moment” articles from your reading as samples for your essay.
  • Request courses for your senior year that are challenging, but realistic. Check out recommended course work from your top college choices to ensure that you will meet their admissions requirements.
Senior Year


  • Meet with your Guidance Counselor to discuss your choices and timing. Be prepared to share your
    tentative list of colleges.
  • Review upcoming campus college admissions counselor visits and sign up to attend schools that
    may interest you.
  • Set up campus visits and interviews; attend prospective student days and open houses at colleges of interest. Seniors have limited numbers of excused absences for college visits, so plan visits carefully.
  • Determine what teacher(s) you feel can write knowledgeable letters of recommendation on your
    behalf and schedule a time to talk with those teachers about writing recommendations for you.
  • Review application packets from colleges that interest you.
  • If applying Early Decision or to a college with rolling admission, start writing your application and essay.
  • File the NCAA Clearinghouse forms ( if you plan to play Division I sports.
  • Preregister for the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® if required by any of your colleges (


  • Confirm your list of choices with your counselor. Decide if you will apply regular decision or by one of the early deadlines (see individual college options).
  • Take the ACT, SAT Subject Tests and/or SAT. Take advantage of score reporting services to colleges that are offered on testing day.
  • Group schools that accept the Common Application together, but look carefully on the website ( for required supplements. High School Code: 410914
  • Research scholarships that may apply to you. Talk to your parents about the finances again.
  • Early Action or Decision deadlines will fall typically between October 15 and November 1
  • Complete any rolling admissions applications, particularly to those state institutions that require only a transcript, an application form, and test scores.
  • Fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) forms. FAFSA forms are available online beginning on October 1 at


  • Determine if you need to take the ACT, SAT Subject Tests, and/or SAT again.
  • If you are applying Regular Decision, begin filling out applications and writing essays. Your deadlines will fall typically between December 1 and February 15.


  • Complete all applications and essays. You can, in many cases, apply entirely online.
  • Have someone else proofread your essays Make a checklist to be sure you’ve had scores sent, enclosed necessary payments, and notified your counselor about each school you’re applying to. Submit applications early. Verify receipt of online material.


  • Follow up on any missing details; continue to submit applications according to the deadlines.
  • Focus on producing a solid senior record; your last semester grades still matter!
  • Continue to visit or interview if you missed a school of interest; it’s best to see a college when classes are in session. Schools with rolling admission may accept applicants well into the spring.
  • Prepare and file financial aid forms (, and other scholarship applications.
  • Await Student Aid Report (SAR).
  • Await return of financial aid reports (FAFSA, CSS/Financial Aid Profile).


  • Expect to receive both acceptances and rejections. It is natural in this process, especially if you applied to a range of schools.
  • Celebrate your successes, but be mindful of the feelings of others who are anxiously awaiting news of their own.
  • Review your choices carefully, considering your major, the financial obligations, location, etc. Choose one school and make your deposit before the universal reply date of May 1. If you choose to remain on a waiting list, send a letter expressing your interest and any new information that might strengthen your case.
  • Notify schools of your decision (whether you accept or decline the invitation to join the freshman class).

Paying for College

Financial Assistance

There is a considerable amount of college financial aid available for students with demonstrated need. Both the amount of this aid and the type of aid programs are changing. In addition, many colleges are adding a merit consideration to grants beyond straight need criteria. Nevertheless, aid may be available to you even if you believe your income and assets may not fall within qualifying ranges. If in doubt, the financial aid officers of the colleges to which you are applying are usually happy to give you advice.

There are now two national processors which determine your financial need. The most widely used is the CSS (College Scholarship Service/Financial Aid Profile) in Princeton, New Jersey. Further information is available at

You should also utilize the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You will need to check to see which service is used by a particular institution.  In addition, some colleges may require that you submit substantiating documents. The college will then award aid based on whatever guidelines it follows in light of your demonstrated need.

Generally, this aid will consist of some outright grants, some loans, and some student work. The distribution of this aid package will vary considerably from college to college, and it should factor into decisions on which school to attend.
You will also need to be careful about what figure is used by the college to determine its cost. Some colleges will grant you aid to meet only tuition, room, and board, while others will also include the “hidden” costs of books, transportation, etc. For those families applying to private colleges in South Carolina, there is a South Carolina tuition state grant program. This grant must be applied for separately from the application through a national processor, such as

The OSC and colleges themselves can provide you with more information about scholarships and financial aid during the fall when the forms for the coming year are available. In the meantime, don’t preclude your child from investigating the possibility of a college because of its cost. It may not be beyond reach.

Life, Palmetto, and Hope Scholarships

The eligibility of students who will be attending a postsecondary school in South Carolina for Life, Palmetto, and Hope scholarship consideration is determined by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. Check the following website for updates: and click on Scholarships and Grants for SC. Under each, click Q&A for more details.

Helpful Websites