Junior Scholars

SC Junior Scholars Program

The South Carolina Junior Scholars Program was developed by the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) during the 1985-86 school year to identify eighth grade students with exceptional academic talent and to develop strategies for inclusion into special programs.

What does the program include? The program includes a process for screening a potential talent pool of students, identifying and recognizing those students with exceptionally high scholastic achievement and intellectual ability, and sponsoring summer opportunities in collaboration with participating South Carolina colleges and universities.

When does the program begin? Students are screened and identified in the eighth grade. Educational plans are developed following identification.

How will the students be recognized? Students who qualify for this special recognition will be recognized in local award ceremonies, receive an Award of Merit certificate from the South Carolina Department of Education, and may be invited to attend summer opportunities at participating South Carolina colleges and universities.

Eligibility for testing criteria:

Students must currently be enrolled in eighth grade in a public, private, or home school in South Carolina.
For public schools, potential Junior Scholars may include those students who scored Exemplary in English language arts and mathematics on the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS) in the seventh grade.
To be eligible, all students must apply through a designated Junior Scholars School District Coordinator or a designated Junior Scholars Private or Home School Association Coordinator.

Identification criteria include:

There are two ways for students to become a junior scholar: 1.) a student must score a 550 or above on the eighth-grade administration of the PSAT in verbal and writing section or a 530 or higher on the math section; 2.) have participated in Duke University’s Talent Identification Program (TIP) during his or her seventh-grade year, met the eligibility requirements as outlined by that program, and have been identified and recognized by Duke TIP. (For clarification: To qualify by the Duke TIP option, a student must have been invited to attend either the “State” or “Grand” recognition ceremonies or both events as a seventh grader.)