Opportunity Network

Earning an undergraduate degree can seem overwhelming, but the Opportunity Network program at the University of South Carolina Upstate eases the transition from high school to college by providing the support students often need.

What is the Opportunity Network?

The program offers a wide variety of free services and programs to help students achieve their academic, career and personal goals, while confronting the challenges of completing a college degree.

What is Opportunity Network?
Opportunity Network is a Student Support Services program at USC Upstate, made possible by a TRIO grant funded by the U. S. Department of Education. Our mission is to assist eligible students to stay in college until they successfully complete a baccalaureate degree. This program provides students with education, skills, resources, and support that allow traditionally underrepresented students the opportunity to become successful members of the USC Upstate community and after graduation, to become contributing members of society. 

How do I join Opportunity Network?
Think Opportunity Network might be right for you? We make it easy to find out and join:

  • Check your eligibility…
    To be eligible, you must meet at least one of these guidelines:
    • Must be a first-generation college student
    • Must meet income guidelines
    • Must have a documented disability
  • Complete an application…
    1. (a) If you are incoming freshmen, please complete the Freshmen Application. All incoming freshmen accepted into the program must attend the mandatory Freshmen Focus. 
      (b) If you are a returning USC Upstate student or a transfer student, complete the Program Application.
    2. If you don’t have access to a computer, please contact Opportunity Network at 864-503-5966 to request a paper copy. 

Once all application materials are received, candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Freshman Focus

Opportunity Network’s freshmen receive individual attention from faculty and staff who are especially prepared to work with the needs and concerns of traditionally underrepresented college students. In addition, the program offers mentoring, advising, tutoring, cultural enrichment activities, and workshops. Our program is funded by the United States Department of Education and therefore offers these services at no cost to the participants.

Our incoming freshmen are required to take part in Freshman Focus, a two day introduction to University 101, beginning Monday, August 20 and ending on Tuesday, August 21. The timing of Freshman Focus intentionally coordinates with the August 19 move-in day so residential students will have time to get settled before the program starts on Monday morning. Registration is Monday, August 20 at 8:30 a.m. Individuals accepted into the Opportunity Network program will receive a newsletter outlining the specifics of Freshman Focus.

During Freshman Focus, students will participate in various seminars and social activities designed to ease the transition between high school and college. You will not only become acquainted with the campus and its many resources but also with 50 of your peers whose familiar faces will greet you in University 101 on the first day of class. One of the advantages of Freshman Focus is that the curriculum covered makes up the first third of that class. Because of this, Opportunity Network's sections of University 101 end early which gives participants more time to prepare for final exams in remaining classes.

Once your application has been reviewed you will be contacted by our office for an interview. Early applicants will receive priority consideration.

How to Apply for Services

Welcome to the Opportunity Network program! 

If you are a high school senior and have been accepted to USC Upstate, and you are interested in becoming a part of the Opportunity Network program, please complete the Freshman application.

Sophomores, juniors, and transfer students that are currently enrolled at USC Upstate and are interested in becoming part of the Opportunity Network program should select the Program Application. Once your eligibility has been determined, you will be contacted to schedule an appointment with the director to discuss program services in greater detail.

If you need a paper application, please contact our office:

Opportunity Network
Magnolia House (Courtyard level)
800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Phone: 864-503-5966
Fax: 864-503-5075

Program Services

Opportunity Network participants benefit from a number of support programs at no cost. All participants are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these services, such as:

  • One-on-One Peer Tutoring
  • Pre-Advisement
  • Cultural & Social Events
  • Graduate School/Career Assessment & Preparation
  • Individual Counseling
  • Undergraduate Research Opportunities
  • Financial Literacy
  • Job Placement Assistance

View details based upon your classification.

Opportunity Network Goals
  • To promote academic achievement.
  • To identify immediate and long-term career, academic and personal goals.
  • To encourage career exploration.
  • To encourage greater self-awareness through personality and career assessment.
  • To promote positive self-image in students.
  • To provide activities and sessions which will promote academic, personal and social development.
  • To increase the number of USC Upstate students who remain in college.
  • To increase the number of USC Upstate students who graduate each year.
  • To increase the number of USC Upstate students who attend graduate school.