The Governor Robert E. McNair Scholarship Program is a wonderful opportunity at Francis Marion University. This privately funded scholarship program is designed to prepare a rising generation of leaders to make a difference in their communities and instill a lifelong commitment to public service. The first class of McNair Scholars began at Francis Marion University in August 2009. This is a recurring scholarship; therefore, additional McNair Scholars are named each year.


  • McNair Scholars will receive free tuition, fees, book allowance, and room and board for the four years they attend Francis Marion University.
  • Opportunity to travel abroad during spring break of the freshman year.
  • Opportunity to study abroad in one of six exchange student programs. McNair Scholars can choose to either study in Canada (for science majors), England, France, Germany, Ireland and Mexico.
  • Admission to the Francis Marion Honors Program. This includes the opportunity to travel on the yearly Honors trip held every Fall. Locations include New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
  • Opportunity to participate in the National Model United Nations Conference in New York City every spring.
  • Early class registration.
  • Upgraded Housing. McNair Scholars will live in the Forest Villas Apartments, the newest housing on campus. These furnished units contain four private bedrooms, two bathrooms, and shared living room and kitchen space. (One and two bedroom units may be available).
  • Seminars/Speakers Series with distinguished speakers impacting South Carolina government and history, including former Governor Jim Hodges, the chair of the McNair Center Advisory Council.
  • Experiential Learning Opportunities outside the classroom.
  • Participation in public service activities to further strengthen the local community.


  • Be a South Carolina resident.
  • Be a high school senior.
  • Achieve a high school cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Have an SAT score of 1160 or higher (Evidence-Based Reading & Writing and Math) or 24 or higher ACT score.
  • Display a dedication to public service.
  • Agree to participate in service learning/public service opportunities.
  • Agree to participate in travel and study abroad opportunities.
  • Submit two original essays: One focused on the value of public service. One focused on how you would make the most of your study abroad.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation from a teacher, guidance counselor or employer.

* The McNair Scholarship is renewable for a total of four years provided that the recipient completes 30 semester hours each year and maintains a 3.0 GPA.


The Robert E. McNair Scholarship application is online and is part of the Francis Marion University Undergraduate Admissions application. This entails having to complete a Francis Marion University application for admittance prior to submitting the McNair Scholarship application. Go to the website to fill out an application.


* Complete applications are due no later than December 1. Finalists will be invited to a personal interview on campus in January. Awards will be announced by late January. Applicants who are not selected will be considered for other FMU scholarships.


For More Information Contact:

Dr. Christopher Johnson
Director, Robert E. McNair Center for Government and History

Perry Wilson
Director of Admissions
P.O. Box 100547
Florence, South Carolina 29502-0547