Application Process

Pacer LIFE

Our first cohort of students will begin in Fall 2023!

Pacer LIFE Application Status

Login to find out your application status. 



Students will be eligible for PacerLIFE if they meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Are between the ages of 18-26
  • Have a diagnosed intellectual or developmental disability, as well as limitations in intellectual and cognitive functioning, and adaptive behavior (conceptual, social, or practical)
  • Are currently or previously eligible for IDEA (2004) services
  • Have not earned a high school diploma
  • Able to demonstrate flexibility and the ability to manage stress effectively
  • Have basic math and literacy skills
  • Have the ability to communicate
  • Have the ability to manage thier own medications
  • Have the ability to function independently and be alone for short periods
  • Have financial support from family or other means to pay for program costs and enroll in healthcare
  • Have enthusiasm and desire to live independently, including maintaining gainful employment

Program Timeline

  • October 2022 – Open House
  • December 1st, 2022 – Submit the application
  • January and February 2023 - Personal interviews with students and families
  • March 2023 - Acceptance Notifications sent to families
  • March 2023 - Response to the acceptance notification
  • August 2023 – The first cohort begins the Pacer LIFE program


Program Fees (per semester)

  • Pacer LIFE Program Fee - $12,000.00
  • Student's Personal Budget (goes on a personal debit card) - $1,550.00

USC Aiken Costs (per semester)

  • Housing - $3,148.00
  • Academic Fee per credit hour$433.00 (in-state) or $869 (out-of-state)
  • Meal Plan - $1,443.00
  • Student Fees - $38.00 (technology and safety)

Note: Housing, meal costs, and student fees are subject to change. 

Other Fees

  • Application Fee - $45 (one-time fee)
  • Housing Application Fee - $25/year
  • Housing Deposit - $125/year

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available for students attending Pacer LIFE. Visit the Financial Aid website for specific information about federal aid opportunities.

The national organization for LIFE Programs, Think College, has a new info brief about scholarship opportunities.

Some organizations offer scholarship opportunities, including Ruby's Rainbow and the O'Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund.

Please reach out to our program's staff for more information about aid opportunities.