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Oseola McCarty Scholars Program

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Fulfilling a Legacy

The Oseola McCarty Scholars Program was created in 2018 as an extension of the Oseola McCarty Endowment offered by The University of Southern Mississippi. The Oseola McCarty Scholars Program honors the legacy of a Hattiesburg native who gave a significant portion of her life savings to the University in order to help students afford college. Oseola Mccarty had a strong work ethic, giving heart, and a love for helping others.

The program is built on Oseola McCarty’s servant attitude and financial impact to the community with her generous donation to the University. Oseola McCarty Scholars participate in activities that center around leadership, DEI training, financial wellness, career development, and community involvement. Oseola McCarty Scholars possess a strong work ethic, leadership skills, and a commitment to serving others through community service and school organizations. Oseola McCarty Scholars are chosen fairly through the freshman competitive scholarship application process to embark on this meaningful life endeavor. 


To learn more about her legacy and make a donation to USM Foundation in her honor, please visit  

Why Choose the Oseola McCarty Scholars Program (MSP)?

Our program focuses on leadership and workforce development. Our scholars have access to a personalized program tailored to help them make strategic choices during their time at Southern Miss. Scholars set SMART goals each semester and work directly with their program advisors to develop the skills needed to reach those goals through various organizations and campus resources. Scholars incorporate financial planning and other career-based resources to help build additional skills in order to thrive in the workforce and become financially stable. Upperclassmen have the chance to further develop their leadership skills through two direct leadership opportunities built within the program. By the end of the four year experience our scholars will have a polished resume complete with the necessary skills for their chosen career field, a network of future employers, and lifelong memories with other McCarty Scholars. 


  • Scholars receive a $2,000 annual scholarship for 4 years and freshman year campus housing (double occupancy rate only)
  • Campus employment with the Office of Undergraduate Scholarships provided for work-study eligible scholars (will pay out up to the max amount awarded in SOAR)
  • Individualized career and financial coaching through mentorship
  • Leadership opportunities provided to upperclassmen within the program

What Scholars Can Expect

  • Must maintain a 2.75 USM cumulative grade point average
  • Must enroll in 15 credit hours per semester
  • Required meetings with mentors and advisors
  • Required curriculum and monthly assignments
  • Required volunteer, internship, and/or job shadowing (will be assigned based on career plan and student goals)

Values and Outcomes

1.     Learning: Curriculum will allow students to research, teach, and promote current financial literacy practices and understand how these concepts impact their future and their communities.

2.     Leadership: Students will lead by example through their participation in the program and recruitment efforts for prospective Oseola McCarty Scholars.

3.     Collaboration: This program will work with various student affairs offices, faculty, staff, and community partners on various service projects and program needs.

4.     Inclusion: Oseola McCarty Scholars will have access to an exclusive curriculum and several mentorship opportunities to foster personal and professional development.

5.     Responsibility: Students will develop life-long tools and experiences that will help them fulfill a social responsibility by upholding the wishes of Oseola McCarty.




  • Mississippi resident 
  • Minimum 3.0 core high school grade point average and at least a 21 ACT/SAT equivalent
  • Must be from a public high school in south Mississippi, show demonstrated financial need, desire to serve the community, and strong leadership skills
  • For more information regarding the program requirements and selection process visit our FAQs section.

Next Steps

  • Learn how to navigate the GO System and apply 
  • Log into the GO System and apply by January 15th
  • Schedule a campus visit to learn more about our great University
  • Contact us at scholarsFREEMississippi for more information about the program and other scholarship offers

 Scholar Spotlights




Celebrate with Us

McCarty Birthday Bash McCarty Birthday Bash 25th Anniversary of the Giving (October 2021) First McCarty Scholar for the Endowment

 Help Us Give Back


Contact Us

Office of Undergraduate Scholarships
Kennard-Washington (KWH) 200
118 College Drive #5011
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

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