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Shaw AFB Program

In order to better serve the Shaw Air Force Base community, USC Sumter operates a student services office in the Base Education Center. Services there include information and referral for all customers regarding USC system services.


Admissions processing, placement testing, counseling, academic advisement, course registration and tuition processing is available for active duty, veterans and their families.



In addition to the full schedule of day and night classes conducted on the Sumter campus, which is just 20 minutes from the base, USC Sumter also offers five eight-week semesters on Shaw AFB.


Base Access

For civilians faculty and students attendings USC Sumter classes at Shaw AFB Education Center: USC Sumter classes held at Shaw Air Force Base meet in the Spratt Education Center at 398 Shaw Drive. The following items of information need your prior planning and action if you are scheduled to attend or teach classes at Shaw Air Force Base in the upcoming semester.

Directions : Enter Shaw Air Force Base through the main gate from Highway 76/378. Entering through the main gate, you will be on Shaw Drive. Stay on Shaw Drive until you reach the first traffic light intersection. The Spratt Education Center will be on the corner on your right. Turn right at the traffic light intersection and enter the parking area by way of the driveway on the right just beyond the building. Limited parking spaces are available beside and behind the building. Additional parking is available diagonally across the traffic light intersection from the Center. Room assignments will be posted at the entrances on the first night of class.

Base Access: You will need to complete a Release of Information Form. This form can be obtained by visiting or calling the Records and Advisement Office at 803-938-3800.

Provided you do this, your name may be included on an access roster for the Security Forces at the Shaw gate. You must complete the Release of Information form and turn in at the USC Sumter campus Records and Advisement Office as soon as possible after you register for a class to be held at Shaw. If we do not receive your completed form at least one week prior to the start of class, you may be denied access to Shaw AFB. You should attempt to enter Shaw AFB only at the appropriate time and day for your class and have the following documents ready for inspection by the Shaw Security Forces:

  • Valid driver's license
  • Student or faculty identification card from USC Sumter
  • Proof of insurance for your vehicle
  • Registration for your vehicle

Note that any time you enter a Department of Defense Installation you are consenting to the possible search of your vehicle and other personal belongings. This is a protection measure for national security.

Time: On your first day of class at Shaw, you should plan to arrive at the gate at least 30 minutes prior to your class starting time. For security reasons, getting through the Shaw gate will be a slow process. And, although the drive to the center from the gate is only a short distance, speed limits are enforced and convenient parking is limited.

Honors: At 5:00 pm daily, the sound of Retreat and the National Anthem are played over the installation loud speaker while the flag is lowered at base headquarters. If you are outside when you hear the music, you should stand facing the sound of the music with your hand (or hat) placed over your heart to honor the great privilege of citizenship in the United States of America.

Cellular Phones: Effective 1 December 2005, using a cellular phone while driving on Shaw AFB is prohibited, unless you use a hands free device. You may be fined and/or lose the privilege to drive on Shaw AFB.

Seatbelts: Seatbelts must be worn by everyone driving or riding in a vehicle on Shaw AFB. Again, you may be fined and/or lose the privilege to drive on Shaw AFB.


Frequently Asked Questions

You may also download our brochure [pdf].

A Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) degree will help you advance your Air Force career. USC Sumter offers all the General Education course work as well as some of the technical course work required by CCAF.

We are a "credential" society, and a degree gives you that edge over the competition. Today's employers want employees who can read well, write well, are computer literate, and are motivated. The university can help you with the first three - the motivation is up to you.

You must earn a bachelor's degree either before or while you earn your commission. There are a number of routes that you can take:

  1. AFROTC – Four-year and two-year programs are available at the USC Columbia campus. Contact them at 803-777-3450.

  2. OTS - Get your degree first and then apply for this program. Contact the Air Force Education Counselor at the Base Education Center.

Prestige, for one. The opportunity for leadership which will better prepare you for positions in the civilian world is another. Also, you will earn a higher salary while on active duty and after retirement. Look at the Air Force pay chart and compare an E-9 with 20 years to an O-3 with 8 years. The O-3 gets paid more!

Knowledge is power. Also, educated people generally enjoy greater job security, find life more personally fulfilling, earn more money and therefore have a higher standard of living.

The Air Force will pay one hundred percent (100%) of the in-state tuition rate for an active duty member. Many other federal and state programs, in addition to scholarships, are also available. There is a lot of assistance out there, but you have to find it. Note: There is an annual limit to the total dollar amount of tuition assistance the Air Force will pay. See your Air Force Education Counselor at the Base Education Center for details.

You and your dependents are entitled to pay in-state fees. All we need is a copy of your Air Force orders assigning you to Shaw Air Force Base when you submit your application for admission.

The Air Force will not pay for your books. USC Sumter has a campus book store that sells all the books needed for all USC Sumter courses, including courses conducted at the Base Education Center.

If eligible and/or enrolled, the GI Bill provides great assistance to you in reaching your academic goals. Call 1-800-827-1000 for more information, see the Veteran’s Administration website at, or contact the Air Force Education counselor at the Base Education Center.

If you are active duty military, your first stop should be the USC Sumter Office at the Shaw AFB Education Center. We have a special admission category for active duty. It’s quick, easy and costs you no money. You will need to submit a copy of your orders with your application. Also, if you are active duty, you may be required to take certain placement tests. Our Shaw Personnel will assist you with this process. If you have previously attended any college or university, we will also need a copy of your transcript(s) to help in the advisement process. Unofficial transcripts are fine for the military special admissions category. Also, your previous course work may exempt you from one or both of the placement tests

This admissions category exists primarily for the convenience of active duty members. It requires less time, money and formalities than the regular student admission process. It is especially beneficial to the active duty member starting or continuing their CCAF or some other program of college level studies. It is also a good admission category for someone who did not have a good academic record at a college or university before they joined the Air Force and has now decide to apply their self-discipline in pursuit of an academic goal. There are some situations when the military special category is not the best category for admissions for the active duty member. Discuss your situation with our staff at the USC Sumter Office at the Shaw Education Center. They are familiar with these situations and can guide you appropriately.

Complete a student application for admission and submit it to the admissions office at the USC Sumter campus along with an application fee of $40. Remember to submit a copy of the active duty member’s orders assigning him or her to Shaw AFB to qualify for the in-state rate. Also, if you have previously attended a college or university, you must have official transcripts sent to USC Sumter.