South Carolina Student Grants for College

Fund Your Education with Free Grant Money

College-bound students around the country, regardless of major or career goal, share the common difficulty of funding their higher education. Federal grants, scholarships and loans help thousands of students every year to supplement their college fund. But Federal financial aid can do only so much, and many students are still left with significant unmet need. Fortunately, most states across the country provide their own financial aid programs for resident students who are struggling to meet the rising costs of a college tuition.

Resident college-bound students in South Carolina have access to a wide range of state-funded financial aid programs designed to help them achieve their educational and professional goals. These programs are designed to support residents of South Carolina in their quest for a college eduction, while retaining talented and well educated within the state’s workforce. The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education provides valuable information on the state’s university system, as well as much needed information on financial aid programs designed to help residents of the Palmetto State more easily afford a college education.

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The FAFSA and Financial Aid

Before students can apply for any state-funded financial aid for college, they must first fill out and submit the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid. The FASFA is used to determine a student’s eligibility for both Federal and state sponsored financial aid. It is also used by most independent scholarship and grant sponsors to determine final eligibility and award amounts for applicants. College-bound students in South Carolina, and around the country, should make the FAFSA top priority in their search for financial aid.

Scholarships and Grants for South Carolina Students

Like most states, South Carolina provides a variety of need-based and merit-based scholarships and grants for its resident college-bound students. These programs are designed to make college more accessible to students within the state, and to give students an incentive to remain in the state following graduation. Through these programs the South Carolina state legislature hopes to build a strong and vibrant local economy by retaining talented, career oriented, individuals within the state.

The following financial aid programs are currently being offered by the state of South Carolina for its resident students. As with all state supported financial aid for college, these programs are subject to changes in legislation and the availability of funds.

  • The LIFE Scholarship Program – The Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence Scholarship is a state supported merit-based award which is administered through the financial aid offices of participating state colleges and universities. The scholarship is offered to undergraduate students in their first or second year of a degree granting program. Financial assistance is available for up to eight terms, depending on the applicant’s date of enrollment and course of study. Award amounts vary.
  • The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Program – The Palmetto Scholarship is offered to the most academically talented high school seniors within the state. Eligibility is determined on the basis of merit and financial need. Palmetto Fellows may receive up to $6700 in scholarship funds for their freshman year, and up to $7500 for their sophomore, junior and senior years. Students pursuing a degree in mathematics or science may be eligible for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Enhancement, which will increase the award amount to as much as $10,000 per year.
  • The South Carolina HOPE Scholarship Program – The HOPE Scholarship is a merit-based award which is available to freshman students enrolled in a state four year college or university. The program is designed to provide financial assistance to those students who were not deemed eligible for either the Palmetto Scholarship or the LIFE Scholarship. Award amounts vary.
  • The South Carolina Lottery Tuition Assistance Program – The Lottery Tuition Assistance Program was created to provide financial assistance to students enrolled in a state two year community college or vocational school. Eligible full time students may receive up to $1,140 per term. Eligible part time students may receive up to $95 per credit hour. Awards are determined on the basis of academic merit and financial need.
  • The South Carolina Need-Based Grant – The SC Need-Based Grant provides financial assistance to the state’s neediest students. To be eligible, students must be pursuing an associate’s, baccalaureate or professional degree at a state supported college or university. Full time students may receive up to $2500 annually in grant funds, while part time students may be eligible to receive up to $1,250.
  • The DAYCO Scholarship Program – The DAYCO scholarship is funded by DAYCO Products, Inc., and is administered by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. To be eligible, applicants must be an employee, or the dependent of an employee, of DAYCO Products. Eligible students must be enrolled in their first year of an associate or baccalaureate degree program.
  • The South Carolina National Guard College Assistance Program – This is an award-for-service program that provides financial assistance for college to students who enlist in the South Carolina Army or Air National Guard. Eligible applicants may receive up to $4,500 for enlistment in the South Carolina Army, and up to $9000 for enlistment in the Air National Guard. Recipients of the award will be expected to fulfill a contract of service in the South Carolina Army or Air National Guard.

South Carolina Teachers Loan Programs

Like many state across the country, South Carolina is experiencing a shortage of qualified teachers. In order to address this ongoing shortage, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education has teamed up with the South Carolina Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement to offer the South Carolina Teachers Loan Program.

The South Carolina Teachers Loan Program provides up to $20,000 in low cost education loans to students who are pursuing degrees and careers in teaching. The purpose of the program is to retain highly talented teachers within the state to offset the ongoing shortages. Applicants who qualify for the Teachers Loan Program may have their outstanding student loans forgiven in exchange for a term of service working within the state at a designated high heed facility, or teaching a designated critical need subject such as mathematics, science or engineering. Loans are forgivable at a rate of 20%, or $3000, whichever is greater, for every year of service within the state. Recipients who fail to fulfill their teaching obligations will be responsible for the full repayment of any outstanding loans, plus interest.

The state legislature of South Caroline understands that a well educated populace is vital to building and maintaining a health local economy. To that end, they continue to offer a wide variety of grants and scholarships designed to keep talented students within the state. These programs have made college more accessible to thousands of students in the Palmetto State. For more information on the financial aid programs discussed here, and for information on the South Carolina University system itself, please visit the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education.


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