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College Goal SC: Guiding high school seniors through the financial aid process

Fri, 10/30/2020

Columbia, SC—The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (CHE) announced today the kickoff of the College Goal South Carolina (College Goal SC) annual initiative. Running from October 2020 through March 2021, College Goal SC supports students’ postsecondary plans by helping them address their financial aid needs and learn about the financial aid process.

College Goal SC events allow students and their guardians to connect with collegiate financial aid personnel and other volunteers in one-on-one settings.  Personnel and volunteers will help students and guardians complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and provide guidance about the financial aid process. FAFSA submission is critical for students to be able to access federal and state aid so they can attend college. It is especially important for students who are the first in their families to receive postsecondary education or from low-income households.  

Regina Hailey Smith coordinates for the University of South Carolina TRIO program. Ms. Smith noted, “College Goal SC provides an opportunity for families to get real time help… Without this help, some may miss out on this crucial process that opens the door to college access.”

During 2019-20 academic year, high school seniors participated in 59 College Goal SC events. The FAFSA completion and submission rate was 65.4 percent, which exceeded the national average by just over four percent, and South Carolina ranked 15th nationwide. Dr. Rusty Monhollon, CHE’s president and executive director, said, “Having been a volunteer last year, I’ve seen firsthand that many of our students need financial aid, and moreover, help in figuring out how to attain it. I believe College Goal SC has been impactful for many families, and I’m optimistic this year’s program will continue that.”

College Goal SC events are produced by CHE’s various national and statewide partnerships. Advisement and resources are obtained through the National College Attainment Network (NCAN). Event volunteers are supplied through CHE’s partnerships with the South Carolina Student Loan Corporation; TRIO programs at University of South Carolina, Midlands Technical College, and South Carolina State University; and the South Carolina Association for State Financial Aid Administrators (SCASFAA).

Both in-person and virtual events are scheduled throughout the state. If in-person events are unavailable due to COVID-19, CHE is collaborating with institutions and its other partners to develop and offer virtual options. If you would like to learn more about participating in a College Goal SC event, visit SCCANGO, call 803-734-4397, or e-mail