Every fall, thousands of students begin or resume their studies at colleges and universities across the state. When administrative problems arise during this often hectic time, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education Office of Student Affairs plays an important role in resolving a variety of issues that students face.
What causes the most concern for students and families during back-to-school season? No surprise here: it’s all about the money. With that in mind, we have compiled and answered five of the most commonly asked questions by students and families at the beginning of fall semester.
1) Why haven’t I received my SC HOPE (or LIFE) Scholarship money?
Your school’s financial aid office should be the first stop for students and families when working through this issue. There could be several reasons why the award hasn't been posted. For instance, have you checked all notifications sent to you from the institution? Have you completed the institution’s process for awarding? In some cases, students must confirm acceptance of an award before it is actually awarded. If you have concerns, contact your school's financial aid office immediately -- especially before “drop and add” deadlines -- to determine your eligibility and find out why an award has not posted.
2) How do I apply for South Carolina Need-Based Grants?
There is no separate application process for the SC Need-Based Grant. If a student/family has completed the FAFSA, the financial aid office at the institution will use the information supplied on the FAFSA to determine eligibility for this award. Financial aid offices administer need-based grants at public institutions and the funds are awarded on a first come – first served basis. The SC Tuition Grants Commission administers need-based grants for independent institutions. Please let the financial aid office at the institution know if you need additional funds.
3) Why isn’t the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship showing on my financial aid award?
Have you completed your Designation Form notifying the CHE which institution you are attending? The Designation Form is linked in the Palmetto Fellows notification email, which is sent to a student after we processes their application. If a student can’t find their email, they can contact our Palmetto Fellows team at firstname.lastname@example.org to have it resent. Additionally, if you are a Palmetto Fellow transferring from one college to another, please contact our Scholarship Team!
4) I’ve transferred colleges, how do I transfer my LIFE Scholarship?
Good news - students receiving LIFE Scholarships do not have to take any action to transfer their scholarships from one institution to another. Your new institution will administer and disburse the scholarship, provided that you continue to meet eligibility requirements.
5) How do I keep my SC HOPE scholarship?
The SC HOPE scholarship is for freshmen only, so students beginning their second year of study will not receive it. Students may be eligible to receive the LIFE Scholarship in their second year if they met the scholarship requirements.
Editor's Note: Additional FAQs, as well as scholarship and grant regulations and supplemental information are available on the CHE Scholarships and Grants page.