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The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

Scholarships and Grants for SC Residents

South Carolina provides direct support to students pursuing higher education through a number of need-based and merit-based scholarships and grants, however you must prove residency in the state of South Carolina to apply for state-funded financial aid. For specific information on residency requirements, visit our SC Residency Information page.

At a Glance: Scholarships and Grants

Financial Aid Graphic

Detailed Scholarship and Grant Information

Palmetto Fellows Scholarship

The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship is a merit-based program recognizing the most academically talented high school seniors and encouraging these students to attend college in the state. Palmetto Fellows may receive up to $6,700 their freshman year and up to $7,500 for their sophomore, junior and senior years. Half of the scholarship is awarded in the fall term and half in the spring term.

The scholarship must be applied directly toward the cost of attendance, less any other gift aid received. Eligible Palmetto Fellows may receive scholarship funding for a maximum of eight full‑time terms of study toward their first bachelor’s degree at an eligible four-year institution in South Carolina. 

The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Enhancement was established in 2007 to increase the number of students who major in mathematics and science in South Carolina. 

For enhancement eligibility, Palmetto Fellows must declare a major in an approved math or science program and must also successfully complete at least 14 credit hours of instruction in mathematics or life and physical science or a combination of both by the end of the first academic year. Eligible students may receive up to $10,000 (combined funds from the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship and the Scholarship Enhancement) per year beginning with their second/sophomore year of college enrollment. Students may receive enhancement funding for a maximum of six full-time terms of study toward their first bachelor's degree at an eligible four-year institution in South Carolina.


PLEASE NOTE THAT ONLY SCHOOL COUNSELORS CAN SUBMIT APPLICATIONS FOR PALMETTO FELLOWS SCHOLARSHIPS. SUBMISSIONS FROM STUDENTS OR PARENTS WILL BE REJECTED. IF YOU ARE A PARENT OR STUDENT AND WISH TO APPLY FOR A PALMETTO FELLOWS SCHOLARSHIP, YOU MUST CONTACT YOUR SCHOOL COUNSELOR.


FAQ (PDF)

Approved Five-Year Programs (PDF)

Eligible Institutions (PDF)

Math and Science Scholarship Enhancements

Reapplication (Out-of-State / Gap Year) Form (PDF)

In-State Transfer Form (PDF)

Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Regulations (PDF)

Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Legislation (PDF)

Year-Round Policy Guidelines (Summer Scholarship Award) (PDF)

 

CHE Contact / Additional Information: 

Kathryn Harris, Scholarships and Grants, (803) 856-0738

LIFE Scholarship

The Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence (LIFE) Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship program administered by the financial aid office at each eligible public and independent college and university in South Carolina.

The LIFE Scholarship may be used towards the cost of attendance for up to eight terms based on the student's initial college enrollment date. Students must be enrolled in their first one-year program, first associate’s degree, first two-year program leading to a baccalaureate degree, first baccalaureate degree, or first professional degree.

FAQ (PDF)

Eligible Institutions (PDF)

Approved Five-Year Programs

Associate Degree Programs (68+ hours) eligible for Three-Year LIFE Scholarships (PDF)

Math and Science Scholarship Enhancements

High School Early Graduation: Students who complete all requirements for high school graduation mid-year (December/January) may be eligible to participate in the state scholarship programs if they meet all initial and general eligibility criteria. Students are responsible for ensuring that all required documentation is submitted to their institution’s financial aid department by their established deadline. All decisions regarding students’ Early Graduation Applications will be based entirely on the documentation/information submitted to the institution by the institution’s established deadline. Students must check with their institution’s financial aid department for required documentation. Students must submit the minimum documents to their institution’s financial aid department:

  • A final official high school transcript that demonstrates all required items
  • A letter on school letterhead signed by the principal/school counselor stating that the student has completed all the SC graduation requirements
  • SAT/ACT scores (if applicable)

*Please note: Students who graduate mid-year are not able to use rank as an eligibility criterion for the LIFE and Palmetto Fellows Scholarship

LIFE Scholarship Regulations (PDF)

LIFE Scholarship Legislation (PDF)

Year-Round Policy Guidelines (Summer Scholarship Award (PDF)

 

CHE Contact / Additional Information: 

Mr. Gerrick Hampton, Program Manager, (803) 856-0609

South Carolina HOPE Scholarship (Freshmen)

The SC HOPE Scholarship Program is a merit-based scholarship created for students attending a four-year institution who do not qualify for the LIFE or Palmetto Fellows Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded during the freshman year of attendance only.   

FAQ (PDF)

Eligible Institutions

High School Early Graduation: Students who complete all requirements for high school graduation mid-year (December/January) may be eligible to participate in the state scholarship programs if they meet all initial and general eligibility criteria. Students are responsible for ensuring that all required documentation is submitted to their institution’s financial aid department by their established deadline. All decisions regarding students’ Early Graduation Applications will be based entirely on the documentation/information submitted to the institution by the institution’s established deadline. Students must check with their institution’s financial aid department for required documentation. Students must submit the minimum documents to their institution’s financial aid department:

  • A final official high school transcript that demonstrates all required items;
  • A letter on school letterhead signed by the principal/school counselor stating that the student has completed all the SC graduation requirements;
  • SAT/ACT scores (if applicable)

*Please note: Students who graduate mid-year are not able to use rank as an eligibility criterion for the LIFE and Palmetto Fellows Scholarship

SC HOPE Scholarship Regulations (PDF)

SC HOPE Scholarship Legislation (PDF)

 

CHE Contact / Additional Information:

Mr. Gerrick Hampton, Program Manager, (803) 856-0609

South Carolina Need-based Grant

The South Carolina Need-based Grant provides additional aid to South Carolina’s students with the greatest financial need. A student may receive up to $3,500 annually if enrolled full-time or up to $1,750 annually if enrolled part-time as a degree-seeking student at an eligible public institution. The grant can be applied in any semester of the academic year (i.e. fall, spring, or summer), assuming continued eligibility.

To apply, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The financial aid office on each eligible state public college campus administers the South Carolina Need-Based Grant program, determines the students’ eligibility to receive grant funding, and the exact amount. All gift aid and scholarships must be applied first before awarding the grant. The grant must be applied directly towards the cost-of-attendance. Students may receive up to a maximum of eight full-time equivalent terms. The South Carolina Higher Education Tuition Grants Commission administers the Need-Based Grant Program for students attending an independent college or university.

Students must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program in their first one-year program, first associate’s degree, first two year program leading to a baccalaureate degree, first baccalaureate degree, or first pre-professional undergraduate degree, to include those pre-professional degree programs that may not require a baccalaureate degree at an eligible public state institution.

FAQ (PDF)

SC Higher Education Tuition Grants Commission

FAFSA Application

Eligible Institutions

SC Need-based Grant Emergency Regulations for 2021-2022 (PDF)

Foster Care Waiver Form (PDF)

Foster Care Youth / Independent Living Brochure (PDF)

SC Need-based Grant Regulations (PDF)

SC Need-based Grant Legislation (PDF)

CHE Contact / Additional Information:

Kathryn Harris, Scholarships and Grants, (803) 856-0738

Lottery Tuition Assistance

The South Carolina Lottery Tuition Assistance Program provides a supplemental resource to South Carolina residents at two-year public or independent institutions.

For the current academic year (fall, spring, and summer terms), eligible students may receive $85 per credit hour to be used toward the cost-of-tuition. In calculating the amount a student is eligible to receive in Lottery Tuition Assistance, all federal grants and the South Carolina Need-Based Grant must be awarded first. The institution at which the student is enrolled will notify each student of the exact award amount.

Award amounts are subject to change each term based upon the number of eligible recipients and available funding. 

In order to qualify for Lottery Tuition Assistance, a student must meet ALL of the following minimum requirements before being awarded:

  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and complete the process to determine eligibility for federal student aid each academic year;
  • Be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident that meets the definition of an eligible non-citizen under State residency statutes;
  • Be a legal resident of South Carolina as defined in applicable State statutes governing the determination of residency for tuition and fee purposes;
  • Be enrolled at the time of the grant disbursement as a degree-seeking student in a minimum of six credit hours for the term and be making satisfactory academic progress;
  • Verify that he or she does not owe a refund or repayment on a State Grant, Pell Grant or a Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and is not in default on a loan under the Federal Perkins Loan or Federal Stafford Loan program;
  • Not be a recipient of the HOPE, LIFE or Palmetto Fellows Scholarships.

Eligible Institutions

  • Technical Colleges (All)
  • USC-Lancaster - Lancaster, SC 2972
  • USC-Salkehatchie - Allendale, SC 29810
  • USC-Sumter - Sumter, SC 29150
  • USC-Union - Union, SC 29379
  • Spartanburg Methodist College - Spartanburg, SC 29301 (Private) 

 

FAQ (PDF)

FAFSA Application

Lottery Tuition Assistance Program Regulations (PDF)

Lottery Tuition Assistance Program Legislation (PDF)

     

    CHE Contact / Additional Information: 

    Mr. Gerrick Hampton, Program Manager, (803) 856-0609

    South Carolina National Guard College Assistance Program (SCNG CAP)

    The South Carolina National Guard College Assistance Program (SCNG CAP) offers financial assistance to members of the South Carolina Army and Air National Guard by providing incentives for enlisting or remaining for a specified time in either the South Carolina Army or Air National Guard (SCNG).

    SCNG CAP recipients may receive up to a maximum of $4,500 for the Army National Guard and up to a maximum of $9,000 for the Air National Guard per academic year. The cumulative total of all College Assistance Program benefits received may not exceed $18,000. These SCNG CAP benefits will cover the cost of attendance as defined by Title IV regulation; however, the benefit maximum per award year may be reduced if, in combination with other financial aid, the cumulative total of all aid received would exceed the cost of attendance. A SCNG CAP recipient shall not qualify for College Assistance Program benefits for more than 130 attempted semester hours or related quarter hours from the time of initial eligibility into the SCNG CAP. SCNG CAP is administered by CHE along with the South Carolina National Guard.

    Visit our Military and Veterans page for more information on the SCNG CAP program.

    SCNG CAP Regulation (PDF)

    South Carolina Workforce & Industry Needs Scholarship (SC•WINS)

    The SC•WINS Scholarship is a statewide technical college scholarship program designed to address workforce shortages in South Carolina. The Scholarship supplements Lottery Tuition Assistance (LTAP) to help cover any tuition and mandatory fees left after applying all other scholarships or grants.

    For additional information, follow this link to the SC WINS Website or contact the SC Technical College System - Division of Academics, Student Affairs & Research at 803-896-5361, SystemOfficeAA@sctechsystem.edu