South Carolina Student Aid: Government Funded Scholarships and Grants

When the time comes to begin preparing for college, the discussion quickly turns to college costs and financial aid. With constantly rising tuition costs, students and parents will find that Federal student loans, grants and scholarships will only go so far. For resident students in South Carolina, and out-of-state students planning to attend one of the state's universities, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education provides valuable information, and some much needed access to financial aid.

south carolina scholarships

Scholarships and Grants for SC Students

Every state struggles with student retention, and ensuring that all students have access to a college education. In an effort to make a college education more accessible and affordable to all, South Carolina offers a number of lucrative financial aid opportunities for students attending college and university within the state. These programs include lottery scholarships, as well as need-based and merit-based grants.

A brief overview of what South Carolina has to offer college-bound students will help put you on the road to educational success.

  • The LIFE Scholarship Program – The Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship program available at public and independent colleges and universities in South Carolina. The scholarship is available to both undergraduate and graduate students.
  • The Lottery Tuition Assistance Program – This program puts South Carolina's lottery money to work in the states higher educational system. Funding varies depending upon year and type of institution, and students must demonstrate the requisite level of financial need to be eligible for tuition assistance.
  • The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Program – This scholarship program was developed to help retain South Carolina's most talented students, and keep them studying and working within the state. College freshman are eligible for up to $6700 in scholarship funds, with sophomores and juniors eligible for up to $7500. Students studying critical need subjects like mathematics and science may be eligible for as much as $10000 in scholarship awards.
  • SC Need-Based Grant - This grant program provides much needed financial aid to South Carolina's neediest students. Students are eligible for awards up to $2500, and must be enroll in full or part time studies at an accredited state college.
  • SC HOPE Scholarship – Funded by the states lottery income, the HOPE scholarship is a merit-based program targeting students who do not qualify for the LIFE or Palmetto scholarships. Eligible students must have a solid academic record, and must be enrolled in a four-year undergraduate program at a South Carolina college or university. Awards vary from year to year.
  • The South Carolina Graduate Incentive Scholarship – This program offers 'forgivable loans' to minority students pursuing graduate studies in those fields in which they have been historically underrepresented. Full time students are eligible for up to $15,000 in forgivable loan money to be put towards their graduate, doctoral and professional degree studies.

Visit the SC Commission on Higher Education for current information on state-funded scholarship and grant programs for college students. File your FAFSA—only way you’ll be included.

For college-bound students across the country the search for funding is one of the first, and most important considerations. Tuition costs continue to rise, and hardly any student can make it through college without some form of financial aid. Students in South Carolina have access to a large number of excellent government programs designed to make college more affordable, and more accessible. For more detailed information concerning these, and other programs, visit the dedicated website for the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education.