SC State Scholarships

The cost of college tuition can seem very overwhelming. Let’s start with the SC State Scholarships that are available. You should also apply for private scholarships, because they will stack together and help your college tuition become much more affordable.

The cost of college tuition can seem very overwhelming. But, these SC State Scholarships and Grants help make the opportunity more affordable.

Disclosure Policy




The Commission on Higher Education has compiled a great resource at SC Can Go to help students and families take an active role in pursuing higher education. The parent timeline by each grade level gives you an idea what you can be doing today to help your student stay on track.

The following scholarships and grants are available for South Carolina residents attending South Carolina institutions in a degree seeking program. Check the minimum enrollment requirements and term limits for each.  There are annual applications or continuing eligibility requirements too.  For now, we’re just taking a look at initial qualifications.

SC Grants

These two grant programs offer additional assistance to those who need the greatest financial boost. The awards are distributed on a first come, first serve basis. The FAFSA is the application which opens October 1st thru June 30th for the following Fall Semester. So the closer to October 1 that you apply, the better.

SC Tuition Grant is administered by the SC Higher Education Tuition Grants Commission.
21 private colleges and universities participate in the SC Tuition Grant (see list here) to offer additional need-based grant assistance to eligible South Carolina students. Must be used only for Tuition (not books, room/board, other fees). The application is the FAFSA, but also must have 2.0 High School GPA.

SC Need-Based Grant provide additional financial aid to South Carolina’s neediest students attending an eligible S.C. Public College or Technical School (see list here). Up to $2,500 per year if enrolled full-time or up to $1,250 per year if enrolled part-time. The application is the FAFSA.

SC State Scholarships

These scholarships offer assistance on your college tuition at a public or private institution in South Carolina. You can qualify for only one of these State Scholarships during one academic year. The SC Grants for need-based assistance may stack onto any of these scholarships. Note: Academic Common Market qualifies a student for in-state tuition at an out of state school, but does not take any of these state scholarships out-of-state.

Lottery Assistance provides a supplemental resource to South Carolina residents attending eligible SC two-year public or independent institutions.  Currently at $95/credit. This amount can change depending on how many students are awarded the scholarship and how much money is awarded from the General Fund. The application is the FAFSA.

HOPE Scholarship: Up to $2,800 for the year, including book fees applied only on the Freshman year at a 4-year institution. No application process—College determines eligibility. The high school graduate qualifies with a 3.0 final GPA on the SC Uniform Grade Scale.

The “Hope” is that these recipients will qualify for LIFE scholarship at the end of the first year. If they maintain a 3.0 college GPA and earn 30 credits, they will be eligible for LIFE.

image credit: Commission on Higher Education

LIFE Scholarship: Up to $5,000 (including book allowance) each academic year toward the cost of attendance at an eligible four-year institution in South Carolina or up to the cost of tuition including a $300 book allowance each academic year at an eligible two-year public or technical institution in South Carolina.
Eligiblity qualification at 4-year college: 3.0 High School GPA and 1100/SAT (24/ACT) or rank in the top 30% of graduating class.
Eligibility qualifications at 2-year college: 3.0 High School GPA only.
No application. College’s determine the student’s eligibility—and award it. That’s it.

If the student does not meet the eligiblity requirements for the 4-year institution with the test score or rank, but has the 3.0 GPA requirement. The student may go to a 2-year college instead and qualify for LIFE scholarship. Then, transfer to the desired 4-year institution later. OR the student can stay at the desired 4-year institution and qualify for the HOPE scholarship. At the end of the Freshman year, the continuing eligiblity qualifies the student for LIFE at that time.

There is also a Scholarship Enhancement that increases the LIFE Scholarship award from $5,000 to $7,500 for students majoring in the mathematics, science and health fields at eligible South Carolina four-year institutions. Students must declare their major at the end of the Freshman year and meet the continuing eligibility requirements for the LIFE enhancement.




Palmetto Fellows Scholarshipup to $6,700 their freshman year and up to $7,500 for their sophomore, junior and senior years. The high school guidance counselor (Homeschool Association Director) must complete the application on behalf of the student. Parents cannot fill out this application.

image credit: Commission on Higher Education

There are two application submission opportunities for the student’s senior year. Early application open mid-October, due December 15. Late Award opens Mid-March, due June 15. ***Please know that if your student applies during the late award, the notice of the award is late…very late. You can expect the tuition bill will be due before the award notice. So you will need to plan for another payment option until the awards come thru.

Eligibility Qualifications: Test Score, Transcript (GPA), Rank.
Test Scores: 1200/SAT (superscore is allowed, new SAT only) or 27/ACT
Transcript/GPA: 3.5 High school GPA, Transcript submitted to verify
Rank: Top 6% of class
Or without rank: if the Homeschool Association does not rank, then the student may qualify with alternate eligibility on Test Score and GPA: 1400/SAT or 32/ACT and 4.0 GPA
Note: the Association Director must still complete the application on behalf of the student.

There is also a Scholarship Enhancement that increases the Fellows Scholarship award from $7,500 to $10,000 for students majoring in the mathematics, science and health fields at eligible South Carolina four-year institutions. Students must declare their major at the end of the Freshman year and meet the continuing eligibility requirements for the LIFE enhancement.

The cost of college tuition can seem very overwhelming. But, these SC State Scholarships and Grants help make the opportunity more affordable.

More about making college affordable with SC Student Loan:Have you heard of the SC Student Loan? If you have a student applying for college next year, you may need to know about this program!

LIFE and Fellows Scholarships need good ACT or SAT scores.
Improve your score with Magoosh.Magoosh SAT

About Kim Andrysczyk

Homeschool veteran, Association Director, coffee addict, sarcasm expert, and accidental blogger. I’m here to encourage you thru the tough times and inspire you toward excellence. If I can make it, so can you!

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