Scholarships Available In South Carolina

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South Carolina College Demographics

Tanya Weigold Talks About Scholarships Available for SC Students

68% of South Carolinaâs graduating seniors in high school continue on to seek higher education. South Carolina colleges are home to 35,470 students enrolled in a diverse array of accredited schools across the state.

The undergraduate college student enrollment is 27,271, making up a majority of the total college population. Of the total students enrolled, there are 8,199 enrolled in graduate degree programs.

31,804 students, both undergraduate and graduate, are enrolled full-time in a college or university. On the other side of the coin, there are 3,666 students seeking a degree with part-time status.

The majority of the college students in South Carolina are white, making up 75.5% of the population. About 10% of South Carolina students are of African American descent, and around 5% are Hispanic. 4.1% of students identify as two or more ethnicities, and 3.8% are Asian American.

South Carolina Financial Aid: Grants & Scholarships

Looking for financial aid in South Carolina? Youre in luck! Weve gathered several resources for South Carolina financial aid that could help you get the grants, scholarships, and work-study opportunities that you need. Keep reading for more information on how to find the right scholarships and where to apply.

General Scholarships And Grants

The South Carolina HOPE Scholarship is a merit-based program that provides tuition awards to academically talented students who are not receiving other state-sponsored merit scholarships. A summary of the program recognizes the role it plays in South Carolina education. HOPE awards are:

  • Earmarked for freshman students
  • For students at four-year universities
  • Not for students that qualify for other programs like LIFE and Palmetto Fellows Scholarships.
  • For in-state attendance
  • Funded by the South Carolina Education Lottery

The Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence Scholarship provides tuition awards to academically motivated students. The program was established to assist high achievers, and to induce them to pursue higher education within the state. Talented students stay home for college when government incentives support in-state education. LIFE Awards carry these conditions:

  • Are renewable for up to eight academic semesters provided eligibility requirements are maintained
  • Partially funded by the state lottery.

The South Carolina Education Lottery provides funding for the SC Lottery Tuition Assistance Program. The initiative specifically serves as a supplemental resource for qualified applicants attending two-year institutions within the state. The program was established in 2001, and current full-time participants are eligible for awards of $936 for each academic term. Awards are subject to change, based on lottery proceeds.

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South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers’ Foundation Scholarships

Deadline: February 14th

Annually, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers’ Foundation awards one $5,000 scholarship and two $2,000 scholarships for deserving graduating high school seniors who will be continuing their education in South Carolina at any approved two or four-year institutions. For consideration, applicants should submit a completed application, official high school transcript, letter of recommendation from principal or guidance counselor, and a 1,000-word essay.


South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers’ Foundation ScholarshipsP.O. Box 210709

Scholarships And Grants For Sc Residents

South Carolina Scholarships, Full List of Scholarship Awards for SC ...

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.

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Daughters Of The Holy Cross Sara Hempley Scholarship

The Sara Hempley Scholarship offered through the Daughters of the Holy Cross provides $500 to a non-traditional student who is seeking a degree from a technical, two- or four-year college. Priority is given to students who are residents of Richland County School District and who have some degree of life and work experience beyond typical high school graduates. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and must demonstrate the ability that they can succeed in their chosen degree profession. Recipients must attend an accredited college or university, and the scholarship must be used for tuition, books, fees or equipment necessary for coursework.

You can learn more about the Daughters of the Holy Cross Sara Hempley Scholarship here.

South Carolina Need Based Grants Program

The South Carolina Need-Based Grants Program provides additional financial aid to the states neediest students. In order to be considered, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid . All other scholarships and grants must be applied to college costs first, and all grants must be applied directly to the cost of attendance. Students must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program in their first year of an undergraduate program. Students may be seeking a two- or four-year degree program or may be seeking a pre-professional certificate that may not require a bachelors degree.

You can learn more about the South Carolina Need Based Grants Program here.

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Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Program

The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship is a merit-based program established in 1988 to recognize the most academically talented high school seniors and encourage these students to attend college in the State. The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Program is administered by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. 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. Assuming continued eligibility, Palmetto Fellows may receive Scholarship funding for a maximum of eight fulltime terms of study toward their first bachelors degree at an eligible four-year institution in South Carolina. Students with a baccalaureate degree are ineligible.

For more information, please visit the Palmetto Fellow Scholarship website

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships

New scholarships available to address labor shortages
  • All U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and U.S. permanent residents individuals granted deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program 1 Indigenous individuals exercising rights associated with the Jay Treaty of 1794 individuals granted Temporary Protected Status asylees and refugees, regardless of race, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation
  • Individuals with evidence of superior academic achievement and
  • Individuals committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level in the U.S.

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Are You Ready To Find Your Fit

Whether you are a native South Carolinian resident or will be moving to the “Palmetto State” to attend higher education, it is important that you are aware of the scholarships in South Carolina that can help dramatically lower your tuition costs.

With its position in the southeastern region as one of the original colonies of the United States, South Carolina has a rich legacy for being the first to declare independence from Britain in the American Revolution. Today, South Carolina has become a prominent educational resource for providing more than sixty top-notch institutions of higher learning.

Read on to learn more about 25 of the best scholarships offered to help students and residents receive their financial independence in all academic pursuits.

Randall G Heffron Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: June 30th

In honor of his outstanding contributions to the dental profession and his commitment to becoming a top-ranked adult tennis player until his untimely death in 1994, the South Carolina Tennis Patrons Foundation offers the Randall G. Heffron Memorial Scholarship for $2,000 annually. Eligible applicants must be entering their freshman year at a South Carolina college, display a strong academic record, exhibit sportsmanship in notable tennis achievements, and compose an essay on the impact of tennis in their life.


Randall G. Heffron Memorial Scholarship18 Woodcross Drive

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Mary Dean Brewer Gold Award Scholarship

Deadline: May 1st

As part of the Girl Scouts of Eastern South Carolina , the Mary Dean Brewer Gold Award Scholarship is granted annually for up to $4,000 to an outstanding Girl Scout member who has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award and maintained a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher throughout high school. Applications must be accompanied by a personal essay, a copy of an acceptance letter from a U.S. institution, and three letters of recommendation.


Scholarships For High School Students In South Carolina

Academic Scholarship Winners (South Carolina) (08/25/2020)

Even South Carolina high school students can apply for financial aid resources. A sizable chunk of scholarships is available for high school seniors specifically since high school seniors are the high school demographic most concerned with their college education and how to pay for it.

  • Trudgers Fund Scholarship
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    William S And Elizabeth B Heath Scholarship

    The William S. And Elizabeth B. Heath Endowment Fund provides a scholarship to a qualified employee of the former Carolina Coca-Cola Bottling Company or a legal dependent of an eligible employee. A qualified employee is defined as one who worked for the former company for at least three years. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 or higher during their junior and senior years of high school. Applicants must demonstrate a high level of school and community involvement through participation in extracurricular activities. Applicants must attend an accredited college or university and must complete the FAFSA in order to qualify. If there are no applicants that fit the criteria, the scholarship may be awarded to students from the following high schools:

    • Crestwood High School

    Study Abroad & Life/palmetto Fellows

    State regulations for these state-based scholarships still apply during study abroad/study away programs. Therefore, all grades earned for courses taken while studying abroad/away must be calculated into your LIFE Scholarship GPA. These courses count toward your Palmetto Fellows credit hours with a transcript issued by a university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

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    Abney Foundation Scholarship Fund

    Deadline: November 15th

    Each year, the Abney Foundation Scholarship Fund presents up to $2,500 to hundreds of students statewide who are currently enrolled at Anderson University, Benedict College, The Citadel, Claflin University, Clemson University, Converse College, Furman University, Lander University, Medical University of South Carolina, Presbyterian College, Tri-County Technical College, University of South Carolina, Voorhees College, and Wofford College. Applicants must be South Carolina residents, have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and enroll in at least 12 credits.


    South Carolina And Student Debt

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    The average amount of debt a South Carolina student holds is $38,662. This is a few thousand dollars more than the national average, which falls around $32,731 per student. On both a national and regional level, student loan debt has been steadily increasing over the past decade.

    South Carolina permanent residents collectively hold 27.5 billion in student loan debt. A majority of these borrowers are on the younger side, typically 35 or younger. In-state residents with student loan debt make up around 14% of the state population.

    Though most residents do not currently hold student loans, the issue of student debt continues to pose significant financial challenges to many students. Out of the South Carolina students that hold student debt, 22% owe between $20,000 and $40,000.

    However, the South Carolina median household income is $10,000 less than the national median household income. As a result, it may be especially challenging for South Carolina residents with student debt to pay back their loans, despite making up a minority of the population in South Carolina.

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    Chelse Ward Elliott Memorial Scholarship

    Deadline: April 11th

    Established through the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce by Tony Elliott in honor of his wife who passed away in the spring of 2010, the Chelse Ward Elliott Memorial Scholarship is granted annually for $2,000 to Business Week students with exceptional leadership abilities who are attending a South Carolina college or university of their choice. Qualified applicants must be rising sophomores or juniors, rank academically in the top one-third of their class, and display leadership qualities through community or school activities.


    Chelse Ward Elliott Memorial Scholarship1301 Gervais Street Suite 1100Columbia, SC 29201

    Foundation For The Carolinas Scholarship

    Undergraduate students who declare a major that contributes to the arts are eligible to apply for the Foundation for the Carolinas scholarship. The scholarship is for up to $4,000, and applicants must be a college junior or senior in good academic standing.

    You can learn more about the Foundation for the Carolinas Scholarship here.

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    First Choice Member Scholarship

    First, Choice by Select Health offers a scholarship to members who have a high school cumulative GPA of 2.0 or a cumulative college GPA of 2.5. Applicants must agree to attend an undergraduate college, university, trade or vocational school accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or equivalent regional accrediting agency. Applicants must submit an official transcript and a one-page essay explaining why education is important to the applicant. The essay must address the following points

    • What they plan to study and why
    • How education will change the applicants life
    • Why the applicant needs the tuition assistance from First Choice
    • What the applicant plans to do with their education

    Applicants must also include at least one letter of recommendation from a teacher, guidance counselor, clergy member, community leader, work supervisor or someone outside of family who has known the applicant for a number of years.

    You can learn more about the First Choice Member Scholarship here.

    South Carolina Chapter Soil And Water Conservation Society Scholarship

    South Carolina Athletic Trainers

    The South Carolina Chapter Soil and Water Conservation Society offers one scholarship for $1,000 for a South Carolina resident pursuing study in the fields of conservation or natural resources. The scholarship cannot exceed the cost of tuition and books. Applicants may attend part- or full-time and may not receive the scholarship for two consecutive years. Applicants must provide an essay, GPA, list of community involvement, statement of need and an outline of their career goals.

    You can learn more about the South Carolina Chapter Soil and Water Conservation Society Scholarship here.

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    South Carolina Hope Scholarships

    Deadline: Varies

    Since it was approved by the General Assembly in 2001 for administration through the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, the South Carolina HOPE Scholarships have provided up to $2,800 annually to first-time incoming freshmen who are enrolling in a four-year public or private college in the state. To qualify, applicants must be South Carolina residents, be matriculated as a full-time degree-seeking student, and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.


    1122 Lady Street Suite 300Columbia, SC 29201

    Joye Law Firm Annual Scholarship Program

    The Joye Law Firm offers six $2,000 scholarships to graduating seniors who have achieved success in high school. An essay is required, and applicants must have applied to an institute of higher learning. Applicants must attend South Carolina High School.

    You can learn more about the Joye Law Firm Annual Scholarship Program here.

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    The South Carolina State Fairs Ride Of Your Life Scholarship

    The South Carolina State Fair annually awards 50 scholarships to South Carolina high school students planning to pursue their studies at any public or private college, university, or technical college in the state. The $6,000 scholarships are awarded at an annual rate of $1,500 and are based on academic and extracurricular achievement, communication skills, need, and completeness of the application.

    The scholarships must be used at a public or private South Carolina college, university, or technical college and may cover tuition or other educational expenses like on-campus housing, a computer, or textbooks.

    Recipients must retain a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale and enroll in no less than 30 credit hours each academic year to receive funding for that year.

    Scholarship applications are accepted annually, generally beginning on February 1 through March 15. Scholarship winners are announced in mid-May each year.

    The South Carolina State Fair, a self-supporting 5013 nonprofit organization, was organized in 1869 and is dedicated to preserving and promoting South Carolinas agricultural roots while supporting statewide education. The South Carolina State Fair has awarded nearly $4 million in scholarships since beginning the Ride of Your Life Scholarship program in 1997.

    How Many Scholarships Are Available For College Students In South Carolina

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    220 scholarships worth $597,825.00 are available for college students in SC. In addition, we encourage current college students in South Carolina to check scholarships by school and, specifically, colleges in South Carolina for more options. Here are links for scholarships at the 20 largest colleges in South Carolina:

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    Estelle Jones Memorial Scholarship Fund

    The Estelle Jones Memorial Scholarship provides a scholarship to a student who wishes to pursue a career in nursing. Applicants must be graduates of a public or private high school in Richland County. Preference is given to students who are members of Zion Damascus Church Number Two. If there are no qualified applicants from the church, the scholarship may be awarded to another applicant from the Hopkins community who satisfies all other criteria for eligibility. Applicants must demonstrate the ability to complete the degree program and must demonstrate a high-level of school and community involvement.

    You can learn more about the Estelle Jones Memorial Scholarship Fund here.

    Continuing And Transfer Student Eligibility

    • Minimum LIFE GPA of 3.0 on 4.0 scale and
    • The completion of a cumulative average of 30 credit hours per year.

    This means 60 credits after the second year and 90 credits after the third year. Note: The number of years is based on the first college enrollment after high school graduation and does not stop for nonattendance.

    • Transfer students must have high school transcripts sent to the Office of Admissions to qualify for State Scholarship consideration.

    Students who are not eligible going into fall term cannot regain eligibility until the subsequent fall term.

    Students must read the Terms and Conditions and accept the award via MyPortal .

    All state scholarship eligibility appeals are done through SC Commission of Higher Education . Information can be found on their appeal website.

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