• SC Educational Scholarship Information


    Scholarships and Grants from SC

    (Administered by the SC Commission on Higher Education)



    The Student Services Division of the SC Commission on Higher Education is responsible for coordinating activities including:

    LIFE Scholarship
    Palmetto Fellows Scholarship
    LIFE & Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Enhancements
    SC HOPE Scholarship
    Lottery Tuition Assistance
    SC Need-based Grant
    Veteran Education and Training Benefits
    Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness forUndergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)
    Higher Education Awareness Program (HEAP)

    For detailed information about the scholarship and grant programs administered by the SC Commission on Higher Education: Visit our website at www.che.sc.gov or call us at 803-737-2260 or toll-free at 877-349-7183. \

     LIFE Scholarship

    The General Assembly established the Legislative Incentives for Future Excellence (LIFE) Program in 1998 to increase access to higher education, improve employability of South Carolina’s students, provide incentives for students to be better prepared for college, and to encourage students to graduate from college on time. Eligible full-time students may receive the following:

    ♦ Up to $5,000 (including a $300 book allowance) each academic year toward the cost of attendance at an eligible four-year institution in S.C. Funding limited to eight (8) consecutive terms for the first bachelor’s degree or ten (10) consecutive terms for the first approved five-year bachelor’s degree

    OR

    ♦ Up to the cost of tuition plus a $300 book allowance each academic year at an eligible technical college in S.C. At the eligible two-year public and independent institutions in the State, students may receive up to the cost of tuition at the USC’s Regional Campuses. Funding limited to two (2) consecutive terms for the first one-year program or four (4) consecutive terms for the first associate's degree program or

    a two-year program that is acceptable as full credit toward a bachelor’s degree

    Initial Eligibility at Four-year Institutions:

    Students must meet two of the following three criteria:

    1. Earn at a least a 3.0 cumulative GPA based on the SC Uniform Grading Policy (UGP) upon high school graduation
    2. Rank in the top 30 percent of the graduating class

    3. Score at least 1100 on the SAT (or 24 on the ACT) through June of the senior year. For the SAT, only the Math and Critical Reading subsection scores can be used’

    Initial Eligibility at Two-year Institutions:

    ♦ Graduate from high school with at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA based on the SC UGP

    Additional Eligibility Requirements:

    ♦ Must be SC residents at the time of high school graduation and college enrollment

    ♦ Must not be recipients of the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, SC HOPE Scholarship or Lottery Tuition Assistance within

    the same academic year

    ♦ Must meet all general eligibility criteria

    There is no separate application required for the LIFE Scholarship. The eligible institution will notify students if they qualify for the Scholarship.

    Palmetto Fellows Scholarship

    The General Assembly established the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Program in 1988 to retain academically talented high school graduates in the State through awards based on merit. Full-time students awarded the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship who attend an eligible four-year institution in the State may be eligible for the following:
    ♦ Freshman may receive up to $6,700 during the first year of college enrollment . Sophomores, juniors and seniors may receive up to $7,500 per year.
    ♦ The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship must be applied directly toward the cost of attendance, less any other gift aid received.
    ♦ Assuming continued eligibility, the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship is limited to eight (8) consecutive terms for the first bachelor’s degree program or ten (10) consecutive terms for the first approved five-year bachelor’s degree program


    Initial Eligibility Requirements:

    Applications for early awards must be submitted to the Commission on Higher Education for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship by the date established in December each academic year. High school seniors may apply if they meet one of the two following sets of academic requirements:
    ♦ Score at least 1200 on the SAT (27 on the ACT)1 by the November test administration, earn a minimum 3.50 cumulative GPA2 on the SC Uniform Grading Policy (UGP) at the end of the junior year, and rank in the top six percent3 of the class at the end of either the sophomore or the junior year
    OR
    ♦ Score at least 1400 on the SAT (32 on the ACT)1 by the November test administration and earn a minimum 4.00 cumulative GPA2 on the SC UGP at the end of the junior year

    Applications for final awards must be submitted to the Commission on Higher Education for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship by the date established in June each academic year. High school seniors may apply if they meet one of the following sets of academic requirements:
    ♦ Score at least 1200 on the SAT (27 on the ACT)1 by the June national test administration of the senior year; earn a minimum 3.50 cumulative GPA2 on the SC UGP at the end of the senior year, and rank in the top six percent3 of the class at the end of the sophomore, junior or senior year.
    ♦ Score at least 1400 on the SAT (32 on the ACT)1 by the June national test administration and earn a minimum 4.00 cumulative GPA2 on the SC UGP at the end of the senior year.
    For application information, please contact your high school guidance counselor if you meet the above criteria.
    Note: 1.  The score on the SAT must be calculated by using the highest Math score combined with the highest Critical Reading score (formerly know as the Verbal score). Students cannot use the Writing subsection score to meet the minimum SAT score. 2. GPAs must be reported with at least two decimal places and cannot be rounded. 3.  Rank is calculated by multiplying the number in class by six percent. If the result is not a whole number, then round up to the next whole number of students.

    Lottery Tuition Assistance

    The Lottery Tuition Assistance Program was established under the SC Education Lottery Act in 2001. Actual award amounts are dependent upon the number of students eligible and the amount of funding available each academic year.
    ♦ Must complete and file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year or complete a FASFA Waiver (only available to certain students).
    ♦ Must be enrolled as a degree-seeking student in a minimum of six credit hours each term.
    ♦ Must not be recipients of a LIFE, Palmetto Fellows or SC HOPE Scholarship during the same academic year (fall, spring, or summer terms);
    ♦ Must not receive Lottery Tuition Assistance for more than one certificate, diploma or degree awarded within any five-year period unless the additional certificate, diploma or degree constitutes progress in the same field of study;
    ♦ Must meet all general eligibility criteria.

    Recipients of the Palmetto Fellows and LIFE Scholarships attending eligible four-year institutions in S.C. may qualify for:
    ♦ Up to $2,500 in additional funds beginning with their sophomore year
    ♦ Up to six (6) consecutive terms toward the first bachelor’s degree or eight (8) consecutive terms toward the first approved five-year bachelor’s degree

     Eligibility Requirements:
    ♦ Be a recipient of the LIFE or Palmetto Fellows Scholarship.
    ♦ Earn at least 14 credit hours of instruction in approved mathematics or life and physical sciencesor a combination of both by the end of the first year of college enrollment.
    ♦ Declare an approved major in science or mathematics. For eligible majors, courses and institutions, visit the Commission’s Web site at www.che.sc.gov

    SC Need-Base Grant

    The General Assembly established the S.C. Need-based Grant Program in 1996 to provide additional financial assistance to South Carolina’s neediest students. Eligible full-time students may receive the following:

    ♦ Up to $2,500 per year if enrolled full-time or up to $1,250 per year if enrolled part-time
    ♦ Up to eight (8) full-time equivalent terms of funding
    ♦ Foster care youth may receive the maximum award in addition to Need-based Grant funds specifically for foster care youth. Youth must self-identify by May 1st.

     Initial Eligibility Requirements: ♦ Must complete and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year
    ♦ Must be enrolled and attending or have completed at the time of the grant disbursement a minimum of six credit hours if part-time or twelve credit hours if full-time for the term
    ♦ Must meet all general eligibility criteria

    SC HOPE Scholarship

    The SC HOPE Scholarship was established under the SC Education Lottery Act in 2001. It is a one-year merit–based Scholarship created for first-time entering freshman attending eligible four-year institutions in S.C. Eligible full-time students may receive the following:
    ♦ Up to $2,800 (including a $300 book allowance) toward the cost of attendance
    ♦ Up to two (2) consecutive terms of funding

    Initial Eligibility Requirements:
    ♦ Earn a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA on the SC Uniform Grading Policy upon high school graduation
    ♦ Be SC residents at the time of high school graduation and college enrollment
    ♦ Not be recipients of the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, LIFE Scholarship or Lottery Tuition Assistance
    ♦ Meet all general eligibility criteria.

    There is no separate application required for the SC HOPE Scholarship. The eligible four-year institution will notify students if they qualify for the Scholarship.