South Carolina
State Financial Aid for Undergraduates

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The state funds five financial aid programs. The three largest programs provide merit-based aid.  Students may accept only one of the merit-based scholarships, even if they meet eligibility requirements for multiple awards.

Students may qualify for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Award by meeting one of the following set of criteria: (1) 1200 SAT or 27 ACT, 3.5 GPA and Top 6% Class Rank or (2) 1400 SAT or 32 ACT and 4.0 GPA. Freshmen may receive annual awards up to $6,700. In future years, college students may receive annual awards up to $7,500 if they maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA.

Students may qualify for the LIFE Scholarship by meeting two of three following criteria: (1) 1100 SAT or 24 ACT, (2) 3.0 GPA, and/or (3) Top 30% Class Rank. Students may receive a maximum award of $5,000 award and $300 book stipend if they maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA.

Students who do not qualify for the Palmetto or LIFE Scholarships may receive the South Carolina HOPE Scholarship with a high school GPA of 3.0.

The state’s Uniform Grading Policy calculates high school GPA based on a 0.0 to 6.0-point scale.

Palmetto Fellows and LIFE Scholars must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA and earn at least 30 credit hours at the end of each academic year to remain eligible. Palmetto Fellows and LIFE Scholars may receive an additional $2,500 enhancement in their second, third, or fourth year if they enroll in certain math and science majors (e.g., computer science, engineering, nursing, pharmacy). Freshmen must complete at least fourteen credits in math and science subjects to receive the enhancement. 

The HOPE Scholarship is a freshmen-only award. Recipients may qualify to receive the LIFE scholarship in subsequent years if they maintain a 3.0 college GPA.

The South Carolina Need-Based Grant Program provides annual awards up to $2,500 for students with demonstrated financial need. Students remain eligible if they maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA at the end of each academic year.

The Lottery Tuition Assistance Program provides supplemental aid for students enrolled at the University of South Carolina’s two-year campuses and Spartanburg Methodist College. The maximum annual award is $2,280. The program does not award grants based on merit or need.