SC State Aid
The State of South Carolina offers several types of financial aid:
The LIFE Scholarship Program was approved by the 1998 SC General Assembly. The LIFE Scholarship Program covers the amount of tuition and fees, plus an additional $300 book allowance, for eligible undergraduate students attending two-year colleges in South Carolina. Initial eligibility is based on a high school GPA of 3.0.
To receive the LIFE Scholarship, the student must:
- Complete the LIFE scholarship application and submit to the Financial Aid Office
- Not be in default on a Federal Title IV or State of South Carolina educational loan;
- Not owe a refund on Federal Title IV or State of South Carolina student financial aid program;
- Not have had any felony, alcohol, or drug-related convictions under the laws of any state or under the laws of the U.S.;
- Not be enrolled in Developmental Studies courses (100 level and below); and
- Renewal eligibility based on earning a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and 30 non-remedial credit hours per academic year.
This program assists the neediest South Carolinians who wish to attend eligible public and private colleges or universities in the state. Program funding depends upon action by the General Assembly and the amount awarded to students is contingent upon the funds appropriated to the program.
To be eligible for the Need-Based Grant, the student must:
- Have a valid Federal Student Aid Report on file in the Financial Aid Office;
- Be a legal South Carolina resident and enrolled or accepted for enrollment as at least a half-time (6 semester hours) undergraduate student in a degree or certificate program authorized by the Commission on Higher Education;
- Meet Title IV standards of academic process
- Be seeking—for the first time—an associate or other recognized credential in a one-year program as authorized by the Commission on Higher Education;
- Be enrolled half-time at the time of grant disbursement and complete 12 to 24 semester credit hours in each regular academic year (Fall/Spring semesters only);
- Must have a 2.0 GPA in each regular academic year (Fall/Spring semesters only);
- Certify that he/she has not been convicted of any felonies, alcohol, or drug-related offenses under the laws of any state or under the laws of the U.S. (student must notify the Financial Aid Office should this status change by the start of the school year); and
- Certify that he/she does not owe a refund or repayment on a State Grant, Federal Pell Grant, or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and is not in default on a loan under the Federal Perkins Loan or Federal Stafford Loan Programs.
A portion of Education Lottery revenues are used to fund tuition assistance for technical college students. The actual amount of tuition assistance available to each student will be determined each semester by the State Board for Technical Education.
To be eligible for Lottery Tuition Assistance, a student must:
- Qualify for in-state residency;
- Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); however, Lottery Tuition
Assistance is not awarded on the basis of financial need;
- Complete the FAFSA Waiver form—this form is only used for students enrolled in PACE programs, students who have earned a bachelors degree, or students who are enrolled in programs that are not eligible for Title IV aid;
- Be enrolled in a certificate, diploma, or associate degree program (continuing education programs are not eligible) and maintain enrollment of at least six credit hours each semester;
- Make clear progress toward completion of a certificate, diploma, or associate degree (maintain a 2.0 GPA after completing 24 credit hours of study);
- Must not have received Lottery Tuition Assistance for more than one certificate, diploma, or degree earned within any five-year period unless the additional certificate, diploma, or degree constitutes progress in the same field of study (as determined by the institution);
- Not be a LIFE scholarship award recipient; and
- Not be in default on any government student loan program.
Most student financial aid is awarded on the basis of financial need. Lottery Tuition
Assistance is an exception and is not awarded on the basis of financial need. To establish
need or to apply for Lottery Tuition Assistance, a student must complete and submit
the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the U.S. Department of Education
(DOE) or meet one of the qualifications to complete the FAFSA Waiver form.
To apply for financial aid, start by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.