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Scholarships & Grants

Scholarships and Grants Administered by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education

Palmetto Fellow Scholarship

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. Palmetto Fellows may receive up to $6,700 their freshman year, and up to $7,500 for their sophomore, junior and senior years. 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 (8) full-time terms of study toward their first bachelor’s degree at an eligible four-year institution in South Carolina.

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. Students must meet one of the following set of academic criteria in order to be eligible to apply for the early awards (students cannot use the early awards criteria to apply during the final awards):

LIFE Scholarship

To be eligible for the LIFE Scholarship, a student must have graduated from a South Carolina high school on or after May 1995, be a full-time degree-seeking student at an eligible institution within two years and three months of high school graduation; be a South Carolina resident for in-state purposes at the time of enrollment at the institution; and have not been convicted of a felony or have an alcohol/drug conviction. Initial eligibility at four-year institutions. Student must meet two of the following criteria: Earn at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA based on the S.C. Uniformed Grading Policy (UGP) upon high school graduation; rank in the top 30% of the graduating class; and/or score at least 1100 on the SAT or 24 on the ACT through June of their senior year. The amount of the scholarship is 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 is 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. Please ask your high school counselor or contact the Financial Aid Office at Claflin for further information.

S.C. HOPE Scholarship

Available to first-time freshmen only. Eligibility requirements for the S.C. HOPE Scholarship include: Student must earn a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA on the S.C. Uniformed Grading Policy upon high school graduation; be a S.C. resident at the time of high school graduation and college enrollment; not be recipients of the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, LIFE Scholarship or Lottery Tuition Assistance; and meet all general eligibility criteria. The amount of the scholarship is up to $2,800 (including a $300 book allowance) toward the cost of attendance. Funding is up to two (2) consecutive terms.

LIFE & Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Enhancements

Recipients of the Palmetto Fellows and LIFE Scholarships attending eligible four-year institutions in S.C. may qualify for up to up to $2,500 in additional funds beginning with their sophomore year. Funding would be 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.

For eligible majors,courses and institutions, visit the Commission’s website at www.che.sc.gov.

Claflin Presidential Scholars Program

This four-year scholarship is valued at the full cost of tuition, room, board, textbooks and a monthly stipend. Outstanding high school seniors who are committed to academic excellence and who plan to pursue graduate or professional studies after graduating from Claflin are invited to compete for this scholarship. A limited number of freshmen may receive Presidential Scholarships each year. Awards will be made on the basis of academic achievement, leadership potential, involvement in extracurricular activities, community service and character. To be considered for this prestigious scholarship, an applicant must score at least 1200 on the SAT or achieve an equivalent score of 27 or higher on the ACT. The candidate must indicate on the application form a desire to be considered for admission into the Honors College and this scholarship, as well as submit supporting materials. An interview may be requested by the President and the Selection Committee.

Claflin Honors College Scholarships

The Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College offers a number of four-year scholarships ranging in value from $2,000 to the full cost of tuition, room and board. These competitive scholarships are awarded annually to select incoming freshmen on the basis of academic achievement, leadership potential, involvement in extracurricular activities, community service and character. To be considered for one of these scholarships, a potential student must score at least 1000 on the SAT or attain an equivalent score of 21/22 or higher on the ACT. The candidate must indicate on the application form a desire to be considered for admission into the Honors College and for one of these scholarships. An interview may be requested by the Selection Committee.

Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship

A federally-funded scholarship program, the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship was initiated in South Carolina in 1987. Federal regulations mandate that $1,500 non-renewable scholarships (now $1,121 and renewable) be awarded nationwide to qualified high school seniors from a representative population of each state. The federal mandate for selection includes stipulations that students must: (1) demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and (2) show promise of continued academic achievement.

The total number of scholarships for South Carolina students is determined by the federal government. For the purpose of these regulations, the six congressional districts in South Carolina shall be used as a basis for ensuring proportional distribution. 

Other Scholarships

A number of privately funded scholarships are available through the University and other outside resources. Interested students may contact the Leadership Development Office in Tingley Hall or the Scholarship Coordinator in the Office of Student Financial Aid located in Corson Hall for details.

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