Scholarship & Financial Aid

There are two basic types of financial assistance available to students who are searching for help with college costs – need-based financial aid and merit scholarships.

Merit Scholarships: Merit Scholarships are scholarships awarded to students on the basis of their academic achievement or a special talent or skill. Scholarships may be offered by the college or university itself or awarded through outside organizations (such as corporations or state and local organizations). These scholarships are usually competitive in nature and can require additional paperwork and requirements. Each scholarship has its own deadlines and dollar amounts vary.

State Grants: South Carolina residents who decide to attend an in-state institution (public or private) may be eligible for a Life Scholarship or a Palmetto Scholarship. The requirements for these awards seem to vary slightly from year to year, as does the award. As information unfolds for next year, information will be made available to students. There is not a separate application required for the Life Scholarship – colleges determine your eligibility based on your final GPA as computed based on the South Carolina Uniform Grading Scale.

   1. Palmetto Fellows – Students must meet the following three criteria to be eligible:

      a) Score at least 1200 on the SAT or 27 on the ACT.

      b) Earn a cumulative 3.50 GPA on the Uniform Grading Scale.

      c) Rank in the top six percent of the class.

   2. Life Scholarship – Students must meet at least two of the following criteria to be eligible:

      a) 3.0 GPA on the Uniform Grading Scale.

      b) 1100 SAT or 24 ACT.

      c) Top 30 percent of graduating class.

ROTC Scholarships : Many scholarship opportunities are available through Army, Air Force, Marine, and Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps. A student who is thinking of a career in the military or who wants leadership experience should consider applying.Outside Scholarships : Many organizations and foundations offer scholarships for students attending college. Conducting a search for scholarships in the community, through your church, or on the web ( www.fastweb.com ) may provide applications and the opportunity to qualify for outside scholarships.

SCHOLARSHIP AND FINANCIAL AID

http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/(FAFSA online)

http://www.finaid.org/(good info on financial aid, scholarships and scams!)

http://www.fastweb.com/(GREAT scholarship search site!)

http://www.fastaid.com/(scholarship search service)

* Scholarship applications are kept on file in the College Counseling Center

Need-Based Financial Aid

Need-based financial aid is determined from a federal formula (using the FAFSA form – see below) and is primarily based on what a family can reasonably be expected to contribute to their child's college education. Using the family's contribution, the college will come up with a financial aid package which can be made up of grants, work-study, loans, and scholarships.

The FAFSA gives you access to federal loans and college work-study, and this form is used as the primary financial aid form for most colleges. This form is processed without a fee and should be filed as soon after January 1 as possible. The CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE is a supplemental aid application required by many institutions in addition to their own form and/or the FAFSA. The College Scholarship Service of the College Board administers the Profile; students must pay a registration fee as well as a processing fee for each college aid application. The Profile should be filled out early in the application cycle and in accordance with the colleges' financial aid application requirements. Both the FAFSA and the Profile can be submitted online ( www.fafsa.ed.gov and http://www.collegeboard.com/).