Scholarships & 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.
- Need-Based Aid
- Merit Scholarships
- State Grants
- Links to Area Scholarship Programs
- National Scholarship Programs and Scholarship Search Websites
Need-based financial aid is determined from a federal formula 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.
While some colleges require institutional financial aid forms, all schools will require the submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 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 is available on October 1st.
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/).
All colleges are required to provide a Net Price Calculator on their website. This tool will allow you to discover what the estimated cost of the college might be for you and your family. For more information on Net Price Calculators, visit the U. S. Department of Educations's Net Price Calculator webiste, https://collegecost.ed.gov/netpricecenter.aspx.
You may find the following websites helpful as you apply for, and consider, need based financial aid options.
https://financialaidtoolkit.ed.gov/tk/ (FAFSA Toolkit)
http://www.collegeboard.com/ (CSS Profile)
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.
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.
Other 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 may provide applications and the opportunity to qualify for outside scholarships.
State Grants: South Carolina residents who decide to attend an in-state institution (public or private) may be eligible for a Palmetto Fellows, Life or Hope 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 or Hope 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.
3. SC Hope Scholarship - Initial eligibility requirements are:
a) 3.0 GPA on the Uniform Grading Scale.
b) Not be a recipient of the Palmetto Fellow Scholarship, LIFE Scholarship, or Lottery Tuition assistance.
We have included some specific examples of area scholarships. Please visit the scholarship website for up to date eligibility criteria, application deadlines, and application materials.
Area and Local Scholarships
Awarded to college-bound students entering science and engineering fields of study who demonstrate academic excellence.
Applicants must be high school or college students who demonstrate a degree specific to international trade or engineering. Men and women are invited to apply.
Students can apply for several scholarships by completing one application.
Sponsored by Pain Specialists of Charleston for students in the lowcountry. Eligible applications must have a history of volunteering and must have plans to attend a four-year institution of higher learning.
Several scholarships offered for students who are South Carolina residents. See website for more information on the various scholarship criteria and applications.
For high school seniors residing in South Caroilan who have one or more deceased parents.
Awarded to South Carolina high school seniors. Application requirements include a creative entry about the dangers of drunk or distracted driving.
For current or rising high school seniors residing in Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester, or a surrounding county in South Carolina. To be eligible, students must participate in the South Carolina Money Rocks financial literacy summit.
For high school seniors with a strong interest in visual arts - visutal art major preferred. To be eligible, students must be residents of the East Cooper area, which includes Mount Pleasant, Isle of Palms, Sullivan's Island, Awendaw, McClellanville and Daniel Island.
For high school seniors residing in the East Cooper area of Charleston. For 2017 application information and deadlines, visit the Chamber of Commerce website.
Open to high school seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Students ages 18 years of age and older residing in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Tennessee may enters a literary work in the following categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, one-act play.
To be eligible, students must be African-American high school seniors who reside in either Berkeley, Charleston, or Jasper county and who plan to attend a 2-year or 4-year university.
Eligible candidates must be residents of West Ashley or James Island and plan to attend a private or public South Carolina college or university.
Open to high school seniors in the state of South Carolina. As part of the application, students must write a convincing argument about the importance and relevance of Holocaust education today.
Eligible students must be a member of the SC Credit Union or be eligible for membership in the SC Credit Union.
To be eligible, students must be SC residents, high school seniors and attend a college or university in the state of South Carolina. Visit website for scholarship application and deadline information.
Open to female students pursuing a degree in a STEM related field enrolling in a college or university in the state of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia or West Virginia.
Scholarship search websites can be a great tool for finding scholarship opportunities. It can also be overwhelming to sort through the amount of information that is provided on these sites. To get you started, we have included some specific examples of national scholarships with broad eligibility criteria. Please visit the scholarship website for up to date eligibility criteria, application deadlines, and application materials. For scholarships with more narrow eligibility requirements or information about additional scholarship programs, please use the resources at the bottom of this list.National Scholarship Programs
Sponsored by the American Fire Sprinkler Association. To be eligible, students read an essay and complete an online form including questions about the essay. Correct responses are entered into a scholarship drawing.
To apply, students must submit an essay on a topic related to Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead. See website for specific topics and application instructions.
Eligible students are high school seniors with a GPA or at least 2.5 and are passionate about serving the community. Scholarship application window open from October 15 to December 15 each year.
Submit a creative entry (video, poem, piece of visual art, etc.) which demonstrates how to prevent distracted and reckless driving.
Applicants must be 18 years of age or under as of October 1 in the year of application. Applications accepted in the categories of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, music, literature, philosophy and outside the box. See website for more details and application deadlines.
To be considered for scholarship, students must submit an essay in response to a prompt on efforts to reduce cyber bullying. See website for more details.
DoSomething.org Scholarships award young people, ages 13 - 25 for the social change they do in the community. To be considered in a drawing for scholarships, students must complete a specified task and upload a photo of them completing the task. See website for specific instructions.
Eligible students are scholar athletes. Scholarship deadline occurs in December of senior year.
Eligible students will have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and demonstrate attributes of leadership, drive, integrity and citizenship.
Recognizes students with demonstrated critical financial need ($55,000 or lower adjusted gross family income) who have exhibited integrity and perseverance in overcoming personal adversity. Deadline to apply, October 25.
To qualify, students submit a 30 second video essay responding to a specified prompt. See website for details.
Two scholarship programs: one program for high school seniors entering STEM fields of study; one program for non-STEM field majors.
Eligible students are those who have shown significant effort to provide solutions toward ending hunger in their communities. Annual application period October 5 - December 5.
Scholarship Search Websites