Are you a high school or college student lucky enough to live among the palmetto trees in South Carolina? Perhaps you live in another state, but South Carolina is calling you! If so, you can pay for your college education with some of the amazing South Carolina scholarships that are available.
These awards include college-specific scholarships at SC universities as well as scholarships from private organizations. Keep on reading to learn all about the top South Carolina scholarships, including award amounts, eligibility requirements, and deadlines.
How to win South Carolina scholarships
South Carolina is home to an abundance of history and natural beauty that makes it stand out from other states. So, in order to win South Carolina scholarships, you should highlight the amazing aspects of South Carolina while simultaneously connecting back to your passions and goals.
South Carolina’s rich historical significance can be discovered by exploring local landmarks and museums. Visiting these sites and developing a deeper understanding of the state’s cultural heritage allows you to articulate your passion and knowledge within your scholarship applications.
Another unique aspect of South Carolina is its diverse range of natural wonders, from its stunning coastlines to its lush forests and mountains. This unique scenery provides the opportunity to participate in conservation efforts or to document your adventure through photography and writing. Articulating what attracts you to the place you want to learn is an extremely valuable part of scholarship applications. Ultimately, no matter your passion, it is important to connect back to how awesome South Carolina is to help you win South Carolina scholarships!
Writing resources for writing South Carolina scholarship essays
Many South Carolina scholarships may have you write an essay about yourself so be sure to familiarize yourself on some common scholarship essay prompts. Check out our guides on how to start a scholarship essay and how to end a scholarship essay to ensure your South Carolina scholarship application from beginning to end.
Additionally, read over our Scholarships360 ultimate guide to finding and winning scholarships to ensure you are well prepared to win South Carolina scholarships!
South Carolina student debt snapshot
According to the Department of Education, in total, South Carolina residents owe $28.1 billion in federal student loan debt. Student borrowers owe an average of $38,414 each (those numbers do not include private loans). Around 51.8% of loan borrowers are under the age of 35. As you are starting your higher education journey, remember that scholarships allow students to take fewer loans. Make sure that you apply to as many scholarships as you qualify for!
Keep on reading to learn more about top scholarships in South Carolina, as well as merit scholarships from colleges in South Carolina!
Merit scholarships at South Carolina colleges and universities
- Eligibility: All incoming first-year cadets are automatically considered for merit scholarships based on their standard application for admission
- Amount: $2,000 up to full tuition
- Deadline: Admission to the Citadel
- Eligibility: Academic recruiting scholarships are awarded to entering first year freshmen on the basis of their admissions applications
- Amount: $500 up to full tuition
- Deadline: Mid-May
- Eligibility: Based on academic merit or special talents
- Amount: Varies
- Deadline: Admission to the College of Charleston
- Eligibility: GPA, strength of curriculum, test scores (if submitted), essay, co-curricular activities
- Amount: Up to full tuition plus room and board
- Deadline: Mid -January
- Eligibility: A variety of scholarships are awarded based on academic performance, strength of curriculum, strength of high school, SAT/ACT scores, class rank, and leadership
- Amount: $2,500 to $25,000
- Deadline: Early February
- Eligibility: There are a number of scholarships for residents and non-residents. Some are based solely on scores/ranks, and others are based on strong academic records and leadership
- Amount: $500 up to $30,000
- Deadline: Admission to the University of South Carolina
- Eligibility: Varies however generally awards are based on academic merit, leadership and service to the community
- Amount: $5,000 up to $30,000
- Deadline: Varies depending on scholarship
Consider in-state tuition and tuition reciprocity
In-state tuition allows residents of a state to receive cheaper tuition for a college or university in their state. Additionally, many universities and colleges reserve scholarships and financial aid for in-state students, which helps reduce the cost of attending college for those who live there.
Here are a few well-known South Carolina universities and their in-state vs out-of-state tuition costs:
- In-state tuition: $12,688
- Out-of-state tuition: $33,928
- In-state tuition: $15,558
- Out-of-state tuition: $38,550
- In-state tuition: $12,518
- Out-of-state tuition: $26,298
How do you get in-state tuition?
It is clear to see that being a resident of South Carolina significantly reduces the cost of tuition! So, how can you qualify for in-state tuition at South Carolina institutions? In order to qualify for in-state tuition in South Carolina you will need to physically reside in South Carolina for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of class for the semester requested. During these 12 months, you will need to do the following:
- Establish domicile
- Register your vehicle in SC within 45 days of establishing domicile
- Obtain a SC driver’s license within 90 days of establishing domicile
- Pay and file SC income taxes
Each South Carolina institution has specific requirements for establishing residency for tuition purposes therefore reach out to your intended institution for specific details.
Does South Carolina offer tuition reciprocity?
South Carolina is a member state of the Academic Common Market, which is a limited regional reciprocity agreement among select Southern States. This means that South Carolina residents can receive favorable college tuition rates in nearby states. However, some restrictions may apply so be sure to research your intended college’s tuition reciprocity agreement terms.
South Carolina scholarship spotlight
- Eligibility: Nontraditional female students aged 25 or older and must be the primary caregiver of a K-12 child and willing to participate in the Mentors for Mom program
- Amount: Varies
- Deadline: Mid-March
- Eligibility: High-achieving high school seniors living in rural areas of the US who have demonstrated financial need
- Amount: Varies
- Deadline: December 1
- Eligibility: SC resident students planning to attend a SC college/university with a major area of study in wildlife, fisheries, forestry, biology, zoology, marine science, environmental science or related fields
- Amount: $5,000
- Deadline: End of January
- Eligibility: High school seniors and college students who submit a 500 word essay or a 3-minute video essay about a Black American who has inspired change in their life
- Amount: $1,750 up to $2,500
- Deadline: End of March
- Eligibility: Open to South Carolina high school seniors who plan to study teacher education
- Amount: Varies
- Deadline: December 1
Additional South Carolina resources
On October 1st of every year, the FAFSA opens nationwide. Students in South Carolina should apply for the FAFSA ASAP after it opens.
This is a “one-stop” shopping website of scholarships and grants for South Carolina residents. Bookmark this one!
The South Carolina Higher Education Tuition Grants Program provides need-based grant assistance to eligible full-time South Carolina students pursuing their first undergraduate degree.
The University of South Carolina system consists of eight universities. The USC system offers more than 450 degree programs on 19 campuses. This listing offers a nice snapshot of each.
Frequently asked questions about South Carolina scholarships
What type of scholarships does South Carolina offer?
Do I need to be a South Carolina resident to receive South Carolina scholarships?
Do scholarships give me money directly?
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