State Grants for South Carolina College Students

Students are often worried about how they will be able to afford the expensive cost of tuition needed to attend college. However, state grants can help make earning a degree much more affordable. And the state of South Carolina actually offers quite a few scholarships and grants you may be eligible for. We cover them below plus give you some resources to find additional information.

The University of South Carolina -- Columbia is ranked the 22nd best colleges in the southeast.

South Carolina State Grants

1. South Carolina HOPE Scholarship Program

Also simply known as SC Hope, the South Carolina HOPE Scholarship Program is a merit-based scholarship for first-year college students only. Students can be awarded up to $2,800 to be put towards college expenses and books. 

In order to be eligible, students must:

  • Not be qualified for other South Carolina programs including LIFE, Lottery Tuition Assistance, or Palmetto Fellows Scholarships
  • Be attending an eligible college or university in the state
  • Be working towards their first degree
  • Have a 3.0 GPA upon graduation from high school or higher
  • Earn at least 30 credit hours by the end of their first year
  • Check with their participating college for any other requirements

Students who complete and meet the various criteria will be eligible for the LIFE Scholarship Program the following year.

Lendkey company logo.

97% borrower satisfaction shows our best in class customer service

Variable rates as low as 1.13% - 11.23% APR with auto-debit

Learn More

2. Life Scholarship

The Life Scholarship is another college state grant in South Carolina that is merit-based. Eligible students can receive up to $5,000 depending on the school they decide to attend. Those attending a four-year institution may also receive an additional $2,500 if they qualify for the LIFE Scholarship Enhancement.

Some eligibility requirements include:

  • Be attending a participating school in South Carolina
  • Be working towards their first degree
  • Must not currently be receiving the SC Hope Scholarship, Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, or Lottery Tuition Assistance
  • Have a 3.0 GPA or higher upon graduation from high school 
  • Earn at least a 1100 on the SAT or a 22 on the ACT
  • Place in the top 30% of their graduating class

The award can be renewed for up to 8 terms for students who are earning their first Bachelor’s.

3. Lottery Tuition Assistance

The South Carolina Lottery Tuition Assistance program is a need-based grant that can offer up to $80 per credit hour. Students can only accept this money if they have also accepted any federal grants and the South Carolina Need-Based Grant. 

To apply, students should:

  • Complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year
  • Be attending college for at least 6 credit hours
  • Be attending a two-year college or institution
  • Not currently be enrolled in the SC Hope, Palmetto Fellows, or LIFE Scholarships
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Have at least a 2.0 GPA after completing 24 credit hours

4. And More

These are by no means the only scholarship and grant programs within South Carolina for those interested in attending college. Other merit and need-based awards you should look into include the

  • Palmetto Fellows Scholarship
  • South Carolina Need-Based Grant
  • South Carolina National Guard College Assistance Program (SCNG CAP)
  • Nursing Educator Tuition Reimbursement
  • Free Tuition for Residents Over 60
  • South Carolina Workforce and Industry Needs Scholarship (SC WINS)

Where Can You Find More Information on South Carolina State Grants?

For more information about South Carolina’s grants and scholarships for college, we recommend heading over to the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. There students can discover more information about eligibility requirements, award amounts, and applications. The website is also home to other resources students and their families may find come in handy including tips for applying to college, tuition agreements, out-of-state tuition rate programs, earning trends for graduates within South Carolina, student transfers, and more.

Affording college can feel like an uphill battle, but knowing that there are grants can help reduce the burden of cost. If you’re attending college in another state, head over to our master list of State Grants to identify the best resources and programs for your future.

Scholarships are a great way to make college more affordable, but if you’re not sure how to find them, we can help. College Raptor offers a free Scholarship Database to help you find the awards you qualify for. Use it for free today and start applying for free money to help pay for college!

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Join thousands of students and parents learning about finding the right college, admissions secrets, scholarships, financial aid, and more.