Global View Investment Blog

South Carolina State Scholarships: How to Have a Worry-Free Education

Higher education is a burden – and one of the most common worries – for many families, as the cost has increased in recent years. As financial advisors in South Carolina, we at Global View want to share some of the many educational resources that the state of South Carolina offers to families.

If you have a student who is looking to attend an eligible, in-state institution and is a South Carolina resident, he or she is eligible to receive state scholarships.

To be eligible for the state scholarships, it’s important to start taking your education seriously when you begin high school. During your high school career, there are a set of required courses you must complete to be eligible for high school graduation and public, in-state colleges upon graduation. You must also complete the SAT or ACT prior to graduating high school.

Below, I’ve highlighted 5 scholarships offered in South Carolina as well as their eligibility requirements and next steps. (For a breakdown of 5 other forms of educational assistance for South Carolina residents, click here.)


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1. The South Carolina HOPE Scholarship

The South Carolina HOPE Scholarship has been around since 2001 and is a merit-based award. The HOPE Scholarship is an entry-level scholarship for students entering into a four-year eligible school. The student is eligible for up to $2,800 (including a book allowance) their first academic year.

  • Eligibility: Graduate high school with a 3.0 GPA (uniformed grading policy)
  • Next Step: If the scholar earns a 3.0 GPA and completes 30 credit hours during the first year of college, he or she is now eligible for the LIFE Scholarship.

2. The LIFE Program

The Legislative Incentives for Future Excellence (LIFE) Program was created in 1998 to encourage students to graduate from college on time and be better prepared for the workforce. The LIFE Program is designed to increase higher education and South Carolina employability. A full-time student is eligible for up to $5,000 (including a $300 book allowance) each academic year (eight terms) toward the cost at an eligible four-year institution in state. For students wishing to attend a technical or two-year school, they may receive up to tuition and $300 for books at approved in-state schools.

  • Eligibility at a four-year school (must meet two of the three criteria below):
    • Graduate high school with a 3.0 GPA (uniformed grading policy)
    • Rank in the top 30 percent of their graduating class
    • Score a 1100 on the SAT or 24 on the ACT by June of their senior year*

*Only the math and evidence-based reading and writing scores of the SAT may be included.

  • Eligibility at a two-year school:
    • Graduate high school with a 3.0 GPA (uniformed grading policy)
  • Enhancements: The LIFE Scholarship award will be increased from $5,000 up to a maximum of $7,500 if you are majoring in the mathematics, science or health fields at eligible South Carolina four-year institutions. The enhancement will begin the second year of college and can be awarded for six consecutive terms. The cost of attendance for up to six consecutive terms starts the second year of college enrollment.
  • Eligibility Additions:
    • Earn 14 credit hours by the end of your first year in mathematics and/or life and physical science
    • Declare your approved major in science, mathematics or a health-related field.

3. The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship

The Fellows scholarship is the state’s oldest scholarship, dating back to 1988. The scholarship was developed to retain academic talent within the state of South Carolina. A full-time student is eligible for up to $6,700 their first academic year and increases to $7,500 the remaining years (eight terms total) toward the cost at an eligible four-year institution in state. The Palmetto Fellow does require an application unlike the other state scholarships. The application is due by April 15 in the year of graduation.

  • Eligibility at a four-year school:
    • End your junior year with a 3.5 GPA (uniformed grading policy)
    • Rank in the top 6 percent of your sophomore or junior class
    • Score a 1200 on the SAT or 27 on the ACT by November of your senior year


    • Score a 1400 on the SAT or 32 on the ACT by June of your senior year
    • Graduate with a 4.0 GPA (uniformed grading policy)
  • Enhancements: The Palmetto Fellow award has an enhancement just like the LIFE Scholarship.

4. The Lottery Tuition Assistance Program

The Lottery Tuition Assistance Program (LTAP) began in 2001. The scholarship was created to help provide assistance to residents attending a two-year school in the state. The award amount varies per year depending on the number of eligible students and funding available.

  • Eligibility:
    • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year
    • Enroll in six credit hours

5. South Carolina Need-Based Grant

The need-based grant was created in 1996 to provide assistance to the neediest students in South Carolina. Students must attend a public institution to receive up to $2,500 per year if enrolled full-time and $1,250 if a part-time student.

  • Eligibility:
    • Complete the FASFA each year
    • Enroll in six credit hours if part-time or 12 hours if full-time


For more information on the scholarships listed above, click here.



The state of South Carolina is working to support its residents and keep talent local. Not every state offers scholarships to students pursuing higher education and we must recognize this generous opportunity. Continue to strive, our academicians, to exceed to the next level and take advantage of these in-state scholarships.

If you could make attending college a worry free process for you and your children, why wouldn’t you want to? It doesn’t have to be one of the most common worries any longer!

If you are a South Carolina resident and your child wishes to pursue his or her education out-of-state, or if you live outside of South Carolina, click here to read about other ways to fund their education. Or contact one of the Global View financial advisors in South Carolina for help getting started.


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Erin Milner

Written by Erin Milner

Erin works as a paraplanner alongside our Advisors in managing client relationships and special financial planning needs, including retirement transition, education, and estate planning. Erin began working in the financial advisory business upon graduating from the University of Georgia with a BS in Financial Planning in 2015. She competed in the National Financial Planning Student Challenge in 2014. Erin is a member of the Financial Planning Association. She volunteers at Habitat for Humanity as a Financial Assessor.

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