South Carolina Student Loans And Financial Aid Programs
South Carolina has several private student loan and financial aid programs that can help you pay for college. If you're going to be attending college in South Carolina, you need to be looking to take advantage of these programs.
These programs are designed to help make college more affordable - so that you can get the education you need. These programs can include scholarships, grants, and student loans.
Don't forget that there are Federal student loan programs available as well. You can find out more on how to get a Federal student loan here.
There is also a specific order of operations to pay for college that we recommend students follow. These programs specific to the State of South Carolina can help you to avoid borrowing more money than you need to.
South Carolina Student Loan Programs
South Carolina doesn't have any unique student loan programs to help it's students pay for college. However, there are still Federal student loans available to students who attend college in South Carolina.
If you're just looking for private student loan options, we recommend:
- Credible - Like the Kayak of student loans, they help you shop around and compare options. Try Credible here.
- Commonbond - One of the best private student loan lenders. Try Commonbond here.
If you're looking for other student loan options, make sure you read this guide on how to find the best student loan rates.
South Carolina Scholarship Programs
South Carolina has several scholarships available to students who want to attend college in the state.
Palmetto Fellows Scholarship
The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship is a merit-based program established in 1988 to recognize the most academically talented high school seniors and encourage these students to attend college in the State.
Palmetto Fellows may receive up to $6,700 their freshman year and up to $7,500 for their sophomore, junior and senior years. Half of the Scholarship is awarded in the fall term and half in the spring term.
The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Enhancement was established in 2007 to increase the number of students who major in mathematics and science in South Carolina. For Enhancement eligibility, Palmetto Fellows must declare a major in an approved math or science program.
Beginning with the Fall 2007 freshman class and thereafter, Palmetto Fellows must also successfully complete at least fourteen credit hours of instruction in mathematics or life and physical science or a combination of both by the end of the first academic year.
Eligible students may receive up to $10,000 (combined funds from the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship and the Scholarship Enhancement) per year beginning with their second/sophomore year of college enrollment
Learn more about the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship.
The Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence (LIFE) Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship program administered by the financial aid office at each eligible public and independent college and university in South Carolina.
The LIFE Scholarship may be used towards the cost of attendance for up to eight terms based on the student's initial college enrollment date. Students must be enrolled in their first one-year program, first associate’s degree, first two-year program leading to a baccalaureate degree, first baccalaureate degree, or first professional degree.
Learn more about the LIFE Scholarship.
The SC HOPE Scholarship Program was established under the SC Education Lottery Act approved by the General Assembly during the 2001 legislative session. The program is a merit-based scholarship created for students attending a four-year institution who do not qualify for the LIFE or Palmetto Fellows Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded during the freshman year of attendance only.
Learn more about the HOPE Scholarship.
South Carolina Grant Programs
South Carolina also has a grant program to provide need based financial aid to South Carolina residents.
Grants are one of the best forms of financial aid because, in most circumstances, you don't have to pay the money back.
The purpose of the S.C. Need-based grant is to provide additional financial aid to South Carolina’s neediest students. A student may receive up to $2,500 annually if enrolled full-time or up to $1,250 annually if enrolled part-time as a degree-seeking student at an eligible S.C. public institution. The funding for the grant is split in half between any two semesters out of the academic year (i.e. fall, spring, or summer), assuming continued eligibility.
You can learn more about Need-Based Grant.
If you already have student loans and are looking for options as a South Carolina resident, check out our South Carolina Student Loan Forgiveness Program page. That page has all the different options available to South Carolina residents to potentially get some of your student loan debt forgiven.
You might also look at refinancing your student loans and saving money in interest while also potentially lowering your payment. Check out our guide on the Best Places To Refinance Your Student Loans.
If you're looking for ways to save for college in South Carolina, check out the South Carolina 529 Plan and College Savings Guide.
Finally, check out the other student loan and financial aid programs by state.