A college education has become a significant expense for most families and requires careful planning. Whatever your financial situation is, we encourage you to use this information to help you understand college funding so you can navigate the financial aid process with greater ease.
States provide many financial aid opportunities to help ease the cost of a college education. Please select the state you reside in to learn about state sponsored internships, scholarships and financial aid programs for undergraduate students and assistantships, fellowships, and residency programs for graduate and professional students.
For more detailed information on state financial aid programs contact:
South Carolina Higher Education Tuition Grants Commission
101 Business Park Boulevard
Columbia, SC 29203-9498
Phone: (803) 896-1120
FAX: (803) 896-1126
Please go to this website for all the information on each of the programs .
The following are financial aid programs available to students who are residents of the state of South Carolina.
(Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs)offers the students, families, educators, and communities of selected SC middle and high schools services that promote academic achievement and college awareness. SC GEAR UP is federally funded by the US Department of Education and administered by the SC Commission on Higher Education
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.
The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, in collaboration with the South Carolina Department of Education, is pleased to announce the creation of the Higher Education Awareness Readiness Transition (HEART) Award. The HEART Award seeks to recognize excellence in school counseling by identifying South Carolina school counselors with proven records of accomplishment in promoting higher education awareness.
The HEART Award is open to all school counselors working in South Carolina’s schools. Applicants should demonstrate strong professional expertise and success in preparing students for postsecondary opportunities. Successful applicants should emphasize creating a college-going culture from elementary through high school to include career exploration, appropriate course selection and planning, and the college application process (financial aid, state scholarships, grants, etc.)
Additionally, applicants must meet al of the following
Currently be employed as a full-time, fully certified school counselor
Have a minimum of three consecutive years of counseling service at the level of nomination.
Hold at least a master’s degree in school counseling.
The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Program is a merit-based scholarship program administered by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. Each Palmetto Fellow may receive a scholarship of up to $6,700 annually. Half of the scholarship is awarded in the fall term and half in the spring term, assuming continued eligibility. The scholarship must be applied directly towards the cost of attendance, less any other gift aid received. Palmetto Fellows may be supported for a maximum of eight full?time terms of study toward the first baccalaureate degree at a participating institution in South Carolina.
The financial aid office on each public college campus administers the Need-based Grant Program. The S.C. Higher Education Tuition Grants Commission administers the Need-based Grant Program for independent colleges and universities as a part of the Tuition Grants Program. A student may receive up to $2,500 annually if enrolled full-time and up to $1,250 annually if enrolled part-time. Half of grant is awarded in the fall semester and half is awarded in the spring semester, assuming continued eligibility. The college at which the student is enrolled determines the exact amount, less any other gift aid received. The grant must be applied directly towards the cost-of-attendance at the college for a maximum of eight full-time equivalent terms. 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.
Legislation that provides money for veterans to pay for tuition and fees for public, in-state schools, along with other school-related costs.
Recipients can receive paid tuition and fees for public in-state schools, a living stipend and an allowance for books and supplies (around $1,000 per year.)
Education benefits are also available for disabled veterans, and survivors and dependents of veterans.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill became effective on Aug. 1, 2009, and veterans who have served after Sept. 10, 2001, with at least 90 days of continuous service, are eligible. The bill also gives Reserve and Guard members who have been activated for more than 90 days since 9/11 access to the same benefits as active-duty soldiers.
You may also be eligible for a fee waiver at a public college if you have financial need and are the child or dependent of a service-connected disabled or deceased veteran, or the recipient or the child of a recipient of a Congressional Medal of Honor.
For more information, contact your college’s veteran affairs office or the local office of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs at (888) 442-4551, or go to gibill.va.gov.
(money you have to repay later)
Federal Perkins Loans are made through participating schools to undergraduate, graduate and professional degree students, both full-time and part-time, who demonstrate financial need. These particular loans are repaid to your school.
Stafford Loans are for undergraduate, graduate and professional degree students. You must be enrolled as at least a half-time student to be eligible for a Stafford Loan. Stafford Loans are either subsidized and unsubsidized, meaning the government either pays the interest during school or it doesn’t. Financial need is not a requirement to obtain an unsubsidized Stafford Loan, but you are responsible for paying the interest that accrues on unsubsidized Stafford Loans.
PLUS Loans (Direct or FFEL) are loans parents can obtain to help pay the cost of education for their dependent undergraduate children. In addition, graduate and professional degree students may obtain PLUS Loans to help pay for their own education.
Consolidation Loans (Direct or FFEL) allow student or parent borrowers to combine multiple federal education loans into one loan with one monthly payment.
Every year, millions of students take advantage of the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program, holding down jobs both on-campus and off-campus. If you’re eligible for work-study, a school will figure it in on your financial aid award letter. Work-study is a great way to help pay for tuition, books, and room and board — and the possibilities are endless. You could take a service-related job at a local community center, or work in an academic department at your school. If you’re a night owl, you could work a late shift in the library. If you’re an early riser, you could help serve breakfast in the student commons. And while the total amount you make can’t exceed your work-study award for the year, it’s smart to make the most you can. Work-study can also be a good distraction during a tough day of classes and studying. If work-study is part of your award, it means the money has already been set aside for you, so don’t miss out. Get to work!
The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program gives part-time jobs to undergraduate and graduate students with financial need. You can work to make money to pay for education expenses, including tuition, books, and room and board. If you are eligible, your college or university will include work-study in your financial aid award letter.
The FWS program encourages community service, as well as work related to what you’re studying in school. You’ll make at least the current federal minimum wage. Some earn more, but it depends on what you’re doing and what skills are required.
Your total award will depend on when you apply, your level of financial need and the funding level of your school. If you’re an undergraduate, you’ll be paid by the hour. If you’re a graduate student, you might receive a salary. Either way, your school must pay you at least once a month. Also, your school must pay you directly.
FWS jobs can be on or off campus. If you work on campus, you’ll usually work for your school. If you work off campus, you will usually work for a private non-profit organization or a public agency. Generally, the work performed off campus must be in the public interest, which means it must benefit some portion of the general public.
You can’t earn more than your total award. Also, when scheduling your work, your employer or financial aid administrator will look at your class schedule and your academic progress to make sure you’re keeping up in school and maintaining a good balance between work and study.
The HSC tax credit is worth up to $1,500 per year for each student. There is a 100% tax credit for the first $1,000 paid for qualified expenses, and a 50% tax credit for the second $1,000.
You may claim HSC for two years. You must be in your first or second year and enrolled at least half time for one period of the tax year. You qualify by paying tuition and fees for yourself (if independent), your spouse, or a dependent child.
Your student activity fees, athletic fees and other expenses do not count toward your credit. Any grants and scholarships you have will reduce the tuition and fees used to determine your credit. Eligibility also decreases for modified adjusted gross incomes (AGIs) between $40,000 – $50,000 (filing single) and $80,000 – $100,000 (married, filing jointly.
The LLC can save you up to $1,000 per year in federal taxes. There is a 20% tax credit for the first $5,000 paid for qualified expenses. After 2002, a 20% tax credit on the first $10,000 paid. There is no limit on number of tax years you may claim LLC.
The LLC is available to college juniors, seniors, graduate and professional students, as well as to students taking individual classes to improve job skills. You qualify by paying tuition and fees for yourself (if independent), your spouse, or your dependent child. Your student activity fees, athletic fees and other expenses do not count toward your credit. Any grants and scholarships you have will reduce the tuition and fees used to determine your credit. Eligibility also decreases for modified adjusted gross incomes between $40,000 – $50,000 (filing single) and $80,000 – $100,000 (married, filing jointly).
Parents, grandparents and other family members can deposit up to $500 per year into an IRA for a child under age 18. There are certain income limits above which contributions can’t be made. These education IRAs grow tax-free.
You can deduct interest on loans borrowed to meet college expenses when you file your tax returns. These deductions are for interest payments made during the first 60 months (5 years) in which interest payments are required.