10 South Carolina Scholarships to Save You Thousands on College
When people think about South Carolina, their thoughts often turn to the state’s beautiful beaches, lush golf courses, and lazy southern days spent swinging in a hammock—South Carolina’s Pawley Island is the home of the classic American rope hammock. It’s not all kicking back and sipping sweet tea (Summerville, SC is commonly thought of as the birthplace of sweet tea), however—the Palmetto State is also known for its rigorous colleges and universities. Helping college-bound South Carolina students cover the cost of higher education are numerous scholarships.
10 South Carolina Scholarships
Deadline: March 4
Eligibility: Graduating North and South Carolina seniors of color who are planning to pursue a degree in engineering, computer science, the sciences, accounting, finance, or business administration full-time at a North or South Carolina college
Application Requirements: Minimum 3.5 GPA
This scholarship is aimed at high school seniors who identify as a person of color from North and South Carolina who are planning to attend college full-time in one of the two states. The scholarship is available to students pursuing degrees in the following fields:
- Computer science
- Business administration
- The sciences
Finalists for the award are required to interview with the scholarship committee.
Deadline: March 25
Eligibility: College-bound high school seniors who are the spouse or dependent of a full-time CFIC member company or a student who is a part-time employee of a CFIC member company
Application Requirements: Transcript and sign off from applicant’s guidance counselor
This award provided by the Carolinas Food Industry Council (CFIC) isn’t specifically a South Carolina scholarship, as students from North Carolina can also apply. However, it’s a great opportunity for students whose parents work for a CFIC member company, or who work for a CFIC member company themselves. The CFIC awards 40 scholarships annually, with four designated to students from majority-minority high schools or those who will attend a Historically Black College or University.
Deadline: March 18
Eligibility: South Carolina resident enrolled or enrolling in an accredited school, institution,
college, or university with plans to pursue a degree related to international trade
Application Requirements: Transcript, personal statement, essay, and letter of recommendation
Despite its female-friendly name, the Charleston Women in International Trade Scholarship is available to both men and women, provided they’re seriously pursuing a degree in a field related to international trade. Applicants are required to submit a two- to four-page essay about the role sustainability will play in manufacturing, logistics, and the supply chain and provide specific examples of how it ties to South Carolina. The essay is a major factor in how winners are selected—it represents 50% of an applicant’s total score.
Deadline: January 31
Eligibility: South Carolina high school senior planning to pursue a degree in natural resources at a South Carolina college or university
Application Requirements: Transcript, SAT scores, essay, and photo
This South Carolina scholarship is an awesome opportunity for students with an interest in pursuing a degree in natural resources. Qualifying fields include:
- Wildlife biology
- Fisheries biology
- Marine science
- Environmental science
The Harry Hampton Wildlife Scholarship is renewable for up to four years, provided that the recipient maintains at least a 2.5 GPA.
Deadline: March 5
Eligibility: First choice member with a minimum 2.0 GPA (high school) or 2.5 GPA (college) attending an undergraduate college, university, or trade/vocational school accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or a comparable organization
Application Requirements: Transcript, essay, and letter of recommendation
The First Choice Member Scholarship Program is open to First Choice members, a health plan for South Carolinians, with the intent of enriching their lives. Applicants are required to submit a one-page essay detailing why continuing their education is important, what they want to study and why, how the scholarship will help them financially, and what they plan to do with their education.
Deadline: May 1
Eligibility: South Carolina seniors planning to attend a four-year college or university the following year
Application Requirements: Transcript, list of extracurricular activities, creative entry, and photo
The Joye Law Firm offers six of these generous awards annually to South Carolina seniors planning to attend a four-year college in the fall. Recipients are selected based on their school activities, positions of leadership, honors and awards, community involvement, academic performance, and professional pursuits. A creative entry responding to one of three prompts also plays a considerable role in choosing recipients. Creative entries include essays, videos, infographics, songs, and poems. Written entries are limited to 600 words and video submissions are capped at two minutes.
Deadline: November 1
Eligibility: South Carolina high school senior planning to attend an accredited institution the fall after graduation
Application Requirements: Minimum C average, essay, and three letters of recommendation
A great scholarship opportunity for South Carolina high school seniors is provided by the South Carolina Association of Educational Office Professionals (SCAEOP). The award aims to ease the economic burden of pursuing higher education. Applicants must submit an essay describing the career they’re pursuing and why they’ve chosen that path. The criteria for selecting recipients are:
- Need for assistance
- Scholastic achievement
- Quality and completeness of application materials
- Extracurricular activities
Eligibility: African American students from Richland, Lexington, and Fairfield counties enrolling in or enrolled at a South Carolina college or university
Application Requirements: Transcript, personal statement, and two letters of recommendation
The Links Scholars program was established by the Columbia, South Carolina, Chapter of Links Incorporated. The intent of the program is to assist African-American South Carolina students in the pursuit of a better future by providing financial assistance to those attending the state’s colleges and universities. Since the scholarship’s founding in 1990, the program has granted more than $200,000 in scholarships.
Deadline: March 4
Eligibility: Rising junior and senior undergraduate journalists who are South Carolina residents or students attending a four-year college in South Carolina
Application Requirements: Transcript, personal statement, minimum of six work samples, and a letter of recommendation
Aspiring journalists will want to look into this awesome South Carolina scholarship provided by the South Carolina Press Association (SCPA) Foundation. Applicants must submit samples of their newspaper work, a list of the work they’ve done on student publications, and detail any journalism-related internships, employment, or freelance work they’ve done. Students are also asked to describe their interest in a newspaper career and share what aspects of the newspaper industry they find most interesting.
Eligibility: South Carolina high school seniors planning to pursue a career as a teacher
Application Requirements: Transcript, two letters of recommendation, and SAT/ACT scores (encouraged)
South Carolinians with plans to teach as a career will want to explore this great scholarship opportunity. Each year, up to 215 students are recognized as South Carolina Teaching Fellows and receive awards up to $6,000 at a Teaching Fellows Institution (TFI). The awards are renewable for four years. In exchange for the financial assistance, South Carolina Teaching Fellows must commit to teaching one year in a South Carolina public school for every year they accept fellowship funds.
Tips on Applying to Scholarships
As college prices continue to rise, competition for scholarships has gotten fierce. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to improve your odds of winning an award.
Apply for Institutional Awards
Colleges and universities have significantly more scholarship funding than other organizations. Colleges grant $175 billion annually in scholarships compared to approximately $11 billion in scholarships awarded by outside organizations. Prioritize maximizing the amount of scholarship dollars you can get from a college before applying for outside scholarships.
Many of the nation’s best colleges and universities do not offer merit aid (awards based on the value a student brings to a college) because they do not need to compete for top students. For example, none of the Ivy League schools provide merit aid. However, other schools often offer substantial awards in order to lure high-quality candidates to their campuses. When building your college list, include a few schools where your profile is particularly strong and you have a good chance of earning an impressive award.
Private colleges commonly offer more merit aid than their public school counterparts. For example, all 50 schools on our list of the colleges that provide the most merit aid are private. Private colleges are generous with financial aid for a variety of reasons, including the need to compete with lower-priced public institutions, the desire to attract top students, and the need to avoid having empty seats.