Financial Aid and Student Loans in South Carolina

If you’re thinking about studying in South Carolina, you’ll need to give adequate forethought to planning your finances well in advance. College costs in the state average $30,768, but with careful, advanced planning, there are many options available to assist in funding your education.

As part of our state by state guide to financial aid, here we’ve put together a centralized list of scholarships, grants and student loans in South Carolina.

What Scholarship Programs Does South Carolina Have?

While the bulk of scholarships are merit-based, a few are determined by financial need.

Some scholarships are laser targeted at specific demographics, while others are open to anyone. In some cases, scholarships are only open to students of South Carolina.

You’ll generally be required to maintain a steady grade point average to qualify for a scholarship award.

We’ll now highlight just a few of these South Carolina scholarships.

South Carolina Nurse Foundation Scholarships

The South Carolina Nurse Foundation offers several scholarships targeted at nurses who have excelled in their field and shown leadership qualities. The eligibility criteria for each scholarship are different, but the aim is the same. These scholarships are designed to promote excellence in the nursing field.

Clemson University Trustee Scholarship

High school students who are going on to study at Clemson University have the opportunity of obtaining $1,000 from the Clemson University Trustee Scholarship. There are 50 awards available to students in the top 10% of their class.

Competition for these scholarships is high, so get your applications in quickly. The funds must be used to pay for tuition.

South Carolina Teaching Fellows

This incredibly lucrative scholarship is awarded to 175 high school seniors each year who are pursuing studies in education at one of eleven South Carolina colleges. Eligible applicants must have demonstrated academic excellence and will undergo a rigorous application and interview process. Successful candidates will be awarded up to $24,000 over four years, on the condition that they must agree to teach in a South Carolina public school for one year in exchange for each year in which they received the scholarship.

Harry Hampton Wildlife Fund Scholarship

South Carolina residents who are going on to study wildlife biology, forestry, environmental science, or a related field can apply for this annually-renewable $5,000 scholarship while in their final year of any in-state high school. In order to renew the scholarship for a maximum of four years, you’ll be required to maintain a GPA of at least 2.5 in each academic year. Awards are based on academic excellence, and potential recipients will be required to undergo an interview by the Fund’s board of directors, where they’ll ask about how your educational goals will further wildlife preservation.

What Grant Programs Does South Carolina Have?

Some grants require you to show financial need. Others are based on ethnic background, gender, or religion.

If you enroll in full-time education in South Carolina, you should be eligible for most grant programs in principle.

South Carolina Tuition Grants Program

Aimed at students in financial need in South Carolina.  The maximum award is $3,500.

South Carolina Need-Based Grant Program

As part of the Tuition Grants Program, full-time students can receive up to $2,500 every year and part-time students up to $1,250. Candidates must be enrolled in a public school or college.

South Carolina Lottery Assistance Program

This grant is funded by the proceeds of the South Carolina State lottery is offered to any full- or part-time student attending an accredited two-year in-state school. The grant is given based on demonstrated financial need, and up to $900 of funding can be provided—an amount that is reduced per credit-hour for part-time students.

What Student Loan Programs Does South Carolina Have?

South Carolina does have a state-specific lending program, which is worth considering in addition to federal and private lending options. 

PAL Parent and Student Loans

The state of South Carolina offers loans to parents and students, with rates starting at %2.7, which is cheaper than a federal student loan. 

These loans are issued by the U.S. Department of Education and boast the best rates for borrowing you’ll access. Federal loans are not only cheaper but more flexible than private loans. You should only go for a private loan once you’ve exhausted all other avenues.

When researching loans, look for the most competitive interest rates and the terms of repayment.

Federal Student Loans

Stick with federal student loans—it is more flexible in the repayment terms. Federal student loans often offer loan forgiveness options for students with certain eligibility, too.

South Carolina Advantage Student Loan

There are three loans offered here: immediate, interest-only, and deferred payment (co-signer required).

Federal student loans

Prospective South Carolina students can receive federal financial aid assistance by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA). 

Private co-signed student loans

There are many private student loan opportunities for those who need additional assistance on top of federal student loans. Many banks, credit unions, and dedicated lending companies offer private student loans, but almost all require a co-signer.

No co-signer student loans in South Carolina

Funding U began because we identified thousands of students who were unable to qualify for a private student loan because they didn’t have an eligible co-signer. While we’re no longer the only provider of such loans, we offer no co-signer student loans to career-focused students currently enrolled full time in college. The requirements for receiving a loan are dependent upon the GPA of the student and the graduation rate of the institution they attend. To learn more about our no co-signer student loans click here.

What Schools Does Funding U Lend to In South Carolina?

Generally speaking, Funding U’s no co-signer loans are offered to students at eligible four-year, non-profit, undergraduate degree-granting universities (which means we do not lend to for-profit schools, 2-year schools, graduate schools, or trade schools). Our eligibility requirements are based on models that aim to predict how likely a student is to graduate, and because of that we have minimum GPA requirements that students must meet and minimum 6-year graduation rates that schools must reach in order to be eligible. To find out more about how we determine our eligibility, click here.

Below is a table listing all of the schools in South Carolina that Funding U is currently lending to, with additional details on which grades we are currently lending to, based on the school’s 6-year graduation rate.

School NameFreshman
6 yr
Grad Rate
Allen UniversityNoNoNoNo3136
Anderson University (South Carolina)NoNoYesYes5975
Benedict CollegeNoNoNoNo2953
Charleston Southern UniversityNoNoNoNo4266
Citadel Military College of South CarolinaNoYesYesYes7285
Claflin UniversityNoNoYesYes5079
Clemson UniversityNoYesYesYes8393
Coastal Carolina UniversityNoNoNoNo4467
Coker CollegeNoNoNoNo3561
College of CharlestonNoYesYesYes7178
Columbia College (South Carolina)NoNoYesYes5370
Columbia International UniversityNoNoYesYes6473
Converse CollegeNoNoYesYes5672
Erskine CollegeNoNoYesYes6149
Francis Marion UniversityNoNoNoNo3965
Lander UniversityNoNoNoNo4363
Limestone CollegeNoNoNoNo3551
Morris CollegeNoNoNoNo3148
Newberry CollegeNoNoYesYes5164
North Greenville UniversityNoNoYesYes5470
Presbyterian CollegeNoNoYesYes6682
South Carolina State UniversityNoNoNoNo3469
Southern Wesleyan UniversityNoNoYesYes5377
University of South Carolina-AikenNoNoNoNo4068
University of South Carolina-BeaufortNoNoNoNo3262
University of South Carolina-ColumbiaNoYesYesYes7788
University of South Carolina-UpstateNoNoNoNo4668
Voorhees CollegeNoNoNoNo4355
Winthrop UniversityNoNoYesYes5676
Wofford CollegeNoYesYesYes8189
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