According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2017-2018 school year was $34,740 for private colleges, $9,970 for state residents at public colleges and $25,620 for out-of-state residents attending public universities. College scholarships, both big and small, can help defray that expense. With a little digging, you might be surprised how many monetary awards are available.
Each university offers several of its own general scholarships based on a student’s qualifications. In addition, the state of South Carolina provides the lottery-funded HOPE, LIFE and Palmetto Fellows Scholarships to qualified residents. Local and national organizations and companies also offer student scholarships.
It’s important to develop a list of scholarships, understand the requirements and know the deadlines.
Below is a short list to get you started.
JOE BRINSON SCHOLARSHIP
The Mount Pleasant Chamber of Commerce offers this memorial scholarship to Mount Pleasant residents to encourage and support students aspiring to a career in business.
ALLAN HAMILTON MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
Value: $1,500 first year and may be renewed by $2,000, $2,500 and $3,000 for successive years.
The Mount Pleasant Rotary Club annually awards this scholarship to an outstanding student who is a resident of the East Cooper area.
PALMETTO FELLOWS SCHOLARSHIP
Annual Value: up to $6,700 for the first year and $7,500 for each of the next three years.
Four-year value: up to $29,200.
Available to a South Carolina high school student with exemplary academic credentials.
Annual Value: $5,000.
Four-year value: $20,000.
If you meet two of the following three requirements, you are eligible for this scholarship:
- Your final, cumulative grade point average is at least a “B” (3.00).
- Your SAT score is at least 1100 on critical reading and math sections combined (ACT composite score of at least 24).
- You graduate in the top 30% of your class.
SC HOPE SCHOLARSHIP
If your final, cumulative GPA is at least a “B” (3.00) and you do not qualify for a Palmetto Fellows or LIFE scholarship, you are eligible to receive this freshman-only scholarship.
STAMPS SCHOLARS, CAROLINA SCHOLARS AND 1801 SCHOLARS AWARDS
Annual Value: $10,000-15,000.
Four-year value: $40,000-$90,000.
These awards are the University of South Carolina’s most prestigious bestowed on South Carolina residents. If you have a strong academic record and are a leader in your high school and community, USC encourages you to apply. Twenty students receive these scholarships each year.
GATEWAY TO SUCCESS SCHOLARSHIP
This College of Charleston scholarship was established to increase enrollment of first-generation, underserved and economically disadvantaged students with strong, competitive academic credentials.
EMERGING SCHOLARS PROGRAM
Annual Value: $18,800.
Four-year value: $75,000.
Clemson’s Emerging Scholars Program has made higher education a reality for students who have not seen college in their future. It establishes a college-going culture among students in families from the state’s economically disadvantaged areas.
By Tonya McGue