Top Scholarships for South Carolina Students to Apply in May 2024

A majority of South Carolina graduating seniors seek to attend college, which can create some financial challenges for recent high school graduates. Looking for South Carolina scholarships can be a smart way to help decrease the cost of higher education.

As tuition fees continue to increase over time, a part-time job may not be enough to offset the student loans students accumulate during their time in college. New scholarships are added regularly, providing students with exclusive financial opportunities and invaluable resources. By applying to a wide range of scholarships, students can get a head start on planning their financial futures or start to pay off their student loans.

Top 10 Scholarships for South Carolina Students

  1. Small Town, Big Dreams Scholarship: Supports ambitious South Carolina seniors accepted to a 2-4 year university or trade/vocational training program.
  2. Mo Lottie Simons BELIEVE Scholarship: For BIPOC high school seniors or undergraduate students in South Carolina with a 3.0 GPA or higher and community service experience.
  3. Ginny Biada Memorial Scholarship: Available to undergraduate students in South Carolina.
  4. Anne DiSerafino Memorial Arts Scholarship: For undergraduate students pursuing a degree in the arts.
  5. Juno Better Rates Scholarship: Open to all South Carolina students seeking better loan rates.
  6. Forget Your Student Debt No Essay Scholarship: Helps students reduce their student loan debt.
  7. Bold Turnaround Story Scholarship: For high school students who have overcome significant obstacles.
  8. Freddie L Brown Sr Scholarship: Supports high school seniors with financial need.
  9. Trudgers Fund Scholarship: For high school seniors demonstrating community involvement.
  10. Women in Tech Scholarship: Supports female students pursuing degrees in technology fields.

South Carolina and Student Debt

The average amount of debt a South Carolina student holds is $38,662, which is a few thousand dollars more than the national average of $32,731 per student. On both a national and regional level, student loan debt has been steadily increasing over the past decade.

South Carolina permanent residents collectively hold $27.5 billion in student loan debt. A majority of these borrowers are typically 35 or younger. In-state residents with student loan debt make up around 14% of the state population.

Though most residents do not currently hold student loans, the issue of student debt continues to pose significant financial challenges to many students. Out of the South Carolina students who hold student debt, 22% owe between $20,000 and $40,000.

However, the South Carolina median household income is $10,000 less than the national median household income. As a result, it may be especially challenging for South Carolina residents with student debt to pay back their loans, despite making up a minority of the population in South Carolina.

South Carolina College Demographics

68% of South Carolina’s graduating seniors in high school continue to seek higher education. South Carolina colleges are home to 35,470 students enrolled in a diverse array of accredited schools across the state.

The undergraduate college student enrollment is 27,271, making up a majority of the total college population. Of the total students enrolled, there are 8,199 enrolled in graduate degree programs.

31,804 students, both undergraduate and graduate, are enrolled full-time in a college or university. On the other side of the coin, there are 3,666 students seeking a degree with part-time status.

The majority of the college students in South Carolina are white, making up 75.5% of the population. About 10% of South Carolina students are of African American descent, and around 5% are Hispanic. 4.1% of students identify as two or more ethnicities and 3.8% are Asian American.

South Carolina Colleges

The acceptance rate at South Carolina State University is 66%. For in-state residents, South Carolina State University charges $11,060 for tuition. Out-of-state students will have to pay a higher price, at around $21,750. The average loan debt a graduate holds is about $31,000. Students who do not graduate hold an average of $11,000 in loan debt.

The average amount of financial aid provided to students is $9,703. A vast majority of the incoming freshman class is given financial aid. Out of the undergraduate students, 90% are reported to have received some form of aid to meet their demonstrated financial need.

Many South Carolina State University students pursue scholarships in South Carolina. Out of college students who applied for scholarships, applicants received an average of $9,974 per student. However, scholarship award money can range from a few hundred dollars to a hundred thousand, so the average amount received per student may not describe the experiences of most students.

Popular majors at South Carolina State University include family studies, business, criminal justice, and biology.

South Carolina University, another popular school, charges $12,688 for in-state applicants and $33,928 for out-of-state applicants. South Carolina University meets 72% of students’ demonstrated financial need.

The average amount of loan debt graduates of South Carolina University hold is $22,500. Students who do not complete their degree hold about $8,264 in student debt.

South Carolina Scholarships

Applying to scholarships by state can help increase your chances of winning money. For qualified applicants, scholarships restricted by grade level, location, or other factors can help decrease competition. Here are some opportunities to consider for those looking for South Carolina scholarships:

Additional Scholarships for Students in South Carolina to Consider

There are hundreds of scholarships available to future and current students, as well as grants to help those who have debt from the cost of college. Below is a list of additional scholarships that students in South Carolina should consider.

Scholarships for Undergraduate Students in South Carolina

Many South Carolina scholarships are available for undergraduate students, provided they are seeking a degree at an accredited college. Both merit scholarships and opportunities based on family background or income level are open to undergraduate students.

  1. Ginny Biada Memorial Scholarship
  2. Anne DiSerafino Memorial Arts Scholarship
  3. Juno Better Rates Scholarship
  4. Forget Your Student Debt No Essay Scholarship

Scholarships for High School Students in South Carolina

Even South Carolina high school students can apply for financial aid resources. A sizable chunk of scholarships is available for high school seniors specifically since high school seniors are the high school demographic most concerned with their college education and how to pay for it.

  1. Bold Turnaround Story Scholarship
  2. Freddie L Brown Sr Scholarship
  3. Trudgers Fund Scholarship

Scholarships for STEM Majors in South Carolina

STEM majors may take a few more years to complete than other majors, meaning STEM students are often in need of financial assistance. Applying for merit-based scholarships and other opportunities can help offset the cost of higher education.

  1. Women in Tech Scholarship
  2. Learner Education Women in Mathematics Scholarship
  3. Eleven Scholarship
  4. Julia Elizabeth Legacy Scholarship

Scholarships for Single Parents in South Carolina

Parents and adult students may be eligible for financial aid as well. Many donors are committed to making higher education accessible for adult learners as well as high school students. Applicants who face the challenges of being a single parent can apply to these opportunities to help pay for their degree.

  1. Saroya Byrd Legacy Scholarship
  2. Law Family Single Parent Scholarship
  3. Larry Darnell Green Scholarship

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I apply for South Carolina scholarships?

As long as you meet the requirements for any given scholarship, all eligible applicants can apply by submitting their personal information. Sometimes, a short essay regarding your educational journey or career goals is required.

To apply, start by making a profile on a scholarship platform. Recording your personal information like grade level and academic interests will help you find scholarships that match your profile. After creating a profile, many scholarships can be applied for in seconds, as any student that matches the requirements can be considered for the scholarship money.

For some scholarships, you will need to craft a short essay on the topic chosen by the donor. It may be intimidating at first, but these essays are typically relatively short and don’t require you to do any research—the point is to help the donor get to know you and your goals in life. Consider using tools like filters to narrow down your search and find scholarships that match your interests.

How do I know if I’m eligible for a scholarship?

Most scholarships will list their restrictions up-front in the scholarship description. Donors can choose to restrict applicants by various criteria, such as education level, income level, family background, academic interest, and minimum GPA. Location can also be a factor in who is eligible for a certain scholarship.

While this might seem discouraging at first, you can use scholarship restrictions to your advantage. No matter what your interest or personal history is, there is a scholarship you are eligible for.

General scholarships open to all students, or larger groups of students, will also attract more competition. The more specific a scholarship is, the greater the likelihood that you will have a chance of winning. Consider applying to both general and specialized scholarships to increase your chances of earning scholarship money.

Students with outstanding academic merit or other talents may be eligible for merit-based scholarships based on their academic performance and other skills. Extracurricular interests, such as talent in the visual arts, may also qualify you for certain financial opportunities. Consider what aspects of your life might make you eligible for certain scholarships and use the filters to search accordingly.

As long as you meet all the restrictions of a certain scholarship, you can apply. If a scholarship is designated for female high school seniors interested in STEM majors, you must meet each of those requirements. For example, a female undergraduate student in a STEM major would not be able to apply, though she meets two out of three requirements.