COLUMBIA, SC (May 20, 2008) - The end of academic year 2007-08 is fast approaching for high school students across South Carolina. Many of these young adults are preparing for the next step in their life by planning to attend higher education institutions in South Carolina with the help of some form of financial assistance. To find out which types of financial aid they are eligible to receive, students must do their research and fill out all necessary paperwork.
Proceeds from the South Carolina Education Lottery (SCEL) fund a wide range of scholarships, grants and tuition assistance for S.C. residents attending a higher education institution in the Palmetto State. From 2002 through academic year 2005-06 (the last year numbers are available), SCEL has funded over 488,000 scholarships.
Through June 2008, the S.C. General Assembly has appropriated more than $929 million from the Education Lottery Account (ELA) to fund scholarships for students enrolled at eligible two-year and four-year public and independent institutions within the state.
Financial aid provided through lottery proceeds includes six different scholarships and grants. With the exception of the S.C. Need-based Grant and S.C. National Guard College Assistance Program, a student can only be eligible and receive one of the following during a given academic year: Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, LIFE Scholarship, S.C. HOPE Scholarship, or Lottery Tuition Assistance.
The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship must be applied for and, if offered, the student must return the scholarship acceptance form to the Commission on Higher Education (CHE). Students must accept the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship with CHE and the financial aid office of the institution they plan to attend.
For both the LIFE and the S.C. HOPE scholarships, the college financial aid office awards eligible students and a separate application is not required. Once a student has received either the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship or the LIFE Scholarship, he/she may also qualify for additional aid through Scholarship Enhancements. A student may receive the Scholarship Enhancement beginning with the sophomore/second year of college enrollment, if the student earns at least 14 credit hours of approved math and science courses during the freshman/first year and has a declared major in one of the eligible math or science programs.
The first step toward qualifying for Lottery Tuition Assistance or a S.C. Need-based Grant is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Each semester, students must also enroll in at least six credit hours and be seeking a degree. More information about the FAFSA is available at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.
The S.C. National Guard College Assistance Program requires that the student join the National Guard and have not received a full ROTC Scholarship. A new application is required each year.
Students are encouraged to request financial aid information from their high school guidance office and the financial aid office of the institution they plan to attend. Links to financial aid offices for S.C. public colleges are available at http://www.che.sc.gov/StudentServices/InstFALinks.htm. Students may call the CHE toll-free hotline at 877-349-7183, which is open during regular business hours and from 5:30–8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. Detailed information is also available on CHE’s website at www.che.sc.gov.
Since the Lottery’s inception in 2002, the S.C. General Assembly has appropriated more than $1.74 billion from the ELA toward educational programs, including K-12 programs, the Endowed Chairs Program, and higher education scholarships. To learn more about how education is winning, visit the South Carolina Education Lottery’s website at www.sceducationlottery.com.
For More Information
Contact: Julie E. Huffman
SCEL Beneficiary Communications Coordinator
Cell: (803) 667-2848