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State Scholarships

Many scholarships and stipends may be combined with other sources of financial assistance for which a student is eligible. However, a student may not receive more than one full-tuition University scholarship. Students who want to be considered for scholarships must be unconditionally accepted for admission prior to deadlines. USC Upstate students who are awarded scholarships or stipends are required to be in good academic standing. These students must also be free of any current discipline code violation and may not be on disciplinary probation.

Note: Scholarship information is accurate at the time of publication. Availability of funds and other factors may change.

For further information about scholarships and other financial aid, please contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at 864-503-5340.

Palmetto Fellows Scholarships*

Palmetto Fellows Scholarships are awarded to South Carolina high school students with exemplary academic credentials. The competition for these awards begins when students take the PSAT in their junior year of high school. The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (CHE) selects Palmetto Fellows based on criteria that include class rank, high school GPA, and SAT or ACT scores. Incoming freshmen may receive up to $6,700 for the first year, and up to $7,500 for each of the next three years. Renewal of the scholarship is contingent on the student meeting continued eligibility criteria established by the CHE.

South Carolina Legislative Incentives for Future Excellence (LIFE) Scholarship*

To be eligible for a LIFE Scholarship, you must be a full-time undergraduate student and meet two of the following three criteria: 3.0 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale; score at least 1100 on the SAT or 22 on the ACT; and/or rank in the top 30% of your graduating class. Additional criteria apply; please contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information. Continued eligibility is dependent on maintaining a 3.0 GPA and earning an average of 30 credit hours by the end of the first academic year.

New students may receive up to $5,000. You may receive the LIFE scholarship for no more than eight semesters. If you receive a Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, you are not eligible for a LIFE Scholarship.

Please note that the LIFE Scholarship statutes and regulations are subject to change by the South Carolina Legislature.

LIFE and Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Enhancements

LIFE Scholarship and Palmetto Fellows recipients who have completed their freshman year with 30 credit hours, 14 of them in math and/or science, and who have declared an eligible major (contact the Office of Financial Aid for a list) may receive an additional amount of up to $2,500.

South Carolina HOPE Scholarship*

The South Carolina HOPE Scholarship is a non-renewable award designed for entering freshmen who are not eligible for the LIFE or Palmetto Fellows and have a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale). Students must meet state residency requirements upon high school graduation.

Additionally, students must sign an affidavit certifying that they have not been adjudicated delinquent, convicted or pled guilty or nolo contendere to any felonies or to any alcohol or drug related offenses.

The HOPE Scholarship is valued at $2,800.

*DISCLAIMER: Changes could occur at any time for these programs. You may access the Commission on Higher Education (CHE) website or call them at 803-737-2260 for the latest information available. Awards are contingent upon the availability of funds to be appropriated by the South Carolina Legislature.