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Palmetto Fellows Scholarship

Palmetto Fellows: it's like a money tree.

The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Program is a merit-based scholarship program administered by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. A 1st year student receives, $6,700 and 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year students receive $7,500 per academic year. The scholarship must be applied directly toward the cost of attendance, less any other gift aid received. Palmetto Fellows may be supported for a maximum of eight full-time semesters of study toward the first bachelor's degree at a participating four-year institution in South Carolina.

The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education determines initial eligibility. You may review more information about the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Program at https://www.che.sc.gov.

In order to be considered for a Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, students must meet the following general eligibility requirements:

  • Attend an eligible South Carolina public or private senior college or university;
  • Be a legal resident of the state of South Carolina;
  • Have not been convicted of any felonies or alcohol/drug related convictions;
  • Be a US citizen or a permanent resident;
  • Be a full-time, degree seeking, undergraduate student in an eligible program of study;
  • Must not be a Hope or LIFE recipient; and
  • Must not be in default; owe a refund, or repayment on Federal or State financial aid.

The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education determines initial eligibility. You may review more information about the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Program at https://www.che.sc.gov.

Initial Eligibility Requirements:

  • For Early Awards: The guidance counselor / school representative must submit the application and required documentation to the Commission on Higher Education (CHE) for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship by December 15th. If the deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday the deadline is the preceding Friday (students cannot use the Early Awards criteria to be eligible for the Late Awards). Students are eligible to apply if the meet one of the following sets of academic requirements:

    (1) Score at least 1200 on the SAT (27 on the ACT) by the November national test administration, earn a minimum 3.50 cumulative GPA on the SC Uniform Grading Policy (SC UGP) at the end of the junior year, and rank in the top six percent of the class at the end of either the sophomore or the junior year.
    OR

    (2) Score at least 1400 on the SAT (32 on the ACT) by the November national test administration and earn a minimum 4.00 cumulative GPA on the SC UGP at the end of the junior year.
  • For Late Awards: The guidance counselor / school representative must submit the application and required documentation to the Commission on Higher Education (CHE) for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship by June 15th. If the deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday the deadline is the preceding Friday.  High school seniors are eligible to apply if the meet one of the following sets of academic requirements:

    (1) Score at least 1200 on the SAT (27 on the ACT) by the November national test administration, earn a minimum 3.50 cumulative GPA on the SC Uniform Grading Policy (SC UGP) at the end of the junior year, and rank in the top six percent of the class at the end of either the sophomore or the junior year;
    OR

    (2) Score at least 1400 on the SAT (32 on the ACT) by the November national test administration and earn a minimum 4.00 cumulative GPA on the SC UGP at the end of the junior year.

For continued eligibility, students must meet the following:

  • You must earn a total of 30 credit hours for each academic year (Fall, Spring, Summer). Any credit hours earned before high school graduation, hours exempted by examination, and advanced placement credit do not count towards the 30 hour requirement.
  • You must earn a minimum 3.0 USC cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale by the end of the academic year (Fall, Spring, Summer).

Palmetto Fellows Enhancement

In the 2007 Legislative Session, the South Carolina General Assembly passed legislation that increases the maximum award amounts for the LIFE and Palmetto Fellows Scholarships for students who are at least sophomores, who are majoring in approved math and science disciplines and who meet all eligibility requirements (in addition to the base Palmetto Fellows eligibility requirements):

  • Palmetto Fellows recipients with at least 30 hours who, as freshmen, earned 14 hours of math and science credits * and who are math and science majors will receive a maximum award of $10,000 per academic year.
  • Palmetto Fellows recipients with at least 30 hours who do not meet the conditions above will receive a maximum award of $7,500 per academic year.
  • Entering freshmen, regardless of major, will receive a maximum award of $6,700 per academic year.

Fourteen Credit Hour Eligibility Requirement:

All students with an initial college enrollment in Fall 2007 and after must earn 14 hours of math and/or life or physical science credits prior to the Fall semester of their second year of enrollment in order to be eligible for enhanced scholarship amounts. To satisfy the 14 credit hour requirement, the following can be used for LIFE and Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Enhancements: 

  • Exempted credit hours credited and recorded on a transcript by an eligible institution,
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP),
  • Dual enrollment
  • Courses taken during the summer session immediately prior to the student's initial college enrollment,
  • Pass/Fail courses with a grade of "Pass" (only),
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) courses and Advanced Placement (AP) courses in mathematics and life and physical sciences taken in high school in which the student scored a three or more on the advanced placement test and received college credit.
  • The 14 hours of credit can be any combination of math and/or life or physical science coursework.
  • Remedial/developmental, continuing education and non-degree credit coursework cannot be used to meet the 14 credit hour requirement.

You may access further, more detailed information and other provisions on the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education website.

Eligible Majors at USC Beaufort

The SC Commission on Higher Education has determined the following majors at USC Beaufort to be eligible for LIFE and Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Enhancements:

  • Nursing
  • Biology
  • Computational Science
  • Health Promotions
  • Mathematics

The major must be declared and entered in the USC Beaufort systems by the last day of drop/add for the fall semester for the enhancement to be awarded for the academic year. A major changed or declared after this date will not be eligible for the enhanced award for the full academic year. An eligible major changed to an ineligible major before this date will require repayment of any enhanced award amount that has been disbursed.

 A complete list of the approved majors for SC institutions can be found on the website of the SC Commission on Higher Education at https://www.che.sc.gov. A list of the math and science courses that will satisfy the 14 hours required during the freshman year is also available on this website.

If you have questions or if you need additional information, please contact the USCB Office of Financial Aid at 843-521-3104.