SC Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Guide: Navigating Eligibility and Applications

The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship is a prestigious award designed to provide financial assistance to high achieving South Carolina high school students who plan to attend college within the state. Recognized for rewarding academic excellence, this scholarship aims to retain talented individuals within South Carolina by supporting their higher education endeavors at eligible four-year institutions. The scholarship not only eases the financial burden of college expenses but also promotes scholarly pursuits in critical fields like mathematics and science through additional incentives.


Understanding the eligibility requirements is crucial for applicants who wish to secure the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship. The scholarship criteria not only include excellent academic records but also set benchmarks for standardized test scores and high school rankings. Furthermore, maintaining the scholarship throughout the college requires students to meet certain academic standards each year, ensuring they remain on a path of educational success. This structured approach encourages recipients to sustain their academic performance and ultimately contributes to their professional and personal growth post-graduation.

Key Takeaways

  • The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship financially supports exemplary South Carolina students attending in-state colleges.
  • Recipients must meet defined academic criteria for initial and continued eligibility.
  • The scholarship incentivizes students to excel in college and thus enriches the educated workforce within the state.

Eligibility Criteria

The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship is a prestigious award managed by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, designed to recognize academically talented South Carolina high school students and encourage them to attend college within the state.

Academic Requirements

To qualify for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, students must meet specific academic criteria. At the time of High School Graduation, applicants should have:

  • A minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  • A minimum SAT score of 1200 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Math sections, or an ACT composite score of 27.
  • Ranking in the top 6% of the class at the end of either the sophomore or the junior year.

Each applicant’s high school guidance counselor or a representative from the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships must verify the academic credentials.

Application Process

School Counselors play a crucial role in the application process for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship. Students must:

  1. Ensure they are on track to meet the academic requirements.
  2. Obtain a certification from their counselors to confirm eligibility.

The final application, including all required documents and endorsements, must be submitted through the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships. Kathryn Harris, as a representative of the Education body, advises students to begin the process early to ensure a complete and timely application.

Scholarship Benefits

The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship provides substantial financial awards and covers multiple years of undergraduate study for eligible South Carolina students, promoting academic excellence and retention within the state.

Financial Support

The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship offers significant monetary assistance to high-achieving students. Freshmen can receive up to $6,700, with the amount increasing to $7,500 for Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Enhancement can further augment this amount by $2,500 provided students meet specific criteria, such as enrolling in science or mathematics majors and maintaining the necessary credit hours.

Duration of Scholarship

Eligible recipients can benefit from the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship throughout their undergraduate academic journey. To maintain the scholarship, they must meet the Credit Hour Requirement, which stipulates the completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours each academic year. This ensures that students remain on track for graduation, with continued support through their Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years.

Academic Pursuits

The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship supports academically distinguished students in pursuing various fields of study at participating South Carolina institutions. Scholarship recipients must adhere to certain academic criteria, with a focus on credit hour completion and approved study programs.

Approved Study Programs

Recipients of the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship are encouraged to enroll in approved study programs that prioritize areas of significant academic demand and workforce need in South Carolina. Such programs often include, but are not limited to, Mathematics, Physical Science, and Nursing. Students pursuing these and other critical disciplines may access additional funding beyond the base scholarship amount to support their academic endeavors.

Credit Hour Policy

The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship enforces a strict Credit Hour Requirement policy. Students must earn:

  • A minimum of 30 credit hours each academic year (fall, spring, summer),
  • Maintain a 3.00 cumulative GPA.

If a student drops or withdraws from a class, it could impact their scholarship status. There are some scenarios, such as exempted credit hours, which can accommodate for hardships or exceptional circumstances, but students should understand that these are exceptions and not the rule.

Scholarship Maintenance

Maintaining the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship requires students to meet specific criteria throughout their education. Key factors include sustaining a requisite cumulative grade point average (GPA) and meeting credit hour requirements each year.

Grade Point Average

To retain the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, students must uphold a minimum cumulative GPA. For the initial year, it’s imperative they achieve a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale by the end of the academic year. In subsequent years, the scholarship demands the maintenance of a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA at the end of each academic year.

Credit Accumulation

Alongside the GPA, credit hour accumulation is critical. Recipients of the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship must earn a minimum number of credit hours each academic year. They are required to accumulate at least 30 credit hours by the end of the first year. This equates to an average of 15 credit hours per semester, which ensures students are on track for a timely graduation.

Additional Resources


Navigating financial aid can be complex, and the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship program offers a range of resources to help students and their families. It’s important for potential recipients to know who to contact for assistance and to understand related scholarship opportunities.

Financial Aid Office Contacts

Students should reach out directly to their university’s Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships for personalized assistance. Each institution in South Carolina will have specific contacts:

  • University of South Carolina: They can visit the Financial Aid and Scholarships page to find contact information for financial aid counselors.
  • Clemson University: Students seeking information about the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship at Clemson can get details from the Student Financial Aid webpage.

Additional Scholarship Opportunities

In addition to the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, there are other scholarships available:

  • LIFE Scholarship: This merits-based scholarship is accessible to eligible South Carolina residents. Students can get more information at their financial aid office.
  • SC HOPE Scholarship: This scholarship is open for first-year students. Detailed information is provided by the university’s financial aid office.
  • Students over 60 may be eligible for Free Tuition at state-supported institutions in South Carolina.

It’s essential for students to explore these options to secure additional funding for their education.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship is a distinguished South Carolina award designed to recognize the state’s academically talented students and support their higher education pursuits.

What are the eligibility requirements for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship?

To be eligible for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, a student must achieve a high academic standard, typically including a minimum 4.0 GPA and a competitive SAT or ACT score. Requirements are periodically updated, so reviewing the official criteria is essential.

How can one apply for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, and what is the deadline?

Applicants must apply during their senior year of high school to the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. Deadlines for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship vary each year, thus it is advisable to consult with a high school guidance counselor or the official CHE website for the most current information.

What are the two pathways to qualify for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship?

There are two pathways to qualify: the Early Award and the Late Award, each having distinct qualifying criteria and application deadlines.

How much financial aid does the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship provide?

Initially, Palmetto Fellows may receive up to $6,700 for the first year, with the opportunity to receive increased funding up to $10,000 per year from sophomore year onwards if they are enrolled in specific STEM or math programs and meet other enhancement conditions.

What are the requirements to maintain the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship?

Recipients must maintain a certain GPA and earn a designated number of credit hours each academic year to renew the scholarship. Precise requirements are listed on the University of South Carolina’s Financial Aid and Scholarships page.

How many credit hours are required to retain eligibility for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship?

Students must enroll in and complete a certain number of credit hours per academic year to continue receiving the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship. Semester limits apply, and details can be found on the provided link to the official financial aid page mentioned above.

Helpful Resources

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