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Financial Aid and Scholarships


Scholarship FAQ

When does the university check grades for scholarship recipients?

The university checks cumulative grades following the end of the spring semester or at the end of the summer semester.

Is there a yearly hours requirement for general university scholarships?

No, the only requirement is a 3.00 USC GPA and reasonable progress toward your degree. Out-of-state students must also enroll in 12 hours each semester in order to receive and maintain eligibility for the scholarship and tuition reduction.

May I appeal the suspension and/or termination of my scholarship?

You may appeal a scholarship suspension under limited conditions as outlined in the Scholarship Appeal Policy for General University and Financial Aid Committee Scholarships. However, once terminated, the scholarship cannot be reinstated.

View Appeals Policy »

What if I have a grade change pending or incomplete grade that, once changed, would raise my USC system GPA to 3.00 or higher?

If a pending grade change or incomplete grade will result in your meeting the scholarship renewal requirements once changed, you must provide documentation to our office before the beginning of the fall semester or your university scholarship will be terminated, including:

  • a letter from the instructor, your academic advisor or your college/school dean

  • a letter from you explaining the circumstances.

The university registrar must update the grade change or incomplete grade by the end of the fall semester.

Do I have to attend summer school at the USC Columbia or one of the system campuses in order to raise my university system GPA to a 3.00 or higher?

Yes, only course work taken within the USC system affects the renewal criteria for your university scholarship. Courses outside of the system will not assist you in raising your system GPA.

I have a 2.99 USC system GPA. Will the university round my GPA up to a 3.00 so that I can retain my scholarship?

No, the university does not round up your system GPA.

I am a nonresident student who pays the reduced tuition charge in addition to receiving a scholarship. Will I retain this reduced tuition charge even if I lose my scholarship?

No, eligibility for the reduced tuition charge is contingent upon your receipt of a general university scholarship. If your scholarship is terminated, your reduced tuition benefit is terminated as well.

I know that I cannot regain a 3.00 USC system GPA by the end of the summer. Can I regain my general university scholarship at a later date if I regain a 3.00 system GPA at that time?

No, if your general university scholarship is terminated, you are not able to regain that particular scholarship. However, you may qualify for departmental or need-based scholarships at a later date in the same manner as other currently enrolled students.

What if I know I qualify for the HOPE or LIFE Scholarship and don't see it?

Typically, we are able to have awards made by July 15 each year for the following academic year. If you do not see yours by then, please first confirm that the Office of Undergraduate Admissions has received all of your final high school or college transcripts and make sure that the South Carolina Legal Residency Office has all necessary paperwork for your in-state residency. Contact undergraduate admissions by calling 803-777-7700.

Do I automatically receive the Palmetto Fellows or LIFE Scholarship if I received it the previous year?

No, you must meet all renewal or continuing eligibility requirements for your scholarship. Please review the renewal eligibility requirements for Palmetto Fellows or eligibility requirements for continuing students for the LIFE Scholarship.

How do I know if I qualify for the Palmetto Fellows or LIFE Scholarship Enhancement?

Our office will automatically review for Palmetto Fellows and LIFE Scholarship Enhancement eligibility. Please review our South Carolina State Scholarship section for specifics about eligible majors and courses.