The federal government is the primary source of financial aid for most college students. Also, the state of South Carolina offers scholarship and grants to state residents. Students must meet the following general requirements to be considered for federal/state aid:
- Be accepted for enrollment or enrolled at least half-time and working toward a degree. (Students may apply for aid before being accepted or enrolled.)
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-U.S. citizen with a valid Social Security number. Federal and State regulations and University policy limit financial assistance available to non-U.S. citizens.
- Be registered with the U.S. Selective Service, if required. Check your registration
- Make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward a degree program.
- Use aid only for educational purposes.
- Not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on any federal educational loan.
- Enroll for coursework that is accepted for credit by your degree-granting program.
- Attend all classes for which you enroll.If you fail a class and did not attend or participate, your financial aid could be adjusted. (Note that instructors report non-participation if a student receives a failing grade.)
- Be a South Carolina Resident for state grants and scholarships (LIFE Scholarship, State Need Based Grant, Lottery Tuition Assistance Program, and Palmetto Fellows).
- Not have a conviction for the possession or sale of illegal drugs for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid (such as grants, work-study, or loans). If you have such a conviction, you must complete the Student Aid Eligibility Worksheet to determine if you are eligible for aid or partially eligible for aid.
- Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or
have completed homeschooling. If you don’t, you may still be eligible for federal student aid if you were enrolled
in college or career school prior to July 1, 2012. Please contact the Financial Aid
Office for additional information.
Selective Service Information
If you are a male who is at least 18 years old and born after December 31, you MUST be registered with Selective Service in order to receive Federal student aid. You may now register with Selective Service online.
- U.S. citizen or national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swain's Island)
- U.S. permanent resident who has an I-151, I-551, or I-551c (Alien Registration Receipt Card)
- Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service
(INS) showing one of the following designations to be eligible:
- "Asylum Granted"
- "Indefinite Parole" and/or "Humanitarian Parole"
- "Cuban-Haitian Entrant, Status Pending"
- "Conditional Entrant" (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)
- Notice of Approval to Apply for Permanent Residence (I-171 or I-464) only
- F1 or F2 student visa only
- J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa only
- G series visas (pertaining to international organizations)
Confirming Your Citizenship Status
If the Financial Aid Office needs to verify your citizenship status, the following are acceptable documents:
- A copy of the student's official birth certificate showing that he/she was born in the U.S.
- A copy of Form FS-240 (Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the U.S.), the FS-545 (Certificate of Birth-Foreign Service), the DS-1350 (Certificate of Birth), or the INS Form G-639 (the Freedom of Information Act Form). The first three forms are generated by the State Department and include an embossed seal.
- A U.S. Passport, which may be current or expired. In the case of nationals who are not citizens, the passport will be stamped Noncitizen National.
- A Certificate of Citizenship from the INS, which includes certificate number and date of issue.
- A Certificate of Naturalization from the INS, which must include date, certificate number and the INS A-Number.