In 1988 the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education established a merit-based scholarship with the intent to acknowledge South Carolina students who are academically competitive and promote in-state attendance of institutions of higher education through offering generous four-year scholarships to seniors applying for college. The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship award provides $6,700 to incoming college freshmen and $7,500 each year to students who continue to study at an in-state college or university. Candidates who study sciences and math at certain universities like Clemson, for example, will receive a larger award in the amount of 10,0000. Applicants are required to be first-time bachelor’s degree seekers. Certain five-year programs are approved for additional funding. All recipients must enroll in a South Carolina institution of higher Education.
Applicants must be a US citizen or permanent resident, enrolled in a South Carolina public or private high school or be homeschooled. Students are required to verify that they have never been convicted of a felony or secondary alcohol or drug offenses in the academic year. Applicants may not also receive Lottery Tuition Assistance, LIFE Scholarship, or SC HOPE Scholarship. The profile of the successful applicant is divided into early and late awards. Early award applicants must demonstrate a score of 1200 on the SAT or 27 on the ACT, have earned a minimum GPA of 3.5 by the finish of junior year and have a ranking of top 6% in the sophomore or junior year. Alternatively, Early and late award students may present SAT scores of 1400 or 32 on the ACT and a GPA of 4.0 by the end of the junior year. All materials should be submitted by November of early award applicants and June 15th for late awards applicants.
High school guidance counselors are responsible for receiving and submitting application materials to the Commission on Higher Education. In addition to the application, official transcripts and reports that demonstrate proof of class rank are required for consideration. Copies of the SAT and ACT scores are also required at this time. Application packages can be submitted by Certified, and signature required mail, hand delivery or overnight service. There is no particular program of study requirements for the scholarship recipients. Renewal applicants must be able to demonstrate a minimum GPA of 3.0, have fulfilled the 30 credit hour per year requirement for graduation, completed a scholarship affidavit form, been continuously enrolled full-time as a student, and maintained continued residency in South Carolina. Students who are living in South Carolina for the purpose of education many not apply or receive any awards from the Commission and all residency claims will be investigated.
Attendance of an accredited non-profit South Carolina college or university is the only stipulation aside from the academic standards set forth by the commission. The amount of the scholarship will fill gaps in tuition payment after all other scholarship, grants and gifts are considered. The scholarship deadlines are November 30th for early awards and June 15th for late awards.