SCICU Scholars Program
The SCICU Scholars Program was developed in 1994 to encourage investment in undergraduate student scholars at SCICU’s member institutions. Investors in the Scholars Program recognize the need to encourage talented students to complete a college degree. They also recognize that the cost of college may prove prohibitive to outstanding young people with high potential for long-term success. For the 2016-2017 academic year, $391,205 was awarded to undergraduate students at SCICU member colleges and universities. Criteria for scholarships are developed with each donor.
McLean – Smith SCICU Student of the Year Award / Scholarship
In 2016, the SCICU Board of Trustees elected to combine the J. Lacy McLean and the Sterling L. Smith Scholarships into the McLean-Smith SCICU Student of the Year Award, and consolidate the scholarship into one $3,000 award. J. Lacy McLean advocated for independent higher education in South Carolina for over 34 years. Sterling L. Smith was instrumental in the development of the SC Tuition Grants Program. The award recognizes students who perform well academically and who demonstrate commitments to public affairs, community service, and leadership.
Full-time rising seniors attending SCICU member colleges and universities are eligible to be nominated for the combined scholarship award. The recipient must be a South Carolina resident and a SC Tuition Grant recipient. Rising sophomores at SCICU two-year institutions are also eligible for the award.
SCICU Discretionary Scholarship Program
Unrestricted gifts have played an essential role for our colleges and universities since the founding of SCICU in 1953. Funds raised for the unrestricted campaign are distributed to the colleges 50% equally and 50% based on enrollment size. These important gifts have a profound impact on the ability of our institutions to meet their changing needs. Virtually all undesignated funds are used by participating colleges and universities to provide financial aid for students. For fiscal year 2016-2017, $112,800 was distributed to participating member institutions.
Student/Faculty Research Program
Developed by SCICU in 1995, the Student/Faculty Research Program is designed to strengthen educational programs for students attending member institutions by providing quality undergraduate research experiences. These experiences are transforming students’ lives and encouraging them to explore careers in research.
On an annual basis, SCICU raises funds from benefactors to conduct this initiative, issues a call for grant proposals, assembles an evaluation committee of faculty members who select the proposals to be funded, issues the funds for the projects selected, and organizes a symposium at which each student presents their research findings. For fiscal year 2016-2017, $90,000 was awarded to fund student/faculty research proposals. The students presented the results of their 2016-17 research at the 2017 Research Symposium held at the Milliken & Company Customer Center in Spartanburg, SC on February 23, 2017. A list of the proposals funded for research during the 2016-17 cycle may be read here.
Independent College and University Week
During the spring of each year, students from South Carolina’s independent colleges and universities gather at the Statehouse in Columbia to thank their legislators for funding the needs-based Tuition Grant Program and the State’s several merit-based scholarships. This event is preceded by the annual student letter-writing campaign in which recipients of state student aid write thank-you letters to their House and Senate members. Each year, students from SCICU’s twenty member colleges and universities write in excess of 8,000 thank-you letters to their respective members of the South Carolina General Assembly.
Excellence in Teaching
Each year SCICU recognizes the outstanding faculty from each of its 20 members and honors them with a $3,000 professional development grant at a special awards dinner in Columbia. Earnings from the SCICU Endowment fund the $60,000 needed to award the 20 Excellence in Teaching grants. Information regarding the 2017 Excellence in Teaching award winners may be viewed here.
SCICU Online Career Consortium
SCICU has teamed up with Purple Briefcase to provide prospective employers with a no-cost, quick, and effective way to post job openings to career services offices at SCICU’s twenty member colleges and universities. Purple Briefcase is a leading provider of online applications for higher education career services contact management. The SCICU Online Career Consortium replaces the previous Career Connections Job Fair held early each year in Columbia. The SCICU Online Career Consortium gives connection opportunities for employers, career services, and students throughout the year as opportunities arise. After considerable research and feedback, SCICU extensively changed its direction with career connections support and implemented the Purple Briefcase online applications for the SCICU Online Career Consortium.
Consortia Groups and Purchasing Coalition
SCICU staff helps to coordinate and participates in various campus communities of interest to include meetings with representatives in academic affairs, admissions, business affairs, student affairs, career services, libraries, institutional research, information technology, and human resources. These groups come together periodically to share information and work on solutions to common problems.
SCICU and its member schools have formed a purchasing coalition to leverage economies of scale to reduce the cost of purchasing common goods and services. This is done primarily through the Coalition for College Cost Savings; however, SCICU has negotiated favorable purchasing agreements with a number of national suppliers.
As part of this initiative, SCICU established a Business Partners Program beginning in 2010. Companies desiring to provide goods or services to the member colleges and universities may register as a Business Partner. A company profile and contact information of each Business Partner is posted on the SCICU website in an electronic marketplace and the partners are recognized in SCICU’s monthly newsletter and in the annual report. Membership in the Business Partners Program costs $250 annually and now includes 38 partners.
NOTE: 100% of all funds raised by SCICU go back to the colleges and universities in the form of grants or scholarships.