COLUMBIA, S.C. — Beginning with the Fall 2022 semester, significant changes are planned that are intended to expand the depth and breadth of the South Carolina Tuition Grants program for in-state students attending private colleges and universities in the state. The combined effects of these changes could result in approximately 1,000 additional S.C. resident students qualifying for or retaining their Tuition Grants.
“We are excited that we now have the ability to expand the reach and the value of the Tuition Grants Program to additional students by implementing these significant changes,” said Katie Harrison, executive director of the S.C. Higher Education Tuition Grants Commission. “Our mission is to provide our state residents with the opportunity to attend the postsecondary institution of their choice, while placing an emphasis on their individual needs and career goals.”
At its March meeting, the Tuition Grants Commission, chaired by Limestone University President Darrell Parker, approved increasing the maximum per-student Tuition Grant amount for the 2022-2023 academic year by $110 to $4,500 at all eligible institutions and for programs serving both traditional and non-traditional students. This amount, subject to and contingent upon the General Assembly’s final budget, would be the highest award amount in the program’s history.
“SCICU is deeply thankful that the governor proposed, and the House has approved, for 2022-23 retaining the $10 million increase in Tuition Grants funding included in last year’s budget,” said Perez. “We also appreciate the positive reception this funding has received in the Senate.”
The commission also approved aligning the Tuition Grants Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy with the federally-accepted academic progress policy used for Pell Grants recipients and the recipients of other federal Title IV student aid.
“These new rules streamline the financial aid process at campuses and create a better environment for students to retain their Tuition Grants,” said Perez.
Recognizing that some Tuition Grant recipients need additional time beyond the traditional eight semesters to graduate, the commission also voted to allow their appeals committee to begin accepting requests from students needing additional semesters to complete their degrees.
“The changes coming to the South Carolina Tuition Grant are monumental in making higher education more affordable for students attending eligible non-profit in-state colleges and universities,” said Tuition Grants Chair Darrell Parker. “The South Carolina Tuition Grant is making it even more affordable to attend our outstanding institutions – either on-campus or through the non-traditional programs such as online higher education. We greatly appreciate the annual appropriation by the State General Assembly for the South Carolina Tuition Grant that lessens the financial burden of our future scholars and our leaders of tomorrow.”