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Student Financial Aid

Palmetto Fellows

The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship is the state’s premier scholarship, valued at $6,700 for the first year and $7,500 for subsequent years.

General Information

Students must apply for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship through the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (CHE) through their high school guidance office. The awards may be renewed for a total of four years (eight semesters) if renewal requirements are met.

If a student graduates before using all eight semesters, that student forfeits any remaining Palmetto Fellows Scholarship stipends. The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship cannot be used to fund graduate education. It is only available to students pursuing their first baccalaureate degree from an accredited university. 

See Palmetto Fellows details from CHE.

Terms

Students may receive Palmetto Fellows for up to eight semesters of undergraduate study starting when they initially enroll in an accredited university.

Students can opt to take a gap year between high school graduation and beginning college and still qualify for Palmetto Fellows under two conditions:

  1. No college coursework is taken during the gap year.
  2. A reapplication for Palmetto Fellows is submitted to CHE.

Timeline

For the 2020-2021 academic year and beyond, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (CHE) will begin accepting Palmetto Fellows applications for Early Awards around May 1 during students' junior year in high school and will continue accepting applications through April 15 of their senior year. Late award applications can be submitted between May 15 and June 30 of the senior year.

Award Amount

The Palmetto Fellows award amount is determined annually by the South Carolina General Assembly. Currently, the maximum value is $6,700. Sophomore, junior and senior students may receive a maximum of $10,000 provided they are in a declared science or mathematics major and other enhancement conditions are met.

View Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Enhancement Information.

Note: The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship in combination with all other scholarships and grants may not exceed the cost of attendance as defined by Title IV regulations.

Disbursements

The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship is credited to your student account to satisfy any charges. Excess aid is refunded to the student. If all tuition and fees are satisfied and you are enrolled full-time, excess aid is refunded to the student and can be used for any college-related expenses, including off-campus housing.

The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship is typically available during the Fall and Spring semesters except for co-op/internship students.

Learn about the Summer disbursement program for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship.

General Eligibility Requirements

  • U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen under state residency statutes.
  • South Carolina resident at the time of high school graduation and during the period of the award.
  • Graduated from a South Carolina high school or was a dependent of a parent or guardian who was a legal resident of South Carolina at the time of the student's high school graduation.
  • Full-time undergraduate seeking a first baccalaureate degree.
  • Must not have been judged delinquent nor have been convicted or pled guilty or nolo contendere to any felony in any state.
  • Must not have been convicted of any second alcohol- or drug-related misdemeanor in any state for 12 months prior to the period of the award.
  • Must not be in default or owe a refund or repayment on any federal or state financial aid.
  • First-year Student Eligibility Requirements

    Students must meet the following three academic criteria to be eligible to apply:

    • Score at least 1200 on the SAT (27 on the ACT). Test scores must be submitted to CHE by no later than the established deadline in December.
    • Earn a cumulative 3.50 GPA on the Uniform Grading Scale at the end of the junior year.
    • Rank in the top six percent of the class at the end of either the sophomore or the junior year.

    OR

    • Score at least 1400 on the SAT (32 on the ACT) through the June test administration of the senior year.
    • Earn a minimum 4.00 cumulative GPA on the South Carolina Uniform Grading Scale at the end of the junior year without regard to class rank.
  • Continuing Student Requirements

    Students must meet the following requirements for their Palmetto Fellows scholarship to be renewed each year.

    • Must earn a total of 30 credit hours each academic year. Any hours earned prior to high school graduation, hours exempted by examination and Advanced Placement credit do not count toward the 30-hour requirement.
    • You must maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA on all courses taken at Clemson. Courses taken at other institutions will not affect the grade point average requirement for Palmetto Fellows.
    • If you do not meet the above criteria at the end of the Spring semester, your Palmetto Fellows award will be withdrawn. If you make up the deficiency during the Summer Session, please notify us and the award will be reinstated.
    • Coursework taken at other institutions and accepted for credit by Clemson University can be used to satisfy the 30-hour requirement.

Continuing Student Considerations

Co-op/Internship and Summer Semesters

If you participate in the Cooperative Education Program and/or certain sanctioned internship programs, during Fall or Spring semester, you are not charged tuition and fees, so the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship stipend cannot be used and remains available for future semesters if you meet the regular Palmetto Fellows Scholarship criteria.

You may elect to receive the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship in the succeeding Summer Session at Clemson if you take at least 12 credit hours during the Summer.

Summer Palmetto Fellows Eligibility After Co-op/Internship

To be eligible for Palmetto Fellows over the Summer, you must meet renewal requirements at the end of Spring, meaning you have at least a 3.0 Clemson GPA and have earned at least 15 hours during the semester in which you enrolled in classes full-time. You may also elect to move the award that you would have received during your participation semester to the term immediately following your eighth normal semester (if you continue to meet all other eligibility requirements).

If you elect to use the Palmetto Fellows award during the Summer, you will only be expected to earn 27 hours (rather than 30) for that academic year for renewal purposes.

If you co-op during a Fall or Spring semester and do not attend Summer Session, you are only required to earn 15 hours for that academic year.

Learn more about Palmetto Fellows Summer Disbursements.

Dropping Below Full-time or Withdrawing

A student who is part time in their final semester prior to graduation may receive a pro-rated Palmetto Fellows award. All other students who are part time will not receive a disbursement unless approved for a reduced course load by the Student Accessibility Services Office.

If you are receiving the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship or any other financial aid, dropping below full-time status or withdrawing completely may affect your eligibility to receive aid. Under some circumstances, withdrawing from the University may require you to repay part, or all, of any financial aid received.

If you are considering dropping a class (and will be enrolled in less than 12 credits hours as a result) or considering withdrawing from the University, you should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid at finaid@clemson.edu to determine the effect on your financial obligations.

Frequently Asked Questions

This information is subject to change by either the South Carolina General Assembly or the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. You may view the most recent guidelines for the Palmetto Fellows program at S.C. Commission on Higher Education.