By Sen. Kent Williams
The 2018 legislative session reviewed programs that offered free technical college tuition to select areas in South Carolina to further the need for skilled workers.
These programs were a win for businesses and graduates! Tuition assistance programs were, then, expanded to help all high school graduates and GED recipients residing in the “Abbeville Lawsuit” school districts have an opportunity to attend a technical college. Legislation was enacted creating the South Carolina Scholarship Program a free tuition program for graduates in the lawsuit districts.
The South Carolina Promise Scholarship program makes college more affordable and gives students the opportunity to attend any technical college in the state! To qualify, a student must have earned a high school diploma or GED between 2013 and 2018 while living in one of the eligible school districts. Qualified students may receive up to $2,000 per academic year after all funding from the Pell Grant, Tuition Grant, LIFE Scholarship and Lottery Tuition Assistance (LTA) have been awarded.
Interested students need to complete the free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and SC Promise Scholarship application. Prospective students will need to enroll for a minimum of six credit hours for the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters. Once enrolled, students must maintain a 2.0 GPA and actively participate in mentoring activities as outlined by the college. Activities may include developing a personal success plan and financial counseling.
The South Carolina Promise Scholarship is transferrable to any of the SC Technical College System’s sixteen colleges. Eligible students must pursue a certificate, diploma or degree. Students meeting the eligibility criteria may apply the scholarship towards the cost of tuition, mandatory and program fees as well as a $300 allowance for books. Refunds are not allowed. Should a student need to leave college, he or she may continue to receive scholarship funds following an approved leave of absence of six months or less.
This legislation materialized after graduation, so, please spread the word to graduates or GED recipients from the named school district. Eligible school districts include Marion; Dillion 3&4; Florence 1&2; Marlboro and Williamsburg. For detailed information visit http://sctechsystem.com/students/sc-promise-scholarship-program.html or call (803) 896-5320.
As with all matters concerning state government, I want to hear your opinions and suggestions concerning these issues. Please contact me in my Columbia office located at 608 Gressette Office Building. You can reach me, or a member of my staff in Columbia at (803) 212-6000 or by fax at (803) 212-6011.
My district office is located at 2523 East Highway 76, Marion, SC 29571, the phone number is (843) 423-8237 and the fax number is (843) 431-6049.
You may also email me at [email protected] scsenate.gov. My business phone is (843) 423-3904.
Please use this information to write, call or email me with your suggestions and concerns regarding issues before the Senate and in our community.
By Sen. Kent Williams