Types of Financial Aid

Your financial aid package, along with your personal and/or family resources is to assist you in meeting your educational expenses. Eligibility for the programs listed below is determined by the results of filing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Financial Aid).  A federal formula is then applied to the data you submitted on your FAFSA, and the results of this formula provide the calculations that determine how much you and your family should be able to provide towards meeting the cost of your education.  Your financial need is calculated by subtracting your expected family contribution from your cost of attendance. To help you meet your educational costs, the following grants, scholarships, loans and other programs are available.

  • Federal
  • State
  • Scholarships
  • Loans
  • Student Employment
  • Veteran's Benefits

Federal Aid

Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant is a federally funded grant that serves as the foundation upon which all other undergraduate aid is awarded. Unlike a loan, it does not have to be repaid. Federal Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a Bachelor's degree. Eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant is determined by federal law and is based on the financial information that students and their parents provide on the FAFSA.

With year-round Pell, students may now receive additional Pell grant funding for summer semester as long as they continue to meet the regular eligibility requirements and enroll at least half-time (6 credit hours).  Receiving the additional Pell does not reduce the amount students can receive for the next academic year.

Click here to visit the Department of Education's page on Pell Grants

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants are federally funded grants awarded on a limited basis to students with exceptional financial need. Students selected for these grants must not have earned a Bachelor's degree. Additionally, recipients must be eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant. SEOG does not have to be repaid.

Application requires submission of the FAFSA. FAFSA results received by the USCB Office of Financial Aid/VA by March 3, 2014  will receive priority consideration. Follow-up documents, if required, should be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid/VA promptly to ensure consideration for these funds. Funding is limited and awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis.

Click here to visit the Department of Education's page on FSEOG

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
Beginning with the 2010-11 award year, a student who is not eligible for a Pell Grant but whose parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and died as a result of service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001 may be eligible to receive the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.    

Application requires submission of the FAFSA.  

Click here  to visit the Department of Education’s page on the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

Federal Work-Study Program (FWS)
The Federal Work-study Program gives students an opportunity for part-time positions on campus and off campus with community service agencies. Work-study funds are limited, and the awarding of work-study depends on the availability of funds.

To be eligible for employment under this federal program, you must file the FAFSA and indicate that you are interested in the work-study, be enrolled in the University or fully accepted for admission and demonstrate financial need.  Students who are enrolled at least half-time work an average of 15 to 20 hours per week. During vacation periods it is sometimes possible to work up to 37.5 hours per week.  Students earn $7.25 per hour.

Student Loan Programs

Federal Direct Loans
Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student's education after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education rather than a bank or other financial institution.  Student and Parent Plus Loans are borrowed funds so unlike grants and work-study funds, loans must be repaid with interest.  Before you borrow, consider carefully how much you will need to borrow and the burden your loans will impose after you leave school. The Financial Aid Counselors in the Financial Aid Office can provide you with more information on the responsibilities you assume when you borrow money.

There are two types of Federal Direct Loans:

  • Subsidized Federal Direct Loan
    A subsidized Federal Direct Loan is awarded based on financial need and accrues no interest while the student is enrolled in school at least half-time, during the grace period or during periods of deferment.

  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan
    An unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan is not dependent upon need. Interest accrues from the time the loan is disbursed until final payment. The student has the option to make interest payments while in school and during the grace period.

For the period of July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015, the following interest rates are in effect:

  • 4.66% fixed rate on an undergraduate subsidized Federal Direct Loan

  • 4.66% fixed rate on an undergraduate unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan

  • 7.21% fixed rate on a Parent Loan for Undergraduate (Dependent) Students (PLUS Loan)

If you indicate on the FAFSA that you are interested in loans, we will automatically consider you for both subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans, first awarding the maximum subsidized amount, then the maximum unsubsidized amount according to program limits and your eligibility. First-time borrowers must complete entrance loan counseling and sign a promissory note with the U.S. Department of Education online at https://studentloans.gov prior to disbursement of funds.

Annual Maximum Loan Amounts

The Federal Direct Loan program provides up to $5,500 for the first year of undergraduate study, $6,500 for the second year, and $7,500 per academic year for upperclassmen. The Unsubsidized Direct Loan provides increased annual maximums for independent students (and some dependent undergraduates if a parent is denied a PLUS loan) up to $9,500 for the first year of undergraduate study, $10,500 for the second year, $12,500 per academic year for upperclassmen.

Federal regulations require the limitation or reduction of the amount of an unsubsidized or subsidized Federal Direct Loan under certain prescribed conditions. These conditions are as follows: (1) the borrower is an undergraduate, applies for a Stafford Loan and is enrolled less than a full academic year (fall and spring semesters) or (2) the borrower will complete all degree requirements at the end of the semester or term. If both of these conditions occur, the Direct Loan amount may be reduced and the borrower will be sent notification to review the revised award letter on SSC.   

If a Direct Loan is processed for the full academic year (Fall and Spring), half of the loan will be disbursed at the beginning of the Fall semester and the second half will be disbursed at the beginning of the Spring semester.    You must also sign your promissory note before loan processing will be completed.

Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) provides long-term loans to parents for their dependents from the U. S. Department of Education (DOE). Loan amounts under this program are limited to the student’s cost of education minus other financial aid awards. Parents may be denied a PLUS loan due to adverse credit history. If the PLUS Loan is denied, the student is eligible for an additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. 

For parent PLUS Loans, repayment begins within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed or parents may request a deferment for repayment until six months after the dependent student ceases to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis by contacting DOE directly. The repayment period can be extended up to 10 years with minimum monthly payments to be arranged with the DOE.

PLUS Loans will be disbursed in at least two installments, generally to coincide with the beginning of the enrollment period covered by the loan. Equal installments of your loan will be disbursed at the start of each semester if your loans cover multiple semesters. A loan that covers only one semester or term, however, will be disbursed in full at the beginning of the semester or term.  The Bursar’s Office handles the disbursement of all Plus Loans and can be contacted regarding the details of disbursement.  Parents and students are advised to exhaust their eligibility for other federal student aid programs before considering the Plus Loan.

Parents can apply for a Parent Plus Loan online at:  https://studentloans.gov  Parents will also need to complete the Plus Default/Overpayment Parent Borrower Statement and Parent PLUS Loan Fee Authorization Form and return it to the Office of Financial Aid/VA before funds can be disbursed.

For more information on student/parent loans regarding interest rates and repayment calculators, loan repayment plans, cancellation and consolidation, etc., visit the Department of Education’s website:  Click here

Because loans must be repaid, it is important to consider the amount of monthly payments that your total borrowing will require.  Some students at USCB will graduate with no debt while others will borrow heavily.  The average amount borrowed for USCB students for the 2009-10 academic year was $6,350.  At a 6.8 percent interest, your monthly payment would be approximately $74.80 with a ten year payment plan, if you borrow this amount.

 

South Carolina Teachers Loan Program
South Carolina Teachers Loan Program provides loans in amounts up to $2,500 for the first and second years of undergraduate study and $5,000 per academic year for upperclassmen and graduate students. Loan indebtedness will be cancelled at the rate of 20% or $3,000, whichever is greater, for each year of full-time teaching in a critical subject or critical geographic area in South Carolina. If you teach in both a critical subject and geographic area simultaneously, your loan shall be cancelled at the rate of 33 1/3% or $5000, whichever is greater, for each full year of full-time teaching. The subject areas deemed critical at the time you apply will be honored for cancellation when you begin teaching; critical geographic areas must be deemed critical at the time of employment. If you decide not to teach, the interest rate shall be the rate on the Federal Stafford Loan plus 2%. This is a variable rate not to exceed 10.25% annually.

Career Changers Program
The Career Changers Program provides loans to individuals wishing to enter the teaching profession. The program provides annual loan amounts of $15,000, up to a cumulative amount of $60,000. Loan indebtedness will be cancelled at the rate of 20% or $3,000, whichever is greater, for each year of full-time teaching in a critical subject or critical geographic area in South Carolina. If you teach in both a critical subject and geographic area simultaneously, your loan shall be cancelled at the rate of 33 1/3% or $5,000, whichever is greater, for each full year of full-time teaching. The subject areas deemed critical at the time of application will be honored for cancellation when you begin teaching; critical geographic areas must be deemed critical at the time of employment. If you decide not to teach, the interest rate shall be the rate on the Federal Stafford Loan plus 2%. This is a variable rate not to exceed 10.25% annually.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession. Under this program, if you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in certain elementary and secondary schools and educational service agencies that serve low-income families, and meet other qualifications, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 on your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and your Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans. If you have PLUS loans only, you are not eligible for this type of forgiveness.  To learn more, visit Studentaid.ed.gov

 

Exit Interviews for Loan Recipients
Before leaving the University of South Carolina Beaufort, loan recipients are required to complete an exit interview that covers their rights and responsibilities as loan recipients. Students who have graduated or are no longer enrolled who received Federal Direct Loans must complete exit counseling at www.nslds.ed.gov.

State Aid

SC HOPE Scholarship
The South Carolina Hope Scholarship is a one-year merit based scholarship created for eligible first-time entering freshmen attending an eligible four-year institution in South Carolina.  Eligible full-time students may receive the following awards:  Up to $2,650 (including a $150 book allowance) toward the cost of attendance form a maximum of two terms.

In order to be considered for the HOPE Scholarship, students must meet the following general eligibility requirements:

  1. You must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen under state residency statutes.
  2. You must be a South Carolina resident at the time of high school graduation and during the period of award.
  3. You must have graduated from a South Carolina high school or graduated from a high school outside of South Carolina while a dependent of a parent or legal guardian who is a legal resident.
  4. You must be a full-time, first-year undergraduate student seeking your first baccalaureate degree.
  5. You must not be receiving the South Carolina Palmetto Fellows or LIFE Scholarships.
  6. You must not have been judged delinquent, nor have been convicted or pled guilty or nolo contendere to any felony in any state.
  7. You must not have been convicted of any alcohol or drug-related misdemeanor in any state within the past academic year.
  8. You must not be in default or owe a refund or repayment on any Federal or State financial aid.
  9. You must have a 3.00 final high school grade point average based on the Uniform Grading Policy.

You may access further, more detailed information and other provisions on the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education website at  www.che.sc.gov/New_Web/GoingToCollege/HOPE_Hm.htm

South Carolina Need-Based Grant Program (SNBG)
The purpose of the South Carolina Need-Based Grant program is to provide additional financial aid to South Carolina's neediest students. It is a state funded grant for undergraduates attending public and independent colleges and universities within South Carolina. Recipients may not have already earned a Bachelor's degree.  In order to qualify for consideration for a South Carolina Need-Based Grant, a student must meet all of the following minimum requirements:

  1. Be a needy student as defined by Title IV Federal Student Aid programs for determining eligibility for federal student financial aid. The student must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA);
  2. Be a legal resident of South Carolina as defined in applicable State statutes governing the determination of residency for tuition and fee purposes;
  3. Be admitted and enrolled full-time as a undergraduate student, seeking your first undergraduate degree;
  4. Be of good moral character, having no felony convictions, drug or alcohol convictions, or criminal record during the preceding year defined as 12 months from the date of the start of school;
  5. Give permission for a background check to be conducted to verify the above;
  6. Certify that he or she does not owe a refund or repayment on a State Grant, Federal Pell Grant, or a Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and is not in default on a loan under the Federal Perkins Loan or Federal Stafford Loan programs; and
  7. Be making satisfactory academic progress as defined in the "Terms and Conditions" provided with your first award notification.

To renew a state grant award, students must maintain an overall 2.0 GPA and complete 24 semester hours during the preceding academic year if they are full-time; 18 semester hours if they are 3/4 time; and 12 semester hours if they are 1/2 time.

Legislative Incentives for Future Excellence Scholarship Program (LIFE)
The LIFE Scholarship program is a merit-based scholarship program. Undergraduate students attending two-year colleges or technical colleges in South Carolina are eligible to receive the amount of tuition and mandatory fees assessed to all students plus a $300 book allowance, not to exceed $5,000.  Half of the scholarship award will be disbursed in the Fall semester and the other half in the Spring semester.

For 2006-2007, all students must qualify for the LIFE Scholarship with a minimum 3.0 LIFE GPA. The LIFE GPA includes the student’s GPA earned at all eligible public or independent institutions attended by the student.  This means that a student (new or continuing) can take courses at a regionally accredited public or independent institution located in SC or out of state during any term (fall, spring and/or summer) and the grades earned will be used to calculate a LIFE GPA at the end of each academic year. Please note that the LIFE GPA will be used to determine LIFE Scholarship eligibility only and will not be used to determine graduation eligibility or standing. This also includes grades earned while dually enrolled during high school. The LIFE GPA will NOT include remedial, non-degree credit courses or continuing education courses.

It is the student's responsibility to ensure that transcripts from all institutions attended are sent to the USC Beaufort Admissions Office by the beginning of each academic year (Fall semester).

A student who was eligible for the LIFE Scholarship based on the cumulative USC system GPA for the 2005-06 school year may become ineligible for the 2006-07 academic year based on the new LIFE GPA calculation. 

If you believe you meet the eligibility requirements to receive the LIFE Scholarship for the 2005-06 academic year but have not been awarded, please contact the Financial Aid/Veteran Affairs Office at (843) 521.4117.

In order to be considered for a LIFE Scholarship, students must meet the following general eligibility requirements:

  1. Attend an eligible South Carolina public or private senior college or university;
  2. Be a legal resident of the state of South Carolina;
  3. Have not been convicted of any felonies or alcohol/drug related convictions;
  4. Be a US citizen or a permanent resident;
  5. Be a full-time, degree seeking, undergraduate student in an eligible program of study;
  6. Must not be a Palmetto Fellow recipient; and
  7. Must not be in default; owe a refund, or repayment on Federal or State financial aid.

First time entering freshmen must  meet two of the three following criteria to be considered for the LIFE Scholarship:

  • Graduate from a high school with a 3.0 cumulative grade point  ratio on the Uniform Grading Scale

  • Score an 1100 on the SAT or 24 on the ACT

  • Graduate in the top 30% of the graduating class.

Transfer students must have earned a cumulative 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale at all transferring institutions. A student must have earned a minimum of 30 credit hours (second year transfer), 60 credit hours (third year transfer), or 90 hours (fourth year transfer) or an annual equivalent for a student who begins mid-year at the participating institution and all prior institutions for the previous academic year to be eligible for the scholarship.

When you are awarded the LIFE Scholarship, you will receive it for one year because it is an annual award. In order to receive the scholarship in subsequent years, you must meet the credit hour requirements and have a 3.0 cumulative grade point average by the end of the academic year. The credit hour requirements are as follows:

  1. Students completing first year of college must have earned 30 credit hours;
  2. Students completing second year of college must have earned 60 credit hours; and
  3. Students completing third year of college must have earned 90 credit hours.

You may access further, more detailed information and other provisions on the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education website at  http://www.che.sc.gov/New_Web/GoingToCollege/LIFE_Hm.htm

Palmetto Fellows Scholarship
The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Program is a merit-based scholarship program administered by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. The annual award amount for each Palmetto Fellow cannot exceed $6,700 per academic year.  The scholarship must be applied directly toward the cost of attendance, less any other gift aid received. Palmetto Fellows may be supported for a maximum of eight full-time semesters of study toward the first bachelor's degree at a participating four-year institution in South Carolina.

The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education determines initial eligibility. You may view initial eligibility requirements at http://www.che.sc.edu For continued eligibility, students must meet the following:

  1. You must earn a total of 30 credit hours for each academic year (Fall, Spring, Summer). Any credit hours earned before high school graduation, hours exempted by examination, and advanced placement credit do not count towards the 30 hour requirement.
  2. You must earn a minimum 3.0 USC cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale by the end of the academic year (Fall, Spring, Summer):

You may access further, more detailed information and other provisions on the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education website at: http://www.che.sc.gov/New_Web/GoingToCollege/PF_Hm.htm

 

LIFE and Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Enhancements


In the 2007 Legislative Session, the South Carolina General Assembly passed legislation that increases the maximum award amounts for the LIFE and Palmetto Fellows Scholarships for students who are at least sophomores, who are majoring in approved math and science disciplines and who meet all eligibility requirements.

LIFE Scholarship Enhancement (in addition to the base LIFE Scholarship eligibility requirements):

  • Life Scholarship recipients with at least 30 hours who, as freshmen, earned 14 hours of math and science credits, * and who are math and science majors will receive a maximum award of $7,500 per academic year.

  • Entering freshmen, regardless of major, and upperclassmen who do not meet the above conditions will receive a maximum award of $5,000 per academic year.

Palmetto Fellows Enhancement (in addition to the base Palmetto Fellows eligibility requirements):

  • Palmetto Fellows recipients with at least 30 hours who, as freshmen, earned 14 hours of math and science credits * and who are math and science majors will receive a maximum award of $10,000 per academic year.

  • Palmetto Fellows recipients with at least 30 hours who do not meet the conditions above will receive a maximum award of $7,500 per academic year.

  • Entering freshmen, regardless of major, will receive a maximum award of $6,700 per academic year.

Fourteen Credit Hour Eligibility Requirement:

* All students with an initial college enrollment in Fall 2007 and after must earn 14 hours of math and/or life or physical science credits prior to the Fall semester of their second year of enrollment in order to be eligible for enhanced scholarship amounts. To satisfy the 14 credit hour requirement, the following can be used for LIFE and Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Enhancements: 

  • exempted credit hours credited and recorded on a transcript by an eligible institution,

  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP),

  • dual enrollment,

  • courses taken during the summer session immediately prior to the student's initial college enrollment,

  • Pass/Fail courses with a grade of "Pass" (only),

  • International Baccalaureate (IB) courses and Advanced Placement (AP) courses in mathematics and life and physical sciences taken in high school in which the student scored a three or more on the advanced placement test and received college credit.

  • The 14 hours of credit can be any combination of math and/or life or physical science coursework.

  • Remedial/developmental, continuing education and non-degree credit coursework cannot be used to meet the 14 credit hour requirement.

Eligible Majors at USC Beaufort

The SC Commission on Higher Education has determined the following majors at USC Beaufort  to be eligible for LIFE and Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Enhancements:

  • Nursing
  • Biology
  • Computational Science

The major must be declared and entered in the USC Beaufort systems by the last day of drop/add for the fall semester for the enhancement to be awarded for the academic year. A major changed or declared after this date will not be eligible for the enhanced award for the full academic year. An eligible major changed to an ineligible major before this date will require repayment of any enhanced award amount that has been disbursed.

 A complete list of the approved majors for SC institutions can be found on the website of the SC Commission on Higher Education at www.che.sc.gov . A list of the math and science courses that will satisfy the 14 hours required during the freshman year is also available on this website.

 If you have questions or if you need additional information, please contact the USCB Financial Aid/VA Office

 

Dropping a Class or Withdrawing

If you are receiving the Academic Competitiveness or SMART Grant or any other financial aid, dropping a class or withdrawing may affect your refund. Depending upon the type(s) of financial aid awards involved, the timing of the withdrawal, the amount of the refund, and other factors, the financial aid recipient might receive a portion of the total refund amount or none of the refund amount.

Under certain circumstances, the financial aid recipient that withdraws or drops classes will be required to repay financial aid funds received.  A student that drops below half-time enrollment (a minimum of 6.0 USCB hours) before the end of the 100% refund period  (the end of the first week of classes), will not be eligible for the Academic Competitiveness Grant or the National SMART Grant for the current semester. Repayment of ACG or SMART Grant funds disbursed will be required.

A student who is considering withdrawing or dropping a class should consult a Financial Aid Administrator before taking this action.

 

 Veteran Benefits

All veterans, service persons, guard members, members of the selected reserves and other persons eligible to receive VA educational benefits should contact the USCB Financial Aid/VA Office to apply for their benefits.  All students must initiate their own requests for enrollment certification and complete the necessary paperwork to receive benefits.   All paperwork will be submitted to the Federal VA Office for approval. All benefits will be awarded by the Federal VA Office.

                   VA Websites to visit:

  • FinAid - Military Student Aid
    Find helpful guidance concerning benefits and application for financial aid.

  • Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) 
    The Department of Defense (DoD) Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program provides up to $6,000 of Financial Assistance for military spouses who are pursuing degree programs, licenses or credentials leading to employment in Portable Career Fields.  For more information, click on the above link.