College of Charleston Merit Scholarships

College of Charleston Merit Scholarships are merit-based financial awards offered to first-time entering freshmen. A complete application for admission is required on or before February 15th to be considered for merit awards.  Credentials on file at the time of acceptance will be considered. Students that qualify for a College of Charleston Merit Scholarship will be notified of the award with their acceptance letter from the Office of Admissions. Need-based aid is typically awarded in March if the FAFSA is complete and submitted to the College of Charleston. Priority deadline for FAFSA completion is March 1.

All students must enroll full-time (12 hours) each semester to be eligible for any scholarship funds.

College of Charleston requires students meet renewal criteria for all merit scholarships.

South Carolina resident (award amounts range from $2000 - $8000/year and are renewable).

A resident student is evaluated based on test scores, GPA, and class rank (if available).  South Carolina residents will be competitive if they meet two of the following three criteria:

  • have at least a 3.5 GPA on SCUGS
  • rank in the top 6% of their high school class
  • have at least 1200 SAT/27 ACT

Palmetto Promise

Palmetto Fellows, students admitted to the Honors College, valedictorians/salutatorians of South Carolina public or charter high schools will be awarded a minimum of $4000/year merit scholarship.

Need-based academic grant for South Carolina students

S.C. students who are awarded merit aid, or who are part of the Cougar Advantage program (in the top ten percent of their public or charter school class) and who meet financial eligibility requirements* will be awarded $4000/year in academic grant aid. For those who qualify for merit aid, this amount will be added to a merit aid award. Cougar Advantage Pledge students will receive, at minimum, gift aid to cover tuition from a combination of federal, state and institutional sources.

*Based on a complete FAFSA on file. Student must be Pell-eligible or have a household income under the South Carolina median of $52,306 and have remaining financial need. Priority deadline for submission of a complete FAFSA is March 1.

Eligibility for the need-based academic grant is reviewed each year and requires the student to continue to meet eligibility requirements.

Non-resident award (amounts range from $10,000 - $20,000/year and are renewable).

Non-resident students are competitive for merit scholarship awards based on application information if they have a minimum of a 1200 SAT/25 ACT and a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale). Students with at least 1300SAT/28 ACT and a 3.5 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) are competitive for merit scholarship awards of between $12,500 and $20,000.

Georgia Residents College of Charleston acknowledges the HOPE and Zell Miller awards by offering a minimum of a $10,000/year scholarship for Georgia residents enrolling as entering freshmen.

Non-resident merit awards are comprised of two components, the CofC merit scholarship and the CofC academic scholarship.

The College of Charleston Academic Scholarship is available to out-of-state students and covers part or all the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition. The College of Charleston Academic Scholarship requires that the student remain a College of Charleston Merit Scholar and meet renewal criteria.

The College of Charleston Academic Scholarship for non-residents will be canceled if a student gains in-state residency or reduced if a student receives another grant or scholarship that covers the tuition difference (such as DC Tuition Grant).

Acceptance Required

Your admission deposit serves as your acceptance of your Institutional Scholarship.  Admission deposits must be paid by May 1st to confirm scholarship acceptance. For instructions on how to pay your admission deposit via MyCharleston, please go here.

Please note, you must read and accept the terms and conditions document prior to the disbursement of your Institutional Scholarship.

Continuing Eligibility

Recipients of the College of Charleston Merit Scholarship must complete 24 credit hours per academic year (fall, spring and subsequent summer). Earned hours do not include repeat courses, AP, IB, CLEP, or Placement hours or transfer hours from a previous academic year.

Recipients of the College of Charleston Merit Scholarship must maintain a cumulative College of Charleston GPA of 3.0.

If the student maintains the required academic standards, the scholarship will be renewed automatically. Renewals are made in the summer of each year for the upcoming year. Students failing to meet the renewal standards will be notified in writing in early summer. Students unable to meet the renewal standards will be given the opportunity to appeal based on mitigating circumstances (e.g. serious health condition, death or serious health condition of an immediate family member, or a traumatic event). Students who wish to appeal may complete the Scholarship Appeal Form. A continuing student that has lost eligibility, or was not previously eligible, cannot regain eligibility.