FMU students receive state scholarships (Palmetto Fellows, LIFE, and HOPE), institutional scholarships, donor scholarships, and outside scholarships. Criteria for receiving a scholarship varies by type. Some scholarships require an application while others do not. Explore scholarship opportunities below.

South Carolina Scholarships

FMU enrolls over 1,200 students annually who benefit from South Carolina’s Palmetto Fellows, LIFE, and HOPE scholarships. Individual students should work with guidance counselors at their high schools to apply for these scholarships, but FMU financial assistance counselors can assist if needed.

University Scholarships

FMU offers hundreds of scholarships to help defray the costs of tuition for our students. Explore the scholarships below to see what you may be eligible for. Some university scholarships require an application, so be sure to submit the FMU Admission Scholarship application to be considered for these awards. The FMU Admission Scholarship application is due March 15.

Donor Scholarships

FMU offers over 150 named, specialty scholarships. These awarded scholarships are available to all students, though many have specialized qualifying criteria such as a particular field of study or specific hometown or home county. The application for these scholarships is due March 15.

IMPORTANT: Students must turn in a scholarship application by March 31, in order to be considered for non-renewable scholarships.

This deadline applies to scholarships made directly from the University or from outside sources. Generally, full-time enrollment is required to receive a scholarship. Unless otherwise stated in a student’s initial award letter, scholarships are non-renewable.

Outside Scholarships

Students may apply for a variety of different outside scholarships. These scholarships are not connected to FMU but are processed through the accounting department to give credit to the student’s account. Outside scholarships are added to the account as soon as the university receives the funds.

Scholarship search sites offer more than 8,000 scholarships, fellowships, grants, and other outside financial aid award opportunities. Your high school guidance counselor, church, parent’s employers, and organizations in the community may also offer private scholarships.

Be aware of potential scams. Some warning signs include:

  • Paying a fee
  • Offering a money-back guarantee
  • Requiring bank/credit card information
  • Offering exclusive information

Scholarship Search site recommendations include, but are not limited to:

Academic Distinction Award

All accepted first-time freshmen for the fall semester are considered for merit-based scholarships. Merit-based scholarships are awarded in rounds, with higher award amounts given in earlier rounds. Therefore, early completion of the application for admission is strongly encouraged.  To be minimally competitive, it is highly recommended that students have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.

Students who are in the top 40% in their class, have scored at least an 1100 on the SAT or a 22 on the ACT, and have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA will be automatically awarded a minimum of $1,000 in merit-based aid.

Admissions Scholarships Application

Students seeking First Generation funds, transfer scholarship funds, out-of-state waivers, or any other Admissions scholarship that does not have a separate application are encouraged to complete an Admissions Scholarships application. Scholarship opportunities range from $500 to full tuition, room and board. Eligible students may be incoming freshmen, incoming transfer students or returning students accepted by FMU.

It is highly recommended that incoming freshmen students have a minimum cumulative weighted high school GPA of 3.0 and rank in the top 40% of their graduating class. For transfer or returning students, a 3.0 college GPA is required.

Academic scholarships are competitive, with class rank, cumulative weighted GPA, and SAT/ACT test scores strongly considered. Need-based scholarship support is based on federal need as indicated from the FAFSA review. Students with strong academic profiles will be given preference for need-based scholarship support.

Applications received after March 1 will be awarded on a funds-available basis.

Questions? Contact Evrik Gary at 843-661-1318 or email him at

Darla Moore Scholarship

The Darla Moore Scholarship is funded by a generous $5 million gift from the Darla Moore Foundation and its founder, renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist Darla Moore of Lake City, SC. The scholarship covers tuition, housing, and a meal plan. This scholarship is available for incoming freshman with demonstrated financial need. Students must be full-time and South Carolina residents.

The Darla Moore Scholarship is funded by a $5 million gift from the Darla Moore Foundation.

Applications are due by Jan. 19th. Essay and recommendation letter required. Finalists interviews and awards will be made in March. 

First Generation Fund

Francis Marion University’s First Generation Fund is designed to help FMU students who are the first in their family to attend college. First Generation students represent a significant segment of the FMU community — more than 40 percent of the most recent freshman class — and also a significant challenge. But within that challenge lies great opportunity. Advancing the cause of first generation students offers the widest path to improving our community and our country. Informed donors like you can make a difference.

Visit our FirstGen webpage for more information.

Students should apply for the First Generation scholarship through the Admissions Scholarships application.

Premier Pledge Scholarship

The Premier Pledge scholarship program is available to all admitted in-state students who are First Generation or fully eligible Pell students. The financial support provided by this program, combined with other federal, state, and institutional assistance for which they already qualify, will cover all tuition costs their freshman year.

Premier Pledge eligible students must complete the Admissions Scholarships Application and FAFSA.

McNair Scholarship

The McNair Scholarship is named for former S.C. Governor Robert E. McNair, who was instrumental in the founding of Francis Marion University in the late 1960s. McNair Scholars possess a strong interest in public service and pursuing a public service career. The selection process is competitive, and finalists for the award represent some of the most accomplished and extraordinary students that S.C. has to offer.

The McNair Scholarship covers a student’s full tuition, housing, and a meal plan. It offers funding for a study abroad experience as well. McNair Scholars automatically become part of the FMU Honors program. The McNair scholarship application, including the required essays and two letters of recommendation, is due by Dec. 1.
Finalist interviews and awards will be made in January. To be eligible, students must be SC residents, high school seniors, top 30% of graduating class, and a minimum 3.0 gpa.

Phi Theta Kappa

One renewable $1,000 scholarship is awarded per year to members of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society who transfer to FMU. To be considered for this scholarship, you must be admitted to FMU and plan to enroll in Fall.

Students must have a 3.25 cumulative GPA at the institution where they are members of Phi Theta Kappa. The scholarship is renewable each year with the completion of 30 credit hours with a 3.0 GPA.

The priority deadline for this scholarship is June 1. Once the priority deadline has passed, all applications will be reviewed, and if awarded, students will be notified directly by the Office of Admissions.

If you have any questions about the Phi Theta Kappa scholarship process, please speak to Evrik Gary at 843-661-1318 or email him at