Scholarships

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.

The purpose of the LIFE Scholarship is to increase access to higher education, improve the employability of South Carolina students so as to attract business to the State, provide incentives for students to be better prepared for college, and to encourage students to graduate from college on time. THE LIFE SCHOLARSHIP IS DEPENDENT UPON THE AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS TO BE APPROPRIATED BY THE SOUTH CAROLINA LEGISLATURE. The award is contingent upon student meeting eligibility requirements when final high school transcript and/or college grades are received by FMU.

Requirements

For all students:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Be a legal resident of South Carolina at the time of high school graduation and college enrollment
  • Be a graduate from a SC high school, approved home-school program, or preparatory high school
  • Attend an eligible SC college or university as a full-time student
  • Must not be a Palmetto Fellow
  • Have not been convicted of any felonies or 2 or more alcohol/drug related convictions
  • Must not be in default, owe a refund, or a repayment on Federal or State financial aid

AND first time entering freshmen must have at least 2 of the following 3:

  • Score at least 1100 on the SAT (critical reading & math) or 22 on the ACT (beginning the 2023-2024 academic year) by June of the senior year in high school
  • Rank in the top 30% of the graduating class
  • Have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA on the Uniform Grading Scale

Renew

  • After the initial year, have at least a 3.0 LIFE GPA and 30 earned hours
  • After the second year, have at least a 3.0 LIFE GPA and 60 earned hours
  • After the third year, have at least a 3.0 LIFE GPA and 90 earned hours

What is the difference between “Life GPA” and “Cumulative grade point average”?

Your Life GPA is calculated for the primary purpose for the awarding of the LIFE Scholarship. Your Life GPA includes all grades earned at any eligible institution, including courses that do not transfer and college courses taken while in high school.

Again, your LIFE GPA is only used to determine LIFE Scholarship eligibility. Your LIFE GPA is not recorded on your official transcript from FMU. A link to your LIFE GPA and Hours can be found under the ‘Helpful Links’ section on the Financial Assistance page of your Patriot Portal.

Your FMU cumulative grade point average is computed by dividing the total number of quality points by the total number of net hours taken at FMU. A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher is required for graduation on all work attempted at FMU. In addition, a student must maintain an average of 2.0 or higher in his/her major courses in order to meet graduation requirements. Your cumulative grade point average will be reflected on your official transcript from FMU.

For additional information, please refer to the Commission on Higher Education website.

Gain Eligibility

Meet the Requirements For All Students AND the Renew LIFE criteria

The purpose of the SC HOPE Scholarship program is to provide funding to students who graduate from high school with a 3.0 cumulative GPA, but are not eligible to receive the LIFE or Palmetto Fellows Scholarships. HOPE is available for the initial year of enrollment only. HOPE is not renewable. A student must meet the LIFE renewal requirements (refer to Code 12) after the initial year of enrollment to continue receiving a state funded scholarship.

THE HOPE SCHOLARSHIP IS DEPENDENT UPON THE ANNUAL PROCEEDS GENERATED BY THE LOTTERY.

Award is contingent upon student meeting eligibility requirements when final high school transcript is received by FMU.

Requirements

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Be a legal resident of South Carolina at the time of high school graduation and college enrollment
  • Be a graduate from a SC high school, an approved home-school program, or a preparatory high school
  • Attend an eligible SC college or university as a full-time student
  • Must not be a Palmetto Fellow or LIFE scholarship recipient
  • Have not been convicted of any felonies or 2 or more alcohol/drug related convictions
  • Must not be in default, owe a refund, or a repayment on Federal or State financial aid
  • Have at least a 3.0 cumulative high school GPA on the Uniform Grading Scale

The purpose of the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Program is to recognize the most academically talented high school seniors in South Carolina and encourage them to attend eligible colleges or universities in the State. Palmetto Fellows scholarship recipients are selected by the Commission on Higher Education.

THE PALMETTO FELLOWS SCHOLARSHIP IS DEPENDENT UPON THE AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS TO BE APPROPRIATED BY THE SOUTH CAROLINA LEGISLATURE.

Renew

  • Have earned 30 hours each academic year (Fall, Spring, and Summer)
  • Have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA

Requirements

  • Must be a LIFE or Palmetto Fellows Scholarship recipient.
  • Must be in the second, third, or fourth year of full-time enrollment (based on initial date of college enrollment after high school)
  • Must be enrolled as a full-time, degree-seeking student in a declared major that is approved by the Commission on Higher Education.

Eligible majors as of May 2021:  

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering Technology
  • Environmental Science
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Math
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Middle Level Education- Math/Science
  • Nursing
  • Pharmaceutical Studies
  • Physics

Additional Requirements

  • Must be making significant progress towards completion of the declared major.
  • Must have earned credit for at least 14 hours of instruction in CHE approved mathematics and life and physical science courses by the end of the first year of college (based on initial date of college enrollment after high school).
  • Environmental Science (Initial college enrollment of Fall 2022 and beyond)
  • Mechanical Engineering (Initial college enrollment of Fall 2020 and beyond)

*Please contact the Office of Financial Assistance if you are unsure whether or not your major is Enhancement eligible.

Currently, any FMU math, Computer Science, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Physics, or Physical Science course will count toward the 14 hour requirement. **This is subject to change at any time based on directives from CHE.

Current interpretation of the new legislation precludes students from ever becoming eligible for the Enhancement scholarship if the 14 hour requirement is not met by the end of the freshman year. AP credits and dual enrollment courses (college credit courses taken while still in high school) can satisfy the 14 hour rule.

The Enhancement scholarship amount is up to $2500 per year. The Enhancement scholarship is awarded in addition to the LIFE or Palmetto Fellows scholarship.

The Enhancement scholarship is based upon availability of funds to be appropriated for the program.

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 15, 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. 2024-25-Scholarship-Application

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 and vary in amount based upon the merit achievements of each student. 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 be automatically awarded a minimum of $1,000 in merit-based aid.

Deadlines

  • The first-round acceptance deadline is December 15.
  • The second-round acceptance deadline is February 15.
  • The third-round acceptance deadline is March 15.

Admissions Scholarship 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 with be awarded on a funds-available basis.

Questions? Contact Evrik Gary at 843-661-1318 or email him at Evrik.gary@fmarion.edu.

Darla Moore Scholarship

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

This scholarship covers tuition, housing, and a meal plan. To be eligible, students must be South Carolina residents enrolling in full-time undergraduate studies and demonstrate a financial need based on FAFSA.

Recipients of the Darla Moore Scholarship must maintain a minimum 2.7 GPA and are required to live on campus.

Applications are due by Jan. 19th.

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 new FMU Freshmen Supplemental Scholarship will make it possible for all freshmen who are South Carolina residents, and who have demonstrated financial need, to cover the cost of all tuition and academic fees during their first year at the University.

The supplemental scholarship will pay the difference between a student’s first-year tuition and fees, and all grants or scholarships a student may receive, provided the student is eligible and receiving a full Pell Grant from the federal government.

Pell Grant status is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The deadline for consideration is May 1, and students must have submitted FAFSA and be an accepted student.

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.

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 transfer scholarship process, please speak to Evrik Gary at 843-661-1318 or email him at Evrik.Gary@fmarion.edu.