Let's Talk College Funding

If college is in your future plans, it’s never too early to think about how you will cover the cost of attending, including extra costs like food, books, and other fees.


Combining SCDSS's Education and Training Voucher (ETV) funds with other grants and scholarships can help minimize or eliminate the need to take out student loans (borrowed money that you pay back with interest). But, you must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) in order to access all the funds you qualify for each year.


To learn more about SCDSS's ETV program, go here.

Follow these tips to help fund your schooling!



1. Complete your FAFSA



Some states and schools have limited funds, so getting your FAFSA in as soon as possible is important.

Complete the Current FAFSA form for free.
Know your Financial Aid Deadlines

Visit the FAFSA Website for more tips.



2. Apply for ETV Funds



Get up to $5,000 per year for 5 years of eligibility up to age 26. The 5 years don't have to be consecutive. For example, you can take a break from college and go back without losing your eligibility. But, you have to submit your FAFSA to be considered for ETV funds.


Questions about ETV? Email the SCDSS Chafee/ETV Program Staff at .

SC ETV Application Form


3. Apply for SC Need-Based Grants & Scholarships



Get up to $2,500 per year for with up to an additional $2,000 per year. If you are enrolled at one of SC’s eligible independent colleges and universities you may qualify for an SC Need-Based Grant. For more information, contact your school counselor or case manager. Deadline is May 1st. For more info, check out this handout  or go  online .

SC Scholarships info can be found  online. Again, completing your FAFSA is the first step to seeing if you qualify for both SC Need-based grants and scholarships.


4. Apply for Other Scholarships & Awards



For other scholarships and awards, use free search engines online. But, beware of potential scams. Here are a few links to some trusted websites.


College Board's Scholarship Search

Foster Care to Success Scholarships
US Department of Labor's  Free Scholarship Search Tool

SC Financial Aid Programs




5. Beware of Scholarship Scams



Look out for these scam lines:

"The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back."
"You can't get this information anywhere else."
"I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship."
"We'll do all the work. You just pay a processing fee."
"The scholarship will cost some money."
 "You've been selected" by a "national foundation" to receive a scholarship – or "You're a finalist" in a contest you never entered.

*Scam lines copied from the Federal Trade Commission on Consumer Information website


If you’re unsure or confused by any part of the college funding process don’t be afraid to ask questions! Asking for support along the way will ensure that you get all the funds you can to help you pay for school.



Updated 6/14/2021