Costs and Financial Aid

Preparing for college expenses can be stressful, and GSSM college counselors work closely with students and parents to identify financial aid opportunities and advise them in developing an "affordabilty plan." GSSM students are very competitive candidates, and those who work hard often receive merit-based scholarships. Our web resources page includes helpful links to scholarship search databases.

Students and parents are also strongly encouraged to apply for need-based financial aid. The two major financial aid forms used by colleges to determine need-based aid include the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the College Board’s CSS Profile.The FAFSA and CSS Profile are available October 1 for students enrolling in college fall 2019. Both will require 2017 tax information to complete the forms. We work with students to optimize their eligibilty for need-based and merit-based aid from federal, state, institutional and outside sources.

Palmetto Fellows

The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship is a merit-based program established in 1988 and is administered by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. The annual award amount for the freshman year is up to $6,700. The award amount for the sophomore, junior and senior years is up to $7,500 per year. Students may use the scholarship at eligible public or private four-year colleges in SC.

Eligibility:

Early Awards: Students must score at least 1200 on the SAT (27 on the ACT) by the November national test administration AND have earned a minimum 3.5 GPA on the SC Uniform Grading Policy at the end of the junior year, AND rank in the top 6% of the class at the end of the sophomore or junior year. Since GSSM does not rank, we use the student’s rank at the end of the sophomore year to determine eligibility OR score at least 1400 on the SAT (32 on the ACT) by the November national test administration AND earn a minimum 4.0 on the SC Uniform Grading Policy at the end of the junior year.

Late Awards: Students must score at least 1200 on the SAT (27 on the ACT) by the June national test administration AND have earned a minimum 3.5 GPA on the SC Uniform Grading Policy at the end of the senior year, AND rank in the top 6% of the class at the end of the sophomore or junior year. Since GSSM does not rank, we use the student’s rank at the end of the sophomore year to determine eligibility OR score at least 1400 on the SAT (32 on the ACT) by the June national test administration AND earn a minimum 4.0 on the SC Uniform Grading Policy at the end of the junior year.

The State of South Carolina offers additional merit and need-based aid, details of which can be found on the SC Commission on Higher Education, Scholarships and Grants web page.