COLUMBIA, SC – July 31, 2008 – South Carolina’s high school seniors in the Class of 2008 won a record $767 million in college scholarships, the highest one-year total since the state began tracking the information seven years ago.
State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex said today that this year’s senior class total of $767,101,163 was an $83 million increase over last year, pushing South Carolina’s five-year scholarship total over the $3 billion mark for the first time.
“This is no small feat,” Rex said. “In fact, it’s amazing. This year’s graduates have raised the bar for next year’s seniors, and I congratulate them and their parents, teachers, guidance counselors and school administrators. They all have worked hard, and they deserve to be applauded.”
The scholarship totals came from an annual survey of South Carolina’s local school districts, as well as the Governor’s School for Math and Science in Hartsville and the Governor’s School for Arts and Humanities in Greenville. The State Department of Education estimated that 90 percent of the state’s scholarships are academic and 10 percent are athletic, although sports scholarships also have academic requirements. LIFE, HOPE and Palmetto Fellows scholarships represent about a fifth of the state’s total.
Previous scholarship totals for South Carolina were $473 million (2004), $581 million (2005) and $614 million (2006) and 684 million (2007).
The five-year total since 2004 was $3,120,092,846. The numbers represent two-year scholarship values for technical colleges and two-year schools, and four-year totals for four-year colleges and universities.