If an extenuating circumstance prevents a student from meeting academic requirements (cumulative grade point average and/or credit hours) for regaining or renewing a LIFE Scholarship, renewing a Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, or receiving a remaining term of the SC HOPE Scholarship, the student may file an appeal with us. Students wishing to file an appeal must thoroughly read the Appeal Guidelines and submit all materials by the established deadline. The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education is not responsible for ensuring that appeals application are complete for review. Furthermore, CHE staff will not contact students, parents/guardians or institutions concerning documentation that is missing and/or incorrect in the appeals application packet during the appeals process.
The appeals application is made available at the end of the spring term, to open in May and close in September, for the next academic year. Students wishing to file an appeal must do so the no later than the first fall term in which they re-enroll at an eligible state institution. Please note that students are able to take advantage of the maymester and summer terms in an effort to earn the requisite GPA/credit hour requirement to maintain scholarship eligibility.
Students who fail to meet the initial eligibility criteria or who were never eligible to receive the SC HOPE, LIFE, or Palmetto Fellows Scholarship are not eligible to submit an appeal. In addition, students who did not file an appeal by the established September deadline upon the first fall term of re-enrollment at an eligible South Carolina institution are not eligible to submit an appeal
It may be best to work with the financial aid office at your home institution to discuss whether your situation is an institutional issue or is appealable to CHE.
- Guidelines and Forms for Appeal
- Student Appeals Checklist
In order to expedite the appeal’s process, please complete the following checklist before mailing your appeal.
- Did you read the definition of a traumatic/extraordinary event? Please refer to page 3 of the Guidelines for Appeal to determine if your traumatic/extraordinary event is considered to be an appealable situation.
- Did you attend Maymester and/or summer school to meet continued eligibility requirements, or at least to improve your standing in the eyes of the Appeals Committee? If not, please explain why you chose not to attend. If your reason for non-attendance was related to your extenuating circumstance, please provide the appropriate paperwork from a medical professional or counselor recommending/requiring your non-attendance.
- Are you or will you be enrolled during the Fall 2022 term? (You must be enrolled at an eligible SC institution in order to appeal the loss of your scholarship.)
- Did you complete, sign and enclose your application and letter?
- Have you provided a valid telephone number and email in case staff needs to contact you? (Please note that the student who is appealing must write/type and sign the letter. Appeals packets containing unsigned letters and incomplete or previous versions of the Appeals Application will not be considered.)
- Did you provide an explanation and documentation for any summer school sessions that you did not attend? It is expected that students will attend Maymester and/or summer school to meet the continued eligibility requirements (credit hours and/or GPA) for the LIFE and Palmetto Fellows Scholarships. A student must receive permission from a doctor if they are unable to earn the credits and GPA to regain their scholarship during summer school. Financial situations will not be taken into consideration for not attending summer school.
- Does your letter address whether or not you underwent the institutional appeals process?
- If suffering from a disability, chronic or long term illness, did you register with the Institutional/Campus Office of Disabilities? If you were registered, did you include this documentation in your appeal?
Doctor’s Letter/Medical Documentation (if applicable)
Is your doctor’s letter on official letterhead (not paper from a prescription pad) and is it signed by the doctor?
Does the letter include:
- The specific time periods of your illness?
- The diagnosis and extent of your illness?
- The effect that your illness had on your academic performance?
- Any recommendations regarding non-attendance?
If you withdrew from classes, does your doctor’s letter state whether or not they recommended/required withdrawal? If your doctor did not recommend withdrawal, does your letter state your doctor’s opinion regarding your ability to attend classes?
Does your medical documentation/doctor’s letter cover the entire time period of poor academic performance and or non-attendance? (If the student is appealing because of poor academic performance, the student must explain to the Committee whether they used the institutional appeals process to have the grades changed due to an extenuating circumstance each term. The student must also explain each term of poor academic performance).
If you are appealing due to death of a family member/non-immediate family member, did you include a letter from the counselor explaining how this traumatic extenuating circumstance affected your academic performance? Did you include supporting documentation in regards to the death (Obituary, and/or death certificate, and/or funeral program)?
Paper version: Did you send or request for transcripts to be sent for all of the colleges/universities you have attended (to include ANY dual enrollment transcripts)?Is each transcript in an official, sealed envelope from the institution? Have they been delivered to the Commission by the September deadline? Even if you have previously appealed you will need to submit updated transcripts from all institutions you have attended.
Electronic Version: Did you request for transcripts to be sent for all of the colleges/universities you have attended (to include ANY dual enrollment transcripts)? Is each transcript sent from the institution or transcript company (Transcript MUST be sent from institution or transcript company directly to CHE (firstname.lastname@example.org). CHE will not accept transcripts that were sent directly to the student/parent). Have they been delivered to email@example.com by the September deadline? Even if you have previously appealed you will need to submit updated transcripts from all institutions you have attended.
If you completed dual enrollment coursework, did you request an official transcript from the institution through which the coursework was earned (excluding high school transcripts)? Have they been delivered to CHE by the September deadline? (Even though some institutions will place credits on their transcript if they are earned at a different institution, they may not list the grades earned, which could impact an appeal. For this reason, all official transcripts from every institution attended, even those institutions attended through dual credit programs).
If CHE does not receive all transcripts, your application will be considered incomplete. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
- Contact Us
Mail or hand-deliver your appeal packet to:
SC COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION
ATTN: SCHOLARSHIP APPEALS
1122 Lady Street, Suite 400
Columbia, SC 29201
Or email to: APPEALS@CHE.SC.GOV
Important Note Regarding Official Transcripts*: Official transcripts must be submitted from the student’s current and any/all previous post-secondary institutions attended, enrolled, and/or earned credit hours from, including dual enrollment coursework. If an institution is using courses for GPA/credit hours then an official transcript from the institution in which the credit hours were earned needs to be provided to CHE. EVEN IF YOU HAVE PREVIOUSLY APPEALED, NEW/UPDATED OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS MUST BE SUBMITTED IN ORDER FOR AN APPEAL TO BE HEARD
Should you wish to submit an official electronic transcript, it is the student’s responsibility to verify with the institution that the electronic submission will be considered “official” and therefore may be used for a complete appeal submission. CHE cannot guarantee that any electronic transcript will be considered official and acceptable for processing. Any electronic submissions direct from the student or any electronic submission that states “unofficial” will NOT be accepted.
It may be in your best interest to request an official hard copy be sent to CHE.