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The faith-filled community at SWU is comprised of students, faculty and staff who are passionate about learning and growing, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Grants and Loans for Online Students

SWU Alumni Scholarship for Graduate Programs

An Alumni Scholarship is available to Southern Wesleyan University graduates who choose to enroll in any master's degree program at SWU. Learn more details about the Alumni Scholarship.

Donor Scholarships - Amount Varies

Southern Wesleyan University is blessed with many generous donors who wish to invest in student scholarships. Qualifications vary for each donor scholarship, ranging from academic/major, athletic/sport team, need-based, and geographic qualifications. Learn more and apply for SWU Donor Scholarships here.

Church Matching Scholarship

The Church Matching Scholarship creates an avenue for the local church, in conjunction with SWU, to continue being an active part in the lives of their students. SWU will match up to $1,000 per year ($500 per semester) of a gift given from the student's church or church district. Read more about the Church Matching Scholarship.

Tuition Assistance

For all need-based financial aid programs, any tuition assistance received by the student must be considered. The SWU Financial Aid Application asks whether assistance of this type is to be received by the student and if so, how much and under any specific conditions. It is imperative that the student report these types of assistance completely and accurately. Failure to do so may affect some state and/or federal funding.

South Carolina Tuition Grant – up to $4500

To apply for the South Carolina Grant, you must list Southern Wesleyan University in Step Six of the FAFSA. Your information will automatically be forwarded to the SC Tuition Grants Commission. You might receive a tentative eligibility letter from the Tuition Grant Commission informing you of the potential maximum SCTG award. Do not mistake this for the actual award letter. The actual amount of the award is certified by SWU and is based on the number of credit hours you complete per term. You must be enrolled in at least 12 hours in the Fall and 12 hours in the Spring to receive Tuition Grant for those terms. This will require taking additional courses outside the recommended schedule (Fall 9 hours, Spring 9 hours, Summer 6 hours); therefore, not all students will be eligible. Your FAFSA must be processed by June 30 to be eligible for this grant.

If you meet the basic qualifications, you will be notified by the Commission that you are potentially eligible, pending verification of satisfactory academic progress and confirmation of full-time enrollment by the Financial Aid Office at SWU. When SWU receives that list of those potentially eligible students from the Commission, it is required to verify that the student is enrolled full-time and has made a satisfactory grade point average during the fall and spring terms. SWU will then notify the student in writing of the amount of grant and when the disbursements may be expected.

Online students who change their schedules during or after tuition grant certification may face the return of funds for hours not completed. When the roster for the second disbursement arrives, the Financial Aid Office will check hours completed against hours certified and make adjustments where necessary. If additional hours have been taken or are scheduled, the Financial Aid Office may request additional funding from the Commission. The Commission will determine whether such requests may be granted.

Appeals: The South Carolina Tuition Grant Commission will consider appeals when students face unusual circumstances which have hindered the achievement of satisfactory academic progress during a previous year. Such conditions might include catastrophic events, unforeseen and unavoidable to the student. Information about appeals is available from the assistant director of financial aid.

LIFE Scholarship – up to $5,000

Awarded to South Carolina residents who meet two of the following three requirements: 1) 1100 SAT or 24 ACT, 2) 3.0 GPA, or 3) rank in top 30 percent of graduating class. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and earn an average of 30 hours per academic year in order to remain eligible.

HOPE Scholarship – up to $2,800

Awarded for the first year of attendance to South Carolina residents with a cumulative 3.0 or higher GPA who do not qualify for the LIFE or Palmetto Fellows Scholarship.

Pell Grants – up to $6895

Based on family need, the Federal Government provides Pell Grants for educational expenses. The FAFSA provides the needed information about eligibility. When the electronic information is transmitted to the Financial Aid Office, eligibility is noted based on FAFSA data and scheduled enrollment hours and SWU schedules the Pell grant award. The student will be notified and disbursements will be handled by the Financial Aid Office. Before disbursements are processed, the Financial Aid Office will check the student’s current schedule against the original Pell award. This may result in an adjustment from the originally scheduled award to accommodate for a change in enrollment hours. Adjustments will be made where necessary, and the student may be responsible to repay any Pell monies which were received for coursework not taken. Students may receive Pell Grants for up to 12 semesters.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) – up to $500

Available to undergraduate students seeking their first undergraduate degree with demonstrated financial need. Funds are limited.

Federal Stafford Loans

Review President Biden’s Announcement on Student Loan Relief Here

Several important notes regarding the Direct Student Loan Programs.

  • Direct Loans for graduate and professional students will only be unsubsidized.
  • Subsidized Loans for undergraduate students will accrue interest during the six months "grace period" after graduation.

Independent students enrolled in the University may borrow up to $9,500 for the first year (up to 29 credit hours), $10,500 for the second year (up to 59 credit hours), and $12,500 for the third (up to 89 credit hours) and fourth years. Dependent students, under age 24, have lower annual loan limits and may contact their Financial Aid Counselor for details. Eligibility is determined through the FAFSA, and certification is based on a student’s expected schedule. Information about interest rates, deferments, and qualifications for subsidized or unsubsidized monies is available from the Financial Aid Office. The first disbursement will not be made until the student has actually begun the program. Loans are certified for an academic year.

Loan statistics:

  • Institutional Cohort Default Rate = 7.1% (as of the 09/2021 US DOC release, which is based on 2018’s cohort)
  • National Cohort Default Rate = 7.3% (as of the 09/2021 US DOC release, which is based on 2018’s cohort)
  • % of SWU online students who borrow = 57.2%
  • SWU online student average indebtedness = $21,692 (as of the May 2021 graduating class)
  • National Average Indebtedness = $37,105 (as of 06/30/21)

Deferments: Repayment of federal loans will begin six months after termination of enrollment. Deferments are handled by the Academic Records office; contact them for questions about individual situations.

Direct Lending Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for a printable PDF version

Beginning in fall 2010, Southern Wesleyan University began participating in the William D. Ford Direct Loan program. Student and parent borrowers will receive funding for their federal student loans directly from the U.S. Department of Education rather from private banks and other lending institutions as previous through the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). Below is a list of questions related to the Direct Loan Program that should help students and families understand how this program works.

Q. What are Direct Loans?
A. Direct Loans are federally insured low-interest education loans for students and parents. These include the Direct Subsidized Loan, the Direct Unsubsidized Loan, the Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) and the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan programs for graduate and professional students.

Q. Why is SWU using the Direct Loan Program?
A. The Direct Loan Program will provide SWU students with a reliable source of educational loan funding. While volatility in the credit markets and reductions in lender subsidies have caused some lenders to stop making federal student loans or to stop offering borrower benefits and other services, the Direct Loan Program is not impacted by such changes in the economy and can, therefore, provide a stable and predictable loan process.


Q. Are there any loan fees associated with these loans?
A. For the Parent PLUS loan, there is a 4.228 percent fee that is assessed. For the Direct Student Loan, there is a 1.057 percent fee that is assessed. Click here for additional information: https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/repayment/plans

Once you graduate or choose not to attend school at least half-time, you will have the option to combine your existing federal education loans into one new loan with the Federal Consolidation Loan Program. With a consolidation loan, you will have only one payment to make each month and one lender. To learn more about consolidation, access this website. You may review all of your loans by visiting https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/repayment/servicers

Parent PLUS Loan – up to full cost

Parents of eligible students may borrow up to the full cost of attendance at a flat interest rate. Although flat for a given year, the flat rate does change each academic year.

Veteran’s Benefits

Certain armed forces veterans and dependents who qualify under Federal laws administered by the Veteran’s Administration are eligible to receive educational benefits. Information about these programs is available through state or county VA offices or from the Academic Records Office. Students who receive veteran’s benefits must report expected benefits on their FAFSA when submitting it to the Financial Aid Office.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Individuals with a handicap which directly impedes employment may apply to the Vocational Rehabilitation Services to determine eligibility for assistance (including education) toward a goal of employment.

Additional Benefits

In addition to the above programs, many companies, corporations, and foundations offer aid to students based on a variety of criteria. Students should investigate policies and programs of employers and foundations within their fields of study.

Satisfactory academic progress (generally measured by institutional standards) and continuous enrollment must be maintained for continued consideration for assistance.