SC Teacher Loan Programs
The South Carolina Teachers Loan Programs were established by the State of South Carolina to help talented and qualified students become teachers. Funding for the SC Teachers Loan Program, SC Career Changers Loan Program, and the SC Program of Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE) is limited and subject to change, so apply early. You may only receive funding from one of these programs per year.
The SC Teachers Loan and Career Changers Loan may be forgiven if the applicant teaches in a South Carolina public school in a critical subject or critical geographic area. To begin the process, simply download and complete the SC Teachers/Career Changers Loan application. The priority filing deadline is April 30.
Individuals interested in teaching who have not completed a teacher education program may qualify to participate in the South Carolina Program of Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE). To apply for a PACE Loan, simply download and complete a PACE Loan Application. This loan is designed to reimburse the student for expenses with the PACE program. If approved, a check is mailed directly to the student.
- You must complete an application and sign a promissory note.
- You must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
- You must be a resident of South Carolina.
- You must be enrolled in and making satisfactory academic progress at an approved institution on at least a half-time basis.
- You must be enrolled in a program of teacher education or have expressed an intent to enroll in such a program.
- Entering freshmen must have been ranked in the top 40% of their high school graduating class and have an SAT or ACT score equal to or greater than the South Carolina average for the year of high school graduation. Currently, the average scores are: SAT (2 parts) 975, SAT (3 parts) 1442, ACT 20.
- Enrolled undergraduate students, including enrolled freshmen (2nd term of freshman year), must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale and must have taken and passed the Praxis I (Praxis Core after 06/30/14). Students with a SAT score of 1100 or greater (1650 for 3-part exams taken on or after March 1, 2005) or an ACT score of 24 or greater are exempt from the Praxis requirement.
- Entering graduate students must have at least a 2.75 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
- Graduate students who have completed at least one term must have a grade point average of 3.5 or better on a 4.0 scale.
- If previously certified to teach, you must be seeking initial certification in a different critical subject area currently listed.
To be eligible for the SC Career Changers Loan:
- You must meet the above requirements except (1) the last requirement pertaining to previously certified teachers because the Career Changers Loan is only for someone changing careers to become a teacher, and (2) the academic requirements; those will be waived for the first year you apply for the Career Changers Loan.
- You must have possessed a baccalaureate degree for at least three years. This requirement is waived for individuals who are instructional assistants in the South Carolina public school system.
- You must have been employed full-time for at least three years.
To be eligible for the SC PACE Loan:
- You must be enrolled in the South Carolina Program of Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE) and have received an Educator's Certificate for the current year.
- You must be teaching full-time in a South Carolina public school. The subject is determined when the borrower enters the PACE Program.
Maximum Loan Amounts
Freshmen and sophomores may borrow up to $2,500 per year with the SC Teachers Loan. Juniors, seniors, and graduate students may borrow up to $5,000 per year. The aggregate maximum is $20,000 for undergraduate and graduate students.
Career changers may borrow up to $15,000 per year and up to an aggregate maximum of $60,000.
PACE Loan Program participants may borrow up to $750 per year, not to exceed a total maximum of $5,000.
Loan Forgiveness (SC Teachers Loan and SC Career Changers Loan)
The loan is forgiven at the rate of 20% or $3,000, whichever is greater, for each full year of teaching in a South Carolina public school in a critical subject or critical geographic area. If you teach in a public South Carolina school in both a critical subject and a critical geographic area, your loan will be forgiven at the rate of 33 1/3% or $5,000, whichever is greater, for each year of full-time teaching. If you have not been teaching for the full academic year, you must have taught a minimum of 76 days to be considered for forgiveness.
The subject areas which are deemed critical at the time you apply, or later, will be honored for forgiveness when you begin teaching. A geographic area must be deemed critical at the time of your employment. For more information on SC Teachers Loan forgiveness, please see our FAQ's.
Loan Forgiveness (SC PACE Loan Program)
Under the PACE Program, loan forgiveness is available for recipients who teach during the same year in which funding is received.
If you do not teach, repayment will begin six months after you graduate or cease to be enrolled at least half-time. Effective for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2013, the interest rate shall equal the Direct Stafford Loan interest rate charged for unsubsidized loans to undergraduate students plus 2%, not to exceed 8.25%.
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