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March 15 Application Deadline for Education Scholarship Trust Fund


March 15 Application Deadline for Education Scholarship Trust Fund

5,000 scholarships will provide more K-12 options for low and moderate income families

The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) is reminding South Carolina families that the deadline to apply for the Education Scholarship Trust Fund (ESTF) Program is March 15, 2024.

The program, signed into law by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster in May 2023, allots $30 million to be used for scholarships for educational expenses. Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first served basis for up to 5,000 qualifying South Carolina families for the 2024-2025 school year.

At $6,000 per student, the scholarships can be used to support a customized, flexible education. Families can use the funds to pay for tuition, textbooks, curriculum and educational materials, as well as for tutoring, online courses and a wide range of educational therapies including speech, physical, occupational and vision. Approved applicants will receive their first quarterly payment of $1,500 in late July 2024.

“For over a decade, policymakers have diligently worked toward allowing parents this type of ability to customize their child’s education,” said State Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver. “This program has the potential to truly transform lives and make sure the unique learning needs of every child are met.”

Easy Three-Step Process to Apply

To apply for Education Scholarship Trust Fund scholarships, families need to complete this three-step process:

Step 1- Complete a simple application, available at: 

A) Proof of guardianship (tax return with dependents listed, birth certificate, etc.)
B) Proof of income (2022 or 2023 tax return documentation. If they don't file taxes, they’ll need to provide information on income.)
C) Proof of residency (driver's license or state-issued ID, utility bill, etc.)

After the application has been reviewed to verify eligibility, families will receive another email notifying them of the eligibility decision. The application review process and notification may take up to 14 days. To help determine their students’ eligibility for this program, families can refer to the frequently asked questions at

Step 2- Access scholarship funds:

Once a student is approved, the family will receive a welcome email from ClassWallet, contracted for programmatic support and to manage the distribution of scholarship funds to participating families, with the next steps on how to access their scholarship funds. Support and training will be provided to answer any questions families may have regarding how the program works.

Step 3- Use scholarship funds:

Families will be able to make payments and purchases for approved expenses using their students’ scholarship account.
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