Petition Closed
Petitioning SC legislature

we want equity in disbursement of lottery tuition assistance funds


The federal Pell grant, then called the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant, went into effect in 1965. Its stated purpose was to financially assist lower and middle income students in being successful college students. The funds were to be used for tuition, fees, textbooks, materials and transportation among other things.
In 2002 the SC Lottery Tuition Assistance program went into effect, its stated goal was to make a 2 year college degree accessible to all. Voters were told that EVERY SC 2 year college student would be eligible for Lottery Tuition Assistance regardless of income level. Also written into the law is a requirement that all Federal funds (most notably Pell) would first be deducted from the student's tuition and after that the lottery would pay an amount to be determined toward the remainder.
An example of the way this works at Trident Technical college this year: Student A receives no federal assistance her tuition bill is $1855.40, SC lottery pays $1140 of that. Student B receives $1900 Pell funds, her tuition bill is $1855.40, that amount is deducted from her Pell funds, she receives no lottery assistance because her tuition has been paid and has less than $50 remaining to pay for the myriad other items. We are proposing the SC legislature amend the law to read that 50% of federal funds first be applied to tuition in order to give the student the opportunity to apply funds to the other items such as textbooks that would give them the opportunity to be successful.

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