A lot goes into making a college education affordable. Converse starts with a lower tuition that is the same in-state or out-of-state and is competitive with premier public universities. We then offer you a range of financial aid programs from endowed academic and talent scholarships to need-based aid and state and federal financial aid. View all of the details below, and don’t forget to complete your FAFSA to be eligible for the most aid.
Cost of Attendance
Converse provides you with a private college education at a public university price.
|2017-18 Tuition, Room and Board|
|Full-Time Tuition and Fees||$17,680|
|Room and Board||$10,610|
All full-time traditional undergraduate students pay an annual $350 student activity fee. These funds are used by the Student Government Association to support and enhance the student experience. The fee supports clubs, organizations, campus celebrations, special events, yearbooks, and class rings.
Tuition, room and board goes further at Converse with many benefits such as included laundry, cable TV, and micro-fridges that you’d pay extra for at other colleges. However, students are responsible for some additional fees including Student Government Association, laboratory or studio costs, private music lessons, and others. You can find a full schedule of fees in the current academic catalog.
Generous support from Converse alumnae and donors and a strong endowment allow us to provide a wide array of scholarships and need-based grants.
Scholarships and Aid
Students who reside outside of South Carolina and who have a 1000 SAT, equivalent ACT, or better will receive a $1000 scholarship.
South Carolina residents who meet the criteria for Life or Palmetto Fellows will receive a $1000 scholarship.
Endowed Academic Scholarships
By completing your application on-time, you’re automatically considered for endowed academic scholarships. These awards range in value based on students’ academic profiles.
Converse Scholars Days
Complete your application by November 15th and you could be invited to a Converse Scholars Day. In addition to meeting top faculty and other Converse Scholars, you may receive additional endowed academic scholarships in varying amounts, including full tuition and full comprehensive scholarships. These scholarships are awarded based on a faculty or staff interview as well as your merit, extra-curricular activities and community involvement.
Talent Scholarships for Athletics, Music, and the Arts
If you’re going to be competing as a Valkyrie for one of our NCAA II Division sports, contact your coach about potential scholarships. And, if you’re interested in studying music, musical theatre, theatre, or the arts, see the School of the Arts Auditions & Portfolios page to learn about auditioning and additional aid.
Converse Need-Based Grants
Converse offers need-based grants to students who demonstrate financial need. These awards may be limited, and you must submit the FAFSA to be eligible.
Federal Pell Grant
Pell Grants are the most frequent form of federal grants for students and are awarded on a sliding scale based on need at a maximum of $5,815. More than 40% of Converse undergraduates receive a Pell Grant.
Amount: Up to $5,815
Need-based federal grant
Eligibility determined by the FAFSA
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
SEOG Grants are awarded to students based on need. SEOG funds are limited, so complete your Converse application and FAFSA as soon as possible for maximum consideration.
Eligibility determined by the FAFSA
If you are a resident of the state of South Carolina, you may qualify for aid awarded by the state. While not all programs require you to file the FAFSA to be eligible, we strongly encourage you do complete the FAFSA to expedite the process. Visit S.C. Commission on Higher Education for more information.
Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan
Future Scholar is not a scholarship but rather a savings plan designed to help families jump-start saving for college while enjoying federal and state tax benefits. It is sponsored by the State of South Carolina and administered by the South Carolina State Treasurer’s office. Funds in a Future Scholar account grow tax-free. South Carolinians can deduct contributions to a Future Scholar account from state income taxes. Importantly, they pay no state income tax when the money is used for college expenses. Learn more about the Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan.
South Carolina Tuition Grant
Amount: Up to $3,200
This grant is awarded to South Carolina resident students with demonstrated financial need who choose to attend a private, 4-year college in the state. Around 90% of Converse students who are South Carolina residents receive this grant. You must submit the FAFSA by June 30 to qualify.
Palmetto Fellows, Life, and Hope Scholarships
Palmetto Fellows, Life, and Hope Scholarships are merit awards based on high school academic records. South Carolina resident students may receive one of these awards based on their qualifications.
Palmetto Fellows Scholarship
Amount: $6,700 first year to $10,000 with enhancement
To be considered for the top academic scholarship for South Carolina residents, you must either be in the top 6% of your class with a 3.5 GPA and a 1200 SAT/27 ACT or have a 4.0 GPA and a 1400 SAT/32 ACT. Eligible students are submitted for this award by their high school guidance counselor. Recipients must maintain a 3.0 college GPA and earn 30 credit hours per year, and an enhancement is available for sophomores who are science or math majors and completed 14 credit hours in science or math courses during the freshman year.
LIFE (Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence) Scholarship
Amount: $5,000 first year to $7,500 with enhancement
Students not eligible for Palmetto Fellows are qualified for the Life Scholarship if they meet two of the criteria of a 1100 SAT/24 ACT, a 3.0 GPA, or graduate in the top 30% of their class. Recipients must maintain a 3.0 college GPA and earn 30 credit hours per year, and an enhancement is available for sophomores who are science or math majors and completed 14 credit hours in science or math courses during the freshman year.
South Carolina resident students not eligible for Palmetto Fellows or Life Scholarships are eligible for the Hope scholarship if they graduate high school with a 3.0 GPA. The Hope Scholarship is awarded for the first year only. Hope recipients (and other SC residents) may become eligible for the Life scholarship by earning 30 credit hours with an average 3.0 GPA their freshman year.
While we encourage you to pursue all grant, scholarship, and work opportunities first, Federal Direct Loans are a way to invest in a college education to prepare you for your future. Unlike loans on objects that depreciate, a college education becomes even more valuable later in life and can never be taken away.
The Federal Direct Loan Program is a low-interest loan made to you by the U.S. Department of Education in two possible forms. Some students will qualify for a subsidized loan which is based on financial need as calculated based on information contained in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Interest on subsidized federal direct loans does not accrue as long as you are enrolled at least half-time in an eligible degree program. You may also qualify for an unsubsidized loan which accrues interest during your enrollment. This interest may be paid while you are enrolled or you can choose to allow the interest to capitalize. This means that when you enter repayment, you will owe the principal balance borrowed plus any interest that has accrued.
Repayment for federal direct loans does not begin until six months after graduation or after you drop below half-time status. More information can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.
Direct Loan Annual Limits
Freshmen students – Up to $5,500 (of which only $3,500 may be subsidized)
Sophomores – Up to $6,500 (of which only $4,500 may be subsidized)
Juniors and Seniors – Up to $7,500 (of which only $5,500 may be subsidized)
If you are a dependent student and your parents are ineligible for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan, you may be eligible to receive additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds. Parents of dependent students may apply for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan online at studentloans.gov.
Direct Loan Aggregate Limits
The U.S. Department of Education does impose an aggregate limit on federal direct loan borrowers for an undergraduate degree. Once you have reached these aggregate limits you are prohibited for borrowing additional federal direct student loans. We encourage you to always borrow conservatively considering only the amount you need for educational expenses.
The total aggregate limit for dependent undergraduate students is $31,000. For independent students, this limit is $57,500. For both dependent and independent under graduate students, no more than $23,000 of the total aggregate borrowed may be subsidized.
All degree-seeking undergraduate students may qualify for some form of Federal Direct Loan; however, to be considered you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year.
The Federal Direct PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students) Loan Program allows parents to take out loans to help support their student’s education at Converse. PLUS loans can cover up to any remaining amount of the cost of attendance that is not met by other aid and are subject to credit approval by the U.S. Department of Education. Parents can apply for PLUS loans after the receipt of the initial financial aid package, but not before May 1st of each year. If for any reason a parent is denied a PLUS loan, the may qualify for an additional unsubsidized direct loan in the amount of $4,000 (freshman or sophomore) or $5,000 (junior or senior).
Federal TEACH Grant
The TEACH (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education) Grant is a federally funded program for students who plan to teach in both a critical subject and critical geographic area. The grant is currently $3,724 per year; however, it converts to a loan with accrued interest if certain conditions are not met. Learn more about the TEACH Grant through:
South Carolina Teacher Loan
To encourage talented and qualified S.C. students to enter the teaching profession, the State of South Carolina developed the Teachers Loan Program to assist students with college expenses. The loans can be canceled at the rate of 20% per year by teaching in S.C. public schools in state-designated areas of critical needs. Applications are available online. The deadline for applying is April 30.
Amount: $2,500 for Freshmen and Sophomores and $5,000 for Juniors and Seniors
Renewable: You must maintain a 3.0 GPA and earn 30 semester hours each year
- Eligibility is determined by your academic achievements and the desire to major in education
- As a sophomore, you must pass the Praxis I exam
- Visit S.C. Student Loan Corporation for more information
Alternative educational loans are available from private lenders and offer additional financial assistance to students who have exhausted all other sources of funding for their education. These programs are meant to supplement federal, state, institutional and private aid when the cost of attendance (COA) is not fully covered by these programs.
We strongly encourage you to review all financial aid you have been offered to accurately determine the amount of alternative/private loan funds that you may need to borrow. Your financial aid information is available at my.converse.edu
To better estimate your expenses, and to accurately complete self-certification information (part of the alternative loan application process), please consider your cost of attendance to include tuition, room and board, books and other incidental expenses.
Before You Apply…
Before you apply for an alternative private loan, it is important for you to realize that if you proceed with the alternative loan application process that you are making a financial decision that will impact your life well after graduation. Some of the factors you should consider are:
- What are realistic projections of your starting salary as well as future earnings potential in your field?
- What other loan obligations do you/will you have and how much of your future income is already committed to those debts? You can view your cumulative Direct Student Loan debt at National Student Loan Data System under “Financial Aid Review”.
- What are your lifestyle needs/desires after graduation? Can you afford to decrease your projected monthly net income by additional loan obligations?
- Can any changes be made to your current/future lifestyle needs/wants that would eliminate/reduce the need for an alternative loan?
Applying for an Alternative Educational Loan
If an alternative loan is the only financial aid you desire, the submission of a FAFSA is not required. It is highly encouraged, however, that a FAFSA be submitted in order to be considered for the most favorable aid for the student.
When you apply for an alternative loan, you must also complete a loan application, a promissory note, a self-certification form, and accepting all loan terms with the lender before the loan funds will be disbursed to the institution.
Choosing a Lender
We encourage you to contact a variety of established lenders about their alternative educational loan product(s). You have the right to select any lender you wish to use for an alternative loan. It is the responsibility of the student to thoroughly evaluate each lender before choosing the one that is right for you. Converse College does not endorse any particular alternative student loan lender.
For your convenience, lenders that have provided alternative loans to Converse students within the past three years can be found online by utilizing ELM Select.
Students have the opportunity to work in a variety of offices around campus. Completing the FAFSA may qualify you for federal work-study eligibility, which would provide you with priority in student employment selection. To be considered for a work-study position, you must complete an application by going to My Converse Portal under Student, then select Federal Work-Study, then select Student Employment Application. The deadline to apply each year is August 1.
You typically work 4-8 hours per week