Undergraduate, Freshmen & Transfer Cost & Aid
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Undergraduate, Freshmen & Transfer Cost & Aid

Converse College tuition costs

Freshmen and Transfer Cost and Aid

A lot goes into making a college education affordable. Converse starts with low 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.

2020-2021 Tuition, Room and Board
Full-Time Tuition and Fees $19,500
Room and Board $11,600
Total $31,100

All full-time traditional undergraduate students pay an annual $360 Student Government Association 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.

All first-time traditional and transfer undergraduate students pay a one-time matriculation fee of $250. This fee will cover all new student orientation activities, graduation fees, graduation regalia, and up to a maximum of five (5) official academic transcripts. This fee is non-refundable.

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.

Due to the higher cost of international programs, Chinese 2+2 students, please refer to the Converse International School. 由于运营国际项目将产生较高费用,中国2+2项目收费标准另见

Generous support from Converse alumnae and donors and a strong endowment allow us to provide a wide array of scholarships and need-based grants. Converse College is pleased to offer endowed academic scholarships to incoming students that range from $1,000-$5,000 and are determined by academic credentials. Please contact the Office of Admissions for the criteria for each scholarship.

Freshman students outside the state of SC will receive an out-of-state grant in the amount of $1,000.

Academic Scholarships
By completing your application on-time, you’re automatically considered for academic scholarships. These awards range in value based on students’ academic profiles.

Converse Scholars Days
Complete your application 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.

Like scholarships, federal grants are awards that do not need to be repaid. To be eligible, you will need to apply to Converse, complete the FAFSA, and meet the grant criteria.

Federal Pell Grant
Pell Grants are the most common form of federal grants for students and are awarded on a sliding scale based on need at a maximum of $6,095. More than 40% of Converse undergraduates receive a Pell Grant.

Amount: Up to $6,095
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.

Amount: $500
Need-based grant
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 to 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 $3,500
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 freshman year; $7,500 sophomore – senior year; up to $10,000 for math and science majors meeting eligibility criteria
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 per year; $7,500 for math and science majors meeting eligibility criteria
Students not eligible for Palmetto Fellows are qualified for the Life Scholarship if they meet two of the criteria of an 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.

HOPE Scholarship
Amount: $2,800 (*freshman year only)
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.

All students (undergraduate, graduate and Converse II) must be enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours per term in order to be eligible for federal direct loans.

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 from borrowing additional federal direct student loans. We encourage you to 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).

Parents can apply and learn more online at StudentLoans.gov.  You may find more information about the Federal Direct PLUS Loan at Federal Student Aid.

Federal TEACH Grant Program

Converse College participates in the Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program.

The TEACH Grant is available to students who plan to begin a career in teaching and are enrolled in a Converse approved major, completing coursework at the professional level of their education curriculum and meet the minimum GPA, testing and application requirements. Recipients must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a low-income school, as a highly qualified teacher, and in a high-need field for at least four years within eight calendar years of leaving the program for which they received the TEACH Grant. Recipients that fail to complete the four years of qualified teaching service a within eight years of completing the course of study for which the TEACH Grant was received, or otherwise fail to meet any other requirement of the grant, will have their Teach Grant converted to an unsubsidized loan. Accrued and capitalized interest is effective from the date of the original grant disbursement. Once a Teach Grant converts to a loan, it is not reversible.

The Teach Grant provides up to $4,000.00 per academic year in grant assistance. The aggregate limit for undergraduates cannot exceed $16,000.00 and the aggregate limit for graduate students cannot exceed $8,000.00. If a student is eligible to receive the TEACH Grant, the student will be awarded an estimated amount that assumes full-time enrollment and is adjusted based on the current year sequester (required federal reductions). Example: For any TEACH Grant first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2019, and before Oct. 1, 2020, the maximum award of $4,000 is reduced by 5.9 percent ($236), resulting in a maximum award of $3,764. If a student enrolls less than full-time, the amount of the annual TEACH Grant that he or she receives will be adjusted accordingly.

Eligibility

Students must be degree-seeking and in a major Converse has approved as Teach Grant eligible. Converse has approved the following majors as Teach Grant eligible based on the federal list provided by the Department of Education and the National List applicable to the state of South Carolina:

Approved Undergraduate Programs

  • Special Education
    • Comprehensive
    • Learning Disabilities
    • Intellectual Disabilities
    • Deaf & Hard of Hearing
  • Math with a minor in secondary education
  • Biology or Chemistry with a minor in secondary education
  • Art Education
  • Music Education

Approved Graduate Programs

  • Special Education
    • Learning Disabilities
    • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Middle Level Science
  • Middle Level Math
  • Secondary Program – Mathematics

General Requirements

    To receive a TEACH Grant, students must meet the following criteria:
  • Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year;
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • Be enrolled as a degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate student in an eligible Converse major with a GPA of 3.25 or above at the end of each term in which the grant is received;
  • Be taking coursework necessary to complete teacher certification in a high-need field;
  • Annually, students must sign a new TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and complete a new Teach Grant Counseling;
  • Each academic year, for consideration of TEACH Grant, submit the required application materials to Student Financial Aid. Submit the completed forms at least 30 days before the end of the term of enrollment for which the TEACH Grant funding is being requested;
  • Complete the annual TEACH Grant Application
  • Complete TEACH Grant Exit Counseling in your final term (30-60 days) before graduation.

Requirements for Maintaining Grant Status After Graduation

To avoid repaying the TEACH Grant after graduation, you must serve as a full-time teacher in a low-income school, as a highly-qualified teacher, and in a high-need field for at least four years within eight calendar years of leaving the program for which you received the TEACH Grant. For a listing of schools and teaching fields that qualify, visit the Nationwide List for the state in which you intend to teach.

Initial 120-Day Certification Requirement

As explained in your TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve, you are expected to confirm for the TEACH Grant servicer, FedLoan Servicing, in writing within 120 days of the date when you ceased to be enrolled (graduated or withdrew) from the school where you received a TEACH Grant that you are:

  • employed as a full-time teacher in accordance with the terms and conditions described in the Agreement to Serve; or
  • not yet employed as a full-time teacher but intend to meet the TEACH Grant service obligation.
  • FedLoan Servicing will notify you when your initial 120-day certification is due.

Note: If you withdraw from school before completing the program of study for which you received a TEACH Grant, and you do not submit this initial certification to FedLoan Servicing within 120 days from the date of your withdrawal, all TEACH Grants you received will be converted to Direct Unsubsidized Loans. You must then repay these loans to ED, with interest charged from the date the TEACH Grants were disbursed. FedLoan Servicing will notify you if your TEACH Grants are converted to Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

Annual Certification Requirement

As explained in your Agreement to Serve, each year you must provide ED’s TEACH Grant servicer, FedLoan Servicing, with (1) documentation showing that you have completed a full school year of qualifying teaching service, or (2) a certification that you intend to satisfy the terms and conditions of your TEACH Grant service obligation. The documentation of teaching or certification of intent must be submitted to FedLoan Servicing by an annual certification date. Before Nov. 1, 2018, your annual certification date was based on the date when you ceased to be enrolled (graduated or withdrew) from the school where you received a TEACH Grant.

Therefore, annual certification dates varied among TEACH Grant recipients. To make it easier for TEACH Grant recipients to remember the annual certification date, ED has adopted a standardized annual certification date for all current and future TEACH Grant recipients.

Starting in 2019, the new annual certification date that will apply to you and all TEACH Grant recipients is Oct. 31. Each year at the beginning of October, the TEACH Grant servicer, FedLoan Servicing, will notify you and tell you how to submit your documentation of progress towards completing your TEACH Grant service obligation, or your certification of intent to satisfy the service obligation.

If you do not submit your documentation of progress or certification of intent by Oct. 31 and do not respond to reminder notices from FedLoan Servicing, all TEACH Grants you received will be converted to Direct Unsubsidized Loans. You must then repay these loans to ED, with interest charged from the date the TEACH Grants were disbursed (paid to you). FedLoan Servicing will notify you if your TEACH Grants are converted to Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

Teaching Obligation

To avoid repaying the TEACH Grant with interest, you must be a highly-qualified, full-time teacher in a high-need subject area for at least four years at a school serving low-income students. You must complete the four years of teaching within eight years of finishing the program for which you received the grant. You incur a four-year teaching obligation for each educational program for which you received TEACH Grant funds; however, you may work off multiple four-year obligations simultaneously under certain circumstances.

Schools serving low-income students include any elementary or secondary school that is listed in the Department of Education’s Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits.

Highly-Qualified, Full-Time Teacher

You must perform your teaching service as a highly-qualified teacher, which is defined in federal law in section 9101(23) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, or, for special education teachers, in section 602(10) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. To find out if you meet the requirements to be considered “highly qualified,” check with the Chief Administrative Officer at the school or educational service agency where you are teaching. You must meet the state’s definition of a full-time teacher and spend the majority (at least 51 percent) of your time teaching one of the high-need subject areas. Elementary teachers who teach many subjects would not be able to fulfill their service agreement.

High-Need Subject Areas

The Department of ED lists the following as high-need fields:

  • Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition
  • Foreign Language
  • Mathematics
  • Reading Specialist
  • Science
  • Special Education
  • Any other field listed in the U.S. Department of Education’s Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/pol/tsa.html.

A field listed in the Nationwide List will satisfy a recipient’s service obligation if:

  • The field is designated by a state as high-need at the time the recipient begins qualifying teaching in that field in that state (even if that field subsequently loses its high-need designation for that state); or
  • The recipient is teaching in the field during or after the 2010-2011 school year, and the field was considered high-need by the state in which the grant recipient is teaching during any award year the student received a TEACH Grant. (Even if the high-need field is no longer designated as high-need for that state when the grant recipient begins qualifying teaching service).

You can also learn more information about the Federal TEACH Grant online at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/teach#what-is-teach.

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. 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.

Amount: Varies
Hours worked: Typically varies between 4 to 8 hours per week

Additional scholarship programs exist through external organizations. For information, view our list of Scholarship Search Resources & Helpful Links.

Converse College offices will be closed Thursday, December 19 through January 1. Offices will reopen January 2 at 8:30 am.
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