SC Teachers Loan and Career Changers
We believe in empowering the next generation of teachers in South Carolina. That's why we offer Teacher Loans to South Carolina residents who are interested in the teacher profession and Career Changers Loan for South Carolina residents interested in changing careers to become a teacher.
- Loan Details & Application
SC Teacher Loan Requirements & Eligibility
- 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 (ERW and Math) 1058, ACT 18.
- 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.
Career Changer Eligibility Requirements
- 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.
Maximum loan amountsFreshmen 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.
Interest RateIf 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%.
SC PACE Loan
We also offer loans to individuals who haven't completed a traditional teacher education program but qualify to participate in an alternative pathway to professional educator certification, called the South Carolina Program of Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE). Our loans reimburse you for expenses with the PACE program. If you’re approved, a check is mailed directly to you.
Loan Details & Application
- You must be enrolled in the PACE program 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
PACE Loan Program participants may borrow up to $750 per year, not to exceed a total maximum of $5,000.
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%.
SC Teacher Loan Forgiveness
Borrowers who received a Teachers Loan, Career Changer Loan, or a PACE Loan may be eligible to have portions of your loan indebtedness forgiven by teaching in certain critical geographic and/or subject areas in the SC public school system. This forgiveness is available only to certified teachers and not to teacher's aides or teacher assistants and only to recipients of the SC Teachers Loan.
- Loan Forgiveness Details
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.
Under the PACE Program, loan forgiveness is available for recipients who teach during the same year in which funding is received.
- Loan Forgiveness Forms & Instructions
SC Teacher Loan/Career Changers loan recipients have a two-part loan forgiveness process.
If you have signed a teaching contract:
Complete the SC Teachers Loan Deferment/Interest Rate Reduction Request form so that we may defer your payment while you teach. You must have a signed teaching contract in place. This form is to be completed at the beginning of each school year.
If you have completed a year of teaching:
After you have completed your full year of teaching, apply for forgiveness by having the SC Teachers Loan Programs Forgiveness Eligibility Confirmation Form completed by your District Personnel Office or Superintendent. This form should be completed at the end of each school year.
SC PACE loan recipients are only required to complete the SC Teachers Loan Programs Forgiveness Eligibility Confirmation Form.