State Fair announces increase in scholarship funds

The South Carolina State Fair has announced a 67 percent increase in awards for its 2023 annual Ride of Your Life Scholarship program.

For the first time in more than a decade, the individual award amount per student has increased from $6,000 to $10,000.

The application deadline is approaching and fair officials encourage high school seniors in South Carolina to apply by the March 15 deadline.

“We are proud that this year, the S.C. State Fair will award half a million dollars in scholarships to college students across South Carolina,” said Cantey Heath, Jr. S.C. State Fair board president. “Our commitment has always been to education and making an impact on future generations. We are honored to expand this program and create more opportunities for each of our scholarship recipients.”

Since 1997, the fair has awarded more than $4 million in scholarships to more than a thousand South Carolina students through the Ride of Your Life Scholarship program. The scholarship program is an example of community initiatives the fair supports throughout the year.

“The S.C. State Fair’s continued growth and year-long offerings allow us to always stay true to our commitment to education,” said Nancy Smith, S.C. State Fair general manager. “Some of our newer events, such as the Spring Fair Food Drive Through and Carolina Lights, are enabling us to bring in additional revenue, which ultimately reflects in how much we are able to invest back in our community.”

Scholarships will be awarded to 50 high school seniors across South Carolina and will be paid out at $2,500 per year over four years. Students pursuing two-year degrees will receive $2,500 per year over two years.

The scholarship funds must be used at a South Carolina university, college, or institution and may cover tuition or other educational expenses such as on-campus housing, a computer, or textbooks. Scholarships are awarded based on academic and extracurricular achievement, communication skills, need and completeness of the application. Recipients must retain a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale and enroll in no less than 30 credit hours each academic year to receive funding for that year.

Prospective scholars and/or parents can learn more at or by contacting Betsy Cooper at [email protected] or 803-799-3387, ext. 110. Scholarship applications must be completed online at by March 15, 2023. Scholarship award recipients will be notified in mid-May of their award status.
This year’s fair will take place October 11-22. More information can be found at

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