According to The State newspaper, $100 million in scholarships from the South Carolina Education Lottery go to students who do not graduate within six years.
Of the $303 million scholarships granted in the 2016-2017 academic year, state Commission on Higher Education (CHE) data shows roughly one-third of that money went to students who dropped out or took longer than six years to graduate.
Of the students receiving the state’s $2,800 HOPE scholarships — college freshmen who had a “B” average in high school — only 22 percent graduate within four years. 46 percent graduate in six years.
Scholarship money for any eligible South Carolina student comes from lottery revenue. However, revenues have frequently fallen short of the need in the past six years. $470 million from the state’s general fund was added to lottery scholarships between fiscal years 2012 and 2016, CHE said.
According to the report, less general fund revenue is being spent on lottery scholarships each year, but the state still spent $50 million from the general fund on lottery scholarships in fiscal year 2016.