State Fair scholarship recipients putting money toward education

State Fair scholarships
State Fair scholarships

The South Carolina State Fair is underway but it isn’t just about the rides and food.

Proceeds from the fair will help some local students get a degree. Like Clemson University freshman Marisa Shehan.

“I study hard so hopefully it’ll pay off,” Shehan said as we meet her in the Clemson library.

The engineering major said she focused on school last year too as a senior at Gaffney High.

Her only break from the books was when she played in a band.

She said the SC State Fair “Ride of your Life” scholarship helped make Clemson possible, when fitting in a part time job wasn’t.

“The scholarship helps so much taking the financial burden off of me and my parents it makes it easier because college has gotten a lot more expensive,” she said.

The “Ride of your Life” scholarship gives 50 students, $6000 dollar scholarships. That’s 1500 dollars a year for four years.

Shehan sent information about her accomplishments at Gaffney and wrote an essay about what the money meant for her future.

Shehan says the scholarship caught her eye because it focused on in-state students, but not just athletes.

Clemson scholarships coordinator Lauren Swindell said no matter what financial help you need, apply early when the most money is available and keep an open mind looking for donors.

“We always tell students look in their area see what their family in involved in, religious or civil organizations. Don’t overlook grandma’s garden club because they might have an extra 500 for students,” said Swindel.

Some scholarships also allow you to use the money for things other than tuition like food, transportation or student housing.

Shehan said she’s grateful the state fair is supporting her.

Apply for future scholarships in February.

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