In 1949 the scholarship award was $500 per year. Now the amount is $3,250 and is renewable annually for as many as four years if the student is making satisfactory progress towards a degree. To date, over $3,500,000 has been spent on scholarships and student activities. Despite these impressive figures, Byrnes Scholarships are not simply cash awards. Other benefits include a summer luncheon, fall dinners, and a weekend retreat at Garden City Beach, SC, in the spring.

In 1964, a separate voluntary organization was formed by recipients of Byrnes Foundation Scholarships and functions as a supporting arm to the Foundation. More than 1,000 James F. Byrnes Scholarships have been awarded since 1949 — young men and women who constitute a living memorial to “Mom” and “Pop” Byrnes. There are usually about 25 Byrnes Scholars attending the college of their choice during a given year.

Eligibility and Requirements for Byrnes Scholarships

Since the first scholarships were awarded by Governor James F. Byrnes in 1949, more than 1,000 young South Carolinians have been assisted in obtaining a college education.

Eligibility requirements are:

  1. Aapplicant must have lost one or both parents by death.
  2. Be a South Carolina resident and a United States citizen.
  3. Be a current Senior in High School.
  4. Plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree at an accredited four-year college or university as a freshman.
  5. Have financial need and a satisfactory scholastic record.
  6. It is important that excellence in character, ability and enterprise be shown to indicate that the individual will make worthwhile contributions to society.

Scholarship recipients are named by the directors of The James F. Byrnes Foundation after preliminary screening to determine semifinalists and personal interviews with those semifinalists. Scholarships are for four years (or less for students already in college) and are contingent upon the recipient’s maintenance of adequate academic standing, personal involvement in the program for Byrnes Scholars and continuing need for financial assistance. Application blanks are available from the Foundation office in Columbia or by downloading from this site using the link below, and completed applications are to be submitted by snail-mail to that office by February 15 of the scholarship year. The new scholars are announced in May, and the scholarships become effective for the school term beginning the following fall.

Any qualified high school student who is interested in applying for a Byrnes Scholarship should see his guidance counselor. Application packets are available for download from this website from November through January, which covers the application cycle. For more information contact the Byrnes Foundation.