SAFE Grants for Tuition
SAFE Grants is a program, developed by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster to address the educational needs of qualified K5-12 students who attend an eligible independent school and whose families have been impacted by COVID-19. The suffering and economic damage inflicted by the coronavirus have been dramatic. Families, businesses, livelihoods, and education have suffered. Children have lost valuable learning, memories, and routines due to the closure of our schools.
Modeled on successful grant and scholarship programs serving thousands of students in states like Florida, Arizona, and North Carolina, SAFE Grants will provide critical, one-time support for working and low-income families to stabilize their child’s education journey during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure these students can attend a school of their choice.
This means that families who could not have afforded private schools now have the ability to make the best choice for their children's education. Additionally, many of our current families qualify for this program. Families who apply receive up to $6,500 per student to cover Beaufort Academy tuition costs for the 2020-2021 school year, and it does not have to be repaid.
There will be a strong demand for SAFE grants. The online application will be released to families in the coming weeks. Be sure to sign up at MySCEducation.org to receive text and email notifications for when the online application portal opens. We urge you to apply as soon as possible once the application link is shared.
For more information on SAFE Grants, see below or visit MySCEducation.org.
What are Safe Access to Flexible Education (SAFE) Grants?
SAFE Grants is a program, developed by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, to address the educational needs of eligible K5-12 students who attend a participating independent school. Modeled on successful grant and scholarship programs serving thousands of students nationwide, SAFE Grants will provide critical support for families who need it most, to stabilize their child’s education journey during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that their students can access an education environment of their choice.
Who qualifies for a SAFE Grant?
South Carolina K-12 families with a household AGI (adjusted gross income) of up to 300% of the federal poverty level may apply through a secure online portal to receive a one-time SAFE grant of up to $6,500 per student to help pay or subsidize the 2020-2021 tuition for eligible students at a participating independent school in South Carolina. Students must be in the enrollment process before applying for the grant. SAFE Grants do not have to be repaid. For reference on families who may qualify, please see table below.
Over 68% of South Carolina households will qualify for these grants based on household size and AGI. Many of our BA families will qualify, and we urge you to apply as soon as possible once the application link is shared.
Sign up at MySCEducation.org to receive text and email notifications for when the online application portal opens and other important program announcements.
How many SAFE Grants are available for the 2020-2021 school year?
SAFE Grants are funded through a federal CARES Act grant made to the Office of Governor Henry McMaster. Governor McMaster has dedicated up to , to provide subgrants through the SAFE Grants program. This program does not draw from existing state or local education funds. At up to $6,500 per eligible student, approximately 5,000 subgrants will be available for the benefit of South Carolina students.
When can I apply for a SAFE Grant for the 2020-2021 school year?
The 2020-2021 SAFE Grant application will be shared by the end of July. Keep checking back for an application
How long will the application review process take?
Applications will be processed in the they are received and as quickly as possible, given the close proximity to the beginning of the school year. Updates will be released via email from SC Education directly, not Beaufort Academy admissions.
How will grants be awarded?
The first 2,500 grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, after which a lottery program will be instituted (if necessary) to allocate the balance of available grant funds. SAFE grants will be awarded by the State through a secure online platform which will manage student eligibility applications. Funds will be disbursed into these parent-controlled accounts for tuition payments on a quarterly basis. In the event a student withdraws from the school during the school year, the school must issue a pro-rated refund to the SAFE grant program for any unexpended or prepaid tuition.
What does the SAFE Grant Cover?
SAFE Grants may be used to cover the partial cost of tuition (up to $6,500), defined as the total amount of money charged for the cost of a qualifying student to attend a participating independent school including, but not limited to, fees for attending the school and school-related transportation. Parents may be responsible for the difference in tuition.
At this time, Beaufort Academy has applied to become an approved Independent school to accept the SAFE grant. Our application will be reviewed by the Governor’s school advisory panel, which will certify or deny applications based on the requirements of Section 59-65-10 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.
Who benefits from SAFE Grants?
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the education of students across our state. By allowing eligible students to remain in the schools they love and providing new opportunities for students whose health, economic, or education challenges make private education the best choice, SAFE Grants put the needs of struggling students first.
Many families make big sacrifices to find the right education fit for their child. SAFE Grants provide relief for stretched family budgets and peace of mind for worried parents, especially those most impacted by COVID-19.
- Independent Schools
These schools are essential to the education of the over 50,000 South Carolina children they currently serve, making them essential to our state’s education system. To keep tuition costs low, many operate on shoestring budgets even in flush economic years. SAFE Grants will help support the jobs and education that independent schools provide.
- Public Schools
COVID-19 has created many challenges for traditional public schools, especially in ensuring the health and safety of students, teachers, and staff as schools reopen. SAFE Grants can help alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on public schools’ resources by giving parent support in making alternative choices, saving both money and space.
Are SAFE Grants considered taxable income for parents?
No. As with similar programs across the nation, families will not receive an IRS Form 1099 from the state of South Carolina as a result of benefitting from a SAFE Grant.
What can I do to get ready to apply?
If your child is not already enrolled at Beaufort Academy, contact Becky Bekemeyer, Admissions Director, as soon as possible to start the enrollment process. It is best to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is important to contact the Admissions office before applying for the grant to verify a spot in a class and further admissions criteria. Applying for a SAFE Grant does not guarantee acceptance into Beaufort Academy. Beaufort Academy does not discriminate based on race, color, or national origin.
There will be a strong demand for SAFE grants. Be sure to sign up NOW at MySCEducation.org to receive text and email notifications for when the online application portal opens. We urge you to apply as soon as possible once the application link is shared. The first 2,500 grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, after which a lottery program will be instituted (if necessary) to allocate the balance of available grant funds.
What information do I need to provide in order to complete an application?
Time is of the essence and it is highly recommended for all applicants to be prepared with all necessary documents once the application portal opens. Please have digital copies (scanned copies or photos) ready for online submission. If you need help with this, please contact Beaufort Academy immediately so we can assist prior to the application process.
Be prepared to answer the following questions:
- Is my student a South Carolina resident and entering Kindergarten through 12th grade?
- What was my adjusted gross income on my last tax return (IRS Form 1040, Line 7 for 2018, or Line 8B for 2019) and do I meet the criteria?
- What was my total household size (every person claimed on tax documents, including yourself)?
- Have I enrolled or applied to enroll my student at Beaufort Academy?
You will need to provide and upload the following information when completing your SAFE Grant Application online:
- Student's Acceptance Letter to Beaufort Academy (certification of your child's eligibility.)
- Social Security Number
- Two Proofs of Address (Valid SC license/ID AND either a property tax receipt, mortgage statement, signed lease agreement, utility bill, or a SC voter registration card.)
- Most recent 2018 or 2019 Federal Income Tax Return Form 1040 OR Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) letter of eligibility.
Contact Beaufort Academy directly at (843) 524-3393, or Director of Admissions, Becky Bekemeyer at email@example.com. for enrollment questions.
Continue to visit My South Carolina Education's website for the latest updates at https://mysceducation.org/.