The Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence (LIFE) Scholarship is a scholarship that is given out by public colleges in South Carolina. The award is based on academic merit and covers the cost of attendance at the university. The aim of the award is to increase the number of students from South Carolina who major in science and math fields. The secondary aim of the award is to encourage on time graduation from college. The award can be renewed for up to four years provided that the student maintains eligibility. The award can be used to fund students of various academic levels, including undergrad and graduate.
This award helps South Carolina residents afford a higher education while also improving the employment opportunities for graduating college students from South Carolina. Furthermore, it encourages students to graduate on time and provides a financial incentive to be prepared for college.
The amount of the awards range from $2,500 to $5,000 and the exact amount depends on the type of institution that the student attends. Students who enroll in four-year public or independent colleges or universities can be awarded up to $4,700 to put towards their expenses. Students who attend a two-year institution can receive up to $5,000. Additionally, some students may be eligible for an additional $300 textbook allowance. The actual award is split so that the recipient receives half during the fall semester and the second half during the spring semester.
In order to be eligible for the award, students must have a high school diploma and plan to attend one of the eligible institutions in South Carolina. Furthermore, the student must be a resident of the United States and South Carolina. Only students who plan to attend college on a full-time basis will be considered for the award. Students may not have defaulted on any Federal or State financial aid and the student must not have any drug-related felonies. Students who have received the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, Lottery Tuition, or SC Hope Scholarship are not eligible to apply for the LIFE scholarship. In addition, students must hold at least a 3.0 grade point average, score at lease a 1100 on the SAT (or 24 on the ACT), and rank within the top thirtieth percentile of their graduating class.
In addition to the above criteria, students must be pursuing a degree in either a science or math major and must have completed a minimum of 14 credits of math and science courses by the end of their fist academic year. Students who earn at least 30 credit hours by the end of their first year and who hold at least a 3.0 grade point average can have their award renewed for future years. At most state universities, such as Clemson, students are automatically considered for this award. Thus, the admissions applications of incoming and transfer students are reviewed for eligibility. As such, there is no separate application for the LIFE Scholarship.