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USC: Palmetto College

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Legislative Incentives for Future Excellence Scholarship Program (LIFE)

The Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence (LIFE) Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship program administered by the financial aid office at each eligible public and independent college and university in South Carolina.  The LIFE Scholarship may be used towards the cost of attendance for up to eight terms based on the student's initial college enrollment date.  Students must be enrolled in their first associate’s degree, first two-year program leading to a baccalaureate degree, or first baccalaureate degree.


General Eligibility Requirements

A  student must meet ALL of the following minimum requirements before being awarded:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen under state residency statutes.
  • Be a South Carolina resident at the time of high school graduation and during the period of award.
  • Have graduated from a South Carolina high school or graduated from a high school outside of South Carolina while a dependent of a parent or legal guardian who is a legal resident.  If you graduated from a high school outside of South Carolina, you are expected to self-identify to the Financial Aid Office in order to be assured that you are not overlooked during the review of LIFE eligible students.
  • Be a full-time, undergraduate degree seeking student; in an eligible program of study.
  • Not be receiving the South Carolina Palmetto Fellows Scholarship or SC Lottery Tuition Assistance.
  • Must not have been judged delinquent, nor have been convicted or pled guilty or nolo contendere to any felony in any state.
  • Must not have been convicted of any alcohol or drug-related misdemeanor in any state within the past academic year.
  • Verify that he or she does not owe a refund or repayment on a State Grant, Federal Pell Grant or a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and is not in default on a loan under the Federal Perkins Loan or Federal Stafford Loan program.

Entering Freshman Students Eligibility Requirements

First time entering freshmen must have graduated from high school with a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average, calculated after the eighth semester. There are no SAT or ACT requirements for two-year colleges or technical colleges.


Transfer Students Eligibility Requirements

Transfer students must have earned a cumulative 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale at all transferring institutions. A student must have earned a minimum of 30 credit hours (second year transfer), 60 credit hours (third year transfer), or 90 hours (fourth year transfer) or an annual equivalent for a student who begins mid-year at the participating institution and all prior institutions for the previous academic year to be eligible for the scholarship.


Eligibility Requirements for Continuing Students

When you are awarded the LIFE Scholarship, you will receive it for one year because it is an annual award. In order to receive the scholarship in subsequent years, you must meet the credit hour requirements and have a 3.0 cumulative grade point average by the end of the academic year (fall, spring, summer). The credit hour requirements are as follows:

  • Students completing first year of college must have earned 30 credit hours;
  • Students completing second year of college must have earned 60 credit hours; and
  • Students completing third year of college must have earned 90 credit hours.

All of the above requirements pertain to two-year colleges and technical colleges. Please note that there are additional requirements for four-year colleges and universities.

Lost eligibility may be regained by meeting eligibility requirements in the next academic year.

Please note that the LIFE grade point average will be used to determine LIFE Scholarship eligibility only and will not be used in determining graduation eligibility or standing.


Terms of Eligibility

The LIFE Scholarship is limited  eight (8) consecutive terms for the first four-year degree program, four (4) consecutive terms for the first associate’s degree program or a two-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a baccalaureate degree. The available number of terms for scholarship funding is based on the time of initial college enrollment.


Change in Residency

A change in your residency and fee payment status to non-resident will lead to the required repayment of your award for any enrollment period in which you are no longer classified as a resident and received a LIFE Scholarship.


This information is subject to change by either the South Carolina Legislature or the Commission on Higher Education. You may view the most recent guidelines for Scholarships and Grants for SC Residents by visiting SC Commission on Higher Education. CLICK HERE for additional information.


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