Student Financial Aid Federal School Code: 003425

Life Scholarship FAQs

Below are frequently asked questions regarding the LIFE Scholarship. If you have any other questions, please contact us.

Initial Eligibility

Do I have to apply for the LIFE Scholarship?
No. All entering freshmen and transfer students are automatically reviewed for their LIFE Scholarship eligibility when they are accepted to Clemson.

Can I get the LIFE Scholarship if I graduated from an out-of-state high school?
Some students that have graduated from an out-of-state high school will qualify for the LIFE Scholarship based on the parents' residency status. For complete details, go to Clemson's Residency Website. State regulations on residency and the LIFE Scholarship are listed on the website for the Commission on Higher Education.

Can I apply for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship if I have the LIFE Scholarship?
No. The Palmetto Fellows scholarship has a different set of criteria for initial eligibility and must be applied for through the high school guidance counselor.

What happens if I don't enroll in college right after high school, can I still get the LIFE Scholarship once I start college?
Yes, as long as the high school criteria was met at the time of graduation and the student has not attended college part time before starting full-time college enrollment.

Study Abroad and Co-op

If I study abroad one semester, can I use the LIFE Scholarship?
Some (not all) Study Abroad programs do allow a student to use their LIFE Scholarship funds for the semester abroad. Students should meet with the Financial Aid Study Abroad Coordinator to determine if their scholarship can be used for the Study Abroad term. Please click here to request an appointment online.

If I study abroad, and my transcripts from the foreign school are not sent back to Clemson before the next school year starts, can I have the LIFE Scholarship while I am waiting for the credits to be posted?
Some students might have enough cumulative earned credit hours to award the LIFE Scholarship before their Study Abroad transcript arrives and is posted. Students who don't have enough earned credit hours won't have the LIFE Scholarship until the transcript arrives, is evaluated and the transfer credits are posted through the Office of Student Records. Once eligibility is confirmed, the LIFE Scholarship can be awarded after the school term has started.

What happens to my LIFE Scholarship when I do a Co-op?
If a student is enrolled in a Co-op that is in either the fall or spring terms, they are not charged full tuition and fees. Thus, the LIFE Scholarship stipend for that semester is not used and remains available for future semesters providing the student meets the regular LIFE Scholarship criteria (credit hours and LIFE GPA).

Financial Aid

Can the LIFE Scholarship be used to pay for my apartment?
The LIFE Scholarship is applied as a general credit towards the student's University account. On the first day of classes, if all other tuition and fees are satisfied and the student is enrolled full time, excess financial aid is given as a refund to the student. These funds can include the LIFE Scholarship, and the refund can be used for any college-related expenses.

If I drop a class, will I lose my LIFE Scholarship?
The Financial Aid Office is required to verify that all LIFE Scholarship recipients are enrolled full time (12 credit hours minimum) at the end of the Drop/Add period each semester. University policy allows students to drop courses during the semester up to a certain date. The LIFE Scholarship funds may be affected by a course withdrawal depending on when the course is dropped. Students are advised to contact the University Receivables or Bursar's Office prior to dropping below 12 credit hours during the semester.

How do I get the $300 book allowance?
The book allowance is credited toward the student's University account combined with the rest of the LIFE Scholarship funds. Once the scholarship is credited to the student's University account, they can then choose to move funds onto their Tiger Stripe Card to buy books.


What is the LIFE GPA?
The LIFE GPA is a GPA used only for the purpose of LIFE Scholarship awards. It represents an all-college GPA, consisting of the combined total of a student's Grade (Quality) Points divided by the cumulative number of attempted credit hours from all schools attended to earn college credits, even while still enrolled in high school. The GPA must be 3.0 or better.

How is the LIFE GPA calculated?
The formula approved by the S.C. Legislature is the combined total of all Grade (Quality) Points (all schools attended for college credits) divided by the total number of attempted credit hours (all schools).

Am I required to send all my transcripts to Clemson?
The law requires that a student receiving the LIFE Scholarship sign an affidavit confirming that they have sent all transcripts to Clemson representing an accurate LIFE GPA. This would include ALL transcripts, even those from a school that a student attended while still in high school and college course work that a student didn't successfully transfer because of low grades.

Continuing Eligibility

How do I keep the LIFE Scholarship for the next year?
The continuing eligibility requirements for students are as follows: After their first year in college, they need to have earned an average of 30 credit hours or more and have a LIFE GPA of at least 3.0 or better by the end of that academic year (fall + spring + summer). By the of their second year in college a student would need to have a cumulative total of at least 60 credit hours along with the LIFE GPA of 3.0 or better. By the end of the third year in college, a student must show at least 90 cumulative credit hours and have the 3.0 LIFE GPA.

Do I have to earn an exact 30 credits each year?
No. The LIFE Scholarship is a CUMULATIVE scholarship program, and students are allowed to count transfer credit work, Advanced Placement credits and exempt credits toward the total credit hours needed each year. If a student starts college without any transfer, AP or exempt credit hours, then they would HAVE to earn at least 30 credits that year to meet the renewal criteria for the next academic year.

How long can I receive the LIFE Scholarship?
Once a student begins college, (assuming they have met the initial criteria to be awarded the scholarship), they have up to eight semesters of potential eligibility. If a student graduates before using all eight semesters, the student forfeits any remaining LIFE Scholarship semesters (stipends). The only exception to this rule is for Landscape Architecture Majors who can have up to 10 semesters because Clemson University defines this major as a five-year program.

How will Academic Forgiveness affect my LIFE eligibility?
Renewal for Clemson and State Scholarships is based on your GPA and your earned credit hours. Academic Forgiveness can improve your GPA while reducing your credit hours, so you must be aware of all consequences before requesting that a grade be forgiven. Please speak with the Office of Student Financial Aid if you have questions about how Academic Forgiveness may affect your scholarship eligibility. If you are seeking to regain a scholarship for an upcoming academic year, you must submit the Request for Academic Forgiveness form to 104 Sikes Hall before the first day of class of the fall semester.

If I graduate early, can I use any remaining semesters toward graduate courses?
No. The LIFE Scholarship is only available to students who are pursuing their first baccalaureate degree from an accredited university.

If I do not have the LIFE Scholarship right now, but get my GPA back up to 3.0 after the fall term, can I get the LIFE Scholarship for the Spring term?
No. The LIFE scholarship is awarded for one year (fall and spring terms) at a time. Students are reviewed at the end of the spring term for eligibility for the following year's awards. Students are also reviewed at the end of summer sessions for eligibility.

What happens if I take a semester off to work or just to be away from school for personal reasons?
The semester you are not enrolled is STILL counted as one of the eight total terms of potential eligibility. Future eligibility might be jeopardized because of lower credit hours earned and/or low GPA after a student has taken a semester off. A student might also file an appeal to the Commission on Higher Education for a review of their file under certain circumstances. Typically, just taking off a semester off is not considered a valid reason to request a review. The Web address for the Commission on Higher Education (the governing agency for the State Scholarship Programs) is

What happens if I have to take a medical withdrawal from Clemson?
There are instances where a student must leave school for documented medical reasons, including psychological. If a student takes a medical withdrawal during the fall term, they should still be able to enroll and use their LIFE Scholarship as a full-time student in the spring, since the scholarship is awarded for a year at a time. Regardless of the semester itself, we would advise the student to submit an appeal to the Commission on Higher Education for review of the student's eligibility for the next academic year. 

If I transfer to another school, will the LIFE Scholarship automatically be transferred to the other school?
A student should contact the school they are transferring to for information on that school's LIFE Scholarship review of entering transfer students. Each school reviews the incoming transfer students for LIFE Scholarship eligibility, and Clemson is not required to notify the other school about LIFE Scholarship status.