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Student Financial Aid

LIFE Scholarship

Legislative Incentives for Future Excellence (LIFE) Scholarships are valued at $5,000 per year. To receive the LIFE Scholarship, students must meet specific academic requirements. There is no application process for the LIFE Scholarship. Students will automatically be reviewed and awarded the scholarship by Clemson.


 

General Information

Terms 

You may receive the LIFE Scholarship through the eighth consecutive semester following initial college enrollment. The eight-semester limit is a time limit only. The limit is not determined by the number of semesters the LIFE Scholarship has actually been received and may include periods of nonenrollment. 

Timeline

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). LIFE Scholarship funds cannot be used toward a graduate degree if a student completes their first baccalaureate degree in less than eight semesters.


Award Amount 

The LIFE Scholarship award amount is determined annually by the South Carolina General Assembly.

Currently, the maximum value is $5,000 ($4,700 related to tuition plus $300 based on the costs of textbooks).

Sophomore-, junior-, and senior-level students may receive a maximum of $7,500 provided they are in a declared major of science or mathematics and other conditions are met.

Note: The LIFE Scholarship in combination with all other scholarships and grants may not exceed the cost of attendance as defined by Title IV regulations. 

See LIFE scholarship enhancement details.

Disbursements

The LIFE Scholarship is credited to your student account to satisfy any charges. If all tuition and fees are satisfied and you are enrolled full-time, excess aid is refunded to the student and can be used for any college-related expenses, including off-campus housing.

The LIFE Scholarship is typically available during the Fall and Spring semesters except for co-op/internship students who are not enrolled in classes during Fall or Spring semesters.

See Summer disbursement information.

General Eligibility Requirements

  • U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen under state residency statutes.
  • South Carolina resident at the time of high school graduation and during the period of the award.
  • Graduated from a South Carolina high school or was a dependent of a parent or guardian who was a legal resident of South Carolina at the time of the student's high school graduation.
  • Full-time undergraduate seeking a first baccalaureate degree.
  • 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 second alcohol- or drug-related misdemeanor in any state for 12 months prior to the period of the award.
  • Must not be in default or owe a refund or repayment on any federal or state financial aid.

Note: Students do not have to enroll in college full time immediately after graduating from high school to be eligible for the LIFE Scholarship. If the high school criteria were met at the time of graduation and the student has not attended college part time before starting full-time college enrollment, they are eligible to receive the LIFE Scholarship and begin college later.

  • First-Year Student Requirements
    • Must meet all general eligibility requirements.
    • Must meet two of the three requirements listed below:
      • A 3.0 final high school grade point average based on the Uniform Grading Scale.
      • A minimum SAT score of 1100 (or 24 on the ACT).
      • Graduated in the top 30 percent of your high school class.
  • Transfer Student Requirements
    • Must meet all general eligibility requirements.
    • Eligibility for the first year at Clemson is based on your initial college enrollment and the cumulative GPA and hours earned (nonremedial) at your previous institution(s). This will include both in-state and out-of-state institutions.
    • After your first year at Clemson, all the requirements for continuing students will apply.

Continuing Student Considerations

Renewal Eligibility Requirements

  • Must meet all general eligibility requirements.
  • Earn an average of 30 credit hours per academic year (Fall, Spring, Summer).
  • A total of 30 hours is required for a rising second-year student, 60 for a rising third-year student and 90 for a rising fourth-year student.
    • Any credit hours earned before high school graduation, hours exempted by examination and Advanced Placement credit approved by Clemson University will be used toward the credit hour requirement. Duplicate credit courses do not count in the total.
  • Earn a minimum cumulative LIFE GPA of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale by the end of the academic year. The LIFE GPA must include all grades earned at Clemson University plus all grades attempted (excluding remedial) at all other institutions, both in-state and out-of-state.

The LIFE GPA is used for determining eligibility for the LIFE Scholarship only. It is distinctively different from your cumulative Clemson GPA that is used for graduation purposes and the awarding of other merit-based scholarships.


Co-op/Internship and Summer Semesters 

Co-op/Internship Considerations

If you participate in the Cooperative Education Program and/or certain sanctioned internship programs, you are not eligible to receive the LIFE Scholarship during the term of participation. You may, however, elect to receive the LIFE Scholarship in the succeeding Summer term at Clemson if you take at least 12 credit hours during the Summer.

You may also elect to move the award that you would have received during your co-op/internship to the term immediately following your eighth normal semester (if you continue to meet all other eligibility requirements). 

Credit Hour Requirements

  • If you elect to use the LIFE Scholarship during the Summer, you will only be expected to earn 27 hours (rather than 30) for that academic year for renewal purposes.
  • If you co-op during a Fall or Spring semester and do not attend Summer Session, you are required to continue earning 15 hours on *average* for each term in which you are enrolled full time.

In other words, if you co-op during your sophomore year, the renewal requirements going into junior year will be the standard 3.0 LIFE GPA and a *total* of 45 hours of college credits earned (including AP and dual-enrollment courses).

If you participate in a co-op/internship program during your junior year of college, you will be expected to earn 75 hours *total* at the end of that academic year, and so on. 

Summer Transient Courses

Summer transient courses (nonremedial) taken at any institution (in-state or out-of-state) may be used toward the credit hours requirement. Any courses taken at Clemson or any other LIFE-eligible institution in-state or out-of-state will affect your LIFE GPA. Please note that your LIFE GPA cannot be recalculated until official transcripts have been received and processed by the Office of Records and Registration. 


Dropping Below Full-Time or Withdrawing 

If you are receiving the LIFE Scholarship or any other financial aid, dropping below full-time status or withdrawing completely may affect your eligibility to receive aid. If you are considering dropping a class (and will be enrolled in less than 12 credits hours as a result) or considering withdrawing from the University, you should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid at finaid@clemson.edu to determine the effect on your financial obligations.


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.

You can calculate your current LIFE GPA under the S.C. LIFE Scholarship GPA link on your iROAR account.

Note: 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 coursework that a student didn't successfully transfer because of low grades.

LIFE Scholarship FAQ

  • 1. 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.

  • 2. How does the LIFE scholarship work with my study abroad goals?

    Going abroad

    Some study abroad programs allow students to use their LIFE scholarship funds for the semester abroad. Students will determine during the study abroad preparation if their scholarship can be used for the study abroad term.
    See study abroad financial aid details.

    Returning to Clemson

    If you study abroad and your transcripts from a foreign school are not sent back to Clemson before the next school year starts, there may be a delay in awarding your LIFE scholarship for the next term.
    Some students will have enough cumulative credits 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 Records and Registration.

    Once eligibility is confirmed, the LIFE Scholarship can be awarded after the school term has started.

  • 3. How do I use 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 into their TigerStripe account to buy books.

  • 4. 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 complete a Request for Academic Forgiveness (located in iROAR > Student Self-Service > Student Records > Request Academic Forgiveness) before the first day of class of the Fall semester.

     

  • 5. If I do not have the LIFE Scholarship 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 the Summer Session for eligibility.

  • 6. What happens if I take a semester off to work or for personal reasons?

    The semester you are not enrolled in 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 a semester off is not considered a valid reason to request a review.

  • 7. What happens if I must take a medical withdrawal from Clemson?

    There are instances where a student must leave school for documented medical reasons, including psychological reasons. 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 a review of the student's eligibility for the next academic year.

  • 8. 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.

This information is subject to change by either the South Carolina General Assembly or the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. You may view the most recent guidelines for the LIFE program at South Carolina Commission on Higher Education.