LIFE Scholarship

Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence Scholarship Program (LIFE)

Makerspace Student with LaptopThe 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 institution in South Carolina. The LIFE Scholarship may be used towards the cost-of-attendance for up to eight terms based on the students' initial college enrollment date. Students with a baccalaureate degree are ineligible. The SC LIFE Scholarship award amount is up to the cost-of-attendance, not to exceed $5,000. The funds are generally split between fall and spring terms.

All students must qualify for the LIFE Scholarship with a minimum 3.0 LIFE GPA. The LIFE GPA includes the student’s GPA earned at all eligible public or independent institutions attended by the student.  This means that a student (new or continuing) can take courses at a regionally accredited public or independent institution located in SC or out of state during any term (fall, spring and/or summer) and the grades earned will be used to calculate a LIFE GPA at the end of each academic year.

Please note that the LIFE GPA will be used to determine LIFE Scholarship eligibility only and will not be used to determine graduation eligibility or standing. This also includes grades earned while dually enrolled during high school. The LIFE GPA will NOT include remedial, non-degree credit courses or continuing education courses.

It is the student's responsibility to ensure that transcripts from all institutions attended are sent to the USC Beaufort Admissions Office by the beginning of each academic year (Fall semester).

In order to be considered for a LIFE Scholarship, students must meet the following general eligibility requirements:

  • Graduate from high school or complete a home school program as prescribed by law;
  • Attend an eligible South Carolina public or private college or university;
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (green card holder) at the time of high school graduation AND be a legal resident of South Carolina as defined in applicable State statutes governing the determination of residency for tuition and fee purporsed at the time of high school graduation;
  • Be enrolled as a full-time degree-seeking student in an eligible program of study;
  • Certify that he or she has never been convicted of any felonies and has not been convicted of any second subsequent alcohol or other drug-related misdemeanor convictions within the past academic year;
  • Verify that he or she is not in default and does not owe a refund or repayment on any Federal or State financial aid.

First time entering freshmen must meet two of the three following criteria to be considered for the LIFE Scholarship:

  • Earn a cumulative 3.0 grade point average (GPA) based on the SC Uniform Grading Scale (SC UGS) upon high school graduation
  • Score an 1100 on the SAT or 24 on the ACT (beginning in 2023-2024, ACT score of 22)
  • Rank in the top 30% of the graduating class

Transfer students must have earned a of  3.0 LIFE 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.

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 LIFE grade point average by the end of the academic year. 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.
  • Students completing third year of college must have earned 90 credit hours.

USCB-life-scholarshipLIFE Scholarship Enhancement

In the 2007 Legislative Session, the South Carolina General Assembly passed legislation that increases the maximum award amounts for the LIFE Scholarships for students who are at least sophomores, who are majoring in approved math and science disciplines and who meet all eligibility requirements (in addition to the base Palmetto Fellows eligibility requirements):

  • LIFE Scholarship recipients with at least 30 hours who, as freshmen, earned 14 hours of math and science credits * and who are math and science majors will receive a maximum award of $7,500 per academic year.
  • LIFE Scholarship recipients with at least 30 hours who do not meet the conditions above will receive a maximum award of $5,000 per academic year.
  • Entering freshmen, regardless of major, will receive a maximum award of $5,000 per academic year.

Fourteen Credit Hour Eligibility Requirement:

All students with an initial college enrollment in Fall 2007 and after must earn 14 hours of math and/or life or physical science credits prior to the Fall semester of their second year of enrollment in order to be eligible for enhanced scholarship amounts. To satisfy the 14 credit hour requirement, the following can be used for LIFE and Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Enhancements:

  • Exempted credit hours credited and recorded on a transcript by an eligible institution,
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP),
  • Dual enrollment
  • Courses taken during the summer session immediately prior to the student's initial college enrollment,
  • Pass/Fail courses with a grade of "Pass" (only),
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) courses and Advanced Placement (AP) courses in mathematics and life and physical sciences taken in high school in which the student scored a three or more on the advanced placement test and received college credit.
  • The 14 hours of credit can be any combination of math and/or life or physical science coursework.
  • Remedial/developmental, continuing education and non-degree credit coursework cannot be used to meet the 14 credit hour requirement.

You may access further, more detailed information and other provisions on the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education website.

Eligible Majors at USC Beaufort

The SC Commission on Higher Education has determined the following majors at USC Beaufort to be eligible for LIFE and Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Enhancements:

  • Nursing
  • Biology
  • Computational Science
  • Public Health
  • Mathematics
  • Informational Science and Technology
  • Public Health, BS

The major must be declared and entered in the USC Beaufort systems by the last day of drop/add for the fall semester for the enhancement to be awarded for the academic year. A major changed or declared after this date will not be eligible for the enhanced award for the full academic year. An eligible major changed to an ineligible major before this date will require repayment of any enhanced award amount that has been disbursed.

 A complete list of the approved majors for SC institutions can be found on the website of the SC Commission on Higher Education. A list of the math and science courses that will satisfy the 14 hours required during the freshman year is also available on this website.

Contact the Office of Financial Aid

The school code for USCB: 003450

Office Locations

Beaufort campus:

Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Sandstone Building, Room 117
fax: 843-521-3194

Bluffton campus:

Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Hargray Building, Room 124
fax: 843-208-8290

Mailing Address

University of South Carolina Beaufort
Office of Financial Aid
801 Carteret Street
Beaufort, SC 29902