FLORENCE – The 1999-2000 year will be the second year that Legislative Incentives for Future Excellence (LIFE) Scholarships will be available. In 1998-99, 505 Francis Marion University students benefited from total awards of $681,679.74.
Each award can be up to $2,000. The S.C. Commission on Higher Education has been working with college officials and the General Assembly to finalize LIFE regulations. These regulations are anticipated in early summer and may mean some slight changes to how LIFE Scholarship recipients are determined.
The following is a list of the current basic requirements for LIFE scholarships.
• Students must have graduated May 1995 or after from a S.C. high school or an out-of-state preparatory high school while residents of S.C. and meet state residency statute requirements.
• Students must enroll in a college or university within two years and three months of high school graduation.
• Beginning with the 2000-2001 year, first-time entering freshmen must have graduated from high school with a STAR diploma or, in the case of home schools and out-of-state schools, its equivalent.
• First-time freshmen entering college in 1998-1999 and 1999-2000 must have a minimum score of 1000 on the SAT or 21 on the ACT. For 2000-2001, the minimums increase to 1050 on the SAT or 22 on the ACT. For 2001-2002, the minimums increase to 1100 on the SAT or 24 on the ACT.
• Students who have graduated from high school and have not attended any college or university must have a high school grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
• All other students must have a cumulative 3.0 on a 4.0 scale on all post-secondary work.
• Students must complete 15 hours for every semester elapsed since their initial enrollment in a college or university whether or not they have been continuously enrolled.
For example, if a student graduated from high school in June 1995 and enrolled in college in January 1996, he or she needed to have 75 earned hours to be eligible for LIFE for Fall 1998 (five semesters elapsed - Spring 1996, Fall 1996, Spring 1997, Fall 1997, Spring 1998). If the same student had enrolled Spring 1996 but skipped the Spring 1997 semester, he or she still needed to have 75 earned hours.
• Hours earned through advanced placement, CLEP and during summer school may count towards the 15-hour per semester requirement without penalty.
• Students in a four-year academic program are limited to eight semesters of LIFE eligibility.
• THERE IS NO APPLICATION FOR THE LIFE SCHOLARSHIPS. Students are automatically considered based on information that FMU already has on file. This year, FMU gave 173 LIFE scholarships to freshmen, 109 to sophomores, 105 to juniors, and 118 to seniors.
Questions about LIFE Scholarships should be directed to the FMU Financial Assistance Office at 843-661-1190.
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