Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1998, the Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence Scholarship has disbursed more than $2 billion in scholarships and grants at 2-year and 4-year colleges and technical institutions.
Instituted to increase student access to higher education, improve the employability of South Carolina students, provide incentives for students to be better prepared for college and encourage students to graduate from college on time, students receive up to $5,000 per academic year at both four-year and two-year eligible public or independent institutions in the state. Students who do not earn the Scholarship out of high school can earn it while in college by earning a 3.0 LIFE GPA and 30 credit hours per academic year.
But like programs in both Florida and Georgia, the LIFE Scholarship is coming under fire as increases in recipients and college costs have exceeding its lottery apportionment. Taxpayers footed about $60 million this past year, which accounts for about a third of the cost. Lawmakers are now grappling with the possibility of reducing awards or toughening the already-stringent requirements.