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Selection Process

National Scholars at Clemson University, Clemson, SC

  • Scholar Criteria

    Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for this program. 

    Successful applicants tend to demonstrate:

    • Both depth and breadth in their interests, experiences, extracurricular activities, and leadership roles.
    • A sense of curiosity that surpasses the classroom.
    • Strong standardized test scores, exceptional grades, and thorough and thought-provoking essays.

    Please note that, although students considered for the National Scholars Program often receive other scholarship monies and recognition as National Merit Scholars, the NSP is a distinct entity.  Students who are identified as National Merit Scholars do not automatically qualify for Clemson’s National Scholars Program. Students who have questions regarding any other scholarships should contact the Financial Aid Office.

    Current National Scholars graduated in the top 1% of their high school classes with an average old SAT score (or SAT equivalent) of 1510.

    To be considered for the National Scholars Program, an applicant must submit BOTH the Clemson undergraduate admissions application AND the Calhoun Honors College admissions application online. ONLY those applicants who meet the PRIORITY application deadlines outlined in the application timeline will be eligible for consideration for the National Scholars Program.

  • Application Timeline

    December:
    December 1st: Deadline to submit applications to Clemson University for undergraduate admission
    December 8th: Deadline to submit applications to the Calhoun Honors College
    December 15th: All supporting materials - including your transcript, counselor form, and teacher letter of recommendation - must be received by the Calhoun Honors College no later than December 15, 2017 
    Applications that do not meet the final, Dec. 15 deadline WILL NOT be considered for the National Scholars Program, but will be considered for admission to the Calhoun Honors College. Unfortunately, no exceptions can be made to this policy. To ensure compliance with these deadlines, the National Scholars Program recommends that students complete their Clemson University and Calhoun Honors College applications well before these deadlines.

    It is the APPLICANT'S responsibility to ensure that the Clemson application is submitted by the December 1, 2017, deadline, that the Calhoun Honors College application is submitted by December 8, 2017, and the supporting materials are received by December 15, 2017Applications that do not meet these deadlines WILL NOT be considered for the NSP.

    January: Notified of selection as a National Scholars Program Finalist and invited to compete during National Scholars Program Weekend

    ONLY finalists invited to interview will be notified of their status; there is no separate notification for those NOT selected as finalists.

    February:
    February 23-24, 2018: National Scholars Program Weekend
    Late March: Notified of status. Note that all finalists who competed at the weekend will receive a scholarship package.

    FINALISTS MUST ATTEND NATIONAL SCHOLARS PROGRAM WEEKEND TO BE CONSIDERED FOR ACCEPTANCE TO THE NATIONAL SCHOLARS PROGRAM.

  • Interview Weekend

    The National Scholars Program Finalists are notified of their selection in January and are invited to compete during National Scholars Program Weekend in March.

    The final selection of the National Scholars is based on the Clemson University admissions application, the Calhoun Honors College application, and interviews and other activities that take place during National Scholars Program Weekend.

    Invitations to join the National Scholars Program are sent soon after National Scholars Weekend. Finalists MUST attend the weekend to be eligible for the scholarship. All finalists will receive a scholarship package from Clemson University, regardless of whether or not they are invited to join the National Scholars Program.

    Typical weekend assessment activities include individual interviews with a panel of faculty and alumni, a group interview with the NSP Director and one other faculty member (typically the NSP Faculty Fellow), and a group decision-making activity.