Student Financial Aid Federal School Code: 003425

Applying for Aid

Your first step to financial aid is to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online and to include Clemson University’s school code (003425) so that our office receives your information. To be considered for need-based scholarships, we must receive your FAFSA before March 1. New students do not need acceptance from admissions before applying for financial aid.
You should complete a FAFSA every year as soon after Jan. 1 as possible to ensure the maximum award.  Please review "Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Student Aid" provided by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA).

How financial need is determined

Cost of Attendance
- Expected Family Contribution
- Outside Scholarships and Other Resources
= Need for Financial Aid

The cost of attendance is determined each year by the University and includes not only tuition and fees, but also your room and board, books and supplies, traveling expenses, and cost of living — in other words, the cost of being a student. This number is only for planning purposes and for determining your financial need, which will differ from your actual Clemson bill and will vary with each student. It is important to note, however, that the total amount of financial aid a student receives cannot exceed the cost of attendance.

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is determined by the Department of Education using your FAFSA information. This is based on both your income and assets as well as your parents’, unless you are considered independent.

To be considered independent

For financial aid purposes, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • you are 24 years or older
  • you are legally married
  • you are an orphan or ward of the court
  • you were in foster care or legal guardianship as determined by court
  • you were determined to be an unaccompanied youth or homeless
  • you are working on a graduate or professional degree
  • you are serving active duty or are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • you have a child for whom you provide more than half the support
  • you have a dependant (other than a child or spouse) for whom you provide more than half the support

Additional details and information on these requirements can be found on the FAFSA. If you do not meet one of the above requirements, then your parents’ financial information will be considered when determining your EFC, regardless of living arrangements, family disagreements or your parents’ unwillingness to contribute to your education costs.

When EFC is more than the cost of attendance

If your EFC is more than the cost of attendance then you don’t qualify for need-based aid. However, there are other financial aid programs available regardless of your financial need such as the unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan, the Federal Parent PLUS loan and private loans.

Finding out what aid you have been awarded

After all of the required information is received, your financial aid will be packaged and available to view in the iROAR portal. Most incoming freshmen will receive this package in mid-April, but we continue to process aid during the summer and fall, so you can apply at any time. Please keep in mind, however, that it can take up to 12 weeks for your aid to be available, and you will still be responsible for satisfying your bill by the deadline regardless of any pending aid.