Skip to content

National Scholars Program

Scholar Selection

How National Scholars are Selected

Every year, Clemson University invites a select group of students to be part of the University’s National Scholars Program.

National Scholars demonstrate academic excellence, intellectual curiosity, a wide range of interests and experiences, leadership ability, and the potential to make an impact on their local and global communities.

Scholars are selected after a review of Clemson University and Honors College admission applications that are completed on or before the Early Action deadline, followed by interviews and other activities with student finalists during a Scholarship Recruitment Weekend.

A National Scholar candidate meeting President Clements during NSP Weekend in 2022.

Scholar Criteria

Successful applicants tend to demonstrate both depth and breadth in their interests, experiences, extracurricular activities, and leadership roles.

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.

To be considered for the National Scholars Program, an applicant must submit two applications online:

Only those applicants who meet the Early Action application deadlines outlined in the Honors application timeline will be eligible for consideration for the National Scholars Program. All applications are considered, regardless of the student's residency (including international students). 

Applications that do not meet the final Honors College deadline for Early Action applicants will not be considered for the National Scholars Program, but will be considered for admission to the 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 Honors College applications well before these deadlines.

Application Timeline

In order to be considered for the National Scholars Program, applicants must apply to Clemson and the Honors College by all Early Action deadlines as outlined on the Honors College’s admissions website.

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that these deadlines are met. Applications that do not meet these deadlines will not be considered for the NSP.

2024 Deadlines

January (complete)

Notification of selection as a National Scholars Program Finalist and invitation to interview during the Scholarship Recruitment Weekend

Finalists have been selected and notified. Only applicants invited to interview received a notification of their status; there is no separate notification for those not selected as finalists.

February 16-17

Scholarship Recruitment Weekend

Finalists must participate in Scholarship Recruitment Weekend in order to be considered for acceptance to the National Scholars Program. 

Early March

Notified of status.

Scholarship Recruitment Weekend

National Scholars Program finalists are notified of their selection by mid-January and are invited to interview during the Scholarship Recruitment Weekend in the spring.

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

Invitations to join the National Scholars Program are sent soon after Scholarship Recruitment Weekend. Finalists must participate in the weekend to be eligible for the scholarship.

Typical weekend assessment activities include individual interviews with a panel of faculty and alumni, a small group interview, and a group decision-making activity.