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Early Action FAQs

What is the difference between Early Action and Regular Decision?

Both application plans undergo the same holistic review process; there’s just a different timeline. If your application is ready to be submitted by October 15, and required materials by November 1, apply as Early Action to receive your admission decision in mid-December. If you submit your application by January 3, and required materials by January 8, you’ll apply as Regular Decision and receive an admission decision in mid-February.

Early Action Benefits

Why does Clemson offer both Early Action and Regular Decision?

Early Action has an application deadline of October 15 and required materials deadline of November 1. Applying through Early Action allows students to know their admissions decision sooner (in mid-December). This gives students more time to consider Clemson as their college choice.

Regular Decision gives students additional time to add any updated test scores, include first-semester senior year grades, and add any additional supporting documents to their application file.

Early Action Process

How do I apply Early Action?

We accept the Clemson Application, Common Application and Coalition Application, Powered by Scoir. No preference is given to any application in the admission review process. More information can be found on Clemson’s Admissions website.

Which decision types are released in Early Action?

Students who apply Early Action will receive either an admit, defer or deny decision. 

If I don’t get accepted during Early Action, will my application automatically be deferred?

If you receive a defer admission decision during Early Action, your application will automatically be considered for Regular Decision. Some students who apply Early Action may not be admissible to Clemson University and will therefore receive a deny decision. Students who are deferred to Regular Decision may not appeal their decision as it is still under active consideration.

If I receive a defer admission decision during Early Action, when will I receive my final admission decision?

Your application is deferred to the Regular Decision timeline, so you will receive an admission decision on in mid-February.

Majors and Financial Aid

Are different majors offered for Early Action versus Regular Decision?

No, the list of majors you can apply to will be the same for both Early Action and Regular Decision.

Are there different financial aid/scholarship opportunities for Early Action versus Regular Decision?

All students who submit their application and required materials by the Regular Decision deadline of January 3 are automatically considered for scholarship opportunities. To be considered for need-based aid, applicants must submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) by March 1.

Defer Decision

I was deferred. What are my next steps?

There is nothing else that you need to do at this point. Your application file is already complete for Regular Decision review.

If there is any additional information you want us to consider as part of the Regular Decision group, you can provide it through an optional form. The optional Defer Form will be in your Applicant Portal. It should be completed no later than January 8.

Why was I deferred?

We want to provide students with the best admissions decision possible, while also being conscious of the number of admit decisions we make to enroll the proper sized incoming class and ensure a quality academic experience. We need to review your application as part of the entire applicant pool before making a final decision.

We will likely still admit half of our incoming class during Regular Decision. We will also admit students to Summer Start and our Bridge to Clemson Program.

What is the difference between being deferred and being admitted, denied or waitlisted?

A defer decision is not a final admissions decision. It is not a denial. It is a pause or delay for a decision until we can look at your application as part of the entire applicant pool.

Deferred applicants will receive their final admissions decision in mid-February. Deferred applicants still have a high likelihood of receiving an admissions decision that is a pathway to a Clemson degree (Fall admit, Summer Start admit, Bridge to Clemson program, etc.).

Can I submit additional materials to increase my chances of being admitted?

Additional materials are not required. You can always upload a resume, personal statement, or letter of recommendation through the “Upload Materials” section of your Applicant Portal at any time. These materials are entirely optional.

Can I change my test score preference?

If you applied test optional for Early Action and want to have your test scores included in the review for Regular Decision, please indicate this selection on the Defer Form in your portal by January 3.

If you switch to test scores included, your application checklist will be updated to reflect official test scores as a required item. Please request that scores be sent to Clemson by the testing agency (College Board/ACT). These new or updated scores must arrive to Clemson by January 3, 2024. Please note that with the holidays, even rushed score reports can take up to 5-7 days to arrive. If we do not have official scores, your application will be considered Awaiting Materials and no longer ready for a decision.