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Frequently Asked Questions

ClemsonLIFE (Learning is for Everyone) offers a collegiate experience that prepares young men and women with intellectual disabilities for competitive employment and independent living through a combination of academic coursework and career exploration.

ClemsonLIFE core principles support the concept that enhancing academic, social, employment, and life skills will better prepare students with disabilities to lead full and productive lives. It is a comprehensive residential college experience designed to raise the expectations and skill levels of the students admitted to the program.

Traditional college courses are taught by Clemson faculty, while functional academics are taught by staff with teacher certification in the area of special education.

An applicant must be between the ages of 18 and 26 years old upon admission to the program and have an intellectual disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills. Applicants must have a strong desire to become an independent adult and possess sufficient emotional stability and maturity to successfully participate in the program.

Twelve full time students will be admitted each year for fall semester.

ClemsonLIFE is a residential program providing instruction and practical experience in independent living skills. All students enrolled in the Basic Program live in on-campus apartments under the supervision on an Independent Living Assistant (ILA). Students in the Advanced Program live in apartments off-campus, and are closely monitored by Transition Specialists who assist them with independent living skills.

The Basic Program is designed to be completed in two years. Admittance into the Advanced Program is by invite-only, and provides two additional years of transition support to help facilitate independent living.

Students successfully completing the program will receive a certificate of postsecondary education (not an accredited college degree). Beginning in 2019 students will have the option of pursuing a Certification in Hospitality Management.

Each ClemsonLIFE student is provided an individual peer student mentor drawn from throughout the campus. Mentors assist ClemsonLIFE students both academically and socially, as well as helping them fully integrate into the college community.

There are a variety of different funding opportunities including FAFSA, Pell grants, South Carolina Commission on Higher Education grants, Vocational Rehabilitation tuition stipends, ClemsonLIFE grant-in-aids, and other private scholarships.

All interested applicants should attend one of our open houses that are held each semester. Sessions are typically offered in March and October. To reserve a space at an open house session, please register online. To schedule a campus tour, please visit the University campus tours page and fill out the registration form.