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Student Financial Aid

First-Year Recruiting Scholarships

First-year recruiting scholarships are only available to incoming first-year students and are extremely competitive. These scholarships range from $500 per year to the full cost of attendance and can be renewed for an additional three years if you maintain the minimum requirements. Out-of-state students who qualify for an academic recruiting scholarship might be offered an amount that covers part or all of the out-of-state tuition differential. You will be automatically evaluated for these scholarships based on the information found in your admissions application.

There is no separate scholarship application for first-year recruiting scholarships, but the National Scholars Program requires students to apply to the Clemson University Honors College, and the Lyceum Scholar Program requires an application to the program.

 

 

a first year student waves a large Clemson flag

In-State (South Carolina) Students 

Entering first-year students who are residents of South Carolina are considered for one of the following recruiting scholarships.

Resident Merit Scholarship (or Other Named Scholarship) 

  • Students who receive the South Carolina Palmetto Fellows Scholarship and meet certain requirements related to class rank, test scores and other factors will be considered for a renewable merit award.
  • Students who receive the South Carolina LIFE Scholarship and meet certain requirements related to class rank, test scores and other factors will be considered for renewable scholarships awarded from our endowments or annual scholarships.
  • Students who show financial need through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application will be considered for renewable grant funds and merit awards. Incoming first-year students must complete the FAFSA online on or before January 2 to qualify for need-based aid.

Additional Scholarship Considerations 

  • This list is not inclusive of all scholarships, eligibility criteria or renewability requirements.
  • The self-reported academic record submitted for admission evaluation is used to determine merit scholarship eligibility.
  • Students applying to Clemson from secondary schools that do not calculate class rank will still be considered for merit awards.
  • Weighted rank (if applicable) is used in this determination.

Out-of-State Students (domestic) 

Out-of-State Tuition Scholarship 

  • Domestic out-of-state students with an exceptional high school academic record will be considered for a renewable merit award.
  • Students who show financial need through their FAFSA application will be considered for renewable grant funds as well as merit awards offered. Incoming first-year students must complete the FAFSA online on or before January 2 to qualify.

Additional Scholarship Considerations 

In addition to the awards listed above, Clemson considers all admitted first-year students (in-state or out-of-state) for scholarships funded by alumni and other friends of the University. Typically, about 15 percent of our admitted students are offered one of these scholarships.

  • This list is not inclusive of all scholarships, eligibility criteria or renewability requirements.
  • The self-reported academic record submitted for admission evaluation is used to determine merit scholarship eligibility.
  • Students applying to Clemson from secondary schools that do not calculate class rank will still be considered for merit awards.
  • Weighted rank (if applicable) is used in this determination.

Academic Common Market 

The Academic Common Market (ACM) is a program that allows a small number of out-of-state students to pay the equivalent of in-state resident fees in specialized fields.

National Scholars

The National Scholars Program offers Clemson's top academic recruiting scholarship (covering tuition, fees, room and board and other expenses). Other educational expenses may include study abroad, specialized coursework and dedicated mentoring. Selection is based on a review of top applications to the Clemson University Honors College and a rigorous interview process.

Lyceum Scholars

The Lyceum Scholars Academic Program is America’s first and only university-based academic program dedicated to exploring the moral, political and economic foundations of a free society. Drawing inspiration from the Lyceum School founded by Aristotle in 335 BC Athens, we have created a philosophically oriented and sequentially integrated academic program that presents students with ideas that are fundamental, timeless and life-changing.

See application criteria and apply
Graduates of the lyceum scholars program pose for a group photo

National Merit Scholarship

National Merit award recipients are selected by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and reported to Clemson University. Scholars could receive one of three scholarships: Freshmen Award, Corporate-Sponsored Merit Scholarship or Clemson-Sponsored Merit Finalists.

  • The Freshman Award is $2,500 and available during the first year. Beginning with new first-year students entering in the 2020-2021 academic year and after, the Freshman Award will remain $2,500, but the award may be renewed annually at $1,500, in the form of a Clemson University scholarship, for the sophomore through senior years.
  • The Corporate-Sponsored Merit Scholarship is an amount determined and renewed by National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
  • The Clemson-Sponsored Merit Finalists will receive $1,500 per year (beginning for students entering in Fall 2020) renewable for four years total (eight semesters).

Except for former Freshman Award recipients, no additional institutional funds are granted to recipients of any National Merit scholarship. Incoming and returning recipients of any of the above awards should not expect these scholarship funds to be added to their financial aid package until after all public announcements by National Merit have been made, typically in mid-to-late July.

Scholarship Renewal 

General Renewal Criteria

Renewal criteria for most scholarships are a 3.0 GPA and a minimum of 12 credits completed each semester (24 credits per school year). Scholarship renewal for the following academic year is checked at the end of the previous Spring semester. Summer sessions are available to improve GPA or earn credit hours needed to renew scholarships.

Out-of-State Tuition Scholarship Renewal Criteria

The Out-of-State Tuition award recipients will receive a named award (typically donor-funded) of up to $500. This named award is included in the total amount of the award offer and is renewable for up to eight semesters. Students receiving Out-of-State Tuition scholarships may receive a prorated amount for the Summer Session based on meeting renewal requirements and available funding.

The Financial Aid Request Form for Summer Enrollment deadline for Out-of-State Tuition Scholarships is May 10.

Renewable Award Reviews

Renewable awards are reviewed each year and can be renewed for three additional years of continuous undergraduate study. Renewable awards are based on all eligibility requirements, including the cost of attendance over awards and available funding from the State, University and Clemson University Foundation funding.

Additional Scholarship Opportunities 

There are many opportunities to earn scholarships from entities outside the University. Explore your options and learn how to apply scholarship funds from outside sources to your Clemson education.