Clemson University Diversity Scholarships

Diversity on the Clemson University campus, Clemson SC

Clemson strives to offer outstanding academic programs to a diverse student body.

The University’s commitment to diversity is founded on the knowledge that intellectual, social and cultural diversity are essential ingredients in the educational process.

As part of Clemson’s effort to create a diverse student body, several academic scholarships have been developed. All accepted applicants are considered for these scholarships. With the exception of the Clemson Scholars Program, the criteria used in evaluating candidates include:

  • academic achievement, as demonstrated by high school performance and SAT/ACT scores;
  • personal background, as demonstrated by race and ethnicity, gender and geographic origin; and
  • interpersonal skills, as demonstrated by extracurricular activities, community service, and work experience.
  • Additional conditions might apply to specific programs.

Students who wish to be considered for diversity scholarships should apply for admission by December 1 and complete the admissions process by December 31. To be considered for need-based scholarships, applicants must also submit the FAFSA by January 2. All accepted entering freshmen will be automatically considered for each diversity scholarship for which they are considered eligible. Official registrar office records will be consulted to determine selection criteria.

  • Emerging Scholars Program

    Since 2002, the Emerging Scholars Program has made higher education a reality for students who have not seen college in their future. The mission of the Emerging Scholars Program at Clemson University is to establish a college-going culture among students in families from the state’s economically disadvantaged areas through academic enrichment, developing leadership skills and increasing college preparedness. Students are taught that knowing the basics of reading, writing and math are the most important factors in high school and college completion. These skills are emphasized throughout their participation in the program, along with more information on the basics of applying to any college or university. Even though the students attend summer sessions on the campus of Clemson University, the goal of college attendance is not limited to Clemson. The students are encouraged to apply and attend any college of their choice with an emphasis on schools in the state of South Carolina.

    Clemson University is committed to the Emerging Scholars Program and is excited to announce the following scholarship offer:

    • Emerging Scholars that enroll at Clemson University are eligible to receive a scholarship that covers tuition, required fees, room, board, and a stipend for books/supplies. This scholarship is a last-dollar scholarship, which means that it be funded by all offered federal, state, and university scholarships and grants, and collectively referred to as the “Emerging Scholars Scholarship”.
    • To be eligible initially, high school seniors in this program must file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) by the Admissions deadline. The FAFSA can be completed at
    • This offer can be renewed, up to eight semesters, annually by maintaining a 2.5 Clemson University GPA, 24 earned credit hours, filing a FAFSA by April 1st each academic year, and meeting additional requirements set by Emerging Scholars staff members.
  • Clemson Scholars
    The top student at each South Carolina public high school, as ranked at the end of the junior year, will be considered for a renewable Clemson Scholars award. Selected students from independent schools will also be considered for the Clemson Scholars Scholarship. 
  • Other Financial Aid Opportunities

    Pell Grant

    The Federal Pell Grant is the largest federal student aid gift assistance program available to undergraduates.

    To determine eligibility, a student must apply for this grant by completing the FAFSA. There is no priority deadline for the Pell Grant, but students should apply by April 1 to allow ample processing time before fall registration. Based on the information submitted, the school receives an Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR) in about two weeks. Simultaneously, the student receives a Student Aid Report (SAR). This report provides an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) that determines the applicant's entitlement. Other factors that affect the amount of the grant are enrollment status (full time or part time) and the cost of attendance.

    To receive the Pell Grant, a student must do the following:

    • Apply by submitting the FAFSA to the federal processor.
    • Follow instructions to correct the SAR if needed.
    • Be enrolled in an undergraduate course of study. (The grant is not available to students who have previously received a bachelor's degree from any institution.)
    • Be a U.S. citizen; be in the United States for other than a temporary purpose with the intention to become a permanent resident; or be a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands or the Republic of Palau.
    • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.

    State Need-Based Grant

    This program awards to South Carolina residents demonstrating financial need. Students are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Priority consideration is given to incoming freshmen who file the FAFSA by January 2 and upperclassmen who file the FAFSA by April 1 each year.


    General requirements

      • Must be a legal resident of South Carolina
      • Must be a full-time, undergraduate student seeking your first baccalaureate degree.
      • Must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have financial need as defined by Title IV regulations. Priority is given to FAFSAs received by January 2 for incoming freshmen and April 1 for upperclassmen.
      • Must not have been judged delinquent, nor have been convicted or pled guilty or nolo contendere to any felony in any state.
      • Must not have been convicted of any alcohol or drug-related misdemeanor in any state within 12 months prior to the period of the award.
      • Must not be in default or owe a refund or repayment on any federal or state financial aid.
      • Must be making satisfactory academic progress.

    Requirements for entering freshmen and transfer students

      • Must meet all general eligibility requirements.
      • Must enroll in 12 hours for the fall and spring semesters.

    Requirements for continuing students

      • Must meet all general eligibility requirements.
      • Must enroll in 12 hours for the fall and spring semesters.
      • If you received the S.C. Need-Based Grant in the previous year, you must have earned at least 12 hours during the semester(s) of the award.
      • Must have a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA.

    Terms of Eligibility

    The S.C. Need-Based Grant can be received for no more than eight semesters.

    Award Amount

    The maximum S.C. Need-Based Grant at Clemson is $2,000 per year based on financial need as defined by Title IV regulations.


    The S.C. Need-Based Grant is credited to your student account to satisfy any charges. Excess aid is refunded to the student. The S.C. Need-Based Grant is only available during the fall and spring semesters.

    Dropping below Full-time or Withdrawing

    If you are receiving the S.C. Need-Based Grant, or any other financial aid, dropping below full-time status or withdrawing completely might affect your eligibility to receive aid. Under some circumstances, withdrawing from the University might require you to repay part or all of any financial aid received. Before taking this action, you should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid (G-01 Sikes Hall) to determine the effect on your financial obligations.

    Federal Work-Study (FWS)

    The Federal Work-Study program provides jobs for undergraduate and graduate students who have established financial need through the submission of the FAFSA. The FAFSA must be received by the federal processor by January 2 for freshmen and April 1 for upperclassmen and graduate students to receive priority consideration. Students who wish to continue as FWS employees must reapply annually.

    Federal Work-Study assistance will be awarded first to those with the greatest amount of financial need if demand exceeds available funds. Students must be enrolled full time and maintain satisfactory academic progress to receive Federal Work-Study financial assistance.

    Students are paid semimonthly, and paychecks are automatically deposited into students' bank accounts. Since Work-Study earnings are paid directly to students, the money cannot be credited to student accounts for the satisfaction of University charges. Students can view their up-to-date earnings in their iROAR account in the Financial Aid tab under Federal Work-Study Earnings. 

    America Reads Program

    Students who qualify for Federal Work-Study may be eligible to participate in America Reads, a federal literacy program. Federal Work-Study recipients who are interested in tutoring elementary age children in local schools and community centers must apply to Teacher Education online through the FWS website.  More information is available on the America Reads website.

    Part-Time Employment

    Information about on- and off-campus job openings is located at the Center for Career and Professional Development in the Hendrix Student Center or at The Job Location and Development Program, a federally funded service to assist students in obtaining part-time employment, maintains a listing of job opportunities. Students can also contact individual departments.

  • Call Me MISTER

    The mission of the Call Me MISTER® (the acronym for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models) Initiative is to increase the pool of available teachers from a broader more diverse background particularly among the State's lowest performing elementary schools. Student participants are largely selected from among underserved, socio-economically disadvantaged and educationally at-risk communities.

    The Call Me MISTER® program is contributing to the talent pool of excellent teachers by identifying and supporting students who are literally "touching the future" by teaching children. 

    The project provides:

    • Tuition assistance through Loan Forgiveness programs for admitted students pursuing approved programs of study in teacher education at participating colleges.
    • An academic support system to help assure their success.
    • A cohort system for social and cultural support.
    • Assistance with job placement.

    Call Me MISTER® was developed by some of our State’s visionary educational leaders who sincerely believe we can build a better tomorrow by getting you involved today.

  • IPTAY Scholarships

    Since 1934, IPTAY has been a source of strong, consistent support for the athletic program, student-athletes and the general improvement of the university. With foresight, the organization also supports non-athletes through the IPTAY Academic Scholarship Endowment. The scholarship fund is the second largest scholarship of its kind at Clemson and has assisted thousands of students in attending.

  • Gateway Scholarships

    Gateway Scholarships are awarded to any underrepresented population regardless of residency status. Eligibility and award amounts for domestic non-S.C. residents are based on financial need and test scores.

    In state Gateway Scholarships recipients are reviewed after year two for eligibility.  At that point, the student must have earned a 2.5 cumulative GPA and earned 48 credit hours.  In addition to these requirements, students are required to attend three workshops offered by the Academic Success Center by October 1 of their freshman year.  Additional requirements have been added to aid in the success of these students to retain not only their Gateway Scholarship but all their scholarships.

    Domestic non-S.C. resident Gateway Scholarships recipients are reviewed every year for eligibility.  The student must earn a 2.5 cumulative GPA and 24 credit hours each year to be eligible for renewal.

  • Orange Carpet Scholarship

    Orange Carpet Scholarships are awarded through Orange Carpet events held annually for prospective students.  Orange Carpet events are by invitation only. 

    The criteria used in evaluating candidates include:

    • academic achievement, as demonstrated by high school performance and SAT/ACT scores;
    • personal background, as demonstrated by race and ethnicity, gender and geographic origin; and
    • interpersonal skills, as demonstrated by extracurricular activities, community service, and work experience.
    • Additional conditions might apply to specific programs.