Clemson University

Written by Lisa Bleich

Clemson has a pretty campus with a large green mall area at its center.  They are in the midst of a huge expansion, with lots of construction around campus.  It pays to be a national football champion!

Students seemed balanced, happy with a strong sense of school spirit and pride.  Most of the kids were dressed in leggings, Clemson wear (sea of orange), sweat shirts, and jeans.  The majority of students are white and while mostly Southern, there are many students from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic area as well.

Our tour guide.

Our tour guide, was enthusiastic, dynamic and adorable.  She spoke for almost two hours regaling us with her adventures on campus and her experience at Clemson from her interest in becoming an intellectual property attorney to the time her parents busted her for trying to buy clothes on Amazon using her food allowance.  She said she liked Clemson because she never felt as if she couldn’t get a good grade in a class as long as she worked for it. 

She thought her pre-law courses were more challenging intellectually than her business classes because of the writing demands, but she always felt as if she had ample support and confidence to do well.  She also found time to be in a sorority, go to all the games, give tours, and enjoy her friends.

I also had the opportunity to attend a wedding this weekend with a gaggle of Clemson sorority girls as brides maids.  All the girls I met were similar in their enthusiasm and genuine caring and support for each other.

Football is huge and Clemson has an online system to allow for all students to attend the games for free.  And attend they do.  Tailgating, cheering, after game parties are a large part of the social life at Clemson.  There is also a town right next to campus with a Moe’s, Chipotle, bars and other typical college town staples.   There is also a beautiful Starbuck’s on the second floor of the library.

Clemson is located about 40 minutes away from Greenville, SC, a bustling city with great restaurants, shops, river walks and biking trails.  Students who enjoy the outdoors will have ample opportunity to take advantage of the lovely South Carolina topography.

Admissions/Financial Aid

Acceptance to Clemson is numbers driven. They put most stock in Academic rigor, class rank and test scores.  Essays and letters of recommendation are truly optional and only required if a student needs to explain something about his or her transcript. The average SATs for the high school class of 2017 were 1330 in state and 1346 out of state.  The average ACTs were 29-30. 

Clemson recalculates students’ GPA out of a 4.0 scale and look for A’s in B’s in a rigorous curriculum.  They prefer more A’s than B’s on the transcript.  For students who are waitlisted, be sure to keep in contact with your admissions rep to let them know you are interested.  Most students will find out about the waitlist the first week of May.

Clemson has several limited space majors including Nursing, Health Science, Education, Communication Studies and Architecture.  If you apply for a limited space major, be sure to include a second choice “open major” in the application.  For example, students can major in biology and transfer into nursing one they are at Clemson.  If you put a limited space major in both major choices and are not at the top of the pool, you will likely not get in.

Clemson offers several merit based scholarships for students who submit their applications by 12/1.

Nursing is strong on campus with a simulated hospital right on campus where students get to practice their skills on test patients.  Our tour guide described how she served as one of these “test” patients for her roommate to learn how to draw blood.  Let’s just say, her roommate needed more practice before she tried her skills out on a real patient!!

Clemson also has a very strong graphic communications program and will teach students how to use Photoshop and other Adobe products.  Several graduates of this program went on to work for Pixar.  Other strong programs include business, engineering, and pre-health sciences and pre-vet.  There is an equestrian center near campus where students can gain experience working with animals.

Clemson University Support for Students with Disabilities

Coordinated Services- Low to Mid-Moderate

Basic support services are offered for students with Disabilities, such as note-takers, academic coaches and peer tutors through the Academic Success Center.  Adaptive technology such as the Kurzweil is available. There are sign-language interpreters and Real Time Captioning for deaf students. 

Disability services incorporate the principals of Universal Design to help support students. Clemson holds an annual Walk and Roll day set up to promote Universal Design and each participant gets assigned a disability for the day to get a better understanding of the various challenges posed.  The director’s philosophy is to help the students get set up with what they need but that the students need to do everything on their own.

Clemson has a chapter of Delta Alpha Pi, an academic Honor Society for top-performing students with documented disabilities.  Course substitutions in math and foreign language are possible, determined case by case, but it was stressed that there must be very solid documentation.


Clemson is a great place for students who love big sports, want strong pre-professional academics, a homogeneous environment with an enthusiastic, loyal fan base and a balanced academic/social life.

Clemson University

101 Calhoun Drive

Clemson, SC 29634


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