Merit money available across the border with Clemson scholarships


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Clemson color guard members take the field at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C. File photo by The State/Charlotte Observer

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the opportunities for out-of-state students to receive in-state tuition benefits at the University of South Carolina. This was great news for some people and intrigued many others.

Here’s an update on similar scholarship opportunities at Clemson, another state school in South Carolina.

Merit Scholarship Opportunities

Non-South Carolina residents with at least a 1320 combined score on the SAT (maximum score of 1600; 800 on Math and 800 on Evidence Based Reading and Writing) or an ACT composite score of 28 or higher (maximum of 36 in 4 separate areas: Math, English, Reading and Science) and students who are ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school class are entitled to receive a renewable annual merit scholarship of at least $7,500. Students with higher tests scores are considered for even more scholarship dollars, up to $15,000 annually.

Need-based Scholarship Opportunities

According to the Clemson website, “All out-of-state students with substantial financial need, who file the FAFSA by Clemson’s priority date of March 1 and meet academic criteria (at least a 1320 (EBRW+M) on new SAT or a 28 on the ACT composite), will be considered for a renewable $2,500 grant in addition to any other scholarship(s).”

Scholarships Open to All

In addition to the merit-based and need-based scholarships above, Clemson reviews all admitted freshmen (South Carolina residents and non-residents) for a variety of scholarships. According to their website, approximately 15 percent of admitted students are offered one of these scholarships.

If you are interested in scholarships at Clemson, keep in mind:

  • There is no separate application process for the majority of scholarships and aid.
  • Students interested in scholarships should submit their applications by Dec. 1.
  • Test scores need to be received by Clemson on or before March 1.
  • If your high school does not compute class rank, you will still be considered for scholarships.
  • Students will exceptionally high test scores who are not in the top 10 percent of their class will also be considered for merit scholarships.
  • A student’s weighted GPA (if applicable) is used in this determination.

Other scholarship programs at Clemson

The National Merit Scholarship

Clemson offers National Merit Scholars a renewable $1,000 scholarship for a total of eight terms. National Merit Scholars who complete the FAFSA by the March 1 deadline and have demonstrated financial need in any amount will receive an increased award of $2,000, which is renewable for up to three years for a total of eight terms.

The National Scholars Program offers Clemson’s top academic recruiting scholarship (covering tuition, fees, room and board, and other expenses), as well as extensive educational enrichment opportunities such as study abroad, specialized coursework and dedicated mentoring. Selection is based on a review of top applications to the Calhoun Honors College and a rigorous, in-person interview process.

Last Year’s Costs:

Resident Full Time (per year)
Tuition and fees* — $14,708
Room and board — $9,144 (approximate)
Books and supplies — $1,308 (approximate)
Total — $25,160

Nonresident Full Time (per year)
Tuition and fees* — $34,590
Room and board — $9,144 (approximate)
Books and supplies — $1,308 (approximate)
Total — $45,042

You can see a complete fee schedule here.

Other Estimated Expenses
Personal expenses/transportation expenses — $3,502
Estimated computer cost** — $1,800


Bierer is an independent college adviser based in Charlotte. Send questions to:;