How to Get Into Clemson University: Admissions Stats + Tips
- Average Academic Profile of Accepted Clemson Students
- What is Clemson University Looking for?
- How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Into Clemson University
- How to Apply to Clemson University
- What Are My Chances at Clemson?
Clemson University is a large, public university located in Clemson, South Carolina. With a student population of over 23,000, Clemson is the second-largest university in the state. The school is particularly known for its strong engineering program, which boasts a fantastic industrial engineering program. Other popular majors include nursing, accounting, and computer science. Clemson is also known for its sports teams as a Division I school.
Average Academic Profile of Accepted Clemson Students
Getting into Clemson is hard. This is reflected through the academic profile of accepted students.
The average academic profile of accepted students for the Class of 2027:
- GPA: 4.0
- SAT/ACT: The middle 50% SAT score range at Clemson was 1230-1400 and the middle 50% ACT score range was 26-31*
- Class Rank: 54% of applicants were in the top 10% of their graduating high school classes, and 99% were in the top half
*Clemson is test-optional. 45% of students submitted SAT scores and 25% ACT scores. Clemson super-scores the SAT and ACT.
What is Clemson University Looking for?
Clemson is known for using a “data-driven” model to make admissions decisions. This means that the university tends to look at “hard” metrics such as GPA, test scores, coursework, and class rank. Below are the most important criteria for admissions, according to public data.
According to their 2022-2023 Common Data Set, Clemson University considers the following factors “very important”:
- Course rigor
- Class rank
- Standardized test scores
- State residency
These factors are “considered”:
- Extracurricular activities
These are “not considered”:
- Character/personal qualities
- First generation
- Geographical residence
- Religious affiliation/commitment
- Racial/ethnic status
- Volunteer work
- Work experience
- Level of applicant’s interest
How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Into Clemson University
1. Achieve at least a 4.0 GPA while taking the most challenging classes available.
Clemson requires you to be at the top of your class and to take honors/AP classes in order to be competitive. 54% of accepted students were in the top 10% of their graduating class, and 88% were in the top quarter.
If you are a freshman or sophomore and your GPA is lower, check out our tips for increasing your GPA. If you’re a junior or senior, it will be harder to increase your GPA. In order to compensate, we suggest trying to increase your SAT or ACT score.
Keep in mind that Clemson heavily values course rigor. The admissions committee seeks out students who take the most challenging curriculum available to them. It is not enough to get good grades in easy classes. To improve your profile, you should consider taking AP classes throughout high school.
2. Aim for a 1400 SAT and 31 ACT.
Clemson’s 50th percentile SAT score is 1310 and 50th percentile ACT score is 29. You should aim for the 75th percentile score of 1400 or 31 in order to be a more competitive applicant.
Although Clemson is test-optional, we suggest that you sit for the exams. In general, students who submit test scores have a higher chance of being admitted. If your score is above the 25th percentile (1230 at Clemson for the 2022-2023 admissions cycle), we recommend submitting your score.
It is important to note that Clemson superscores. You should aim to take the SAT or ACT 2-3 times to maximize your superscore. Curious if you should submit your score? Get a recommendation using our free chancing engine.
3. Cultivate a strong portfolio of extracurriculars.
Universities accept students with strong extracurricular profiles. Extracurriculars fall into different categories as admissions officers evaluate the quality and depth of activity that you participate in:
- Tier 1 includes the most impactful activities. These are rare and demonstrate exceptional achievement and leadership, such as earning national recognition in athletics or winning a prestigious national competition.
- Tier 2 activities also show great achievement and leadership, but are more common than those of Tier 1. These activities include state-level recognition in athletics, winning a regional composition, or holding a leadership position in a well-known club.
- Tier 3 extracurriculars demonstrate your interests but don’t carry the same weight as those in the tiers above. For example, playing a varsity sport or holding a minor leadership position in a well-established club.
- Tier 4 is home to the least distinguished and influential activities, such as playing a sport or participating in a club.
You should have a mix of activities from these tiers to be competitive for Clemson. Ideally, you should have one or two Tier 3-4 activities and a few Tier 2-3 activities. Remember that having more activities is not always better. Instead, have a smaller number of activities that you have dedicated extensive time and effort to.
4. Write engaging essays
Since admissions committees have so many applicants to choose from (more than 50,000 at Clemson in 2022-2023!), they tend to accept students with interesting essays that show the student’s interests and passions. Through the essays, you want to show that you’re a fit for the particular university. Take a look at how to write the Clemson essays.
5. Apply early
The Early Action deadline at Clemson is October 15 and the Regular Decision priority deadline is January 2. In order to be considered for scholarships, you’ll need to apply by January 2.
How to Apply to Clemson University
Early Action admission deadline
Early Action decisions released
Regular Decision priority deadline
Regular Decision decisions released
The Clemson application requirements include:
- Completing an application through the Clemson Application, Common Application, or Coalition Application
- Paying the $70 application fee
- Sending your test scores from The College Board or ACT
- Submitting your transcripts
What Are My Chances at Clemson?
The acceptance rate for Clemson in the 2022-2023 admissions cycle was 43%—52,839 prospective students applied and 22,704 were accepted. In addition to Regular Decision (RD) admissions, Clemson also offers Early Action (EA) admissions. Clemson doesn’t publish their early action acceptance rate, but, typically the acceptance rate for EA applicants is higher than those that apply RD.
Clemson is competitive to get into, but your own personal chances of acceptance may be higher or lower depending on your test scores, GPA, and extracurricular activities. To better understand your chances of admission, we suggest that you check out CollegeVine’s chancing calculator. This tool allows you to input your college profile, then will calculate your chances of admission to a particular college. Best of all, it’s completely free!
Learn more about Clemson University
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