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Student Financial Aid Federal School Code: 003425

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is financial aid?

2. What are my chances for receiving a scholarship?

3. Will I qualify for a federal grant?

4. Will I have to take out student loans?

5. Can I work to pay part of my costs?

6. How will Clemson know that I have financial need?

7. When should I apply for financial aid?

8. When will I hear about my financial aid package?

9. How much does Clemson cost?

10. What are my payment options?

11. I have more questions, where can I find help?

12. Any other advice?

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1. What is financial aid?

Financial aid is any funding for your college education that comes from resources outside your family. Scholarships can be awarded by the university or by an outside donor, such as a civic club, church or business. Grants are based on financial need and do not have to be repaid. Self-help aid, including loans and work-study employment, are also considered financial aid, even though you have to pay back the loan or work for your stipend.

2. What are my chances for receiving a scholarship?

Recruiting scholarships are only available to incoming freshmen 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 as long as 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, such as your test scores and high school rank. There is no separate scholarship application. » More information

All other university scholarships are awarded to both entering freshmen and upperclassmen. These awards range from $250 to $7,500 and each have special criteria set up by the donor such as a certain residency, major, or career interest. While the selection process is very competitive, these recipients are impossible to predict because of the unique restrictions. Upperclassmen, however, must have a cumulative GPR of at least 2.50 to be considered.

Additional information can be found in the University Scholarships section of this website.

A list of all University scholarships and their criteria can be found on the Scholarship Listing website.

3. Will I qualify for a federal grant?

Students with significant need might be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG). These grants are awarded to students whose families have very few resources for college, according to the results of their FAFSA. For example, a dependent student in a family of four whose parents’ adjusted gross income is less than $30,000 would be likely to receive federal grant assistance. Eligibility is determined by the U.S. Department of Education and varies depending on family size, number of children in college, assets, and the student's income.

4. Will I have to take out student loans?

A little fewer than half of Clemson’s graduates borrow funds to finance part of their education. However, subsidized or low-interest loans can be a good resource to meet college costs that are not covered by scholarships or other resources. Students with financial need may be eligible for the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan and the Federal Perkins Loan. For parents who need assistance with the remainder of college costs, the Federal Direct PLUS loan is available. In addition to the Direct loan, graduate students may also be eligible for the Federal Direct GradPLUS loan. Almost all applicants are eligible for some type of loan assistance, regardless of income level or creditworthiness.

5. Can I work to pay part of my costs?

Yes! The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program provides jobs for eligible students based on your FAFSA. Students are paid biweekly and apply for jobs of interest on the FWS website after being awarded. Freshmen work-study employees typically work 10-12 hours per week. If you do not qualify for the FWS program, you can still use the Michelin Career Center to discover opportunities around campus or within the community.

6. How will Clemson know that I have financial need?

We determine your need based on the information found in your FAFSA, so your first step to financial aid should be completing the FAFSA and listing Clemson as one of your college choices. (Federal School Code 003425.) A federal formula will determine your financial situation compared to Clemson's cost of attendance. If you demonstrate financial need, you will be eligible for subsidized financial aid. Even if you do not have need according to this federal formula, you can still receive an unsubsidized loan on which interest accrues while you are enrolled.

7. When should I apply for financial aid?

Entering freshmen are automatically considered for Academic Recruiting Scholarships if they apply for admissions by Dec. 1 and the admissions process is completed by December 31. Continuing undergraduate students are also automatically considered for University scholarships. See the information above regarding "What are My Chances for Receiving a Scholarship."

You should submit the FAFSA as soon as possible after Jan. 1 each year. In order to be considered for need-based scholarships, the processor must receive your completed FAFSA by March 1. The priority deadline for the Federal Supplemental Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study and South Carolina Need-Based Grant is April 1. April 1 is also the suggested deadline to apply for the Federal Pell Grant and Federal Stafford Loan. You do not have to be accepted for admissions first to apply for financial aid.

8. When will I hear about my financial aid package?

Incoming freshmen who apply by the admission deadline will be notified of any Academic Recruiting Scholarships by the first week of April. If they meet our priority deadline of March 1 for completing the FAFSA, then their federal aid and other need-based aid will also be awarded by the first week of April. We do continue to process aid during the summer and even after the fall semester starts. You can apply at any time, but remember that some programs have deadlines and it can take up to 12 weeks for your aid to be available. For upperclassmen, renewable scholarships are awarded in late April/early May while all other processing begins as soon as spring semester grades are posted.

When your financial aid package is available on the iROAR portal, you will receive notification through your Clemson email account. Before you can accept your financial aid awards, you must accept the Terms and Conditions on the iROAR portal. When Clemson awards a Federal Direct Loan, you will have the opportunity to accept, reduce or decline the offer. Before your Federal Direct loan(s) can be finalized, you will need to sign the Master Promissory Note and complete the Entrance Counseling on studentloans.gov if it is your first loan. Be careful to read and follow the instructions on any form or email that you receive regarding financial aid.

If necessary, Clemson might ask you to submit additional information or copies of your family's tax returns for a federally mandated process called Verification. To speed up processing, please respond as quickly as you can and make sure all forms are signed and complete. We will process your aid as soon as possible, but we must follow strict federal guidelines if your application is selected for review. No federal aid will be confirmed for disbursement until the verification process is complete which may take several weeks.

9. How much does Clemson cost?

Tuition and fees for in-state students are about $13,000 for the academic year (fall and spring semesters). Out-of-state students pay about $29,500 per year. Please visit the “Cost of Attendance” page for more details. Your dormitory room, meals and books cost about $9,000 per year. You must also take into account your personal and transportation costs. You will receive a bill in mid July for the fall semester and another in November for the spring semester.

10. What are my payment options?

To avoid lump sum payments, families should consider in the University’s payment plan options. Clemson University also accepts payment through VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, as well as e-checks. Families who pay all or part of their tuition with loans or with their own resources might qualify for federal tax credits, such as the HOPE Scholarship Tax Credit or the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit, which reduce the amount of federal income tax due the following year.

11. I have more questions, where can I find help?

Call the financial aid office at 864-656-2280, email us at finaid@clemson.edu, or visit us at G-01 Sikes Hall.  Our fax number is 864-656-1831 if needed.

12. Any other advice?

With all the forms, deadlines and acronyms that are involved, financial aid can seem very confusing. Your best strategy is to apply early, read and follow all instructions, keep copies of documents and respond promptly to follow-up requests. Please call on us at 864-656-2280 or visit us in G-01 Sikes Hall if you have concerns.

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