Clemson Fall 2020 enrollment up 2.3 percent


97 percent of South Carolina applicants were offered a path to earn a Clemson degree

Clemson, S.C. — Clemson University announced a 2020 fall semester enrollment of 26,406, up 2.3 percent from the year prior.

The University’s strategic enrollment plan includes the following top-line guiding principles:

  1. The “Clemson experience,” a key element to Clemson’s self-identity, will be enhanced.
  2. As a land grant institution, Clemson will maintain a commitment to the state of South Carolina in terms of delivering high-quality undergraduate education to its citizens. Any plan for enrollment growth must include a continuing commitment to South Carolina residents.

Enrollment data for Fall 2020 highlights success in each of those two key areas. Through thoughtful planning and extraordinary effort by faculty and staff during the summer months, the University was able to create engaging and meaningful experiences for students despite the challenges arising from the global pandemic.

In-state enrollment makes up 66.4 percent of the undergraduate population, and this year 97 percent of South Carolina applicants were offered a path to earn a Clemson degree, either through direct admission to Clemson or through an invitation to the Bridge program.

Along with the steady and strategic increase of enrollment, student success metrics continue to climb. This year, first-year retention jumped to 93.6 percent, and six-year graduation rates jumped to 84.9 percent, both far above the national mean at other four-year public universities. The six-year graduation rate at Clemson has risen steadily from 81 percent five years ago. Widely used among higher education institutions, the mean six-year rate among national public universities was just 50 percent in 2018.


2020 Overall Enrollment – 26,404 (up 2.3%)

2020 Undergraduate Enrollment – 20,868 (up 3.3%)

2020 In-State Enrollment – 16,119 (up 2.1%)


“Despite the many challenges of the Fall semester, the resilience and determination of our faculty, staff and students continues to show both the value of and the demand for a Clemson education. Our strategic approach to enrollment has allowed for the steady growth of the University while not sacrificing the quality and experience provided to our students.”

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