Finance and Operations

University announces details of 2024 General Increase/Merit-Informed Increase Plan


Following the General Assembly’s adoption of the state of South Carolina’s Fiscal Year 2024-25 General Appropriation Act, Clemson will provide a general increase (i.e., cost-of-living adjustment or COLA) to eligible staff (both classified and unclassified) and faculty.

The state guidance provides institutions of higher education the flexibility to implement the COLA without uniformity in regard to unclassified positions, which includes faculty. In accordance with Clemson University’s FY24-25 Merit Plan, eligible faculty may also receive a merit-informed increase.

For Staff

A base salary increase (COLA) of $1,125* will be given to eligible classified and unclassified staff making $50,000 and under. Eligible staff making more than $50,000 per year will receive a COLA of 2.25%, calculated as a percentage of their base salary.

*Note: Eligible part-time staff members who earn an annualized salary of more than $50,000 will receive a 2.25% increase. Eligible part-time staff members whose annualized salary is less than $50,000 will receive a prorated amount of the $1,125 increase.  For example, a 0.5 FTE employee earning an annualized salary of less than $50,000 will receive $562.50– 0.5 or half of the total flat increase.

The increase is effective June 16, 2024, and reflected beginning with the July 15, 2024, paycheck for eligible staff members. While the increase will be included in the July 15, 2024, paycheck, eligible staff members’ base salaries will not be updated in PeopleSoft until a later date.

Classified and unclassified staff positions with an effective date of hire or an official first day of employment on or before June 15, 2024, including:

  • Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions
    • Part-time FTE positions will receive a prorated increase, detailed in the note above.
  • Time-Limited Positions (TLP) who have standard hours of 30 or more hours, contract permitting
  • Temporary Grant Positions (TGP) who have standard hours of 30 or more hours, grant permitting
  • Employees hired after June 15, 2024, or whose last day of employment was on or before June 15, 2024
  • Employees in Temporary Positions (TMP)
  • Student-workers (graduate and undergraduate)
  • Employees paid by lump sum only, without a set hourly rate/annual salary (formerly referred to as Intermittent)
  • Any employment category that is explicitly excluded from the state guidance (i.e., agency head)
  • Judicial employees
  • Employees with employment contracts

For Faculty

The University’s FY24-25 Merit Plan represents a foundational component of the University’s compensation philosophy: recognizing and rewarding individual performance (merit) based on measured results. 

There will be a salary increase pool for faculty, of which eligible faculty will receive a base salary increase (COLA) of $1,750. The remainder of the salary pool will be distributed amongst colleges to be used for merit-informed increases. The budgeted salary increase pool for faculty is comprised of $1,125 for each eligible faculty member making $50,000 or less plus 2.25% of all eligible faculty salaries over $50,000.

Eligible faculty will receive their COLA increase with potential merit-informed increases and promotions in their paycheck on September 30. Increases will be processed retroactively back to June 16, 2024, for eligible 12-month faculty members and to August 15, 2024, for eligible 9-month faculty members.  

Timing Note: Faculty members promoted through the annual tenure and promotion process with an effective increase date of July 1, 2024, or August 15, 2024, will receive their increase in the September 30 paycheck. Per state regulations, when general increases (including merit) and other salary increases (promotions, etc.) are awarded on the same effective date, the general increase will be applied prior to any other salary increases. 

Faculty with an effective date of hire, or an official first day of employment, on or before June 15, 2024, in:

  • Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) positions who have standard hours of 30 hours or more
  • Time-Limited Positions (TLP) who have standard hours of 30 hours or more (contract permitting)
  • Temporary Grant Positions (TGP) who have standard hours of 30 hours or more (grant permitting)
  • Classified and unclassified staff members (eligible staff refer to section above)
  • Faculty with standard hours of less than 30 hours
  • Faculty members in temporary positions (TMP), regardless of standard hours


COLA and merit-informed increases impact base salaries but may cause changes to some increasable supplements. Additional information regarding how COLA and merit-informed increases impact supplements can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions.


For more information, please reference the COLA and Merit Frequently Asked Questions webpage or contact your HR Service Manager.