It's not just the holidays that are coming right up, but it's that time of the year again for high school seniors as college application deadlines loom.
So as students scramble to write impeccable essays and put forth their best impressions, FOX Carolina went to the admissions experts at the region's biggest university.
Before college freshmen can enjoy their time in Death Valley, their grades, test scores and personal statements need to arrive at Sikes Hall on Clemson University's campus.
This year, 34 staffers in the admissions office expect the highest number of applicants ever.
Robert Barkley, the school's Director of Admissions, said they've had at least a thousand more applications than they did at this time last year.
He said, along with university marketing, the Tigers' football field success and stint hosting college game day, twice, brought a lot of new eyes toward this upstate campus.
But that popularity means the field for acceptance will be competitive.
Barkley called the application the students' initial dialogue with the university, one in which they can share what kind of people they are and how they may fit in to the institution.
For the last 28 years, Barkley's reviewed transcripts and test scores and seen his share of application "errors."
He said one time, an American student responded to a question for international students that asked about their visa statuses. The student, Barkley said, told them about their credit card information.
Barkley said the newer online application now leads to fewer mistakes, but even spell check has caused issues for some applicants.
He saw one application whose International Baccalaureate scholar wrote that she had been involved in the "International Bachelorette" program through high school.
Barkley suggests to be careful when copying and pasting essays when applying to multiple colleges.
"[There was] the student who sent the Clemson application in and said, it's always been my dream to attend to Wake Forest," explained Barkley.
Barkley wants students to proof their work, but also, have other people proof it before it's submitted. He said his staff doesn't always pass judgment on small gaffes, but application grammar and content do matter.
And he wasn't incredibly impressed by, "The young lady who said, I look good on paper, and even better in real life."
Barkley hopes students remember that the admissions staff are adults, so students should direct their responses to an adult audience.
It's that audience that is deciding a student's future based on the written application that's submitted.
Many colleges have a priority deadline coming up soon. At Clemson, the deadline is Dec. 1.
Clemson's admissions office said they'll take applications through May 1, but most of their freshman class will be full by February or March, so it's best to get applications submitted in the next few weeks.
Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
What majors does Clemson University offer?
Clemson offers approximately 80 undergraduate and 110 graduate degree programs. All of our majors are listed online for your perusal.
How is the weather in Upstate South Carolina?
Clemson has mild, short winters and long, warm summers. We experience all four seasons. With the lake and mountains nearby, it makes the warm summers very enjoyable. In winter, we’ll have an occasional snowfall.
How much are tuition and fees to attend Clemson?
Tuition, fees, and room and board run about $25,100 for in-state students and $45,000 for out-of-state students. Visit our tuition Web page for a more specific breakdown of prices.
What are the incoming students’ average SAT and ACT scores?
For the SAT, the middle 50 percent of admitted students have test scores ranging from 1230 to 1390. For the ACT, the middle 50 percent score range is 27 to 31 for the composite.
How many students attend Clemson?
We have more than 16,000 undergraduate and 4,200 graduate and professional students. Sixty-seven percent of undergraduates are from South Carolina, 32 percent come from other U.S. states and territories, and 2 percent are from other countries.
How do I apply?
To apply, go to https://www.applyweb.com/apply/clemson/index.html to create an account and get started.
How much is the application fee?
The application fee is $70.
What are the application deadlines?
To ensure a Feb. 15 notification of fall admission, you must apply by Dec. 1 and submit test scores, transcripts and supporting documents by mid-January. To receive priority consideration for an academic recruiting scholarship, you must submit test scores, transcripts and supporting documents by Dec. 31.
Once I’ve applied to Clemson. How can I find out my application’s status?
Once Clemson has received your completed application, you will receive your Clemson XID. This ID number should be used in all correspondence with the University for the rest of your admissions process.
At this time, we do not have an online status check, but incoming freshmen who apply by Dec. 1 will receive an admission decision the week of Feb. 15. Incoming freshmen who apply after Dec. 1 will receive a decision after Feb. 15.
All transfer applications will be reviewed using the rolling admissions process.
Does Clemson offer financial aid and scholarships?
Yes. Please visit our Financial Aid website for more detailed information.
Can I visit campus?
We would love to show you our campus. Student-led tours are available throughout the year, and special tours can be scheduled through the Visitors Center. Visit their website to begin planning your visit to Clemson.
I’ve been accepted to Clemson, how do I sign up for classes and get involved on campus?
Each summer we hold a series of orientations for entering freshmen, transfer students and their families. This is where you’ll get registered and sign up for your classes. Visit the Orientation website for dates and times and to register. An orientation session is also held in January for those beginning their Clemson experience spring semester.
Once you’re on campus in the fall — or the spring — the Student Organization Fair will give you a chance to meet fellow students and get involved in campus groups. If you want to research before then, visit the listing of student organizations.
I want to live on campus. What are the residence halls like?
All freshmen are required to live on campus. We have several styles of apartments and residence halls. Please check out the Housing website for more specific information.
What is campus like?
Campus is beautiful and inviting. Tree-lined streets and walkways welcome students to campus each day of the year. Many students spend hours studying, lounging and playing on Bowman Field, which connects campus to downtown Clemson. Nearby Hartwell Lake offers more than 900 miles of shoreline for swimming, skiing, sailing and relaxing. Mountains grace the horizon and are just a short drive from campus.
I’m interested in athletics. Where can I find this information?
We have numerous club teams, intramural sports and NCAA sports events on campus. So whatever your passion, you can find the right fit.
Where do I find information about Greek Life on campus?
Visit their website at http://www.clemson.edu/campus-life/fraternity-sorority-life
Are there arts on campus?
There are numerous opportunities for students to attend events or get involved with the arts on campus. The Brooks Center offers shows year round, Lee Gallery showcases student and professional artists, and Arts in April celebrates a month of the arts on campus. You can get involved with groups like the Clemson Players as well as various choral and instrumental groups.
Where do I find information about the Honors College?
What courses are offered at Clemson?
Clemson offers a wide range of courses. For an in-depth look at the courses required for specific majors, refer to the Undergraduate Course Catalog.
How do I request information or contact the admissions office?
Find all our contact information on our Contact Us Web page.
Does Clemson do early decision applications?
Clemson doesn’t have an early decision policy, but students who apply before Dec. 1 will be notified the week of Feb. 15. Any students who apply after Dec. 1 will receive notification after Feb. 15.
I’m thinking about transferring to Clemson. What do I have to do, and how do I determine how many of my class credits will transfer?
First, you’ll need to submit an application. You can see if your classes will transfer by visiting the Transferring Credits Web page. Call Transfer Admissions at 864-656-2287 if you have any questions.
Can I appeal?
Any student has the right to appeal an admissions decision. The Undergraduate Admissions Committee reviews all appeals.
What do I do with my transcript?
Send your transcript to Clemson University admissions.
Who determines my in-state residency?
Incoming freshmen should contact the Office of Residency Classification regarding residency status. They assist continuing undergraduate and graduate students with applying for entitlement to pay in-state tuition and fees.
Ask real questions like "What are your majors?" or "How is the weather?"