What is The Clarkson School?
The Clarkson School, a special division of Clarkson University, was founded in 1978 as an innovative educational opportunity. The School offers students an early entrance opportunity into college, replacing the typical senior year of high school with a challenging first year of college. It is one of the few college early admission programs in the country that provides a real community living/learning experience on a university campus.
What does the admission committee look for in an application?
The Clarkson School is designed for individuals who have demonstrated high levels of achievement in their academic work, personal maturity, and engagement in extra-curricular activities. In order to determine whether a student is ready for the early college experience at The Clarkson School, we consider academic preparation as evidenced in the cumulative GPA, rank in class, standardized test scores, and the rigor of the curriculum the student has taken. A great deal of attention is given to the letters of recommendation to see if the writer feels that the student is prepared for the early college experience. To receive full consideration, all students must meet the minimum academic standards as stated in The Clarkson School Admission Policy and Procedures.
What about a high school diploma?
Clarkson University does not grant high school diplomas, students who would like to earn a high school diploma, or its equivalency, may pursue one of three options. Please keep in mind, students are eligible to receive Clarkson School scholarships and grants regardless of which option they choose.
- The first option is to receive the high school diploma from your current high school. This will require working out a suitable academic plan with the high school administration to satisfy your graduation requirements, while studying at The Clarkson School. We will simply build these required classes into your schedule here at Clarkson and upon satisfactory completion, the appropriate documentation will be provided to your high school. Students have the option to complete these requirements during the first semester, and obtain the diploma mid-year, or spread the classes over both semesters. Students who complete their high school requirements in the first semester are eligible to receive federal financial aid in the second semester.*
- The second option is to apply for a diploma from the New York State Education Department upon successful completion of twenty-four credit hours in six different disciplines. The state diploma shows that a student has successfully completed these college credits at Clarkson University.
- A third option is to simply take the two-day New York State General Equivalency Exam. This option provides the student with the most flexibility in their schedule and we provide assistance with registration and transportation to the test, which is conducted at a nearby location.
*If a student chooses to remain enrolled in a high school while enrolled in The Clarkson School, the student is eligible for Clarkson School financial aid, but not federal financial aid. By definition, enrollment in high school includes, but is not limited to the concurrent pursuit of a high school diploma while enrolled in The Clarkson School. It also includes (i) a student who has completed the requirements for his/her high school diploma but not yet received it and is taking coursework for which his/her high school will give the student credit or (ii) a student who has not received a high school diploma and is considered by his/her high school to be enrolled, e.g., as a requirement for participation on an interscholastic sports team or in any other curricular or extracurricular activity for which enrollment in high school is a prerequisite.
Our staff will assist with any of these choices. Clarkson School students do not always seek a high school diploma, as they are already in college, but we always advise students to pursue one of the three possible avenues available.