Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Learn more about your diploma options here.

How can my parents or counselor find out more about TCS and early admission?

As a small college early admission program in upstate New York, not all counselors, teachers, and parents have heard of The Clarkson School. Reservations about venturing into college early are understandable, and something that most of our prospective students have experienced. If you invite us to do so, a staff member  would be happy to contact your counselor to explain our program and to supply your school with supporting literature about The Clarkson School. We now have nearly 2000 alumni throughout the United States and the world. Our alumni and their parents are available to discuss with you or your parents their perspectives on The Clarkson School.

What is the daily life of a Clarkson School student really like?

Clarkson School students, as college students, must take a great deal of responsibility throughout the 24 hours of each day. Bells do not ring between classes and parents do not wake you up in the morning. If you take 15 college credit hours, it means you are in class for at least 15 hours each week, and you must balance the other hours with study time and activities such as clubs, sports, professional organizations, meals, sleep and recreation. Many students also spend time learning about other colleges and universities for the years after The Clarkson School. Students are often involved in community and church activities, and some have jobs. Hours are also spent in discussions with other fellow Clarkson School students "solving problems of the world." Then, of course, there is always the time spent doing your own laundry.

What special features and activities does The Clarkson School have to offer?

The living environment and sense of community are as important to The Clarkson School year as the enriching academic experience. The Clarkson School administrative offices are adjacent to the residence halls, and easily accessible. Students are housed in Price Hall, a separate residence hall, in rooms with a private bath for each pair of roommates. Each of the floors has a common area furnished with couches, chairs, and used for socializing, studying, and meetings. House advisors live on each floor. Family dinners for staff, students, and house advisors provide an opportunity for everyone to get together regularly. Field trips are scheduled to places of interest. Special programs are offered in residence halls for weekends and special occasions. Personal, academic and career counseling is available to all students. The year begins with an extended orientation program and concludes with an end-of-year gathering and commencement. Find out more about housing with the button below:

Residence Life

What major areas of study are available?

At Clarkson, you can pursue a wide variety of academic paths, including:

  • Majors in business, engineering, and arts and sciences
  • Specialized interdisciplinary majors
  • Programs tailored for students who are still deciding
  • A selective Honors Program for exceptionally talented students

Will I earn college credits?

Students in The Clarkson School are fully matriculated undergraduates with freshman status at the University. They take classes with other University students and usually carry a course load of 15 to 18 credits per semester for two semesters. College credits may also be given for college and Advanced Placement courses taken before entering The Clarkson School. Cross-registration at neighboring area colleges and universities can provide additional college credits, particularly in art, music and languages. These credits also appear on your official Clarkson University transcript.

Will my credits transfer to other colleges and universities?

Typically, a student applying to other colleges from The Clarkson School will apply as an advanced standing student, since the requirements for a high school diploma or its equivalency have not been met. Upon acceptance, the University registrar evaluates the official Clarkson University transcript and, with some exceptions, the student will transfer his/her credits earned at Clarkson.

What are the costs? What about financial aid?

Learn more about financial aid, costs and scholarships here. 

How can I learn more about early admission and The Clarkson School?

The best way to learn about this early entrance program is to talk with students who are enrolled in the experience. The Clarkson School host program gives prospective students the opportunity to visit the campus, attend classes, and speak with our admission staff as well as current students. 

Arrangements for an interview and campus visit may be made by calling The Clarkson School office at 315-268-4425 or 1-800-574-4425 (USA and Canada). Off-campus interviews, virtual and phone interviews can be arranged.

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