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Clemson received record applications. Fewer are getting in this fall.

Douthit Hills Clemson University housing

Douthit Hills, a residence hall complex at Clemson University, added more than 2,000 beds when it opened in 2018. Caitlin Herrington/Staff

CLEMSON — Clemson University has accepted more than 20,000 students for the fall of 2023, though it expects to admit fewer freshmen than last year.

The incoming class should be around 4,500 students, according to associate vice president for enrollment management David Kuskowski, a drop of 88 students from 2022.

“We’re working very hard to stabilize the first-year enrollment," Kuskowski said. “Two years ago, we enrolled a first-year class that was about 300 students larger than we predicted.”

President Jim Clements boasted multiple times this spring that the university saw around 60,000 applications, a Clemson record.

The university’s annual goal for undergraduate growth is 2 percent including transfer students, Kuskowski said. Clemson aims to maintain an in-state undergrad population of about 66 percent, he said, and around 55 percent of the 21,000 acceptance letters stayed in South Carolina.

Another 1,500 transfer students will join Clemson University in the fall and around 80 percent of them are in-state, Kuskowski said.

With only 7,630 beds on campus — 4,626 dedicated to freshmen — Kuskowski reiterated that the models predicting prospective student attendance “work really well.” Even if those students don’t commit to Clemson University, it is committed to feeding, housing and educating each student admitted.

“They’re all guaranteed housing, they’re all guaranteed to get the classes they need to make progress toward graduation,” he said. “So, the technical answer is … if more show up than expected, we will handle it.”

All first year and Bridge students are required to live on campus, with about 3 percent exempt for students who live in the surrounding counties. The Bridge program is a dual-enrollment system for students to earn Clemson credits while attending Tri-County Technical College. There are 1,097 beds on campus dedicated to Bridge students.

There are 732 on-campus fraternity and sorority beds and 1,175 dedicated for upperclassmen and transfer students. The Douthit Hills complex added around 2,000 beds in seven residence halls when it opened in 2018 but that was after the demolition of Clemson House, university spokesman Joe Galbraith said.

With a goal to increase the student population by 2 percent each year, Galbraith said he wasn’t immediately aware of any new on-campus housing plans.

“There are going to continue to be future plans for student housing and making that work for campus growth,” Galbraith said.

First-year students are the only ones guaranteed on-campus housing.

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