CLEMSON — Monday morning’s University Convocation marked the beginning of the collegiate experience for more than 5,000 incoming freshman and transfer students. More than 1,800 graduate students are also starting their journeys to master’s or doctoral degrees.

More than 1,000 of the incoming undergraduates reported they are first-generation students, and more than 1,500 are legacy students, meaning a parent, grandparent or sibling attended Clemson, according to preliminary data. The incoming freshmen class’ diversity also has increased more than five percentage points, making it Clemson’s most diverse class to date.

“Clemson prides itself on being a national leader in higher education for all students,” said David Kuskowski, director of undergraduate admissions. “As part of our commitment to teaching, research and student success, we are proud to provide the highest quality academic resources and strive to create a positive learning environment that allows all of our students to thrive.”

New undergraduates are hailing from more than 1,300 high schools in 44 states, including South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Virginia.

The Honors College has more than 300 students currently enrolled and the National Scholars Program is welcoming a cohort of 12. The National Scholars have an average unweighted GPA of 3.985 and an average SAT score equivalent of over 1510. More than half of the scholars are from South Carolina.

Clemson also shows a 10 percent increase in undergraduate applications, a trend the university has seen consistently over the past five years.

“Continuing growth in applications is an indication of the great work being done by the university’s faculty and staff to create unique learning experiences that prepare students to meet the needs of today’s workforce,” said Kuskowski. “As a top public institution in the country, families know Clemson provides inclusive opportunities that positively impact students well beyond their years here. We’re looking forward to seeing their accomplishments as tigers, both while they are here and long after they receive their diploma.”

The Graduate School’s incoming class of more than 1,800 will be part of the largest graduate body Clemson has had to date. The Graduate School continues to grow, and similar to undergraduate admissions, it also has seen an increase in applications.

“The Graduate School has grown consistently due to Clemson’s academic reputation as an R1 institution and our faculty, research facilities and innovation campuses,” said Jason Osborne, associate provost and dean of the Graduate School. “We challenge our students to reimagine the world we live in and provide them with learning and research opportunities that can help them reach their professional goals while also having a global impact.”

Campus-wide celebrations for students, faculty and staff will take place throughout the week, including the annual Welcome Back Festival. Students who would like to learn more about Clemson’s 400-plus recognized undergraduate and graduate student organizations should head to the Tiger Prowl in Memorial Stadium from 2-5 p.m. Tuesday.

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Final numbers for incoming students will be available in November through the Office of Institutional Research’s University Factbook.