Edmit Hidden Gems: Clarkson University

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In order to graduate from Clarkson (an Edmit Hidden Gem school), students must first get professional experience.  


Cited as a top-earning school by Business Insider, the Payscale College Salary Report, and the Princeton Review, Clarkson University is all about building relevant professional experience for its student community. With its main campus located about an hour south of the Canadian border in Potsdam, New York, Clarkson gets Edmit Hidden Gem status for its focus on career development, both via curriculum requirements and robust Career Center offerings.


“On-campus students will be surrounded by other professionally motivated and passionate minds,” says Brian Grant, vice president for enrollment and student advancement, and “real-world experience is at the heart of a Clarkson education. Clarkson University students are required to complete at least one professional experience before they graduate--co-op, internship, research, and/or study abroad. Most of our students complete more than one!”


Studying at Clarkson


At Clarkson, academic programs cover the arts and sciences, business, education, engineering, and health; the school also has multiple institutes focusing on entrepreneurship, innovation, and STEM disciplines.


With approximately 4,300 students, the campus community is small and close-knit. “Our students have a lot of personal attention and resources available to them,” says Grant. “Students will find themselves in small classrooms, taught by accomplished professors, and surrounded by familiar faces.”


When it comes to the Clarkson professional experience requirement, students can get started as early as the second semester of their freshman year. And within the professional experience requirement options, the Edmit team is particularly excited by Clarkson’s co-op program. Typically full-time paid positions, the co-op roles foster real-world experience that boost a student’s skills and earning potential, while also saving money, too: No tuition is charged unless a participating student also enrolls in extra credits during the co-op duration.


Beyond professional activities and on-campus clubs, Clarkson has lots of outdoorsy diversions nearby, says Grant. “We are just a drive away from several ski/snowboarding slopes and minutes from the Adirondack Park.”


Clarkson Affordability


The average net price tuition at Clarkson for the 2016-17 school year is $29,243, and “nine out of 10 Clarkson students receive financial assistance directly from the university in the form of scholarships and/or need-based grants,” says Grant. “Many students also qualify for loans and work-study jobs. Consideration is automatic for most scholarships.”


“We have a handful of special scholarships that require a separate application or action on the part of the student,” adds Grant. “Clarkson also offers a Leadership and Achievement program which allows high school guidance counselors to identify and nominate high school juniors for the awards. Any school in the U.S. may participate.”  


Clarkson Career Prep


Clarkson has a formidable job placement rate, with 95 percent of the class of 2016 going on to employment, graduate school, or other (e.g., military service) nine months after graduation; the average starting salary for new grads is $56,297. According to the Payscale College Salary Report 2017-18, that average goes up to $64,200 for alumni through the first five years after graduation.


Additionally, the school gets top marks for entrepreneurship: “One in five alumni leads as a CEO, VP, or owner of a company,” says Grant.


Beyond the professional experience requirement in the curriculum, the Clarkson Career Center helps “students navigate all aspect of professionalism,” says Grant, from career prep basics (e.g., resumes and interview practice) to major events (e.g. career fairs, alumni and company networking opportunities).

Lastly, Clarkson also runs a Student Success, Diversity, and Inclusion Center, with programming geared specifically toward underserved populations. The center provides academic and professional support services for groups including first-year students, minorities, women in STEAM fields, and veterans, among others. 


Have a recommendation for a Hidden Gem college? We want to hear them! Tweet your suggestions to @EdmitEDU or email us at support@edmit.me.


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