FAQs for Bridge Participants

FAQs for Bridge Participants:

Admission and Eligibility Questions
Academic Questions
COMPASS Placement Testing Questions
Financial Aid Questions
Housing and Residence Life Questions
Student Life Questions
Orientation Questions

Admission and Eligibility Questions

Who can participate in the Bridge to Clemson Program?
In mid-February, Clemson University identifies qualified students who applied for freshman admission to Clemson University but narrowly missed admission to Clemson. This select group of students is invited to participate in the Bridge to Clemson program (Bridge).

How does the Bridge admission process work?
Invited students must complete the following steps in order to offiicially secure a space in the Bridge Program.

  1. Invited students interested in receiving more information about the Bridge program should express their interest in the Bridge to Clemson program via the online Bridge interest form as indicated in the Bridge invitation letter.
  2. After a student officially indicates interest in Bridge, Clemson forwards the student's application and educational information to Tri-County Technical College (TCTC).
  3. TCTC electronically sends interested students more information about the Bridge program, including directions on how to submit the enrollment form.
  4. Students must complete and submit the enrollment form and advance payment to TCTC to reserve a space in the program.
  5. Admitted students must then follow the steps outlined on the enrollment checklist in order to fully complete the process and prepare for enrollment in the Bridge to Clemson Program.

Note that invited students are not officially accepted into the Bridge to Clemson program until they have paid an advance payment to reserve their space. Since spaces in this very popular program are limited, students are urged to submit their interest and reserve their space as early as possible as the program fills on a first-come, first-serve basis. Enrollment forms with advance payments will be accepted until March 31 or until the program is full (whichever date comes first).

Academic Questions

What are the Bridge program academic requirements?
Bridge students are required to earn a minimum of 30 transferable semester credit hours and a 2.5 grade point average during their freshman year at TCTC. All transferable courses must have an earned grade of "C" or better. Only those course credit hours and GPA earned at TCTC after high school graduation will count towards satisfying the Bridge academic requirements.

Which TCTC courses count toward completing the 30-hour requirement?
Successful completion of courses designated as transferrable on Clemson's Transfer Course Equivalency List (TCEL), as well as MAT 101 and MAT 102, will count toward the 30-hour requirement. A list of courses that transfer to Clemson and count towards satisfying Bridge academic requirements is provided to students during Bridge orientation. Refer to your Bridge Advising Guide, which you can access here by academic year.

Will AP/IB credits or dual enrollment credits count toward the 30-hour requirement?
No. While AP/IB and dual enrollment credits earned may transfer to Clemson, Bridge students must successfully complete 30 hours of transferrable course work at TCTC during their Bridge year. For a list of AP/IB and dual enrollment courses that will transfer to Clemson, visit Transferring Credits on the Clemson website.

Can Bridge students attend summer school at TCTC in order to satisfy the 30-hour/2.5 GPR requirement?
Yes, Bridge students completing 30 transferrable hours with a 2.5 average at TCTC by the end of the  final summer session will be admitted to Clemson and invited to attend a Clemson transfer student orientation session prior to the start of the fall semester.

Will credits earned in TCTC Comprehensive Studies courses count toward the 30-hour requirement?
With the exception of MAT 101 and MAT 102, completion of non-transferrable courses or courses designated as Comprehensive Studies courses will not count toward satisfying the 30-hour requirement. Bridge students placing into any non-transferrable or Comprehensive Studies courses are encouraged to complete these courses prior to their enrollment at TCTC so that they will be prepared to enroll in university transfer courses in the fall semester.

Can Bridge students enroll in classes at Clemson while in the Bridge program?
No. Bridge students must enroll in courses at TCTC during their freshman year.

Are some majors not available to Bridge students?
There are specific majors at Clemson that, due to enrollment limitations, are not immediately accessible to Bridge program students. Students interested in one of the majors listed below will need to request a change-of-major application from the appropriate department after enrolling at Clemson. It is important to note that the opportunity to change into one of these majors upon enrollment at Clemson cannot be guaranteed.

  • Architecture design
  • Communication studies
  • Early childhood education
  • Elementary education
  • Health science
  • Nursing
  • Production studies (audio)
  • Professional golf management
  • Secondary education (history)
  • Special education
  • Sports Communication

Can a Bridge student change his/her major while enrolled in the Bridge program?
A student can change majors while in the Bridge program if the new major is not one of those listed above. If, however, the student is dedicated to pursuing one of these majors, the student can request a change-of-major application with the appropriate department after enrolling at Clemson. It is important to note that the opportunity to change into one of these majors at that time cannot be guaranteed.

What academic success services are available to Bridge students?
Bridge students have access to all TCTC and Clemson academic success resources such as TCTC's Tutoring Center as well workshops and academic counseling services provided by the Clemson Academic Success Center. Supplemental Instruction sessions, led by Clemson students, are offered at the Bridge Student Success Center. By combining the resources of both institutions, Bridge students have access to services that can assist them in making a successful transition from high school to college.

What are the key dates for the academic year at TCTC?
See the TCTC Academic Calendar for key dates for each semester.

COMPASS Placement Testing Questions

What is the COMPASS?
COMPASS is an educational assessment tool TCTC uses to assess a student's skill level in reading, writing, and mathematics when a student initially enrolls at TCTC. COMPASS results are used to determine appropriate course placement.  

Can SAT or ACT test scores be used in place of the COMPASS assessment?
No. Tests such as the SAT and ACT are not specifically designed for course-level placement whereas COMPASS is specifically designed to assess a student's current skill level in reading, writing and mathematics. TCTC utilizes COMPASS scores to determine initial course placement.

Are all students required to complete the COMPASS assessment?
A student who has earned credit for college-level course work (through AP/IB exam scores and/or dual-enrollment course credit earned with grade of C or better) in English and/or mathematics need only complete those sections of COMPASS for which previous credit has not been earned. For example, a student who has earned AP/IB credit or a grade of "C" or higher for a college-level English course is required to take only the mathematics portion of the COMPASS. Similarly, a student who has earned AP/IB credit or a grade of "C" or higher for a college-level math course is required to take only the reading and writing sections of COMPASS. Students with credit for both college-level English and mathematics courses are not required to complete COMPASS. Students currently enrolled in AP and/or IB courses are required to take the COMPASS assessment as AP/IB exam scores are typically not sent out until late July.

When is COMPASS offered?
COMPASS is offered at the TCTC Assessment Center Monday through Friday on a walk-in basis during the following times. An appointment is not required unless otherwise noted.

Pendleton Campus, Miller Hall - Mon - Thurs: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fri: 8 a.m. to noon

Anderson Campus - Friday only: 8 a.m. to noon

Easley Campus - Tuesday only: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

In order to complete course registration at Bridge orientation, Bridge students must complete the COMPASS Assessment prior to June 2.

What do scores on the COMPASS placement test mean to me as a Bridge student?
TCTC uses scores on mathematics, reading and writing placement tests to properly place students into appropriate courses. Students should give their best effort when taking these tests. NOTE: After a student completes the COMPASS placement test, an adviser will discuss the results with the student at Orientation and offer course recommendations based on the student's COMPASS results. If Comprehensive Studies reading, English, and/or mathematics courses are warranted due to the COMPASS results, the student must complete those courses before the student will be permitted to enroll in a transferrable course.

How should I prepare for COMPASS? Given that initial course placement is based on a student's COMPASS scores, students are encouraged to prepare for COMPASS. For additional information and practice questions, visit Preparing for COMPASS

Financial Aid Questions

Where should Bridge students send their completed FAFSA forms?
Because all Bridge students are enrolled at TCTC for their freshman year, all financial aid documents, including FAFSA, should be submitted to the TCTC financial aid office. Use TCTC's federal code, 004926. The FAFSA should be submitted by April 1 for priority consideration for all financial aid opportunities.

I am eligible to receive the LIFE scholarship at a four-year South Carolina university. Will I receive the full amount if I enroll in the Bridge program?
For eligible TCTC students, the LIFE scholarship covers the cost of full-time tuition up to $5,000. The TCTC Admissions Office evaluates all students for eligibility upon receipt of the student's final high school transcript. LIFE funds may be applied to other Bridge program costs (fees, housing) if tuition costs are covered by other scholarships. Please visit the TCTC financial aid site for additional information.

Housing and Residential Life Questions

Are Bridge students required to live in the Bridge community in order to participate in Bridge?
Yes. However, students who choose to live with a parent or guardian within TCTC's primary service area (Anderson, Oconee, or Pickens counties) may request to have this requirement waived.

What are the apartments and community like?
Bridge students reside in four-person apartments in which each student has his/her own bedroom and bathroom and shares a common living room and kitchen with three roommates. Students can also access the amenities at the Highpointe Clubhouse including the study rooms, fitness center, and pool.

How secure is the property? Highpointe has a 24-hour staffed gate (with limited coverage during the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring Breaks), which allows vehicle access to the property for residents and approved guests only. Additionally, the Bridge Program employs security staff to rove the property nightly.

Are the apartments at Highpointe furnished?
No. Apartments are unfurnished. A built-in desk in each bedroom and major appliances including refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, microwave, washer and dryer are included. Blinds or window coverings are also provided for each window.

Are Bridge students required to sign a lease?
Yes. Students are required to sign a two-semester Residential Rental Agreement. This legally binding contract requires acknowledgement of responsibility for payment for both fall and spring semesters regardless of withdrawal or dismissal from the Bridge to Clemson Program. A parental/sponsor guaranty is also required for each student.

Are Bridge students required to submit a security deposit?
Yes. A $300 security deposit is included in the housing payment due by August 1. This deposit is refundable upon termination of the lease, pending return of the apartment to the same condition as at the beginning of the lease with normal wear and tear expected.

Are utilities included? Yes. Electricity, water, sewer, basic cable, and internet prepayments are included in the semester rental payment. However, note that excessive usage may result in additional billing.

Can students choose their roommate(s)?
Yes. Students can request a specific roommate(s) on the Roommate Assignment Form. Bridge Residential Life staff will work diligently to honor all mutually requested preferences in groups of two or four. Requests for groups of three roommates cannot be accommodated.

What if a student doesn't have a preferred roommate?
Bridge Residence Life staff will work diligently to assign students with other students who indicate similar interests, hobbies, and lifestyles on the Roommate Assignment Form.

How is the Bridge Residence Life staff structured?
The Bridge residence life staff consists of paraprofessional student staff (undergraduate and graduate students) and a Masters degree-level professional staff member.

  1. Resident Assistants (RAs) are upper-class Clemson students who live throughout the Bridge community and serve as a resource person for students. RAs assist with transition issues, roommate conflicts, and policy enforcement.
  2. Resident Directors (RDs) are Clemson graduate students who provide supervision and support to the Resident Advisors and live on site at Highpointe.
  3. Coordinator of Student Life is a professional staff member who oversees the day-to-day operations of the Bridge residential component.
  4. Coordinator of Community Standards is a professional staff member who serves as the primary administrator of the Bridge student conduct system.

Is transportation available to TCTC and Clemson?
Yes. Transit service to both campuses is available while TCTC classes are in session.

Orientation Questions

Is participation in Bridge orientation required?
Yes. All Bridge participants are required to attend Orientation. Orientation provides students with the opportunity to meet other students, learn more about Bridge and the many programs and services available at both TCTC and Clemson, and to become acquainted with the TCTC campus. Perhaps most importantly, students must attend Bridge orientation in order to meet with an academic adviser and register for their fall classes.

When is Bridge orientation?
2014 Orientation will be held on June 12, June 16, June 17, June 19, June 23, June 24,  and June 26. Bridge participants will receive instructions in late April about how to register for a specific orientation date. A detailed schedule will be provided at a later date but in general, Bridge orientation is a one-day event lasting from approximately 8:30 am - 6:00 pm.

Student Life Questions

Can Bridge students participate in Clemson ROTC programs?
Yes. Bridge students are eligible to participate in the Clemson Air Force and Army ROTC programs. Course credit will be awarded by TCTC.

Can Bridge students participate in Clemson bands and/or choral groups?
Yes. Bridge students are eligible to participate in one of the Clemson bands or choral groups. Students interested in one of these groups must successfully complete an audition. Course credit will be awarded by TCTC.

Can Bridge students pledge a Clemson fraternity or sorority?
No. Due to policies governing national social fraternities and sororities, Bridge students may not join a fraternity or sorority until after they enroll at Clemson.

Are Bridge students eligible to obtain student tickets to Clemson football and men's basketball games?
Yes. While not included in the Bridge fee, Bridge students have the opportunity to purchase season tickets for Clemson football games. Single-game tickets for most football and men's basketball games may be purchased at a reduced student price.

Can Bridge students purchase a Clemson meal plan or open a TigerStripe account?
Yes. Bridge students can purchase a meal plan or open a TigerStripe account at Clemson's Tiger 1 Card office located in the Hendrix Student Center. By depositing funds in a TigerStripe account, Bridge students can eat at the TCTC café, Clemson dining facilities, and at many local restaurants. Additional information about meal plans and TigerStripe can be found on the Clemson Dining Services and Tiger 1 card homepages. More information regarding TigerStripe and meal plans are provided at Bridge orientation.

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