Recently, Clemson Athletics reintroduced the academic common market, hoping it can help its Olympic sports such as baseball and men’s soccer compete for recruits from other states that are wishing to come to Clemson, but cannot afford the out-of-state tuition.
Baseball has just 11.7 scholarships to share on its 27-man roster, with a minimal of 25 percent going to those players. So, any academic assistant it can get can help the Tigers on the recruiting trail.
“It certainly helps when you can offer opportunities to young men where you can reduce their cost of school,” Clemson head baseball coach Monte Lee said. “Ultimately, with 11.7 scholarships, often times it comes down to cost for families because of out of state cost at Clemson and even in-state cost at Clemson.
“The cost of school has grown exponentially in the last decade. Anything that we can do to try and cut that cost down (will help).”
Lee says when a prospect and his family is looking at Clemson as an option, they are comparing Clemson’s offer to that of Georgia’s, Georgia Tech’s, South Carolina’s, Tennessee’s and Alabama’s to name a few.
Some of those schools have bigger advantages and can offer more financial aid to get around the 11.7 limit set by the NCAA.
“We have to be able to stretch our dollars to the best of our abilities so we can compete for kids in states where the academic common market applies,” Lee said.
Annual tuition at Clemson cost around $40,000 for an out-of-state student, compared to about $20,000 for a South Carolina resident. The academic common market allows Clemson students from other states—on both the athletic and academic side—a more affordable alternative to attend and/or play sports at Clemson if they were majoring in a field that is not available to them in their home state.
In the fall of 2018, Clemson University decided to pull out of the academic common market for undergraduates, a decision that put a strain on recruiting for baseball and other Olympic sports.
This is a tool the Clemson baseball team needs to stay competitive with other schools in the ACC and the SEC on the recruiting trail.
“We only have a handful of states that it really works for. We have a number of guys committed in the 2022 class already, so once we got it back, our biggest focus right now is trying to target, maybe a handful of guys, the academic common market will apply to the 2022 class,” Lee said. “But more importantly, the 2023 class, that is our big focus right now.
“We are evaluating guys in that class quite a good bit and the academic common market certainly will come into play from those states where it can apply. It is a huge factor for us.”
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