Spend the weekend exploring Clemson University while developing leadership skills and building friendships with other top performing students.

Clemson’s Challenge for Academically Talented Students (C-CATS) recruits outstanding students from SC, NC and GA to participate in high-powered weekend retreats. Through team-building and academic sessions, students gain leadership skills, make lasting friendships, and improve their ability to think clearly and perform under pressure, all while having the time of their lives!

Tour Clemson University

Join current Clemson students for a guided campus tour to see all that the Clemson has to offer, including dining hall, underground recreation center, Kinard Physics department, and much more.

Critical Thinking Workshop

Engage in hands on, collaborative activities that encourage you to think differently while solving common problems.

Kinard Physics Building

Did you know that Clemson has its very own Planetarium? View constellations and planets through the highly advanced, full dome digital theater.

Underground Recreation

Looking for even more fun? Look no further than the on-campus recreation center. From bowling and billiards to ping pong and lounge area, you are sure to find a good time here!


  • Registration

    C-CATS is only open to students in the top 20% of their class. If you think you fit that criteria, please ask your guidance counselor to nominate you!

    The link to register online is available in the official C-CATS invitation letter.

  • 2019 Dates
    • October 18-20
    • November 8-10
    • December 6-8
    • December 13-15
  • Pricing

    $250/student. Includes 2 nights at YLI Headquarters, 6 meals, a Clemson University campus tour, and program activities.

    Payment in full is due three weeks prior to the start of the program or your spot will be subject to forfeiture.