Western Carolina University Admissions: Everything You Want to and Need to Know

Overview of Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University is a public institution with an acceptance rate of 40%. The institution has a large selection of over 160 undergraduate and graduate degree programs for students to select from. Students are backed by a 17 to 1 student/faculty ratio, and professors take a personalized approach to the teaching and learning process. Outside of the classroom, students will find plenty of opportunities to engage with the campus community via the university’s many clubs and organizations. The Western Carolina Catamounts play in the NCAA Division I Southern Conference.


  • Total Enrollment: 11,639 (10,027 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 45 percent male/55 percent female
  • 86 percent full-time

Cost of Attendance Information

  • Tuition and Fees: $4,220 (in-state); $8,220 (out-of-state)
  • Books: $1,059
  • Room and Board: $9,682
  • Other Expenses: $2,679
  • Total Cost: $17,640 (in-state); $8,220 (out-of-state)

Financial Aid Information

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 88 percent
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 74 percent
    • Loans: 67 percent
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $6,218
    • Loans: $6,665

Academic Programs Offered

  • Most Popular Majors: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Health Professions and Related Programs; Education; Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services; and Public Administration and Social Service Professions

Retention and Graduation

  • First-Year Student Retention (full-time students): 80 percent
  • Transfer-Out Rate: 27 percent
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 40 percent
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 62 percent

NCAA Athletic Programs

  • Men’s Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Football, Golf, Track and Field
  • Women’s Sports: Basketball, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball

Overview of Western Carolina University Admissions

Western Carolina University, which accepts less than half of all applicants, has a competitive admissions pool. Students whose SAT/ACT scores and GPA are within the institution’s requirements have a good chance of being admitted. Applicants must complete an online application and send test scores from either the SAT or ACT and high school transcripts. Glowing recommendation letters can bolster your application, along with being involved with student organizations and attempting a challenging course load. Interested students should check out the university’s website, which has helpful tips and contact information for the admissions offices.

Admissions Data

Throughout the 2018-19 admissions phase, Western Carolina University had an acceptance rate of 40%. For every 100 students who submitted applications, 40 students gained admission, making WCU’s admissions procedure competitive.

SAT Requirements and Scores

Throughout the 2018-19 admissions phase, 50% of students provided SAT scores. This admissions data reveals that most of Western Carolina’s students fall within the top 35% nationally on the SAT.  50% of admitted students scored between 520 and 610 on the evidence-based reading and writing part, while 25% scored under 520 and 25% scored over 610. 50% of students scored between 510 and 600 on the math part, while 25% scored under 510, and 25% scored over 600. Applicants with a cumulative SAT score of 1210 or higher will have a competitive advantage at Western Carolina University.

ACT Requirements and Scores

Throughout the 2018-19 admissions phase, 60% of students provided ACT scores. This admissions data reveals that most Western Carolina’s students fall within the top 49% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of admitted students to WCU received a cumulative ACT score between 20 and 25, while 25% scored over 25, and 25% scored under 20.


In 2019, the average unweighted GPA of Western Carolina University’s incoming freshmen class was 3.78. This data suggests that Successful applicants to WCU have B grades primarily.

Safety Net Schools: Easy to Gain Admission

If past admission data predicts that you would be a competitive candidate for Western Carolina University, it should be easy to gain admissions to the schools below. If Western Carolina University is currently out of your reach, then you are sure to be a competitive candidate for the schools below.

Georgia State University, State University of New York at Fredonia, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University of California, Merced, Liberty University, University of Texas at El Paso, California State University Northridge

Same Tier: Just As Hard to Gain Admission

If you’re a competitive candidate for Western Carolina University, you should have an equal chance of gaining admissions at these schools.

California State University Long Beach, San Jose State University, Pace University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Hampton University, Washington State University, University of Texas at San Antonio

Reach Institutions: Gaining Admissions Will be More of a Challenge

These schools are more challenging to gain admission into than Western Carolina University. If you improve your GPA and SAT/ACT scores, then you’ll be a competitive candidate for these schools.

University of California, Davis, Texas Christian University, Temple University, Seton Hall University, University of Alabama, Quinnipiac University, Ohio University

Applying to Western Carolina University

Application Deadline: March 1

Undergraduate Admissions Website:


Undergraduate Application Link(s):


Graduate Admissions Website:


Graduate Application Link(s):


Choose your Reaction!