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#10 Best Public Universities in North Carolina

WCU Admission Requirements

Cullowhee, North Carolina

 10 Reviews

Your chances of getting into Western Carolina University

Admission Rate & Difficulty

Percent Admitted 

84.8%
Admission Difficulty for Western Carolina University
Measure Difficulty
Admission Standards Average 
Applicant Competition Very Low 

Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate at WCU is 84.8%.  Its admission rate is the 48th lowest in North Carolina.

Admission Selectivity

How hard is it to get into WCU and can you get accepted?

Western Carolina University is an easy school to get into and you have a very good chance of acceptance if you meet the admission criteria. Last year, 15,201 out of the 17,917 who applied were admitted.

Western Carolina University typically accepts and attracts "B+" average high school students with an average GPA around 3.44. Most incoming freshmen graduate in the top half of their high school class. 13% of those admitted chose to enroll in the school.

Can you get into WCU?

85% are accepted, can you get in? Use the admission calculator to see if you have the grades and test scores needed to get in. See your admission chances based on your extracurriculars, intended major, background, and more.

Calculate your admission chances
Calculate your admission chances

Admission Requirements in Brief

To have the best chance of getting into to Western Carolina University you should:

  • Have a high school GPA of 3.44 or better
  • Earn B+ grades in high school
  • Score 1130 on the SAT
  • Score 22 on the ACT
  • Graduate in the top half of your high school class

WCU GPA

GPA Requirements & Average GPA

Avg. High School GPA 

3.44

Typical High School Grades 

B+

What GPA do you need to get into Western Carolina University?

GPA Requirements

The GPA requirements for getting into WCU are to have around a 3.44 high school GPA. You are required to have above average high school grades.

If your high school grades are above the average 3.44 GPA, you have a very good chance of being admitted as WCU accepts 85% of applicants.

Average GPA

The average unweighted GPA at WCU is 3.44 on the 4.0 scale. To achieve the average GPA for admission, you need to earn B+ letter grades and regularly score around 87-89 percent on tests and assignments in high school.  The school ranks #22 in North Carolina for highest average GPA.

Importance of GPA

Since WCU is a test optional college, extra focus will be placed on your GPA when the school considers your application. As a result, it is very important that you meet the GPA requirements.

See additional colleges accepting applicants in the 3.4 GPA range.

Competitiveness by GPA Ranges

The table below outlines the number of admitted freshmen by GPA range as well as how competitive your GPA will be as compared with other applicants.

High School GPA's for admitted Western Carolina University students
High School GPA Freshmen Within Range Competitiveness 
4.0 7.0% Good
3.75 to 3.99 23.0% Avg +
3.50 to 3.74 21.0% Avg -
3.25 to 3.49 18.0% Avg -
3.00 to 3.24 15.0% Reach
2.50 to 2.99 15.0% Reach
2.00 to 2.49 1.0% Low
1.00 to 1.99 0% Low
less than 1.00 0% Low

 What do these chances mean?

GPA Data Source, Peterson's Data 2022

Calculate My Chances 

WCU SAT Scores

Testing Requirements

Submission of SAT or ACT scores is not required for admission to Western Carolina University. If you optionally submit test scores, they will be considered with your application, but they are not mandatory. 9% of students submitted SAT scores and 28% submitted ACT scores for admission for the most recent academic year..

SAT Requirements & Average SAT Score

SAT Range 

1020-1240

Applicants Submitting SAT 

9%
SAT Scores for Western Carolina University
SAT Test 25th Percentile Score
Reading 25th Percentile 520
Math 25th Percentile 500
Composite 25th Percentile 1020
SAT Scores for Western Carolina University
SAT Test 75th Percentile Score
Reading 75th Percentile 640
Math 75th Percentile 600
Composite 75th Percentile 1240
Average SAT Score 1130

SAT Scores you need to get in

What are the SAT requirements for you to be admitted to Western Carolina University?

Average Score & Range

The average SAT score at WCU is 1130 out of 1600 and the range for the middle 50% of accepted students is 1020-1240. Students who get into Western Carolina University score in the top 57 percent of all SAT test takers..  WCU ranks #18 in the state of North Carolina for highest average SAT composite score.

Score for Acceptance

You should target scoring 1130 or above to be most competitive with other applicants. WCU regularly admits students with SAT scores down to 1020 on a 1600 scale. However, three quarter of admitted students score higher. If you score below a 1020, admission should be considered a reach. Some students may be accepted with minimum SAT's as low as 910, but scores this low are outside the normal range.

Score Submission Requirements

Western Carolina University is a test optional school meaning do not have to submit SAT scores with your application. The position on SAT scores from the college is "not required for admission, but considered if submitted (test optional)".

View other colleges which accept students in the 1130 SAT score range.

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2022 starting class

Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

The table below outlines your predicted admission chances based on SAT score alone. If you are an average applicant with a score of 1130, you have around a 85% chance of being admitted. A 1240 places you well ahead of most other applicants and gives you about a 92% chance of getting in.

Western Carolina University admission chances by SAT score
SAT Score (1600 scale) Competitiveness  Admission Chances 
1240 and Above Good >92%
1130 to 1240 Avg + 85%-92%
1020 to 1130 Avg - 75%-85%
910 to 1020 Reach 61%-75%
Less than 910 Low <61%
Calculate My Chances 

WCU ACT Scores

ACT Requirements & Average ACT Score

ACT Range 

19-26 

Applicants Submitting ACT 

28%
ACT Scores for Western Carolina University
ACT Test 25th Percentile Score
Reading 25th Percentile 17
Math 25th Percentile 17
Composite 25th Percentile 19
ACT Scores for Western Carolina University
ACT Test 75th Percentile Score
Reading 75th Percentile 25
Math 75th Percentile 24
Composite 75th Percentile 26
Average ACT Score 22

ACT Scores needed to get accepted

What are the ACT requirements for students to get into WCU?

Score Range

The average ACT score for admitted students to WCU is 22, while the middle 50% of students (25th to 75th percentile) score between a 19 and 26.  The school ranks #25 in North Carolina for highest average ACT composite score.

Score for Acceptance

For the best chance of admission, you should have an ACT of 22. This will place you in solid competition against other applicants. At a minimum, you should aim for a 19 and score in the score in the top 56 percent nationally. The lowest ACT score likely to be admitted is a 16.

28 percent of applicants submit ACT scores to Western Carolina University.

Score Submission Requirements

You do not have to to submit ACT scores with your application as Western Carolina University is test optional. The policy from the school on ACT scores is "not required for admission, but considered if submitted (test optional)".

Find other colleges with similar ACT score requirements

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2022 starting class

Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

Here are your predicted chances of getting into WCU for different ACT score ranges. A typical applicant with a 22 score has around 85% chance of getting in. Your odds increase to about 92% with a 26 ACT score.

Western Carolina University admission chances by ACT score
ACT Score Competitiveness  Admission Chances 
26 and Above Good >92%
22 to 26 Avg + 85%-92%
19 to 22 Avg - 77%-85%
16 to 19 Reach 65%-77%
Less than 16 Low <65%
Calculate My Chances 

High School Class Rank

74% of Western Carolina University freshman are in the top half of their high school graduating class and 39% are in the top quarter.

High School Class Rank for admitted Western Carolina University students
High School Class Rank Freshmen Within Range
Top 10% of class 16%
Top 25% of class 39%
Top 50% of class 74%
Data Source, Peterson's Data

Applying

Admission Statistics

Admission and enrollment rates by gender are detailed the the table below.

Western Carolina University admission statistics
Women Men Total
Applied 10,767 7,118 17,917
Accepted 9,270 5,913 15,201
Acceptance Rate 86% 83% 85%
Enrolled 1,097 834 1,932
Percent of Admitted Who Enrolled (Admission Yield) 12% 14% 13%
Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2022 starting class

Fall 2024 Application Deadline

Applications Due

Mar 1, 2024

Days left to Apply

1

Applicants have 1 days left until the Fall 2024 term applications are due on Mar 1, 2024.

Application Fee

The cost for prospective students to apply to Western Carolina University is $65.

Application Requirements

What are the requirements for admission to Western Carolina University and what student information is used for admission decisions?

Western Carolina University Application Requirements
Test Scores Not required for admission, but considered if submitted (Test Optional)
High School GPA Required to be considered for admission
High School Class Rank Not required for admission, but considered if submitted
Completion of College Preparatory Program Required to be considered for admission
Recommendations Not required for admission, but considered if submitted
Demonstration of Competencies Not considered for admission, even if submitted

Credits Accepted

High School Credits Accepted at Western Carolina University
AP Credit Yes
Dual Credit Yes
Credit for Life Experiences Yes

Admission Requirements Summary

Because Western Carolina University is lightly competitive to get into, you have a very good chance of acceptance with the right GPA and test scores. If you have a 3.44 GPA, you are almost certain to getting in. Combining this with an SAT score of 1130 and ACT of 22 will almost guarantee your admission.

Other Colleges to Apply To 

Students applying to Western Carolina University often consider these colleges

Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=200004 IPEDS survey data for Western Carolina University.

FAQs

Does Western Carolina University prefer SAT or ACT?

9% of students submit their SAT scores to WCU. 28% of applicants send their ACT scores when applying.

What is my chance of getting into Western Carolina University?

85% of those who apply are granted admission to WCU. Admission competition is and the college has average admission standards. See if your grades and scores are good enough for admission.

What SAT score is required for Western Carolina University?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have SAT scores between 1020 and 1240. The average SAT score is 1130. See if your SAT score is good enough for admission.

What ACT score is required for Western Carolina University?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have ACT scores between 19 and 26. The average ACT score is 22. See if your ACT score is good enough for admission.