Fixed Tuition Program

Western Carolina University is implementing the Fixed Tuition Program as required by North Carolina General Statute § 116-143.9. As required, beginning with the Fall 2016 semester, tuition rates at all UNC institutions will be fixed for eight consecutive semesters for all resident bachelor’s degree-seeking freshmen. Tuition rates for other currently enrolled resident undergraduates and eligible transfer students will be fixed for an appropriate number of remaining consecutive semesters.

Continuous Enrollment is defined as a student being consecutively enrolled at WCU for the fall and spring semesters in courses creditable toward a baccalaureate degree. 

A break in enrollment occurs when a student is not enrolled during two consecutive semesters at WCU.  Students are not required to be enrolled during the summer term(s) to maintain continuous enrollment.

The provision includes flexibility regarding the semester limit for five-year programs and students who demonstrate a substantial disruption in their pursuit of a degree.

Five Year Programs

Any program authorized by the Board of Governors to require 135 semester credit hours or more is officially designated as a five-year baccalaureate program. First-time students seeking a baccalaureate degree in five-year programs will be eligible for 10 consecutive academic semesters, not including summer sessions.

Transfer Students

Transfer students will receive fixed tuition for a prorated time period, based on credits accumulated at the transferring institution(s). Students transferring between UNC institutions but maintaining continuous enrollment will be subject to the transfer student policy.


The eligibility period begins for first-time or transfer students upon enrolling at Western Carolina University for the fall or spring semester as a degree-seeking undergraduate. Semesters in which students completely withdraw from the institution before the tenth day of the term will not be counted in the designated fixed-tuition time period.  Semesters in which students completely withdraw from the institution after the tenth day of the term will be counted in the designated fixed-tuition time period.  


As required by statute, students who take more than 140 degree credit hours to complete a baccalaureate degree in a four-year program (or more than 110 percent of the credit hours necessary for a four- or five-year program) will be subject to a 50-percent tuition surcharge for credit hours in excess of 140.


Students who have interrupted continuous enrollment may petition for a waiver to retain initial fixed tuition under the following conditions: (1) military service obligation, (2) serious medical debilitation or (3) short- or long-term disability. 


Students Exempt from Fixed Tuition

The following categories of students are not eligible for the Fixed Tuition Program: continuing education students; students currently enrolled in a cooperative innovative high school/early college, consortium, or dual-enrollment program; second degree seeking students; readmits who are not granted an appeal; non-degree seeking students; UNC Online,  non-resident students; and graduate and professional students.


NC Promise

Beginning Fall 2018 semester, WCU will no longer participate in the Fixed Tuition Program, Instead, all undergraduate resident bachelor’s degree-seeking students at WCU will receive reduced student tuition costs as part of the North Carolina Promise Tuition Plan.  For more information, see

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