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Admissions FAQ for COVID-19

Future Catamounts: We're Here to Support You

WCU's Office of Undergraduate Admissions is here to answer your questions and provide support during this time. Our Admissions counselors are continually monitoring admiss@wcu.edu, responding to calls, and rest assured that application processing and review are ongoing.

Questions about Orientation? READ MORE ABOUT ONLINE ORIENTATION 

Explore the Frequently Asked Questions: 

IS THE OFFICE OF ADMISSION OPEN?

Updated: March 27, 2020

Admissions is open, but open has a different connotation given existing conditions and recommendations.

Currently, the Office of Admission, as is the case with many other offices on campus, is not open to public traffic (e.g., campus tours or visits), but the Admissions Office is operational and functional.

Admissions counselors are continually monitoring admiss@wcu.edu, counselors are responding to calls, and application processing and review are ongoing. The same holds true for other units such as Financial Aid and Scholarships, Orientation, etc.

The best way to reach units is through their email contacts and by visiting their online resources and the online portal.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY APPLICATION IF ADMISSIONS WAS AWAITING UPDATED INFORMATION FROM MY HIGH SCHOOL FOR THIS SEMESTER.

Updated: March 27, 2020

Admissions will make the most informed decision based upon available information including any intangibles (one intangible in this case will be the inability of some students to be able to provide updated term GPAs or recent SAT or ACT scores).

Students or counselors can notify the Office of Admissions (admiss@wcu.edu) as to any unusual or extenuating circumstances—such as transcript delays or cancellation of an SAT or ACT test for which a student was registered—and that information will factor into our deliberations.

WILL ADMISSIONS COUNSELORS BE AVAILABLE DURING THIS TIME?

Updated: March 27, 2020

The physical office is closed to the public for now, but counselors are available to assist students. The best way to reach Admissions is through the office email: admiss@wcu.edu.

Counselors are continually monitoring email transmissions.

WILL THESE CIRCUMSTANCES DELAY ADMISSION DECISIONS? A DECISION WAS PENDING BY WCU, AND I EXPECTED TO HEAR BACK ABOUT MY ADMISSIONS DECISION.

Updated: March 27, 2020

The Admissions Office is still functional and reviewing applications and cases. This could slightly affect review and process (particularly mailing hard-copy decisions), but Admissions continues to review, process, and notify as to decisions (e.g., posting decisions on the student portal).

Applicants and admitted students need to keep checking information on the portal.

MY ACCEPTANCE WAS CONTINGENT UPON SUBMISSION OF SAT/ACT SCORES. WHAT DO I DO NOW THAT THE TEST HAS BEEN CANCELLED?

Updated: March 27, 2020

The student can emailadmiss@wcu.edu to notify Admissions that they were scheduled to take a test and that the test has been cancelled.

In some cases, cancellations could affect the final admission decision (e.g., if current scores do not meet/exceed UNC Minimum Eligibility Requirements).

Please refer to Question 2 of this FAQ regarding intangibles.

WILL ANY APPLICATION DEADLINES BE MOVED TO GIVE STUDENTS ADDED OPPORTUNITY FOR CONSIDERATION THAT THEY WOULD HAVE GOTTEN FROM THE MARCH SAT OR APRIL ACT?

Updated: March 27, 2020

All published admission action step deadlines remain in effect for now and should be followed unless or until students receive word of any extensions.

For example, the May 1 deposit deadline remains in effect for now for admitted first-year students to save a seat in the entering class. If the date does not change, Admissions will monitor capacity within the class after the deadline and will consider post-deadline requests to enroll on a case-by-case basis.

SHOULD I STILL PUT DOWN HOUSING DEPOSITS AT A SCHOOL IF I AM UNSURE HOW LONG COLLEGES WILL BE CLOSED?

Updated: March 27, 2020

If WCU is or becomes a student’s school of choice for the upcoming academic year, then he or she should still heed all commitment action steps and deadlines.

Though deposits are nonrefundable, if WCU has to alter or cancel terms, then Admissions will consider deposit refunds if changes prohibit a student’s ability to enroll.

If WCU is your school of choice, then be sure to follow the commitment action steps.

WILL THESE CIRCUMSTANCES PUSH BACK DEADLINES?

Updated: March 27, 2020

Application submission deadlines for first-year students for this coming fall have already passed. A student desiring to apply this late would need to write and petition for permission to apply late. Commitment action steps and deadlines remain in place as of now. Communications will publicize extensions should deadlines be extended.

I WAS ADMITTED TO THE ACADEMIC SUCCESS PROGRAM (ASP) OR I CHOSE TO ENROLL IN CATAMOUNT GAP (GAP), WHICH BEGINS IN THE SUMMER. WILL THOSE PROGRAMS CONTINUE AS SCHEDULED?

Updated: April 15, 2020

Due to the cessation of on-campus instruction this summer, Summer Learning Communities (Catamount Gap, Gap Abroad, and the Academic Success Program [ASP]) have been cancelled. This causes no difficulties for Gap and Gap Abroad students, as they can enroll in the fall with no issue. 

ASP students will be admitted through a Fall-Spring version of ASP. This will include course cohorting (primarily freshman seminars and USI sections), wrap-around academic and social support, and increased monitoring for their first academic year at WCU. MAPS will continue to coordinate this program and support these students throughout this unique situation. We appreciate everyone who has worked with ASP in the past—the dedication and commitment to student success at Western is never more evident than during ASP.

We look forward to working with you on these Summer Learning Communities again in Summer 2021.

WHAT ABOUT OTHER PROGRAMMING SUCH AS ORIENTATION?

Updated: April 23, 2020

Numerous federal, state, county, University of North Carolina System, and WCU regulations and factors affect orientation scheduling and planning, and guidance continues to unfold. In accordance with current social distancing guidelines and the UNC System’s direction to reschedule all face-to-face orientation programs in May and June, Western Carolina University is suspending May and June face-to-face sessions. The UNC System guidance was intended to ensure that all UNC institutions are in compliance with executive orders issued by the governor. New Student Orientation is developing an online orientation program that will replace the face-to-face sessions.  Please note –  orientation is not canceled and will take place digitally this summer prior to your enrollment.

 

WCU will communicate details and information for online orientation via email to students in the coming weeks. All updates about orientation will be sent to your Catamount email address, which can be accessed via MyWCU. As we create and prepare the online orientation program, cost adjustments will be made and credits/refunds will be extended to those who have already registered and paid for face-to-face, campus-based sessions. Information and updates will also be shared on our website at orientation.wcu.edu as they become available.

 

More information is also available in our FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR ONLINE ORIENTATION

WHAT ABOUT REFUNDS IF CIRCUMSTANCES CONTINUE TO CHANGE?

Updated: March 27, 2020

Application fees are nonrefundable processing fees that partially underwrite the Office of Admission operating budget because state appropriated funding does not fully augment operational costs. In most cases, application fees are not refundable. Exceptions are handled on a case-by-case basis (e.g., if summer school were to be cancelled entirely, and a visiting student had only desired to enroll for the summer). Similarly, tuition and housing deposits are nonrefundable deposits that are applied to an enrolling student’s costs and are forfeited by admitted students who committed but later chose not to enroll.

Appeals are considered on a case-by-case basis and extenuating circumstances would play a role in deliberations. Orientation is still monitoring timeline restrictions and contingency plans, but refunds or adjustments would be considered for students and families who pay for an orientation session should orientation sessions be cancelled or altered dramatically.

I HAVE NOT HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT WCU AND HAD HOPED TO DO SO THIS SPRING TO AID IN DETERMINING COLLEGE FIT. WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND?

Updated: March 27, 2020

Given mandated restrictions on gatherings that now extend into May, visitation events will not resume before deposit and commitment deadlines. WCU is exploring avenues to provide additional online information and resources. In the meantime, be sure to avail yourself of existing online resources. Examples include:

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR CAMPUS

TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR LEAD BY STUDENTS LIKE YOU

SAMPLE SOME SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF WCU 

(please note: browser choice impacts your opportunity for a 360-experience)

Is the Office of Admission open?

Updated: March 27, 2020

Admissions is open, but open has a different connotation given existing conditions and recommendations.

Currently, the Office of Admission, as is the case with many other offices on campus, is not open to public traffic (e.g., campus tours or visits), but the Admissions Office is operational and functional.

Admissions counselors are continually monitoring admiss@wcu.edu, counselors are responding to calls, and application processing and review are ongoing. The same holds true for other units such as Financial Aid and Scholarships, Orientation, etc.

The best way to reach units is through their email contacts and by visiting their online resources and the online portal.

What will happen to my application if Admissions was awaiting updated information from my high school for this semester.

Updated: March 27, 2020

Admissions will make the most informed decision based upon available information including any intangibles (one intangible in this case will be the inability of some students to be able to provide updated term GPAs or recent SAT or ACT scores).

Students or counselors can notify the Office of Admissions (admiss@wcu.edu) as to any unusual or extenuating circumstances—such as transcript delays or cancellation of an SAT or ACT test for which a student was registered—and that information will factor into our deliberations.

Will admissions counselors be available during this time?

Updated: March 27, 2020

The physical office is closed to the public for now, but counselors are available to assist students. The best way to reach Admissions is through the office email: admiss@wcu.edu.

Counselors are continually monitoring email transmissions.

Will these circumstances delay admission decisions? A decision was pending by WCU, and I expected to hear back about my admissions decision.

Updated: March 27, 2020

The Admissions Office is still functional and reviewing applications and cases. This could slightly affect review and process (particularly mailing hard-copy decisions), but Admissions continues to review, process, and notify as to decisions (e.g., posting decisions on the student portal).

Applicants and admitted students need to keep checking information on the portal.

My acceptance was contingent upon submission of SAT/ACT scores. What do I do now that the test has been cancelled?

Updated: March 27, 2020

The student can emailadmiss@wcu.edu to notify Admissions that they were scheduled to take a test and that the test has been cancelled.

In some cases, cancellations could affect the final admission decision (e.g., if current scores do not meet/exceed UNC Minimum Eligibility Requirements).

Please refer to Question 2 of this FAQ regarding intangibles.

Will any application deadlines be moved to give students added opportunity for consideration that they would have gotten from the March SAT or April ACT?

Updated: March 27, 2020

All published admission action step deadlines remain in effect for now and should be followed unless or until students receive word of any extensions.

For example, the May 1 deposit deadline remains in effect for now for admitted first-year students to save a seat in the entering class. If the date does not change, Admissions will monitor capacity within the class after the deadline and will consider post-deadline requests to enroll on a case-by-case basis.

Should I still put down housing deposits at a school if I am unsure how long colleges will be closed?

Updated: March 27, 2020

If WCU is or becomes a student’s school of choice for the upcoming academic year, then he or she should still heed all commitment action steps and deadlines.

Though deposits are nonrefundable, if WCU has to alter or cancel terms, then Admissions will consider deposit refunds if changes prohibit a student’s ability to enroll.

If WCU is your school of choice, then be sure to follow the commitment action steps.

Will these circumstances push back deadlines?

Updated: March 27, 2020

Application submission deadlines for first-year students for this coming fall have already passed. A student desiring to apply this late would need to write and petition for permission to apply late. Commitment action steps and deadlines remain in place as of now. Communications will publicize extensions should deadlines be extended.

I was admitted to the Academic Success Program (ASP) or I chose to enroll in Catamount Gap (GAP), which begins in the summer. Will those programs continue as scheduled?

Updated: April 15, 2020

Due to the cessation of on-campus instruction this summer, Summer Learning Communities (Catamount Gap, Gap Abroad, and the Academic Success Program [ASP]) have been cancelled. This causes no difficulties for Gap and Gap Abroad students, as they can enroll in the fall with no issue. 

ASP students will be admitted through a Fall-Spring version of ASP. This will include course cohorting (primarily freshman seminars and USI sections), wrap-around academic and social support, and increased monitoring for their first academic year at WCU. MAPS will continue to coordinate this program and support these students throughout this unique situation. We appreciate everyone who has worked with ASP in the past—the dedication and commitment to student success at Western is never more evident than during ASP.

We look forward to working with you on these Summer Learning Communities again in Summer 2021.

What about other programming such as Orientation?

Updated: April 23, 2020

Numerous federal, state, county, University of North Carolina System, and WCU regulations and factors affect orientation scheduling and planning, and guidance continues to unfold. In accordance with current social distancing guidelines and the UNC System’s direction to reschedule all face-to-face orientation programs in May and June, Western Carolina University is suspending May and June face-to-face sessions. The UNC System guidance was intended to ensure that all UNC institutions are in compliance with executive orders issued by the governor. New Student Orientation is developing an online orientation program that will replace the face-to-face sessions.  Please note –  orientation is not canceled and will take place digitally this summer prior to your enrollment.

 

WCU will communicate details and information for online orientation via email to students in the coming weeks. All updates about orientation will be sent to your Catamount email address, which can be accessed via MyWCU. As we create and prepare the online orientation program, cost adjustments will be made and credits/refunds will be extended to those who have already registered and paid for face-to-face, campus-based sessions. Information and updates will also be shared on our website at orientation.wcu.edu as they become available.

 

More information is also available in our Frequently Asked Questions for online orientation

What about refunds if circumstances continue to change?

Updated: March 27, 2020

Application fees are nonrefundable processing fees that partially underwrite the Office of Admission operating budget because state appropriated funding does not fully augment operational costs. In most cases, application fees are not refundable. Exceptions are handled on a case-by-case basis (e.g., if summer school were to be cancelled entirely, and a visiting student had only desired to enroll for the summer). Similarly, tuition and housing deposits are nonrefundable deposits that are applied to an enrolling student’s costs and are forfeited by admitted students who committed but later chose not to enroll.

Appeals are considered on a case-by-case basis and extenuating circumstances would play a role in deliberations. Orientation is still monitoring timeline restrictions and contingency plans, but refunds or adjustments would be considered for students and families who pay for an orientation session should orientation sessions be cancelled or altered dramatically.

I have not had an opportunity to visit WCU and had hoped to do so this spring to aid in determining college fit. What do you recommend?

Updated: March 27, 2020

Given mandated restrictions on gatherings that now extend into May, visitation events will not resume before deposit and commitment deadlines. WCU is exploring avenues to provide additional online information and resources. In the meantime, be sure to avail yourself of existing online resources. Examples include:

 

Learn More About our Campus

Take A Virtual Tour Lead By Students Like You

Sample some sights and sounds of WCU 

(please note: browser choice impacts your opportunity for a 360-experience)

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