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Great Grades Guarantee

Proven performance should be rewarded. That’s Western Carolina University’s philosophy. And that’s the thinking behind the WCU Great Grades Guarantee.

The Great Grades Guarantee emphasizes classroom performance.  University and national data support the position that while numerous factors aid in predicting success in college, none is more important than performance in the classroom. Western Carolina University knows that students who perform well in rigorous courses in high school are most likely to succeed in college; thus, admission decisions at WCU focus on students who are likely to perform well and graduate.  

The Great Grades Guarantee can alleviate some of the stress that hard-working, successful high school students encounter regarding the college admission process. Other academic indicators such as SAT and ACT scores or class rank still matter—such indicators help determine admission to specific admission paths, specific programs of study, direct entry from high school into the Brinson Honors College, or scholarship eligibility. With the Great Grades Guarantee, grades are not the only factor considered in the admission decision, but the guarantee assures that the spotlight will shine brightest on outstanding classroom performance in strong courses.

Great Grades Guarantee (GGG): 

1. Admission Guarantee:

Eligible high school students who maintain a cumulative A average (3.50 or better weighted and unweighted GPA) and who meet all other GGG criteria and deadlines are guaranteed a standard offer of admission to WCU.

  1. High School Students: Earn and maintain a 3.50 or better cumulative high school GPA (weighted and unweighted A average in grades 9-12, including dual enrollment college courses) and meet the additional Great Grades Conditions to receive a standard offer of admission to the fall semester immediately following high school.
  2. Great Grades Conditions:
    1. Applicant must be a N.C. resident attending a N.C. high school.
      • Home-school applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
      • Nonresident and out-of-state applicants who meet criteria will be considered on a space-available basis.
    2. Applicant must fulfill all Minimum Course Requirements (MCR) and Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MER) of the UNC System*.
    3. Applicant must submit application for admission and required supporting documentation (including application fee or waiver) by the Early Action Deadline (Nov. 1).
    4. Applicant must exhibit excellent citizenship (e.g., no social or judicial violations) and demonstrate school, civic or community involvement.
    5. Students are recommended to take two of the same standardized tests in order to super score results. Test scores are used for admissions to specific majors, Brinson Honors College admittance, and scholarship eligibility**.
    6. Students are strongly encouraged to visit campus to see if WCU is the best fit (
    7. For the guarantee to remain in effect, admitted students must submit an enrollment deposit ($300) by May 1 of senior year and comply with all commitment action steps by stated deadlines. The enrollment deposit can be paid online at

2. Brinson Honors College Guarantee:

Admitted first-year or transfer students who enroll full time at WCU and earn a WCU cumulative GPA of 3.50 or better in the first semester or first year at WCU may be eligible to join the Brinson Honors College. Go to to learn more.

*Must fulfill 2021 edition of MER criteria as specified by the University of North Carolina system. Go to  for more information.

**Great Grades Guarantee pertains to admission to the university. Competitiveness for admission to specific programs of study, admission to the Brinson Honors College directly out of high school, merit-based scholarship eligibility, and other honors and awards may be affected by other academic indicators such as standardized test scores.

(Updated August 2021)

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