Most Honors students, like other WCU students, receive some form of financial aid in the form of (loans, grants, Work-Study, need-based scholarships or a variety of other scholarships).

Incoming first-year Honors students, by virtue of admission to The Honors College, are automatically considered for a WCU merit scholarship. These scholarships are very competitive, and not every Honors student will receive one.

Transfer Honors students may be eligible for transfer scholarships that are managed by the Office of Admissions.

Continuing Honors students might consider applying for WCU scholarships, such as the Honors College Merit Scholarship or scholarships offered through the academic department of the student’s major (the Crum Scholarship in the English Department, for example). For information about scholarships for continuing students related to a particular major, contact the academic department head. External scholarships, fellowships, and internships are important for continuing Honors students to consider, although they are extremely competitive. For more information about Honors scholarships or prestigious fellowships, contact the dean.

Honors College Merit Scholarship Competition

Full-time students in good standing in the Honors College may apply. Eligible students should be in their first or second year at Western Carolina University, having completed fewer than 51 credit hours at WCU at the time of application.

Scholarship applications will be considered once your spring 2017 grades have been posted, and awards will be applied to your fall 2017 semester account.

Selection of the scholarship awardees will be made by a committee of WCU faculty and staff and will be based on the application materials submitted, your spring 2017 course load and grades, and your overall academic profile. Financial need will be considered as part of the entire application. Students who do not currently receive merit-based aid from the Honors College will be given higher priority during the selection process.

Application Process and Criteria

  • Application must be complete and submitted by the deadline.
  • Applicant must have completed at least 15 credit hours in the spring 2017 term and must be registered for at least 15 credit hours for the fall 2017 term.
  • Applicant must be in good standing in the Honors College (not on probation), and must have successfully completed at least one Honors designated course or contract in the spring 2017 semester.
  • The following must be submitted with the completed cover page: A statement of purpose that describes your academic interests, long-term academic goals, and why this scholarship is important to you (1000 words or less).
  • Your completed application signifies that you are allowing us to consider:
    • Your academic record / transcript, which we will obtain after spring 2017 grades are posted.
    • Financial need information as available through the Financial Aid Office.

Undergraduate Study Abroad Travel Support (SATS)

The Honors College offers a limited number of Study Abroad Travel Support (SATS) to reimburse students for travel abroad in an approved sponsored program. Travel on your own (outside an approved sponsored program) will not be considered. Students traveling abroad and earning academic credits will be prioritized over students who are traveling abroad without enrolling in credit bearing courses. Students who have not previously received funds for travel will be prioritized over those who have previously received funds.

Your application will be considered by a committee of staff and faculty, and you will be notified about the outcome via email within four weeks of the submission deadline. For more information, download the application materials here:

SATS Application (Word)
SATS Application (PDF)

Honors College Leadership & Service Scholarship Competition

The Honors College is now accepting applications for a limited number of available scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic year.  These awards will recognize new WCU students for their potential as community leaders and for service in their community.  These scholarships are NON-RENEWABLE (one time only) and will be applied to the student’s 2016-2017 account.
Eligibility Criteria
(1) Student must be an accepted Honors College student at WCU.
(2) Student must be enrolling at Western Carolina University for the first time in the fall of 2016.   This scholarship is only available to new WCU students.
(3) Student may be a new first time freshman or a new transfer student.
(4) Student must be registered for at least 15 credit hours at WCU for the fall 2016 term; one of those courses must be designated as a 3-credit Honors Course*.
(* NOTE: The 3-hour Honors Course requirement may be substituted with an Honors Contract with the approval of the student’s Honors Advisor.  In this case, the Honors Advisor will append a note to the complete application, after the student has submitted his or her application, describing why the student is not enrolled in an Honors Course and what the student’s Honors Contract plans are.) 

Selection and Award Information
Selection of the scholarship awardees will be made by a committee of WCU faculty and staff. The committee will base its decision on the application materials submitted and the student’s overall academic profile. Financial need will be considered as part of the entire application. Students who do not have merit-based aid awards currently from the Honors College will be given higher priority during the selection process. Students who are current recipients of an Honors College scholarship should only apply if the student has significant unmet financial need.

Students who are selected will be the special guests of the Dean of the Honors College for a dinner with campus leaders at the start of the fall semester and will be asked to create their own personal plan for leadership and service as a member of the Honors College community.

The number of awards and award amounts will depend on the overall size and quality of the application pool. ALL awards will be one-time only awards (not renewable) that are applied to the student’s 2016-2017 bill. The award will be made in two installments: half will be applied to the student’s fall 2016 bill and half will be applied to the student’s spring 2017 bill. Receipt of the spring semester portion of the award will be contingent on the student completing the fall 2016 term successfully and remaining in good standing as an Honors College student. Scholarship recipients will be asked to write a letter of acknowledgement to the donor(s) who made the award possible, and additional information in this regard will be provided with the award letter.

Awards will be announced by August 5, recipients will be contacted by email (using the student’s catamount email address), and a formal award letter and agreement form will be mailed to the student’s summer address as provided in the cover letter. Selected students will need to follow the instructions in the award letter in a timely manner to secure the award and assure that the first portion is paid promptly. 

Application Process and Criteria
The deadline for applications is 5:00 pm Tuesday, July 5, 2016.  All required materials must be submitted by the deadline.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.
•  application must be complete and received by the deadline.
•  the following documentation must be submitted:
     1) A cover letter, written as a formal letter, that includes the student’s full name, summer mailing address, WCU 920#, catamount email address, and a statement to answer the question:  why is this scholarship important to you? The cover letter should be no longer than one page and must include the student’s original signature.
     2) An essay that describes (1) your academic interests and long-term academic goals, (2) your leadership and/or service experiences, and (3) your interests in service and/or leadership at the collegiate level as a member of the WCU Honors College. The essay should be no longer than one page, and should have the title of the scholarship and student’s 920# (e.g. Honors College Leadership and Service Scholarship Essay, 920#######). No other identifying information (name, address, etc.) should be included in the essay.

NOTE: All submissions must be typed, single-spaced or 1.5 line spacing, with margins set between 0.5 and 1 inch all around. Use a professional font (Times, Cambria, Calibri, or Arial) and no smaller than 11 point font size. Your completed application signifies that you are allowing us to consider (1) your academic record and transcript(s); this will include your spring semester 2016 grades. Be sure your HS has sent your spring grades or final HS transcript to the WCU Admissions Office; and (2) financial need information as available through the WCU Financial Aid Office.

Completed applications should be sent to the Honors College office. Your complete application will have two parts (1) the cover letter and (2) the essay. Please follow all directions related to these two documents. If your application is incomplete or does not follow the guidelines, it will be disqualified. 

You may mail your application to The Honors College, 101 Balsam Hall, Cullowhee NC, 28723.
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You may Email your application to  Put “Leadership & Service Scholarship” in the subject line of your Email with your last name.  For example: “Leadership & Service Scholarship – Jones.”

If you email your application, we highly recommend that you use .pdf attachments in order to preserve your document formatting.  Make sure that the documents you attach meet the application guidelines. You will receive an acknowledgement via email when your application has been received. If you do not get an acknowledgement within a couple of days of your submission, please call the office at 828-227-7383.

Merit-Based Scholarships

The Honors College offers scholarships, based on academic merit, to incoming first-year students. As funds allow, The Honors College also provides scholarships and one-time grants to continuing Honors students. All scholarships depend on remaining in good standing in The Honors College, in terms of grade point average and progress towards The Honors College diploma. Transfer scholarships are awarded through the Office of Admissions (828.227.7317). For information about other WCU scholarships not offered through the college, please contact Brenda Holcombe in the Office of Financial Aid (828.227.7732) or visit the WCU Scholarships website.

Distinguished National and International Scholarships

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