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Statement of Academic Intent

The Statement of Academic Intent (SAI) is a required step for students who ceased enrollment for one (1) fall or spring semester while being below Good Academic Standing (Academic Warning, Academic Action Plan, Suspension, or Dismissal). Students will fill out the SAI as part of their application as a returning student.

Recommended Dates & Deadlines:

Below are the priority dates and deadlines to submit your returning student application in order to be reviewed for the start of the semester. The priority date will provide the best opportunity to register for courses as well as prepare to return; applications submitted by the priority deadline are guaranteed to be reviewed. The regular deadline indicated is the last date to submit all materials in order to be considered for the given semester; applications submitted by the regular deadline will be reviewed based on capacity and availability.

Returning Semester  Priority Deadline:  Regular Deadline:
Fall April 1 July 15
Spring November 1 December 1
Summer April 1 April 1

As part of the SAI, students will need to answer the following questions:

  1. What circumstances led to poor academic performance in the past?
  2. How have you spent your time since you were previously enrolled at WCU?
  3. Discuss why you believe you will be successful now. What are your academic goals? What specific steps will you take to successfully complete your coursework and raise your GPA?
  4. What assistance from on or off campus resources do you plan to utilize when you return?

For each of these questions, be detailed in your response. Remember that these are part of your application and will be reviewed to determine if you are ready to return to WCU. Provide enough information so that the SAI reviewers are confident that you are ready to return!

Your SAI requires documentation to support your statement. This documentation should show that you are ready to return to the University. Below are guidelines and examples of types of documentation:

  • If you spent your time away from the University engaging in activities that prepare you to succeed academically, provide one of the following: 
    • Copy of an academic transcript if college courses were taken
    • Proof of employment during absence, such as pay stubs, employment verification letter, etc.
  • If you experienced a personal illness or injury or personal family emergency that led to your academic difficulties, provide one of the following:
    • Letter form a physician/medical provider/mental health provider or copy of official diagnosis, treatment, and dates, as well as updated documentation supporting your return to school
    • Documentation supporting personal or family emergency
    • Legal documentation, police reports, insurance reports, etc.
  • If a death in the immediate family led to academic difficulties, provide one of the following: 
    • Copy of death certificate or obituary for death of an immediate family member
  • Students may provide additional documentation to support their SAI. However, a personal statement will not be accepted as documentation.

For residential students, please contact the Office of Student Retention at 828-227-7171 or

For distance students, please contact Lee Roddick-Brown at or 828.227.2737.

Your application will first be reviewed by Undergraduate Admissions and then be reviewed by the SAI Committee. You should expect an update after Undergraduate Admissions has completed your review, but you will not receive a final decision until after the SAI Committee has reviewed your SAI.

It can take several weeks for a final decision, so please submit your material by the recommended dates above!

Congratulations! Once your application has been accepted, you will need to sign and review an academic action plan before you are able to register for courses. Please follow your Check List in MyWCU for all steps in the admissions process.

Residential Students: Once your action plan is complete, you will need to meet with an academic advisor for your alt-pin before you can register for courses. 

If your application has been denied, you can inquire with Admissions to learn more or the Office of Student Retention if you have SAI specific questions. You are eligible to reapply in the future, and we will make suggestions on how to improve your application.

More frequently, the SAI committee wants to see updated documentation and so may defer a decision until updated documentation is available. Please check your email frequently for requests for additional documentation and for any next steps in your application!

If you have not already accessed your statement of academic intent through your application as a returning student, please visit your Catamount Portal to access the form.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Student Retention at 828.227.7171 or

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