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Prospective UP Students & Families

Open House Information

The next UP program Open House will be in Fall 2023. Attending the UP program Open House is the best way to get an inside look at the program. You will get and overview of all areas of the program, a tour of campus and dorms, hear from various campus partners, a chance to talk with current and past UP students and families, and get a head start on your application by getting the video interview completed.

The best part? It is never too early to come check us out! Even if college is still a couple years away for you, we encourage you to still attend and learn more! 

Interested in attending? Email to get on our interest list to recieve information about official Open House dates once they are set. 

Important Dates and Deadlines for Fall 2024 Enrollment

  • Fall 2023: Please join us for the Fall 2023 Open House as this another great opportunity where you will get to meet many of the UP staff, students, families, and student supports. Be sure to register using the directions above.
  • December 15, 2023: Deadline for applications to be submitted for individuals applying for Fall 2024
  • January/February 2024: UP Admissions Steering Committee meeting to review applicants and notify students who are selected for Orientation Camp
  • ASAP: Apply for Financial Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible. Awards made until funds are depleted.
  • March 2024: Spring Orientation Camp for potential UP students selected by the UP Admissions Steering Committee (multi-day residential experience required)
  • April 2024: Final decisions made, deposits and forms due, advising and registration
  • August 2024: Four to six selected students will move into residence halls and start classes on the same date as all WCU students

Admission to the UP Program

Consideration for admission to the UP program is given to those who meet the following admission requirements:

  • Age 18-25 at the time of admission with a documented intellectual disability (IQ ~ 70 or lower)
  • Have been enrolled in a high school special education program (such as the Occupational Course of Study or Certificate of Completion) that does not allow students to complete requirements necessary for standard admission to WCU
  • Demonstrates communication skills adequate to interact with others on the WCU campus
  • Demonstrates socially acceptable behavior that will allow a favorable experience on the WCU campus
  • Demonstrates ability to be unsupervised overnight and manage own medications
  • Adequately motivated to learn and benefit from participation in the UP Program
  • Expresses interest in living and working as independently as possible in their community with paid employment at or above minimum wage working 20 or more hours per week after completing the UP Program and supported by parents and families to do so

All applicants to the UP Program are reviewed by the UP Program Steering Committee. This committee comprises the following individuals:

  • A WCU undergraduate or graduate student
  • Former parents of UP Program graduates
  • WCU Director of Financial Aid
  • UP Program Director
  • UP Program Career Development Coordinator/Administrator
  • Administration Representative from the College of Education and Allied Professions
  • Representatives of Undergraduate Admission
  • Representatives of Educational Outreach
  • Representatives of Residential Living
  • Director of Accessibility Resources
  • WCU Faculty that have taught UP students
  • WCU Employers who have worked with UP students
  • Representatives from Tutoring and Student Success Centers

Apply to the UP Program for Admission in Fall 2024

Exciting News: The application for the UP program is now online! 

1) Open up the Guide to Completing Your Application and the Student Application Checklist to help you through the application process and make sure everything is completed. 

2) Head to the application website to complete everything needed(remember, you want to select the application for the UP Program)!

Please note: This is our first year completing this process totally online. If you need assistance or notice an error in the application, please reach out to us at or 828.227.3297. 

We look forward to seeing your completed applications!


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