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Prospective UP Students & Families

Application Deadline


If you want an individualized, fully inclusive college experience, you have come to the right place—here you will find a step-by-step process for applying to the UP Program. WCU UP Perspectives Video

Important Dates and Deadlines for Fall 2022 Enrollment

  • November 20th, 2021: Please join us for the Fall 2021 Open House as this another great opportunity were you will get to meet many of the UP staff, students, families, and student supports. Be sure to send an RSVP email to and indicate any accessibility requests and the number of attendees coming to the Open House
  • December 15, 2021: Deadline for applications to be submitted for individuals applying for Fall 2022
  • January/February 2022: 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 2022: Spring Orientation Camp for potential UP students selected by the UP Admissions Steering Committee (multi-day residential experience required)
  • April 2022: Final decisions made, deposits and forms due, advising and registration
  • August 2022: Four to six selected students will move into residence halls and start classes on the same date as all WCU students

Admission Criteria
Consideration for admission to the UP Program is given to individuals who meet the following criteria:

  • 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 lead to completion of a regular high school diploma and 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

Start here first: UP Application Checklist and Packet

And then complete additional steps below:

  1. A completed application following the application instructions
  2. Most current psychological assessment AND Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
  3. Applicant video (five minutes or less) answering the questions without prompting listed in the application packet (Note:The video interview can be completed at the Open House with UP Program personnel)
  4. $65 nonrefundable application fee (check written to WCU)

Optional items can include completed portfolios and other honors and/or other recommendations.

Please mail all completed application materials to:
WCU University Participant Program
1 University Drive, Killian 120
Cullowhee, NC 28723

For further questions regarding Admissions, Applications, or Open House, please email or call the UP Office: 828-227-3297

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