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WCU to waive application fee for freshmen as part of statewide campaign starting Oct. 19

By Bill Studenc

Cat Statue Fall


Western Carolina University is among the institutions of higher education that will be participating in “North Carolina Countdown to College,” an annual campaign to support college access through the waiving of standard freshmen application fees.

Sponsored by the College Foundation of North Carolina, what is traditionally called College Application Week has been extended to two weeks this year, beginning Monday, Oct. 19, and continuing through Friday, Oct. 30. The campaign is designed to support high school seniors in completing three important college enrollment steps: establishing residency, filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and applying for undergraduate enrollment.

This year will mark the first time that WCU is waiving its application fee for first-time, first-year students as part of College Application Week, said Mike Langford, director of undergraduate admissions.

“Because of the economic impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on many households across the state, we thought it was important that Western Carolina University participate in the fee waiver aspect of this annual campaign,” Langford said. “Especially during these trying times, we want to ensure that the doors of opportunity to higher education are open to all students, regardless of their economic situations.”

During College Application Week in 2019, hundreds of volunteers at 441 sites helped 21,209 students submit 54,950 admission applications and 63,914 electronic high school transcripts, with 18,443 of those applications submitted from Tier 2 counties and 17,934 applications submitted from Tier 1 counties, which represent the most economically distressed areas of North Carolina.

Following College Application Week, requests for the waiver of the undergraduate application fee are considered on a case-by-case basis for applicants who demonstrate significant financial hardship, are U.S. Armed Forces personnel or veterans who have received a non-punitive discharge, or are permanent, full-time WCU employees. For more information about the undergraduate application fee waiver process at WCU, visit the website

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