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WCU in three top 10 collegiate rankings by US News and World Report

Western Carolina University shows marked improvement and is in the top 10 in three categories of the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings of colleges and universities for 2022, it was recently announced.

Best value rankings in two categories reflects being an NC Promise university, a legislative program that sets tuition at $500 per semester for in-state undergraduate students and $2,500 per semester for out-of-state undergraduate students, and applies to all new and returning students, transfer students, students in online programs and international students enrolled in fall and spring terms.

A high rank in social mobility also demonstrates WCU dedication to make quality education more accessible, especially for first generation students, through scholarships, gaining financial assistance and Pell Grants. 

WCU top rankings:

  • Social Mobility, Regional Universities (public and private in the South) – 16, up from 18 in 2021
  • Top Public Schools, Regional Universities (South) – 9, up from 10
  • Best Value, Regional Universities (South) – 8, up from 9
  • Best Colleges for Veterans, Regional Universities (South) – 8, up from 13
  • Regional Universities (South) – 21

The 2022 edition of the guidebook offers comprehensive advice for researching college choices, providing a “smart shortlist” of schools. The rankings are based on a variety of indicators, including assessment by administrators at peer institutions, graduation rates, retention of students, faculty resources, average class size, student-faculty ratio, student selectivity and financial resources.

“Internally, WCU gives more credence to accreditations, such as our full regional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, whose mission is to assure educational quality and improve institutional effectiveness. Marquee rankings certainly add a desirable feather to a university’s cap because they catch the attention of potential students and their families,” said Phil Cauley, associate vice chancellor for undergraduate enrollment. “It is always nice to be noticed. And if these rankings whet appetites of would-be students to come taste test WCU for themselves, then I welcome the accolades.”

The university is the westernmost institution in the University of North Carolina System, located on a 600-acre mountain campus in Cullowhee, with an instructional site at Biltmore Park in Asheville and research and learning installation in Highlands. WCU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s and doctorate degrees. 

More information on enrolling at WCU is available by visiting or by calling the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 828-227-7317 or toll-free 877-928-4968.

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