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Western Carolina University

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Western Carolina University Overview

Western Carolina University is a public institution located in Cullowhee, North Carolina. The surrounding location of Cullowhee is ideal for students who enjoy the charms of a college town.

What Is Western Carolina University Known For?

2,288 Undergraduate Awards
$17,377 Avg Cost After Aid
39% Acceptance Rate
  • The highest award offered at WCU is the doctor's degree.
  • For the 2017-2018 academic year, 70% of the faculty were full-time.

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Western Carolina University Rankings

These rankings may look different from those published by other outlets, because we use an outcomes-based approach rather than a subjective one. We get our data from a number of places, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and the College Scorecard. For more information, check out our rankings and methodology page.

WCU has been awarded the following overall awards by our latest rankings.

Rank Ranking Name Share
#126 Most Popular Online Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It

Program Level Awards

These are highlights of some of the most noteworthy awards granted to specific programs at WCU.

Rank Ranking Name Share
#6 Most Popular Online Public Administration Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#11 Best Public Administration Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#12 Most Popular Online Finance & Financial Management Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#53 Most Popular Online Criminal Justice & Corrections Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#85 Most Popular Online Business Administration & Management Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#88 Most Popular Online Business, Management & Marketing Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It

Awards From Around the Web

The following table lists some notable awards WCU has earned from around the web.

Rank Ranking Name Source
#1 Best Value Colleges for Public Administration & Social Service College Factual
#6 Best Value Colleges for Education College Factual
#7 Best Value Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies College Factual
#11 Best Value Colleges for Visual & Performing Arts College Factual
#13 Best Value Colleges for Health Professions College Factual
#49 Best Colleges for Public Administration & Social Service College Factual

Where Is Western Carolina University?

Location of Western Carolina University

Contact details for WCU are given below.

Contact Details
Address: Highway 107, Cullowhee, NC 28723-9646
Phone: 828-227-7100
Website: www.wcu.edu
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WesternCarolinaUniversity
Twitter: http://twitter.com/WCU

How Do I Get Into WCU?

You can apply to WCU online at: www.wcu.edu/apply/undergraduate-admissions/apply.aspx

Admission Requirements for WCU

Submission Required?
High School GPA required
High School Rank recommended
High School Transcript required
College Prep Program required
Recommendations considered but not required
SAT or ACT Scores required
TOEFL required

How Hard Is It To Get Into WCU?

39% Acceptance Rate
58% Of Accepted Are Women
40% Submit SAT Scores
WCU has a fairly low acceptance rate of 39%, which makes it more selective than most schools. Take time to make sure you submit all the requested materials and you prepare the application in full. You don't want to get denied right off the bat due to an incomplete application!

Approximately 42% of accepted students are men and 58% are women. The acceptance rate for men is 42%, and the acceptance rate for women is 37%.

Average Test Scores

About 40% of students accepted to WCU submitted their SAT scores. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores ranged between 510 and 610. Math scores were between 510 and 590.

SAT Reading and Writing Scores for Western Carolina University  ( 510 to 610 )
200
800

SAT Math Scores for Western Carolina University  ( 510 to 590 )
200
800
WCU received ACT scores from 63% of accepted students. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, ACT English scores ranged between 18 and 24. Math scores were between 18 and 24. Composite scores were between 19 and 24.

ACT English Scores for Western Carolina University  ( 18 to 24 )
1
36
ACT Math Scores for Western Carolina University  ( 18 to 24 )
1
36
ACT Composite Scores for Western Carolina University  ( 19 to 24 )
1
36

Can I Afford Western Carolina University?

$17,377 Net Price
67% Take Out Loans
6.0% Loan Default Rate
The overall average net price of WCU is $17,377. The affordability of the school largely depends on your financial need since net price varies by income group.

The net price is calculated by adding tuition, room, board and other costs and subtracting financial aid.

Student Loan Debt

It's not uncommon for college students to take out loans to pay for school. In fact, almost 66% of students nationwide depend at least partially on loans. At WCU, approximately 67% of students took out student loans averaging $6,190 a year. That adds up to $24,760 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at WCU is 6.0%. This is significantly lower than the national default rate of 10.1%, which is a good sign that you'll be able to pay back your student loans.

Western Carolina University Undergraduate Student Diversity

8,617 Full-Time Undergraduates
54% Women
19% Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
There are 10,027 undergraduate students at WCU, with 8,617 being full-time and 1,410 being part-time.

 Full-Time vs. Part-Time Undergraduate Students at  WCU

There are also 1,612 graduate students at the school.

Gender Diversity

Of the 8,617 full-time undergraduates at WCU, 46% are male and 54% are female.

Undergraduate Student Gender Diversity at  WCU

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

The racial-ethnic breakdown of Western Carolina University students is as follows.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of WCU Undergraduate Students
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 101
Black or African American 448
Hispanic or Latino 637
White 6,750
International Students 142
Other Races/Ethnicities 539

Geographic Diversity

North Carolina students aren't the only ones who study at Western Carolina University. At this time, 25 states are represented by the student population at the school.

Over 36 countries are represented at WCU. The most popular countries sending students to the school are Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Canada.

Online Learning at Western Carolina University

2,151 Took All Classes Online
4,105 Took At Least One Class Online
6.4% Avg Growth Over 4 Years
There are 8 bachelor’s degree and 10 master’s degree programs available online at WCU. In 2017-2018, 4,105 students took at least one online class at the school.

The following chart shows how the online learning population at WCU has changed over the last few years.

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This school is the 13th most popular in North Carolina for online learning according to the online graduations recorded by the Department of Education for the academic year 2017-2018.

Online Growth Rankings of WCU

The average growth rate over the last four years of online students at Western Carolina University was 6.4%. This is the #1,565 largest growth rate of all schools that are only partially online. This refers to all students at WCU regardless of major.

The following table shows the 1-year growth rate of WCU majors that offer at least one online course. This table only includes majors with positive growth.

Major 1-Year Growth Rate
Business Administration & Management 15%
Business, Management & Marketing 5%
Finance & Financial Management 31%
Health & Medical Administrative Services 19%
Human Resource Management 19%
Nursing 1%
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies 4%
Teacher Education Grade Specific 14%

The table below shows how the average growth rate over 4 years at WCU ranks compared to all other partially online schools that offer a specific major. Note that the majors may or may not be offered online at WCU.

Major Growth Rate Rank
Construction Engineering Technology #6
Allied Health Professions #61
Public Administration #66
General Education #83
Marketing #86
Human Resource Management #91
Engineering Technologies #101
Public Administration & Social Service #142
Teacher Education Grade Specific #182
Educational Administration #184
Health & Medical Administrative Services #215
Criminal Justice & Corrections #269
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting #306
Nursing #342
Education #436

When we speak of partially online, we are referring to schools whose online population is less than 50% of its total student body. Mostly online refers to those with online populations greater than or equal to 50%.

Western Carolina University Undergraduate Concentrations

The table below shows the number of awards for each concentration.

Major Bachelor’s Graduate Certificate Master’s Doctor’s TOTAL
Nursing 192 2 78 6 278
Business Administration & Management 200 0 60 0 260
Teacher Education Grade Specific 150 0 24 0 174
Marketing 136 0 11 0 147
Criminal Justice & Corrections 125 0 0 0 125
General Psychology 110 0 11 0 121
General Biology 103 0 10 0 113
Social Work 69 0 43 0 112
Communication Sciences 50 0 28 0 78
Finance & Financial Management 75 0 0 0 75
Allied Health Professions 70 0 0 0 70
Educational Administration 0 17 43 6 66
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions 35 0 0 30 65
Accounting 40 0 22 0 62
General Engineering Technology 62 0 0 0 62
Public Administration 37 0 14 0 51
Human Resource Management 0 0 48 0 48
Health & Physical Education 28 0 20 0 48
General English Literature 32 0 13 0 45
Chemistry 41 0 4 0 45
Anthropology 42 0 0 0 42
Communication & Media Studies 41 0 0 0 41
Student Counseling 0 0 41 0 41
Teacher Education Subject Specific 40 0 0 0 40
Hospitality Management 37 0 0 0 37
Recreation Administration 37 0 0 0 37
Fine & Studio Arts 33 0 4 0 37
Sociology 35 0 0 0 35
Construction Engineering Technology 23 0 11 0 34
Health & Medical Administrative Services 0 0 32 0 32
Drama & Theater Arts 31 0 0 0 31
General Engineering 28 0 0 0 28
Music 27 0 0 0 27
Management Information Systems 26 0 0 0 26
History 22 0 4 0 26
Computer Science 25 0 0 0 25
General Education 0 0 25 0 25
Romance Languages 23 0 0 0 23
Dietetics & Clinical Nutrition Services 23 0 0 0 23
Political Science & Government 23 0 0 0 23
Mathematics 22 0 0 0 22
Public Health 21 0 0 0 21
Entrepreneurial Studies 20 0 0 0 20
Electrical Engineering 19 0 0 0 19
Design & Applied Arts 19 0 0 0 19
Special Education 17 0 0 0 17
Liberal Arts General Studies 17 0 0 0 17
Electronics Engineering Technology 16 0 0 0 16
Natural Resource Management 16 0 0 0 16
Radio, Television & Digital Communication 12 0 0 0 12
Geological & Earth Sciences 12 0 0 0 12
Natural Resources Conservation 11 0 0 0 11
Industrial Production Technology 0 0 9 0 9
Philosophy 8 0 0 0 8
International Studies 7 0 0 0 7
Clinical, Counseling & Applied Psychology 0 6 0 0 6
Curriculum & Instruction 0 0 0 0 0
Health Sciences & Services 0 0 0 0 0
Mental & Social Health Services 0 0 0 0 0
Science, Technology & Society 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 2,288 25 555 42 2,910

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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