Western Carolina University Overview
Located in Cullowhee, North Carolina, Western Carolina University is a public institution. The surrounding location of Cullowhee is ideal for students who enjoy the charms of a college town.
What Is Western Carolina University Known For?
- The highest award offered at WCU is the doctor's degree.
- For the 2017-2018 academic year, 71% of the faculty were full-time.
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.
Program Level Awards
These are highlights of some of the most noteworthy awards granted to specific programs at WCU.
Awards From Around the Web
The following table lists some notable awards WCU has earned from around the web.
|#18||Best Value Colleges for Music||College Factual|
|#26||Best Value Colleges for Physical Sciences||College Factual|
|#35||Best Value Colleges for Mathematics & Statistics||College Factual|
|#38||Best Value Colleges for History||College Factual|
|#58||Best Value Colleges for Visual & Performing Arts||College Factual|
|#72||Best Value Colleges for Psychology||College Factual|
Where Is Western Carolina University?
Contact details for WCU are given below.
|Address:||Highway 107, Cullowhee, NC 28723-9646|
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
|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|
How Hard Is It To Get Into WCU?
Approximately 39% of accepted students are men and 61% are women. The acceptance rate for men is 49%, and the acceptance rate for women is 48%.
Average Test Scores
About 46% 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 620. Math scores were between 510 and 600.
Can I Afford Western Carolina University?
The net price is calculated by adding tuition, room, board and other costs and subtracting financial aid.
Student Loan Debt
While almost two-thirds of students nationwide take out loans to pay for college, the percentage may be quite different for the school you plan on attending. At WCU, approximately 61% of students took out student loans averaging $6,480 a year. That adds up to $25,920 over four years for those students.
The student loan default rate at WCU is 6.5%. Although this is lower than the national default rate of 10.1%, you'll still want to keep this in mind when taking out student loans.
Western Carolina University Undergraduate Student Diversity
There are also 1,726 graduate students at the school.
Of the 8,760 full-time undergraduates at WCU, 45% are male and 55% are female.
The racial-ethnic breakdown of Western Carolina University students is as follows.
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||428|
|Hispanic or Latino||728|
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
The following chart shows how the online learning population at WCU has changed over the last few years.
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 2019-2020.
Online Affordability Rankings of WCU
The following table shows how WCU is ranked for affordability for both in-state and out-of-state students among colleges and universities that are not mostly online.
|Major||Tuition for In-State Students||Tuition for Out-of-State Students|
|Health & Physical Education||#1||#4|
|Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies||#1||#7|
|Finance & Financial Management||#4||#1|
|Construction Engineering Technology||#7||#1|
|Allied Health Professions||#13||#25|
|Health & Medical Administrative Services||#13||#78|
|Human Resource Management||#19||#74|
|Teacher Education Grade Specific||#28||#73|
|Public Administration & Social Service||#33||#78|
Online Growth Rankings of WCU
The average growth rate over the last four years of online students at Western Carolina University was 12.4%. This is the #1,307 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.
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||#14|
|Finance & Financial Management||#92|
|Allied Health Professions||#127|
|Health & Physical Education||#194|
|Human Resource Management||#206|
|Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies||#215|
|Public Administration & Social Service||#288|
|Teacher Education Grade Specific||#425|
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.
*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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