Western Carolina University: Acceptance Rate and Admissions Statistics

Western Carolina University

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Western Carolina University is a public university with an acceptance rate of 43%. WCU's 600-acre campus is located in Cullowhee, North Carolina, about an hour west of Asheville near the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains. Undergraduates can choose from about 120 programs, and Western Carolina has several well-regarded professional programs, including business, education, and criminal justice. WCU has a 17-to-1 student/faculty ratio and an average class size of 19. One of the university's most notable student groups is the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band which has nearly 500 members. On the athletic front, the Western Carolina Catamounts compete in the NCAA Division I Southern Conference.

Considering applying to Western Carolina University? Here are the admissions statistics you should know, including average SAT/ACT scores and GPAs of admitted students.

Acceptance Rate

During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, Western Carolina University had an acceptance rate of 43%. This means that for every 100 students who applied, 43 students were admitted, making WCU's admissions process competitive.

Admissions Statistics (2018-19)
Number of Applicants 17,766
Percent Admitted 43%
Percent Admitted Who Enrolled (Yield) 27%

SAT Scores and Requirements

Western Carolina requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, 49% of admitted students submitted SAT scores.

SAT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 510 610
Math 510 590
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

This admissions data tells us that most of Western Carolina's admitted students fall within the top 35% nationally on the SAT. For the evidence-based reading and writing section, 50% of students admitted to WCU scored between 510 and 610, while 25% scored below 510 and 25% scored above 610. On the math section, 50% of admitted students scored between 510 and 590, while 25% scored below 510 and 25% scored above 590. Applicants with a composite SAT score of 1200 or higher will have particularly competitive chances at Western Carolina University.

Requirements

Western Carolina University requires the SAT writing section, but does not require SAT Subject tests. Note that WCU participates in the scorechoice program, which means that the admissions office will consider your highest score from each individual section across all SAT test dates.

ACT Scores and Requirements

Western Carolina requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, 59% of admitted students submitted ACT scores.

ACT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 19 24
Math 19 25
Composite 20 25

This admissions data tells us that most of Western Carolina's admitted students fall within the top 48% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of students admitted to WCU received a composite ACT score between 20 and 25, while 25% scored above 25 and 25% scored below 20.

Requirements

Note that Western Carolina does not superscore ACT results; your highest composite ACT score will be considered. WCU requires the ACT writing section.

GPA

In 2019, the average unweighted GPA of Western Carolina University's incoming freshmen class was 3.71, and over 46% of incoming students had average GPAs of 3.5 and above. These results suggest that most successful applicants to WCU have primarily A and high B grades.

Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph

Western Carolina University Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph.
Western Carolina University Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph. Data courtesy of Cappex.

The admissions data in the graph is self-reported by applicants to Western Carolina University. GPAs are unweighted. Find out how you compare to accepted students, see the real-time graph, and calculate your chances of getting in with a free Cappex account.

Admissions Chances

Western Carolina University, which accepts fewer than half of all applicants, has a competitive admissions pool with above average GPAs and SAT/ACT scores. The primary factors in admissions decisions at WCU are grades, test scores, core course requirements, and the rigor of your high school courses. While not required, applicants are strongly encouraged to visit and tour the campus. The campus visit demonstrates interest to the admissions committee. WCU does not require a personal essay or letters of recommendation but will consider these if submitted. Note that some programs at WCU have additional admission requirements such as a portfolio, audition, or minimum GPA.

In the graph above, the blue and green dots represent students who were admitted. Most had SAT scores of 950 or higher, an ACT composite of 18 or higher, and a high school average in the "B" range or better.

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All admissions data has been sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics and Western Carolina University Undergraduate Admissions Office.