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Prospective UP Students & Families

Open House Information

We will be joining WCU Admissions for all four of the Open House events.

The dates for those are as follows:

  • October 7, 2023
  • November 18, 2023
  • February 24, 2024
  • March 23, 2024

If you plan to attend one of these Open House events please go to WCU Open House and register for one of the events that work best for you. Once you have completed that online registration, please complete this online survey so we know you will be attending with us for the UP Program. If you have further questions about Open House events or Admission deadlines, please email us at

The best part? It is never too early to come check us out! Even if college is still a couple years away for you, we encourage you to still attend and learn more! 

Important Dates and Deadlines for Fall 2024 Enrollment

  • ASAP: Apply for Financial Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible. Awards made until funds are depleted.
  • August 2023: Applications for Fall 2024 enrollment will open
  • December 15, 2023: Deadline for applications to be submitted for individuals applying for Fall 2024
  • January/February 2024: UP Admissions Steering Committee meeting to review applicants and notify students who are selected for Orientation Camp
  • March 2024: Spring Orientation Camp for potential UP students selected by the UP Admissions Steering Committee (multi-day residential experience required)
  • April 2024: Final decisions made, deposits and forms due, advising and registration
  • August 2024: Four to six selected students will move into residence halls and start classes on the same date as all WCU students

Admission to the UP Program

Consideration for admission to the UP program is given to those who meet the following admission requirements:

  • Age 18-25 at the time of admission with a documented intellectual disability (IQ ~ 70 or lower)
  • Have been enrolled in a high school special education program (such as the Occupational Course of Study or Certificate of Completion) that does not allow students to complete requirements necessary for standard admission to WCU
  • Demonstrates communication skills adequate to interact with others on the WCU campus
  • Demonstrates socially acceptable behavior that will allow a favorable experience on the WCU campus
  • Demonstrates ability to be unsupervised overnight and manage own medications
  • Adequately motivated to learn and benefit from participation in the UP Program
  • Expresses interest in living and working as independently as possible in their community with paid employment at or above minimum wage working 20 or more hours per week after completing the UP Program and supported by parents and families to do so

All applicants to the UP Program are reviewed by the UP Program Steering Committee. This committee comprises the following individuals:

  • A WCU undergraduate or graduate student
  • Former parents of UP Program graduates
  • WCU Director of Financial Aid
  • UP Program Director
  • UP Program Career Development Coordinator/Administrator
  • Administration Representative from the College of Education and Allied Professions
  • Representatives of Undergraduate Admission
  • Representatives of Educational Outreach
  • Representatives of Residential Living
  • Director of Accessibility Resources
  • WCU Faculty that have taught UP students
  • WCU Employers who have worked with UP students
  • Representatives from Tutoring and Student Success Centers

Apply to the UP Program for Admission in Fall 2024

Applications for Fall 2024 admission are open through December 15, 2023. Please use the guide and checklist provided to apply and let us know if you have additional questions at

1) Open up the Guide to Completing Your Application and the Student Application Checklist to help you through the application process and make sure everything is completed. 

2) Head to the application website to complete everything needed (remember, you want to select the application for the UP Program)!

Please note: This is our second time completing this process online. If you need assistance or notice an error in the application, please reach out to us at or 828.227.3297.

We look forward to seeing your completed applications!


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