ASP Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What are the summer session dates for ASP?
  2. How many deposits do I need to send?
  3. What else do I need to send?
  4. What is the cost of the program?
  5. Is financial aid available for the summer session of ASP?
  6. Are there other costs involved?
  7. What types of activities are offered during ASP?
  8. What classes will I be taking this summer?
  9. How do I successfully complete the summer component of ASP?
  10. What will my fall schedule be like?
  11. What are the other components of ASP during the regular school year?
  12. Do I have to bring a computer this summer?
  13. Can I bring a car with me to campus?
  14. Can I have a job during the summer session?
  15. What are the benefits of participating in ASP?
  16. What should I bring with me for the summer session?
  17. Can I keep my belongings on campus when ASP ends so that I don't have to move it back in August?
  18. Why am I being offered the opportunity to participate in ASP?
  19. If my grades and/or SAT scores improve this year, do I still have to come to ASP?

What are the summer session dates for ASP?

The dates for the 2015 ASP Summer Session are as follows:

  • You will move into the ASP residence hall on Saturday, June 27.
  • ASP students and parents will attend orientation on June 27-38.
  • ASP classes begin on Monday, June 29.
  • Students are required to participate in a Day of Service in the local community on Friday, July 3.
  • The summer session ends on Saturday, August 1 with a Closing Session & Awards Program.

NOTE:  Students are free to leave campus on the weekends; however, they are strongly encouraged to stay and participate in ASP activities and trips.

How many deposits do I need to send?

You will need to make one tuition deposit ($150) and one residential living deposit ($150) for a total of $300. This covers both the summer and fall semesters and is non-refundable.

What else do I need to send?

Visit the Catamount Gateway to access a complete list of items that need to be completed.  Some of these include:

  • Pay your tuition and housing deposits
  • ASP participation agreement
  • Immunization form and residential living agreements for both summer and fall 
  • CatCard picture and information
  • Final official transcript to be sent by your school upon your graduation

What is the cost of the program?

The Costs for the 2015 ASP Summer Session are not yet available.  They will be posted here in February.  Please refer to the costs from last year that are posted below as a reference.

The summer costs include tuition, fees, room, board, and all ASP activities. The costs for the fall and spring semesters are at the regular school year rate.

Costs for the 2014 ASP Summer Session:


                                                            In-State                                     Out-of-State                     

Tuition and Fees                                 $1,855.00                                     $2,940.00

Room (double occupancy)                       548.00                                        $548.00

Meal plan                                                $661.85                                        $661.85


Total:                                                  $3,064.85                                     $4149.85


If the student is not waiving health insurance, then there will be an additional fee added for Student Health Insurance.  The amount for summer coverage (July) is yet to be determined, and will be posted here when available.  This cost will be added to the student's bill and removed if the student waives the Student Health Insurance for the school year.


The deposits ($150 tuition and $150 housing) will be subtracted from the total summer charges.  Note:  Only one set of deposits ($300 total) needs to be paid and will cover enrollment for the summer and fall terms.  Deposits are non-refundable.


(The University reserves the right to alter any charges without any prior notice upon direction from the appropriate governing authorities.)


Additional Costs:

The Orientation fee for students ($145) and parents ($100 each if staying on campus; $70 each if not staying on campus) must be paid separately at the time that you register for orientation.  More information about Orientation will be sent in April.  


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Is financial aid available for the summer session of ASP?

Students in ASP are eligible to apply for federal financial aid to cover the cost of the program. Students wishing to apply for federal aid should complete the 2014-2015 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the ASP Summer School Supplement (this form is found on the Catamount Gateway). This version of the FAFSA is a different version than the one that will be used for the Fall 2015/Spring 2016 academic year. Students should complete the 2015-2016 version of the FAFSA to receive federal financial aid during the regular academic year. Questions about financial aid should be addressed to the Western Carolina University Financial Aid Office at (828) 227-7290 or emailed to

Are there other costs involved?

There may be additional supplemental textbooks or other materials required that are not covered by your tuition and fees, but this does not usually exceed $100.00. In addition, you may want to have some spending money for meals out, activities, etc. ASP offers activities on weekends and evenings that may involve your being away from campus. Although these are usually free or offered at a reduced rate, you may need to pay for your meals and/or admission to the event.

All students are required to have health insurance through a private plan or the University Student Health Insurance plan. Students must enroll in or waive the Student Health Insurance plan online. The cost for the summer session will be available in March and will provide coverage beginning on July 1st.  This amount will be added to the student's bill and removed if the student waives the Student Health Insurance.

What types of activities are offered during ASP?

Some of our activities have included rock climbing, hiking, whitewater rafting, tubing, camping, canoeing, baseball games, amusement parks, and picnics. Students are encouraged to make suggestions for special trips and excursions.

What classes will I be taking this summer?

 The focus the program is on developing your reading and writing skills in order to enhance and support your successful transition to the rigors of college-level requirements and expectations.  Therefore, you will take the following courses:

ENGL 190: First Year Seminar in Literature; 3 hr. credit (all students)

Liberal Studies Course; 3 hr. credit (Specific options for 2015 have yet to be determined and will be posted here once they become available.)

USI 130: University Experience; 1 hr. credit (all students)

The three classes are paired together to form a Summer Academic Theme.  This allows the instructors to work together to relate the classes and provide a collaborative learning experience.  These classes are small, approximately 20 per course section, so that the students receive personal attention from their instructors.  Each Summer Academic Theme includes a field trip and a service learning component to involve the students and engage them in becoming responsible and active participants in learning. 

How do I successfully complete the summer component of ASP?

It is required that you must earn a grade of at least C (no U's) in each of your summer courses and have a GPA of 2.5 or higher to continue your enrollment at WCU in the fall.

What will my fall schedule be like?

Your actual fall schedule will depend upon the specific courses you take during the summer session. However, most ASP students can expect their fall schedule to include 16 hours of course credit. 

Your classes will primarily consist of ENGL 101: “Freshman Composition” and three or four Liberal Studies courses or classes that may be an introduction to your major. Additionally, all ASP students will be enrolled in a one-hour credit course, LEAD 160: Student Leadership and Academic Success.  The purpose of the course is to provide you with enhanced support throughout the Fall semester.  It is meant to assist with your continuing transition to college and will help to motivate you in successfully completing your college education as well as developing leadership and other skills.

You will receive a copy of your fall schedule when you attend orientation and will be able to discuss any changes to your schedule with your advisor. You also will have an opportunity to meet with your advisor during ASP.

What are the other components of ASP during the regular school year?

In addition to the summer programs and activities, ASP students are also supported and monitored throughout their first year of enrollment.  Academic advisors are assigned to work with the students throughout their first year and serve as their primary resource and support person.  Additionally, all ASP students will live in Scott  Hall as part of Western Carolina PEAKS, WCU’s freshman learning experience.  This offers ASP students continued support and programs throughout the academic year.  

ASP students will also be enrolled in LEAD 160: Student Development and Academic Success as described above.  In the fall semester, ASP students are also assigned to a Peer Mentor.  The mentors are upperclassmen who have become successful students.  Mentors serve as a role model and a supportive peer educator for the ASP students and assist them by providing information and guidance throughout their first year.

Throughout their first year, ASP students’ academic progress is monitored through the use of a progress reporting system.  Each semester, the faculty for each student are notified that the students are participating in the program and are asked for feedback throughout the semester.  The faculty are asked to give information detailing the student’s grades, participation, and attendance in addition to other comments about their progress in each course.  This information is shared with the student’s advisor so that follow up can be made with the students and appropriate interventions can occur.

Do I have to bring a computer this summer?

Yes, ASP students are required to bring a computer this summer in order to start working on the necessary skills you will need before the fall semester begins and to ensure that you have access as needed.  Students should bring a laptop computer that meets WCU's computer requirements. Check out the Computer Requirement web page for more specific information.

Can I bring a car with me to campus?

Yes, you are allowed to have a car this summer. You will be able to purchase a summer parking permit at orientation. However, we strongly encourage you to stay on campus on the weekends to be able to participate in ASP activities.

Can I have a job during the summer session?

Due to the rigorous nature of the courses, you are discouraged from having a job during the summer session of ASP.  It is important that you use your time to focus on your academic performance and you will also be required to participate in out-of-class activities.  However, you are encouraged to seek employment during the regular school year.

What are the benefits of participating in ASP?

Former ASP students have reported several benefits such as:

  • Gaining early confidence in college-level classes
  • Earning seven hours of course credit before the fall semester begins
  • Learning their way around campus
  • Becoming familiar with instructor expectations
  • Improving writing skills, reading comprehension, and vocabulary
  • Making good friends and meeting people on campus
  • Having fun while learning and improving chances of success in college
  • Getting individual attention from instructors and staff
  • Feeling at home at WCU before the fall semester begins

What should I bring with me for the summer session? 

Plan to bring only essential items for the time you will be on campus this summer. Suggested items include:

  • Appropriate clothing (There is no dress code, but you are encouraged to dress respectfully.  There will be functions that require you to dress more professionally, such as the Closing Session & Awards Program.  So, you may want to bring a pair of slacks, polo shirt, dress, etc.)
  • Closed-toe shoes (Required for service projects)
  • Clothes that can get dirty (Required for service projects)
  • Swimsuit
  • Alarm clock (with battery backup)
  • Telephone
  • Fan
  • Umbrella
  • Towels and other linens
  • Extra-long sheets, mattress pad, pillow cases, etc.
  • Waste basket
  • Camera
  • Flashlight
  • Iron/ironing board
  • Hangers
  • Laundry detergent
  • Laundry basket
  • Bathrobe
  • Soap/toiletries/shower bucket
  • Sunscreen
  • Shower shoes
  • School supplies
  • Computer (Required)
  • Surge protector

Optional items that you could coordinate with your roommate before your arrival include: 

  • Refrigerator (4.6 cu. ft or 5 amps or less)
  • Microwave (800 watts max)
  • Stereo
  • Television

A more extensive list of items is available here.  You may also  be interested in seeing the residence halls where you will be living.  In the summer, ASP students will be living in Albright-Benton Hall.  In the fall, all ASP students will live in Scott Hall.

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Can I keep my belongings on campus when the summer session ends so that I don't have to move it back in August?

At this time, you should be able to move into your room for the fall semester before leaving campus at the end of the summer session. However, this may change depending on construction and renovation schedules. Any changes will be communicated to you in advance to allow time for you to make preparations for moving your belongings.

Why am I being offered the opportunity to participate in ASP?

Many students often wonder why participation in ASP is required as a condition of their acceptance to WCU for the fall semester.  It can be somewhat of a shock to read your admission letter and see that you are being asked to attend summer school.  We encourage you to hear from other students who had similar experiences.

Western Carolina University is very concerned with how well entering students begin their WCU experience because beginning has so much to do with whether you will finish (graduate) and how well you will finish. Because admission to WCU is competitive, because WCU uses past performance and standardized test scores to make comparisons among applicants, and because many academic programs at WCU have competitive admission requirements, some applicants may present credentials that point toward potential success at WCU but may contain one or more warning flags, as compared with students who have been offered standard admission. Some applicants present solid courses and grades, but standardized test scores may not be as competitive. Other applicants may have started slowly in high school but then turned things around, or they may have weak subjects that damage their cumulative GPAs while their standardized test scores compare favorably. Each year, a select group of applicants are offered the opportunity to participate in the Academic Success Program (ASP). This first-year program begins in the summer (it runs for five weeks from the end of June to early August) and continues into the fall and spring terms to help ensure first-year success. Admission is competitive and space is limited for this opportunity.

To receive individual feedback concerning your specific situation, please contact your admission counselor in the Office of Admission at 828-227-7317.

If my grades and/or SAT scores improve this year, do I still have to participate in ASP?

In rare cases, you may be able to opt out of ASP if your grades and/or SAT scores improve. However, each student is strongly encouraged to participate in the program. If you feel that your admission for the fall should be reconsidered, you must contact the admissions office at 828-227-7317. Changes in your admission term do not take place automatically.


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