Each year, particularly in the summer sessions, WCU welcomes numerous students who attend other colleges and universities who desire to take courses at WCU with the intent of transferring those courses back to their home institutions.
Because transient students are only visiting WCU for a brief period and are not seeking to complete a degree at WCU, some policies and procedures differ for transient students as compared with transfer students. (All non-degree students who wish to be considered for degree-seeking status must submit the appropriate new application for admission as well as all required supporting documentation.) Some of the differences include:
- Classification as a non-degree seeking student (as opposed to a transfer student)
- Exemption from orientation
- Ineligibility for merit awards or financial aid through WCU (transient students can only be considered for aid through their home institutions)
- Mandatory semester-by-semester approval to continue at WCU as a transient student
- Ineligibility for an evaluation of credits earned elsewhere or a degree audit
- Ineligibility for assignment of an academic adviser
- Restriction of 18 hours of attempted work, without special approval, in any one term
- Lower priority for access to registration, course selection and on-campus living accommodations (subject to availability after those opportunities have been opened to degree-seeking students)
Keep in mind that many institutions do not award transfer credit for grades below a C nor do they incorporate grades earned at another institution within their own GPA.
Transient students are responsible for ensuring that courses attempted at WCU will transfer back to their home institutions. Most colleges have a form and/or protocol so that their students can gain approval to take courses elsewhere as a transient (or visiting) student. Often, the Office of the Registrar and the academic department are involved in the approval process.
Since transient students are not seeking a degree at WCU, WCU can forego requiring all of the documentation that a degree-seeking student would have to submit. The minimum amount of information that a transient student must submit, by application deadlines, includes the following:
Application for Admission: Accurately and completely fill out the appropriate application for admission:
- If a transient student plans to attempt distance or online courses only, then the applicant should complete the undergraduate distance application
- If a transient student plans to enroll in any resident-credit (campus-based) courses, then the applicant should complete the transient student application (undergraduate non-degree)
- Students desiring to take graduate-level courses must contact the Graduate School
Application Fee: This nonrefundable processing fee is required for consideration as a transient student
Transient or Visiting Student Approval Form: Official documentation from an applicant’s home institution verifying that the applicant is in good standing and currently is eligible to continue or return. NOTE: An official transcript can be used in lieu of the approval form to verify a student’s status at his or her home institution; however, the student is encouraged to make use of the home institution’s approval form and process rather than submitting transcripts.
For your sake, it is recommended that the form from your home institution detail approval of the specific WCU course(s) you wish to take and how your home institution will treat the proposed course(s) in transfer. This information also can be helpful if the desired WCU course(s) has prerequisites because WCU will not have access to your transcript to see whether you meet the prerequisites. Course descriptions from the WCU catalog may assist your institution in determining the course equivalency at your home institution.
Transient students who are approved for enrollment will receive an acceptance letter, an information sheet and a checklist to aid in the enrollment process. The applicability of some of the information will depend upon each transient student’s specific plans or needs (i.e., number of courses, location or instructional mode of courses, living arrangements, timing of courses, special needs, etc.). Some of the next steps after gaining admission include:
1. Completing and Returning Immunization Form (if applicable): North Carolina state law requires anyone entering college to present a certificate of immunization documenting compliance with all required immunizations. The statute applies to all students except:
- Students taking all evening classes
- Students taking classes that meet off campus
- Students taking no more than four day-credit hours in on-campus courses
- Students taking weekend classes only
2. Completing and Submitting Residential Living Agreement Form and Deposit (if applicable): Because on-campus housing is required for many degree-seeking students but not required for transient students, campus housing is subject to availability (space in campus-based housing typically is available in summer sessions). Housing deposits may be remitted online, and the agreement form can be submitted once an applicant has been admitted.
3. Contacting Disability Services (if applicable): WCU is committed to equality of educational opportunities for qualified students with documented disabilities.
4. Contacting Military Services (if applicable): For assistance with benefits related to military service, you can contact Military Student Services.
5. Fulfilling Computer Requirement (if applicable): All newly admitted degree-seeking undergraduate students along with all readmitted students are required to have a computer. The computer requirement includes a software and hardware component. Given this requirement, the faculty incorporates the use of technology within the curriculum. Distance and online courses and programs have technology requirements as well. As a non-degree seeking student, you will be immersed in classes that necessitate access to the same hardware and software as degree-seeking students.
6. Obtaining Books: Depending upon your specific situation, you may participate in the book rental program at WCU, and/or you may have to purchase your textbooks (i.e., supplemental and laboratory books as well as books for online, distance learning and some specific undergraduate majors must be purchased). Once you have been admitted and are registered for classes, contact the University Bookstore for more information.
7. Obtaining CatCard (if applicable): Non-degree seeking students, particularly those taking courses on campus, may find the acquisition of a CatCard to be a necessity or a convenience. The CatCard may be used as an identification card, access card (i.e., to specific facilities and events), debit card for on-campus purchases, library card, meal card, discount card and more.
8. Registering for Classes: Non-degree seeking students may register via the Web. Registration dates will be posted on the Registrar’s Office website. The academic calendar, catalog, course descriptions, schedules of classes and much more are available through that site as well.
9. Registering Vehicle (if applicable): Non-degree seeking students who will attend class on campus or visit campus routinely, particularly on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., should obtain a parking permit.
10. Submitting Payment: Students may pay by check, money order, cashier’s check or credit card. OneStop Student Services or Student Accounts can assist with information regarding payment deadlines, procedures and questions.