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Western Carolina Says NC Promise Isn't The Only Reason For Record Enrollment

Photo courtesy of Western Carolina University
This fall welcomed a record number of students to Western Carolina University.

 Western Carolina, Elizabeth City State University, and UNC Pembroke all decreased both their instate and out-of-state tuitions through a program funded by the legislature this year.  In-state students now pay just $500 per semester under NC Promise.

At Western, numbers are at anall-time highs for the new undergraduate classes as well as the number of new transfer students.   However, the school doesn’t attribute its growth just to NC Promise. It’s seen enrollment growth the last seven out of eight years.

Western officials think academic programs like engineering and forensic anthropology as well as  the popularity of its marching band the Pride of the Mountains have lead to their expansion.

Western Carolina was just ranked 11th in top public universities in the South, up from 13th last year by U.S. News & World Report.  This year, the number of graduate students on campus also increased 10.5 percent despite the fact that they are not eligible for NC Promise.


Lilly Knoepp serves as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina. She is a native of Franklin, NC who returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.
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