Western Carolina University

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2019 Undergraduate Tuition
$1,000
0% growth from 2018
2019 Average Net Price
$12,965
After Financial Aid
2017 Student Loan
6.54%
Default Rate
2019 Acceptance Rate
68.7%
11,128 Applicants
2019 Enrolled Students
12,167
80.1% Full-Time
2018 Graduation Rate
61.6%
951 Graduates

About

Western Carolina University is a higher education institution located in Jackson County, NC. In 2016, the most popular Bachelor's Degree concentrations at Western Carolina University were General Business Administration & Management (200 degrees awarded), Registered Nursing (192 degrees), and Criminal Justice - Safety Studies (125 degrees).

In 2019, 2,910 degrees were awarded across all undergraduate and graduate programs at Western Carolina University. 61.5% of these degrees were awarded to women, and 38.5% awarded men. The most common race/ethnicity group of degree recipients was white (2,303 degrees), 13.5 times more than then the next closest race/ethnicity group, hispanic or latino (170 degrees).

The median undergraduate tuition at Western Carolina University is $1,000, which is $-21,026 less than the national average for Masters Colleges and Universities ($22,027).

Costs

The median undergraduate tuition at Western Carolina University is $1,000, which is $-21,026 less than the national average for Masters Colleges and Universities ($22,027).

After taking grants and loans into account, the average net price for students is $12,965.

In 2019, 65% of undergraduate students received federal grants, while 55% of undergraduate students received federal loans.

Student Expenses

Tuition Costs

$1,000
2019 Undergraduate Tuition

In 2019, the cost of tuition at Western Carolina University was $1,000. The cost of tuition at Western Carolina University is $-21,026 less than than the overall (public and private) national average for Masters Colleges and Universities ($22,027).

This chart compares the tuition costs of Western Carolina University (in red) with those of other similar universities.

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Average Net Price

$12,965
2019 Value
13.7%
1 Year Growth

In 2019 Western Carolina University had an average net price — the price paid after factoring in grants and loans — of $12,965. Between 2018 and 2019, the average net price of Western Carolina University grew by 13.7%.

This chart compares the average net price of Western Carolina University (in red) with that of other similar universities.

Average net price is calculated from full-time beginning undergraduate students who were awarded a grant or scholarship from federal, state or local governments, or the institution.

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Other Student Expenses

$10,443
Room and Board
$1,805
Books and Supplies

The average yearly cost of room and board at Western Carolina University was of $10,443 in 2019. During the same period, the average yearly cost of books and supplies was $1,805. The cost of room and board increased by 4.57% between 2018 and 2019. The cost of books and supplies decreased by 22.6% during the same period.

This chart compares the average student costs at Western Carolina University (in red) with that of similar universities.

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Financial Aid

Financial Aid by Income Level

65%
Of Undergraduates Receive Grants
55%
Of Undergraduates Receive Federal Loans

65% of undergraduate students at Western Carolina University received grants or loans in 2019. This represents a decline of 4.41% with respect to 2018, when 68% of undergraduate students received financial aid.

This chart compares the average award discount at Western Carolina University (in red) with that of other similar universities.

The average award discount is the ratio between the average grant or scholarship value, and the cost, which is the sum of out-of-state tuition, room, board, book, supplies, and other expenses.

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Student Loan Default Rate

Cohort default rates only account for borrowers who default in the first three years, and some schools only have a small proportion of borrowers entering repayment. These rates should be interpreted with caution, as they may not be reflective of the entire school population.
6.54%
2017 Default Rate
161
Number of Defaults

In 2017 the default rate for borrower's at Western Carolina University was 6.54%, which represents 161 out of the 2463 total borrowers.

A cohort default rate is the percentage of a school's borrowers who enter repayment on certain Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program or William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans during a particular federal fiscal year (FY), October 1 to September 30, and default or meet other specified conditions prior to the end of the second following fiscal year.

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Admissions

Western Carolina University received 11,128 undergraduate applications in 2019, which represents a 42.5% annual decline. Out of those 11,128 applicants, 7,646 students were accepted for enrollment, representing a 68.7% acceptance rate.

There were 12,167 students enrolled at Western Carolina University in 2019, and 49% of first-time enrollees submitted SAT scores with their applications.

Western Carolina University has an overall enrollment yield of 27.6%, which represents the number of admitted students who ended up enrolling.

Acceptance Rate

68.7%
Acceptance Rate in 2019
7,646
Accepted Out of 11,128

In 2019, the undergraduate acceptance rate of Western Carolina University was 68.7% (7,646 admissions from 11,128 applications). This is higher than the acceptance rate of 2018, which was 39.7%. Between 2018 and 2019, the number of applicants declined by -42.5%, while admissions declined by -0.339%.

This chart compares the acceptance rate of Western Carolina University (in red) with that of other similar universities.

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SAT Scores

49%
Submission Percentage
1,028
Scores Submitted

49% of enrolled first-time students at Western Carolina University in 2019 submitted SAT scores with their applications.

This chart shows the SAT scores for the 25th and 75th percentile of applicants broken out into each section of the test that their are evaluated on.

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Enrollment

Western Carolina University has a total enrollment of 12,167 students. The full-time enrollment at Western Carolina University is 9,744 students and the part-time enrollment is 2,423. This means that 80.1% of students enrolled at Western Carolina University are enrolled full-time.

The enrolled student population at Western Carolina University, both undergraduate and graduate, is 78.6% White, 7.11% Hispanic or Latino, 5.5% Black or African American, 3.61% Two or More Races, 1.08% Asian, 0.847% American Indian or Alaska Native, and 0.0329% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders.

Students enrolled at Western Carolina University in full-time Undergraduate programs are most commonly White Female (42.9%), followed by White Male (35.4%) and Hispanic or Latino Female (4.1%). Students enrolled in full-time Graduate programs are most commonly White Female (56.9%), followed by White Male (26%) and Hispanic or Latino Female (4.2%).

Full-Time vs Part-Time Enrollment

80.1%
Full-Time Enrollment

The total enrollment at Western Carolina University, both undergraduate and graduate, is 12,167 students. The full-time enrollment at Western Carolina University is 9,744 and the part-time enrollment is 2,423. This means that 80.1% of students enrolled at Western Carolina University are enrolled full-time compared with 69.2% at similar Masters Colleges and Universities.

This chart shows the full-time vs part-time enrollment status at Western Carolina University (in red) compares to similar universities.

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Retention Rate over Time

78%
2019 Retention Rate

Retention rate measures the number of first-time students who began their studies the previous fall and returned to school the following fall. The retention rate for full-time undergraduates at Western Carolina University was 78%. Compared with the full-time retention rate at similar Masters Colleges and Universities (74%), Western Carolina University had a retention rate higher than its peers.

This chart shows the retention rate over time at Western Carolina University (highlighted in red) compares to similar universities.

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Enrollment by Race & Ethnicity

Most Common Race or Ethnicity
  1. White
    9,558
  2. Hispanic or Latino
    865
  3. Black or African American
    669

The enrolled student population at Western Carolina University is 78.6% White, 7.11% Hispanic or Latino, 5.5% Black or African American, 3.61% Two or More Races, 1.08% Asian, 0.847% American Indian or Alaska Native, and 0.0329% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders. This includes both full-time and part-time students as well as graduate and undergraduates. By comparison, enrollment for all Masters Colleges and Universities is 53.3% White, 16% Hispanic or Latino, and 12.9% Black or African American.

Any student who is studying in the United States on a temporary basis is categorized as a "Non-Resident Alien", and the share of those students are shown in the chart below. Additionally, 146 students (1.2%) did not report their race.

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Graduates

In 2019, 668 more women than men received degrees from Western Carolina University. The most common race/ethnicity group of degree recipients at Western Carolina University is white (2,303 degrees awarded). There were 13.5 times more white graduates than the next closest race/ethnicity group, hispanic or latino (170 degrees).

The most common Bachelor's Degree concentration at Western Carolina University is General Business Administration & Management (200 degrees awarded), followed by Registered Nursing (192 degrees) and Criminal Justice - Safety Studies (125 degrees).

The most specialized majors across all degree types at Western Carolina University, meaning they have significantly more degrees awarded in that concentration than the national average across all institutions, are Public Administration and Social Service (163 degrees awarded), Engineering Technologies (121 degrees), and Education (363 degrees).

Workforce

Common Jobs by Major

The most common jobs for people who hold a degree in one of the 5 most specialized majors at Western Carolina University are Elementary & middle school teachers (1,470,951 people), Secondary school teachers (509,088 people), Education administrators (266,012 people), Special education teachers (205,211 people), and Preschool & kindergarten teachers (191,178 people).

The most specialized majors at Western Carolina University are Public Administration and Social Service (163 degrees awarded), Engineering Technologies (121 degrees), Education (363 degrees), Parks, Recreation, & Leisure (85 degrees), and Physical Sciences (57 degrees).

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Highest Paying Jobs by Major

Highest Paying Job

The highest paying jobs for people who hold a degree in one of the 5 most specialized majors at Western Carolina University are Surgeons, Lawyers, & judges, magistrates, & other judicial workers, Physicians, Magnetic resonance imaging technologists, and Public relations specialists

The most specialized majors at Western Carolina University are Public Administration and Social Service (163 degrees awarded), Engineering Technologies (121 degrees), Education (363 degrees), Parks, Recreation, & Leisure (85 degrees), and Physical Sciences (57 degrees).

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Common Industries by Major

Most Common Industry

The most common industries for people who hold a degree in one of the 5 most specialized majors at Western Carolina University are Elementary & secondary schools (2,765,917 people), Colleges, universities & professional schools, including junior colleges (375,602 people), General medical and surgical hospitals, and specialty (except psychiatric and substance abuse) hospitals (234,748 people), Individual & family services (139,808 people), and Computer Systems Design (128,101 people).

The most specialized majors at Western Carolina University are Public Administration and Social Service (163 degrees awarded), Engineering Technologies (121 degrees), Education (363 degrees), Parks, Recreation, & Leisure (85 degrees), and Physical Sciences (57 degrees).

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Degrees

Majors Awarded

IPEDS uses the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) standard, so the categories may not match the exact concentrations offered by Western Carolina University.
Most Common
  1. 200 degree-majorss awarded
  2. 192 degree-majorss awarded
  3. 125 degree-majorss awarded

In 2019, the most common bachelors degree concentration at Western Carolina University was General Business Administration & Management with 200 degrees awarded.

This visualization illustrates the percentage of degree-majors recipients from bachelors degree programs at Western Carolina University according to their major.

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Gender Breakdown for Common Majors

1,121
Degrees Awarded to Men
in 2019
1,789
Degrees Awarded to Women
in 2019

In 2019, 1,121 degrees were awarded to men at Western Carolina University, which is 0.627 times less than the number of degrees awarded to females (1,789).

This chart displays the gender disparity between the top 5 majors at Western Carolina University by degrees awarded.

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Most Common Male Majors

In 2019, 124 degrees were awarded to men at Western Carolina University in General Business Administration & Management, which is 1.13 times more than the 110 female recipients with that same degree.

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Most Common Female Majors

In 2019, 233 degrees were awarded to women at Western Carolina University in Registered Nursing, which is 5.97 times more than the 39 male recipients with that same degree.

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Time to Complete

40%
100% Completion Time
59%
150% Completion Time

In 2019, 40% of students graduating from Western Carolina University completed their program within 100% "normal time" (i.e. 4 years for a 4-year degree). Comparatively, 59% completed their degrees within 150% of the normal time, and 60% within 200%.

The following chart shows these completion rates over time compared to the average for the Masters Colleges and Universities Carnegie Classification group.

Graduation rate is defined as the percentage of full-time, first-time students who received a degree or award within a specific percentage of "normal time" to completion for their program.

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Diversity

Graduation Rate by Race and Gender

Showing demographic groups with ≥ 5 graduating students.
Black or African American Male
Highest Graduation Rate (69.1%)

The student demographic with the highest graduation rate at Western Carolina University is Male and Black or African American (69.1% graduation rate). Across all Masters Colleges and Universities, Asian Female students have the highest graduation rate (69.1%).

The department of education defines graduation rate as the percentage of full-time, first-time students who received a degree or award within 150% of "normal time" to completion.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) categorizes any student who is studying in the United States on a temporary basis as a "Non-Resident Alien", and the graduation rate of those students is shown in the chart below. Additionally, 0.736% of graduates (7 students) did not report their race.

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Race & Ethnicity by Share

Most Common Student Race or Ethnicity
  1. White
    2,303 degrees awarded
  2. Hispanic or Latino
    170 degrees awarded
  3. Black or African American
    169 degrees awarded

The most common race/ethnicity at Western Carolina University is white (2,303 degrees awarded). There were 13.5 times more white recipients than the next closest race/ethnicity group, hispanic or latino (170 degrees).

1.03% of degree recipients (30 students) did not report their race.

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Race & Ethnicity by Gender

Most Common Gender Demographic
  1. White Female
    1,423 degrees awarded
  2. White Male
    880 degrees awarded
  3. Hispanic or Latino Female
    103 degrees awarded

The most common race/ethnicity and gender grouping at Western Carolina University is white female (1,423 degrees awarded). There were 1.62 times more white female recipients than the next closest race/ethnicity group, white male (880 degrees).

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Operations

Western Carolina University has an endowment valued at nearly $86.5M, as of the end of the 2019 fiscal year. The return on its endowment was of $8.3M (9.59%), compared to the 4.44% average return ($1.71M on $38.5M) across all Masters Colleges and Universities.

In 2019, Western Carolina University had a total salary expenditure of $234M. Western Carolina University employs 216 Assistant professors, 126 Associate professors, and 105 Professors. Most academics at Western Carolina University are Female Assistant professors (124), Male Assistant professors(92), and Male Professors (70).

The most common positions for non-instructional staff at Western Carolina University are: Office and Administrative Support, with 187 employees, Service, with 186 employees, and Computer, Engineering, and Science with 128 employees.

Finances

Endowment

$86.5M
2019 Endowment
5.48%
growth from 2018

Western Carolina University has an endowment valued at about $86.5M, as of the end of the 2019 fiscal year. The endowment of Western Carolina University grew 5.48% from the previous year. The value of their endowment was $48M higher than than the median endowment of Masters Colleges and Universities according to the Carnegie Classification grouping.

This line chart shows how the endowment at Western Carolina University (in red) compares to that of some similar universities.

The small bar chart below shows the endowment quintiles for all universities in the Masters Colleges & Universities: Larger Programs Carnegie Classification grouping.

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Government Grants and Contracts

Grants & Contracts
  1. $4.87M - Federal
  2. $656k - State
  3. $0 - Local

As of 2019, Western Carolina University received $4.87M in grants and contracts from the federal government, $656k from state grants and contracts, and $0 from local grants and contracts.

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Expenses

Salary Expenditure

$97M
2019 Salaries
3.43%
growth from 2018

In 2019, Western Carolina University paid a median of $97M in salaries, which represents 41.4% of their overall expenditure ($234M) and a 3.43% growth from the previous year. This is compared to a 2.28% growth from 2017 and a 1.96% growth from 2016.

The median for similar Masters Colleges and Universities is 34.1M (40.6% of overall expenditures).

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Instructional Salaries

$37.2M
Instructional Salaries
511
Number of Employees

In 2019, Western Carolina University paid a total of $37.2M to 511 employees working as instructors, which represents 38.3% of all salaries paid.

This is compared to a median of $11.2M (32.7%) for similar Masters Colleges and Universities.

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Faculty and Staff

Occupations by Share

Assistant professor
Most Common Instructor
216 Employees
Office and Administrative Support
Most Common Non-Instructional Employee
187 Employees

In 2019, the most common positions for instructional staff at Western Carolina University were Assistant professor with 216 employees; Associate professor with 126 employees; and Associate professor with 105 employees.

In 2019, the most common positions for non-instructional staff at Western Carolina University were Office and Administrative Support with 187 employees; Service with 186 employees; and Computer, Engineering, and Science with 128 employees.

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Instructors by Academic Rank and Gender

Most Common Demographic
  1. Female Assistant professor
  2. Male Assistant professor
  3. Male Professor

In 2019, the most common demographic for instructional staff at Western Carolina University was Female Assistant professor with 124 employees, Male Assistant professor with 92 employees, and Male Professor with 70 employees.

This chart shows the gender split between each academic rank present at Western Carolina University.

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