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Annual Costs

Undergraduate Tuition

Western Carolina University tuition is $3,971 per year for in-state residents. This is 44% cheaper than the national average public four year tuition of $7,056. The cost is 78% cheaper than the average North Carolina tuition of $18,281 for 4 year colleges. Tuition ranks 8th in North Carolina amongst 4 year colleges for affordability and is the 60th most expensive 4 year college in the state. If attending from out-of-state, the tuition is $14,364 which represents a 262% premium.

The school charges an additional fees of $2,926 in addition to tuition bringing the total effective in-state tuition to $6,897.

Housing Costs

On campus room and board is provided by the school at a cost of $9,553 per academic year. Students electing to live off campus elsewhere in Cullowhee should budget at least this amount.

Books and Supplies

The estimated annual cost for books and supplies is $2,332.

Other Living Expenses

If living on-campus, students should budget for $2,670 in additional living expenses. Off-campus students should budget for $2,670 in other miscellaneous living expenses.

Total Costs

The total tuition and living expense budget for in-state North Carolina residents to go to Western Carolina University is $21,452 for the 2017/2018 academic year. Out-of-state students who don't have North Carolina residence can expect a one year cost of $31,845.

Citation: Price data from the U.S. Department of Education's 2017-2018 and 2016-2017 IPEDS survey response for Western Carolina University and represent reported costs for the 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 academic years.

Costs and Tuition for Western Carolina University
Estimated Budgets
North Carolina Resident Total Budget $21,452
   In-State Tuition$3,971
   Other Fees$2,926
   Room and Board$9,553
   On-Campus Other Budget$2,670
   Books and Supplies$2,332
Non-Resident Total Budget $31,845
   Out-of-State Tuition$14,364
   Other Fees$2,926
   Room and Board$9,553
   On-Campus Other Budget$2,670
   Books and Supplies$2,332

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What it Really Costs

Depending on many factors including student and parent income and assets, the total cost of attendance may be less than the $21,452 published price if scholarship or grant aid is made available to you.

Net Price

The net out-of-pocket total cost you end up paying or financing though student loans is known as the net price. The reported Western Carolina University net price for in-state students is $12,916* for the 2014/2015 academic year. This net price includes housing and meal expenses.

Pell Grants and other Grant Aid

70% of Western Carolina University students received grant aid in 2014/2015. The average total aid amount was $5,755. 39 percent of students received aid in the form of Pell Grants from the U.S. Federal Government. The average Pell Grant awarded for 2014/2015 was $4,060. To apply for a Pell Grant to attend Western Carolina University, the first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Net Price and Financial Aid for Western Carolina University
Financial Aid Summary
Average Annual Net Price$12,916*
Percent of Students Receiving Grant Aid70%
Average Total Grant Aid$5,755
Percent of Students Receiving Pell Grants39%
Average Amount of Pell Grant Aid$4,060

Average Net Price for In-State Students by Family Income

The average net total cost of attendance for different levels of family income after federal, state or local government, institutional grant and scholarship aid are awarded. Data last published for the 2014/2015 academic year.

Family Income Avg. Net Price
$0 to $30,000$9,009
$30,001 to $48,000$10,838
$48,001 to $75,000$14,000
$75,001 to $110,000$17,217
$110,000+$17,957

Average Financial Aid Mix - $21,452 In-State Total Cost

CollegeCalc has estimated typical coverage of the annual in-state tuition and living expenses of $21,452. Breakdown is based on average grant aid and federal loan aid which will vary based on your family income.

31%
30%
39%

Grants and Scholarships

 31% - $5,755

Money granted to you by the U.S. Department of Education, Western Carolina University or other organizations. These are not loans and do not need to be repaid.

Federal Loans

 30% - $5,658

Low interest student loans funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This amount will need to be repaid.

Out of Pocket

 39% -  $7,369

Covered by family savings, work or private student loans which you will have to repay.


*Reported Average Annual Net Price for in state students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's Academic Year 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Note that for colleges with no reported on-campus room and board, the average net price has been increased to account for living expenses. This number may not only reflect the net price paid to the school for tuition.

Tuition Comparison to Similar Public Colleges in the Region

School Cost vs. Western Carolina University
University of North Carolina at Asheville3.8% more expensive
The University of Tennessee179.8% more expensive
North Georgia College & State University2.2% less expensive
Georgia State University75.9% more expensive
University of North Carolina at Charlotte4% less expensive

Cost of a Degree

When considering ability to pay for college, the annual cost is often discussed but it's the "all in" multi-year degree cost which matters in the end. Let's take a look at what it could really cost for four years at Western Carolina University.

Estimated 4 Year Cost at Published Tuition

At the current published rates, an estimated total tuition, fees and living expense price for a 4 year bachelor's degree at Western Carolina University is $85,808 for students graduating in normal time. This methodology for estimating the 4 year cost is a straight multiple of the most recent reported annual total cost and does not factor in tuition increases during the time you're in school. It also assumes you receive no grant or scholarship aid and pay the full list price.

A potentially more accurate but less conservative estimate of a degree cost can be made by using the school's annual $9,128 in-state net price as the basis. Applying this cost over 4 would estimate the cost of a degree at $36,512**

If you end up on the "five year plan" and need an additional year to graduate, your five year cost could be as high as $107,260 or $45,640 using an average net price.

**Based on a 4 year multiple of Average Annual Net Price for in state students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Other Costs

Estimated Cost Per Semester

Most colleges don't charge students on an annual basis but instead require payment semester by semester. If you ever need to take an additional semester of classes to complete you degree you shouldn't have to pay for a full academic year. These our estimated costs for a semester at Western Carolina University.

North Carolina Resident Tuition Per Semester$1,986
North Carolina Resident Total Cost Per Semester$10,726
Non-North Carolina Resident Tuition Per Semester$7,182
Non-North Carolina Resident Total Cost Per Semester$15,922

Cost Per Credit Hour and Cost for a Class

Some schools offer the ability to take single classes by paying on a per credit hour basis. The reported price per credit hour and estimated cost for one class at Western Carolina University are as follows. Per credit costs are for reference only as many schools will not allow students to pay by credit hour.

Cost per credit hour and per class at Western Carolina University
Price per credit hour for North Carolina residents$277
Cost for one class for North Carolina residents (3 credit hours)$831
Price per credit hour for out of state residents$676
Cost for one class for out of state residents (3 credit hours)$2,028
Cost for one class for out of state residents (4 credit hours)$2,704

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Student Loans and Debt

The second consideration after understanding the cost of college is determining how to finance it. Some students are fortunate enough to have some form of family financial assistance, but student loans end up financing a significant portion of higher education in the U.S. 61% of Western Carolina University students receive U.S. Federal Student Loans with an average annual Federal Loan aid amount of $5,658. The reported average student debt upon graduation is $20,273.

Example Loan Payments and Costs

How much are student loan payments for Western Carolina University? Obviously this varies based on a number of factors - offsetting financial aid you receive, percentage of fee you pay upfront while enrolled and the interest rate on your loans. We've modeled a sample student loan based on current Stafford loan rates to give you an approximate idea.

The following are the costs for a loan if you borrowed $36,512, 100% of the estimated average net price for a four year program and paid nothing while enrolled. The total of all payments including interest would sum $45,303.02. This could be your effective total out of pocket cost of an education at Western Carolina University. Note that this calculation assumes you don't pay full list price tuition, are part of the reported 70% of students at this school who receive financial aid and you are paying an average annual net price of $9,128. If you do not financially qualify for a reduced net price, your student loan payments could be significantly higher than this example. Use our Western Carolina University student loan calculator below to change loan assumptions and recalculate.

Student loans are not free money and must be repaid. You cannot dismiss student loans by via bankruptcy.

Western Carolina University Student Loan Payments
Example Payments
Monthly Loan Payment$377.53
Amount Borrowed$36,512.00
Interest Rate4.5%
Term10 years
Number of Monthly Payments120
Total Interest Cost$8,791.02
Sum of All Payments over 10 years$45,303.02

Affording Student Loan Payments and Post Graduation Salary

Can I afford to attend Western Carolina University? In the end, the answer comes down a determination if you will earn enough to comfortably pay back a student loan with your post graduation salary. This is an extremely important point to consider. In order to afford student loan payments and still meet all your other costs of living, it is recommended not to borrow more than you can pay back using 10% of your monthly income earned after graduation. If you're considering attending Western Carolina University, you need to carefully consider if it will be realistic to make the post graduation loan payments based on your expected salary.

Using the 10% of salary threshold, an annual income of $45,303.02 would be needed to afford a $377.53 monthly payment in the example $36,512.00 loan modeled above. You will need to determine if it is at all realistic that you will be earning this type of salary after graduation. This assumes a loan payback over 10 years. You can change the terms of this example loan using the student loan calculator below.

Estimated Future Cost and Expected Tuition Increase

What will it cost to send your child to Western Carolina University in the future? In the past four years, this school's published in-state tuition and fee total rose from $3,397 to $3,971. This amounts to an average annual price increase of 3.4%. Nationally, university tuition prices are rising around 5% per year. Looking out five, ten, fifteen or eighteen years, these are CollegeCalc's estimates how much you could expect to pay for a 4 year degree assuming tuition increases at the national average rate. Estimated future prices are based on the current in-state 4 year cost of $85,808.00. Use the college savings plan calculator below to perform a more comprehensive analysis on future costs and how much you will need to save for Western Carolina University.

Annual4 Year Degree
Estimated Cost in 5 years for students enrolling in 2024$29,502$118,006
Estimated Cost in 10 years for students enrolling in 2029$37,652$150,609
Estimated Cost in 15 years for students enrolling in 2034 $48,055$192,219
Estimated Cost in 18 years for students enrolling in 2037 $55,629$222,518

Comparable Cost for Popular Majors

We've compared the out of state cost of the most popular undergraduate areas of study at Western Carolina University to the national average for all other colleges offering the same major. Use this comparison to determine particular programs where this school offers value relative to other colleges.

Area of Study Graduates vs National Avg
Junior High/Intermediate/Middle School Education and Teaching Bachelor's Degree 144 6% cheaper
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse Bachelor's Degree 136 11% cheaper
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies Bachelor's Degree 103 6% cheaper
Elementary Education and Teaching Bachelor's Degree 80 10% cheaper
Construction Engineering Technology/Technician Bachelor's Degree 74 5% cheaper
Psychology, General Bachelor's Degree 54 21% cheaper
Business Administration and Management, General Bachelor's Degree 51 8% cheaper
Speech Communication and Rhetoric Bachelor's Degree 40 20% cheaper
ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGIES AND ENGINEERING-RELATED FIELDS Bachelor's Degree 40 3% cheaper
Social Work Bachelor's Degree 37 12% cheaper
Biology/Biological Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 35 21% cheaper
Accounting Bachelor's Degree 34 14% cheaper
English Language and Literature, General Bachelor's Degree 34 21% cheaper
Marketing/Marketing Management, General Bachelor's Degree 33 12% cheaper
Anthropology Bachelor's Degree 32 29% cheaper
History, General Bachelor's Degree 32 22% cheaper
Hospitality Administration/Management, General Bachelor's Degree 30 12% cheaper
Public Administration Bachelor's Degree 29 7% cheaper
Kindergarten/Preschool Education and Teaching Bachelor's Degree 29 0% costlier
Sport and Fitness Administration/Management Bachelor's Degree 29 15% cheaper
Fine/Studio Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 29 26% cheaper
Political Science and Government, General Bachelor's Degree 27 23% cheaper
Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy Bachelor's Degree 25 5% cheaper
Management Information Systems, General Bachelor's Degree 25 13% cheaper
Dietetics/Dietitian Bachelor's Degree 25 12% cheaper
Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies Bachelor's Degree 23 21% cheaper
Interior Design Bachelor's Degree 23 18% cheaper
Sociology Bachelor's Degree 22 23% cheaper
Communication Sciences and Disorders, General Bachelor's Degree 21 12% cheaper
Finance, General Bachelor's Degree 19 14% cheaper
Marketing, Other Bachelor's Degree 19 20% cheaper
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Facilities Management, General Bachelor's Degree 18 6% cheaper
Health Information/Medical Records Administration/Administrator Bachelor's Degree 17 0% cheaper
Chemistry, General Bachelor's Degree 17 24% cheaper
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching Bachelor's Degree 16 9% cheaper
Spanish Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 16 26% cheaper
Environmental Health Bachelor's Degree 16 12% cheaper
Philosophy Bachelor's Degree 15 30% cheaper
Social Studies Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 15 15% cheaper
Mathematics, General Bachelor's Degree 13 22% cheaper
Emergency Medical Technology/Technician (EMT Paramedic) Bachelor's Degree 13 13% cheaper
Natural Resources Management and Policy Bachelor's Degree 12 17% cheaper
English/Language Arts Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 12 9% cheaper
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 12 25% cheaper
Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering Technology/Technician Bachelor's Degree 12 1% cheaper
Special Education and Teaching, General Bachelor's Degree 12 11% cheaper
Music Performance, General Bachelor's Degree 11 20% cheaper
Forensic Chemistry Bachelor's Degree 10 18% cheaper
Radio, Television, and Digital Communication, Other Bachelor's Degree 10 23% cheaper
Music, General Bachelor's Degree 9 23% cheaper
Music Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 8 16% cheaper
Geology/Earth Science, General Bachelor's Degree 7 23% cheaper
Computer Science Bachelor's Degree 7 24% cheaper
Environmental Science Bachelor's Degree 6 26% cheaper
Art Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 6 12% cheaper
Athletic Training/Trainer Bachelor's Degree 6 15% cheaper
Art/Art Studies, General Bachelor's Degree 6 19% cheaper
Mathematics Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 4 10% cheaper
Science Teacher Education/General Science Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 4 7% cheaper
International Business/Trade/Commerce Bachelor's Degree 3 23% cheaper
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Bachelor's Degree 2 24% cheaper
German Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 2 32% cheaper
Spanish Language Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 1 12% cheaper
International/Global Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 28% cheaper
Forensic Science and Technology Bachelor's Degree 1 17% cheaper

Calculators

Use the calculators below to formulate a college savings plan for Western Carolina University or model a student loan.

College Savings Calculator

Plan and Save for College

Discover how much will you need to start saving now to afford Western Carolina University in the future.

Student Loan Calculator

Estimate Loan Payments

Modify the loan assumptions to fit your financial situation and likely tuition price. Then calculate your payoff and loan payments for a Western Carolina University student loan.

Prepayment Option

About Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University is a four year public college located in Cullowhee, North Carolina.  Full time enrollment is 8,567 and part time is 2,238. Learn more about getting accepted at Western Carolina University at CollegeSimply.

Students attending this school may pursue both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Address
Western Carolina University
Highway 107
Cullowhee, North Carolina
28723-9646

For Profit / Not For Profit Status

Western Carolina University is a public not for profit institution. Public schools often represent the best value for your education dollar, especially when students qualify for in-state tuition.

Western Carolina University cost and financial aid data source: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=200004 IPEDS survey data.