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first time freshman

First-Year Students at Western

Fill out the “First-Year Students” application if you are or will soon be a high school graduate, or if you have not attended another college after graduating from high school.

Students who have completed their junior year of high school may apply for admission any time after August 1.

Application Requirements for First-Year Students

  1. Complete Western’s Online Application or the Common Application.
  2. Request your official high school transcript to be sent to Western. Your official transcript can be mailed, faxed, emailed or sent through an electronic service (Parchment, Naviance, e-scrip, etc.)
  3. Submit the $30 application fee. This can be paid online with the application or by calling the Cashier’s Office at 970.943.3003.
  4. Optional for 2023 semesters: Send your official ACT and/or SAT test scores to Western (ACT code: 0536, SAT code: 4946).

If you are submitting an application via the Common Application, self-reported information on the Common Application must be verified by official high school transcript(s) and ACT and/or SAT scores for a student to be considered for admission at Western. Please arrange to have those official documents sent to Western’s Admissions Office.


Western will look at your overall academic performance, which includes your high school GPA, your super score SAT and/or ACT test scores if available and general academic rigor in your coursework. The middle 50 percent of our admitted first-time first-year students have the following:

Middle 50% of Enrolled First-Year Students

High School GPA 3.12 – 3.93
ACT Composite 21 – 27
SAT Composite 1020-1200

Western follows the Colorado Higher Education Admissions Recommendations (HEAR) for all students during high school. First-year applicants must complete the following high school courses:

  1. Four years of English
  2. Four years of math (Algebra I or higher)
  3. Three years of natural/physical science ( including two units of lab-based science)
  4. Three years of social science (including one unit or U.S. or world history)
  5. One year of foreign language
  6. Two years of academic electives

Optional (If You Feel Your Application May Need Extra Support)

  • An admissions essay following the prompt “Why Western?”
  • A personal statement
  • Letter(s) of recommendation
  • A resume

Keep in Mind

We admit students who will benefit from the educational experiences provided by Western Colorado University. We assess applications for:

  • Evidence of academic progression
  • Potential for success at the university level
  • Evidence of leadership
  • Community service
  • Life experience affecting student’s overall academic record

All of the listed criteria will be taken into consideration but may not affect the final admission decision if the student is not academically prepared for admission into a university setting.

Credit for Advanced Placement Courses

Western recognizes that many students have taken Advanced Placement tests, CLEP tests and/or participated in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. The following links provide specific equivalencies for individual tests. A minimum score of 3 is required for credit to be granted for most Advanced Placement tests (for some a score of 4 is required). Western will grant International Baccalaureate credit for tests with a score of 4 or better. Students may be awarded a maximum of 18 credits from CLEP exams.

Please Submit Application Materials to:

Western Colorado University
Admissions Office
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231
Fax: 970.943.2363
Email: admissions@western.edu

Application Deadlines

Western is on a rolling admission cycle. We accept applications throughout the year until our class is full. However, we recommend that high school seniors apply before the following date so that they are as prepared as possible for the upcoming academic year.

  • November 1, 2022, for Spring 2023 applicants
  • March 1, 2023, for Fall 2023 applicants

Application Status

You may check the status of your application anytime by using your self-service application portal. Typically, you will receive your admission decision 2-3 weeks after we have received all of your application materials. Contact admissions staff for additional information.

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Want to discover more about Western? Request information today to get in touch with the admissions team.