Blue Ridge Community College President Dr. Laura B. Leatherwood (right) signs a direct admissions agreement alongside UNC Asheville Chancellor Kimberly van Noort (left). (Photo by: Benjamin Rickert, Blue Ridge Community College.)

UNC Asheville and Blue Ridge Community College Renew Direct Admission Program for Transfer Students

Featured Photo: Blue Ridge Community College President Dr. Laura B. Leatherwood (right) signs a direct admissions agreement alongside UNC Asheville Chancellor Kimberly van Noort (left). (Photo by: Benjamin Rickert, Blue Ridge Community College.)


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A program that offers graduates of Blue Ridge Community College to opt for direct admission to UNC Asheville, North Carolina’s premiere public university for liberal arts and sciences, has been renewed through the Direct Admission Program.

Recently Blue Ridge Community College President Laura B. Leatherwood and UNC Asheville Chancellor Kimberly van Noort formally signed a memorandum of understanding, reaffirming their commitment to a collaborative partnership. This partnership aims to enhance student pathways to success in Henderson County, Western North Carolina, the broader State of North Carolina, and beyond.

“I am grateful to President Leatherwood for renewing the Direct Admission Program and her ongoing collaboration with UNC Asheville to assure that we are a destination of choice for Blue Ridge Community College graduates,” said Chancellor van Noort. 

“Those Blue Ridge transfer students who come our way will find an abundance of vibrant, innovative program options from mechatronics, new media, business, and atmospheric sciences to our top majors: psychology, environmental studies, and biology,” van Noort added. “They will also experience a range of high-impact learning experiences like internships, collaborative undergraduate research, and community-based learning, and benefit from our commitment to student success and career-readiness.”

The Direct Admission Program is built on the North Carolina Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA). The Program allows currently enrolled Blue Ridge Community College students a direct-entry pathway to UNC Asheville upon graduation. The Program requires completion of the Blue Ridge Community College associate’s degree for guaranteed admission. There is no additional fee to participate.

“It’s an honor to continue our partnership with UNC Asheville to maximize the higher education pathways available to Western North Carolina learners,” said Dr. Leatherwood. “This direct admissions agreement will encourage students to prioritize their professional development beyond their years at Blue Ridge Community College. By experiencing the best of our respective institutions, graduates will one day enter their careers with highly respected credentials from both Blue Ridge and UNC Asheville, ultimately resulting in a stronger workforce. I’m grateful to Chancellor van Noort for visiting our campus today to formalize these shared aims to enable student success and increase access to a brighter future.”

Students who wish to participate must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Be a currently enrolled student at Blue Ridge in a degree-seeking capacity;
  • Submit a UNC Asheville application for admission by UNC Asheville deadlines;
  • Submit the application fee or waiver and fulfill all commitment action steps;
  • Be in good standing at Blue Ridge and other institutions attended;
  • Earn and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 at Blue Ridge and;
  • Enroll at UNC Asheville within one academic year (within the next two regular terms) of completion of the Associate’s degree.

The Program affords Blue Ridge Community College students access to information about academic programs, faculty, and staff at the UNC Asheville campus, which will facilitate their transition. The Transfer Promise Program prioritizes the ability to receive admission, financial aid, registration, and orientation communications early in the transition process, which sets Blue Ridge students up for maximum success at both institutions.

UNC Asheville also has previously established Direct Admission Programs in collaboration with Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, South Piedmont Community College, and Haywood Community College. Students transferring to UNC Asheville can pursue degrees in more than 65 programs through these programs. UNC Asheville consistently ranks among the top 10 public liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report, earns recognition as a “Best Buy” in the Fiske Guide, and is featured in the 2024 edition of Colleges Worth Your Money.

For more information on the program, visit www.unca.edu/admission/apply/partnerships/. Information about admissions to Blue Ridge Community College is available at www.blueridge.edu/admissions.