An aerial view of Blue Ridge Community College's Henderson County Campus.

Blue Ridge Community College and Appalachian State University Sign ‘Aspire Appalachian’ Guaranteed Admission Agreement

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. – Blue Ridge Community College and Appalachian State University announced this month the establishment of the ‘Aspire Appalachian’ direct admission program. The strategic partnership is designed to facilitate a seamless transition for eligible community college students aiming to further their education at the public university, one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System.

Aspire Appalachian not only simplifies the transfer process, but also offers robust advising support to students throughout their time at Blue Ridge, ensuring they are well-prepared for a successful academic journey at App State. Specifically, it creates a pathway for Blue Ridge students completing the Associate in Arts (AA), Associate in Science (AS), Associate in Arts in Teacher Preparation (AATP), Associate in Science in Teacher Preparation (ASTP) or Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degrees through an articulation agreement. 

“The Aspire Appalachian program exemplifies our commitment to providing accessible and affordable higher education, creating a seamless pathway for Blue Ridge students to achieve their academic dreams at App State,” said Dr. Laura B. Leatherwood, president of Blue Ridge Community College. “This partnership empowers students with the support and opportunities they need to succeed and thrive in their educational journeys toward the workforce. We commend our colleagues at App State for opening doors and fostering educational advancement for our community college students through this important initiative.”

Among the requirements, eligible Blue Ridge students must

  • maintain a grade point average of 2.25 or better;
  • exceed all of App State’s admissions standards at the time of matriculation, including academic success and standing;
  • remain continuously enrolled each fall and spring semester; and
  • make continuous academic progress to complete AA, AS, AATP, ASTP, or AAS degree through an articulation agreement.

Eligible Blue Ridge students will receive guaranteed admission to App State undergraduate programs, eligibility for financial aid advising and planning, transition support and priority consideration for transfer scholarships.

“Through our Aspire partnership, App State and Blue Ridge Community College are clearing pathways for transfer student success — providing greater accessibility to a high-quality App State education, and supporting these students each step of the way as they work to obtain their degrees,” said App State Interim Chancellor Heather Norris.

Blue Ridge students may access the Aspire Appalachian enrollment form link at

App State enrolls over 21,000 students each year at campuses in Boone and Hickory and online. The university is accredited to award bachelor’s, master’s, intermediate and doctoral degrees, offering more than 150 undergraduate and 80 graduate majors.

As part of the North Carolina Community College System, Blue Ridge Community College serves over 11,000 students across Western North Carolina online and on campuses located in Henderson and Transylvania Counties. Through more than 200 programs in 30 areas of study, Blue Ridge Community College empowers individuals with knowledge and skills to enrich our communities and build a competitive workforce. Blue Ridge maintains guaranteed admissions agreements with more than a dozen North Carolina four-year institutions, now including App State.

About Appalachian State University

As a premier public institution, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives. App State is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, with a national reputation for innovative teaching and opening access to a high-quality, affordable education for all. The university enrolls more than 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and 80 graduate majors at its Boone and Hickory campuses and through App State Online. Learn more at

About Blue Ridge Community College

Blue Ridge Community College is a two-year, post-secondary institution that elevates the educational experience to prepare students for 21st-century success in the workplace or at four-year colleges and universities. Providing real-life, affordable, and accessible education, the College offers more than 200 degrees, diplomas, and certificates; more than 200 online courses; and fast-tracked job training.