Incoming Freshman

Applying to the Honors College

We encourage all incoming Appalachian students interested in pursuing an Honors education to apply to join the Honors College! The Honors College at Appalachian proudly practices holistic and supportive admissions, and we are far more interested in your essays and your letters of recommendations than we are in your high-school ‘rank in class’ or GPA. Admission to the Honors College is highly competitive, but please use that fact to motivate you to work hard on your application and (if you apply for scholarships from Appalachian) on your scholarship essays. We read them all! Your task in your application is simple:  write to teach us who you are; to help us understand what makes you interesting, diverse, and special; to tell us how you will contribute to the Honors College community; and to get us excited about working with you and supporting your education—your intellectual, personal, and professional development—over the next four years and beyond.

Please reach out to Dr. Jeff Vahlbusch, Dean of the Honors College, if you would like to talk about Honors education at Appalachian, the Honors College, or the application process. We welcome such conversations.

Please note:  students applying for fall 2021 admission to Appalachian and to the Honors College need not submit ACT or SAT scores; we are officially test-optional for this coming application cycle. This means there will be no benefit to submitting or to not submitting test scores this year.

Application Steps

  1. Complete your application for admission prior to the deadlines:  General Application (Common App is recommended) is due on November 1st, with all supporting materials due by November 15th
    1. Application for Admission
    2. Official High School Transcript
    3. Application Fee or Fee Waiver
    4. Other documents may be requested
  2. Complete your Honors College essay, and, if you decide to apply for scholarships, also complete your Application for Merit Scholarship Opportunities by November 15.
    1. Submit at least two, and as many as three, letters of recommendation 

Admissions Guidelines

Incoming first-year applicants must complete an application for admission to Appalachian State University by November 1st.

Admission to the Honors College is by application, and we encourage all interested students to apply. Successful applicants often have:

  • Excellent essays that teach us who they are and show why they want to pursue an Honors education.
  • A high class rank and/or a strong GPA.
  • Evidence of engagement with the world beyond the classroom:  leadership, service in and/or beyond the family, co-curricular and/or extracurricular activities, creative endeavors, global awareness, resilience­­.
  • Evidence of strong academic, intellectual, and/or social engagement.

Key Dates and Deadlines

  • November 1:  Deadline to submit a General Application (Common App is recommended)  
  • November 15:  Deadline for students to submit all supporting materials including Merit Scholarship Opportunities application (this includes the Honors Application with its required essays and recommendations)
  • January 30:  Scholarship interviews (for those applying for scholarships)
  • March 1:  Appalachian's priority processing date for the FAFSA
  • March 29:  Deadline to accept your offered admission, or ask for an extension up to May 1
  • April 1:  Scholarship recipients announced

Tips for Applying

Here is some advice to help your Honors College and scholarship application be as competitive as possible:

  • Submit your AppState application for admission well in advance of the November 1st deadline so you will have time to meet the November 15 deadline for all supporting materials including the Honors Application with its required essay and recommendations
  • Connect with your recommenders and give them plenty of time to write a recommendation for you. Early communication with your recommenders will yield better letters. At least one of your letters, and ideally at least two, should be from a teacher who can speak to your academic ability, intellectual curiosity, and classroom engagement.
  • Create an application timeline and calendar, and include the application dates and deadlines.
  • Monitor the Admissions homepage for news of any changes to the application or notification deadlines.
  • Prepare a list of activities and recognitions. Include your leadership roles, involvement in outside activities, participation with volunteer organizations, etc. Click here to access the Common App and for advice on the list of activities.
  • Learn more about specific scholarship programs for which you may be a good fit. 
  • Allow yourself enough time to write and rewrite good essays.
  • Monitor your scholarship application via your MyMountaineer Portal to learn what's been received and ensure that your scholarship application is completed by November 15

We are delighted to announce that all incoming first-year Honors students live together in our Honors Community in Cone Hall. We make exceptions for students who choose to live in another residential learning community such as the Watauga Residential College or ACES, the Appalachian Community of Education Scholars).