United South & Eastern Tribes at UNC Asheville

As North Carolina’s designated public liberal arts and sciences university, UNC Asheville is proud to be consistently ranked as one of the top institutions among its peers. With our strong interdisciplinary curriculum, UNC Asheville offers a collaborative learning environment that challenges students to ask questions, look at life from many perspectives, and explore connections across disciplines.

Instructional Credit and Admission Agreement

UNC Asheville’s campus community is a multicultural environment where diverse perspectives are sought out, respected, and empowered to creatively solve complex problems. We have long welcomed Native American and indigenous students to UNC Asheville, and the university formalized our relationship with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the United South and Eastern Tribes in February 2018 through the Instructional Credit and Admission Agreement. Per the agreement, UNC Asheville will:

  • Reserve 20 enrollment slots per semester for enrolled citizens of USET member Tribal Nations
  • Offer in-state tuition rates to students who demonstrate full financial need
  • Expand the existing American Indian & Indigenous Studies minor to incorporate curriculum specific to students who matriculate from USET member Tribal Nations
  • Develop educational programming and research projects for faculty and students in areas such as economic development, environmental sustainability, health and wellness, and language revitalization

Applying to UNC Asheville

Admission to UNC Asheville is competitive, but discovering the unique characteristics of our applicants is what makes UNC Asheville different.

Candidates for admission are evaluated using a comprehensive review method that explores both academic and non-academic experience. We know test scores and GPAs are only part of our applicants’ stories, so we also want to hear about their successes, challenges, interests, and goals—everything that makes them who they are.

Applications for fall admission are considered on a rolling basis. Typically, students are notified of a decision within a week after all application materials have been submitted.

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Financial Aid and Scholarships

Submitting an admissions application as early as possible is the first step for students seeking financial aid and scholarship assistance. The agreement with UNC Asheville allows students from USET member tribes to qualify for N.C. in-state residency, provided they receive a full scholarship from the recognized tribal partner. Please speak with the education liaison of your tribe for specific details on how this process will work for you, and feel free to contact our Office of Financial Aid with any questions.

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UNC Asheville offers more than 30 majors, and continuously evaluates its curriculum and creates new programs that enrich the student experience and address the needs of our unique region and economy. Recent additions include the American Indian and Indigenous Studies minor, Arts Management and Entrepreneurship concentration and minor, and Human Rights Studies minor—all developed with extensive student input.

Explore Programs

Campus Life

Many students are active in our social justice organizations, promoting equality, diversity, environmental sustainability, health and wellness, and many other issues they are passionate about improving. For example, the Native American Student Association (NASA) focuses on educating others on Native American lifestyles, cultures, and the uniqueness of each tribe. NASA is also open to non-Native Americans.

Explore Highsmith Student Union

About Asheville

Asheville’s location in the heart of Western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains puts UNC Asheville in close proximity to many major southeastern cities and other tribal nations located near Cherokee, Charlotte, Atlanta, Nashville, and more. It’s often very easy for students and families to come for a visit and experience campus first-hand. We offer daily tours, as well as special open house events throughout the year.

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Contact Us

Questions? We’re happy to help. Please reach out to the Office of Admissions & Financial Aid.