Apply to the STEPP Program

Please note: This application is for students who are interested in entering East Carolina University through the STEPP Program. Students interested in general ECU application information, programs, and resources should visit the website of ECU's Undergraduate Admissions office.  

Applications for the 2017 Cohort

*Note about the 2017 application forms*
This is our second year using our "new and improved" application forms, which were designed to be more user-friendly, with clearer and more comprehensive instructions, easier-to-read typeface, and clearer formatting. We hope these updates make navigating the application process a little easier on students and reduce 
the possibility of needing to send in extra info or clarifications after submitting a packet. We've tested out the forms, but please let us know if you encounter any glitches or errors so we can get them fixed. Thanks again, and we're looking forward to getting to know our 2017 applicants!

The application deadline for the 2017 cohort of the STEPP Program is May 16, 2016. Please note that this is a postmark deadline; all materials that are postmarked by May 16th will be considered on time, even if they do not physically arrive at our office until after that date. Emailed materials with a timestamp up to 11:59 PM on May 16th will also be considered on time.

We strongly recommend reading the Frequently Asked Questions and our helpful tips for STEPP Program applicants before starting your application.

To determine which version of the STEPP Program application you should use, please find the category that best describes you below:

  • If you are currently a high school junior, and your anticipated high school graduation date is in 2017 - complete the Freshman Application.
  • If you are currently a high school senior, and your anticipated high school graduation date is in 2016 - complete the Freshman Application PLUS the following 1 item:
    * In addition, please address the following prompt in your essay/writing sample: Describe your plans/goals for the "gap year" between your high school graduation and your intended entry date at ECU.
  • If you graduated from high school within the past year and have not attended any other college or university - complete the Freshman Application PLUS the following 2 items: 
    * In addition, please address the following prompt in your essay/writing sample: Describe your activities (e.g., employment, volunteering, traveling, etc.) since leaving school and your plans/goals for the upcoming year before your entry date at ECU.
    * In addition, if you have been employed since leaving school, please submit a letter of reference from at least one individual who has supervised your work during that time.
  • If you are currently attending another college or university - complete the Transfer Application.
  • If you have recently (within the past 2 years) attended another college or university but are no longer enrolled - complete the Transfer Application
  • If your situation is not covered by any of these categories, please contact us to find out which application materials to submit.


Applications for the 2016 Cohort

The application deadline for the 2016 cohort of the STEPP Program was May 15, 2015. During the summer of 2015, we selected the 2016 cohort and established a waiting list. That waiting list will expire on May 1, 2016, at which time the cohort will be finalized. At that point, we will no longer be able to make any changes to the cohort roster.

Interested students may still submit a late application for the 2016 waiting list between now and May 1st, but are encouraged to consider applying for the 2017 cohort instead and to actively pursue other options for the 2016-2017 school year. To be considered for the 2016 cohort waiting list, please submit a complete application packet using the 2017 application materials and include a note requesting consideration for 2016 as well.


Applications for Other Cohorts

Students who intend to apply for the future cohorts are encouraged to begin preparing now:

  • Register to take the SAT and/or ACT before April of your junior year of high school to ensure that you will have scores available by the application deadline. If you are requesting an accommodated test session, we highly recommend submitting your request to the testing service as early as possible.
  • Review your most recent psychoeducational evaluation report to ensure it meets ECU's criteria for documentation of a specific learning disability. (You can view the criteria on the DSS website.) Arrange for updated testing if needed.
  • Learn more about ECU and the STEPP Program. Visiting the campus may help you decide whether applying to the STEPP Program is the right choice for you. You can attend an Open House (see upcoming Open House dates here) or a STEPP Information Session (see upcoming sessions here). If you can't make it to campus, explore the ECU and STEPP Program websites and call or email us with any questions.
  • Work toward meeting all of ECU's minimum admission requirements. Although the STEPP Program has some flexibility in our alternate admissions criteria, students who fall short of those requirements in multiple areas or who are significantly below standards in a requirement are generally less competitive candidates.
  • Start thinking about whom you will ask for teacher recommendations. You need two recommendations from core academic teachers (math, science, English, foreign language, social studies). You can also send in extra recommendations from other teachers, as well as coaches, employers, tutors, etc.

Please contact Emily Johnson if you have any questions about the application process.

News and Events
Upcoming Open Houses

The STEPP Program hosts information sessions for prospective students and families throughout the year. Check our News & Events page for the dates of these sessions and the link to register!

Admission Decisions for 2017 Cohort

Admission decisions for the 2017 cohort of the STEPP Program have been made, and decision letters were mailed out to all interviewees during mid-August.

Applications for 2018 Cohort

Applications for the 2018 cohort will be posted on our website in January 2017. The application deadline for this cohort is May 15, 2017.

Read our latest STEPP newsletter

The Fall 2015 STEPP newsletter is now available.

Connect with STEPP on Social Media

To stay up-to-date on STEPP news and events, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Apply to Project STEPP

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