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 2019 Cohort

Applications for the 2019 cohort are now posted!

Application Deadline 
The application deadline for the 2019 cohort of the STEPP Program is May 15, 2018.

Please note that this is a postmark deadline; all materials that are postmarked by May 15th 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 15th will also be considered on time.

Please read 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 you will graduate from high school in 2019
  • If you are currently a high school senior, and you will graduate from high school in 2018
    • Complete the Freshman Application PLUS the following 1 item:
    • 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: 
    • 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.
    • 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
  • If you have recently (within the past 2 years) attended another college or university but are no longer enrolled 
  • If your situation is not covered by any of these categories 
    • Please contact us to find out which application materials to submit.

Each year, we test out the application forms before posting them, but please let us know if you encounter any glitches or errors in the form itself so we can get them fixed. Thanks!

Applications for the 2018 Cohort

The application deadline for the 2018 cohort of the STEPP Program was May 15, 2017. During the summer of 2017, we selected the 2018 cohort and notified all applicants of their admissions status during mid-August 2017. As of October 2017, all students who were offered a seat in the 2018 cohort chose to accept their offer and have since been officially admitted to both the STEPP Program and ECU.

We have also established a waiting list for the 2018 cohort. All students who were placed on the waiting list were notified in August 2017. That waiting list will expire on May 1, 2018, 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 who missed the 2018 application deadline are strongly encouraged to consider applying for the 2019 cohort instead and to actively pursue other options for the 2018-2019 school year. Students who wish to submit a late application for the 2018 cohort should submit a complete application packet using the 2019 application materials and include a note requesting consideration for 2018 as well. Please note that late applications will only be considered if a seat opens up in the 2018 cohort before May 1, 2018. 


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 a STEPP Open House Information Session to learn more about the program. 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. In particular, it's important to ensure that you will complete 2 units of the same foreign language (for example, Spanish 1 and Spanish 2) and 4 units of math (Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, and an "advanced math" course that requires Algebra 2 as a prerequisite) before you graduate from high school.
  • 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), and those recommendations must come from two different subject areas. 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 Open House page for the dates of these sessions and the link to register!

2018 Cohort Update

Admission decisions for the 2018 cohort of the STEPP Program were made in August 2017. All the students who were offered a seat in the program have accepted their offer and have been admitted to ECU. Welcome to the STEPP community, 2018 Cohort!

Applications for 2019 Cohort

Applications for the 2019 cohort are available here. The application deadline for this cohort is May 15, 2018. Stay tuned for updates on the application process!

Read our latest STEPP newsletter

The Winter 2018 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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