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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 University's homepage.

We strongly recommend reading the Frequently Asked Questions page before starting your application. Also, check out these helpful tips for STEPP Program applicants.

Applications for the 2016 Cohort

Applications for the 2016 cohort of the STEPP Program will be posted on our website in January 2015. Please be sure to wait until the new materials are posted to begin filling out your application, as the forms do change from year to year. 

The application deadline for the 2016 cohort of the STEPP Program is May 15, 2015. 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.

To determine which version of the STEPP Program application you should use, please locate the applicable category for yourself below:

  • If you are currently a high school junior, and your anticipated high school graduation date is in 2016 - complete the Freshman Application.
  • If you are currently a high school senior, and your anticipated high school graduation date is in 2015 - complete the Freshman Application.
    * 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 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..
    * 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 intended 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 graduated from high school within the past year and have not attended any other college or university - complete the Freshman Application.
    * 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 graduated from high school more than 1 year ago and have not attended any other college or university - contact us to find out what which application materials to submit.
  • 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 2015 Cohort

The application deadline for the 2015 cohort of the STEPP Program was May 15, 2014. During the summer of 2014, we selected the 2015 cohort and established a waiting list. That waiting list will expire on May 1, 2015, 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 2015 waiting list between now and May 1st, but are encouraged to consider applying for the 2016 cohort instead and to actively pursue other options for the 2015-2016 school year.

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 (offered in October and April) or schedule an individual meeting. If you can't make it to campus, explore the ECU and the 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 program or the application process.

News and Events
Applications for 2016 Cohort

Applications for the 2016 cohort of the STEPP Program will be available in January 2015. Completed application packets must be postmarked by May 15, 2015 to be considered on time. Click here for details about the application process.


Spring Open House (TBA)

ECU's Spring Open House will be held in April 2015. A STEPP Program information session will be held in the STEPP Program Learning Cove in Joyner Library, 2nd floor, from 1:30-2:30 pm.


STEPP Program represented at the 2014 Learner Profile Convening

STEPP Program participants, Marell Cook (2011 Cohort) and Justin Decker (2013 Cohort) participated in the 2014 Learner Profile Convening on August 15 in Chapel Hill sponsored by the Oak Foundation Learning Differences Programme and their partner organization Public Impact. more...

Apply to Project STEPP

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