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 2016 Cohort

*Note about the 2016 application forms*
Thank you for your patience as we worked to get our new and improved application forms fine-tuned and posted! Although the information that applicants are required to submit is basically the same as last year, we did make some fairly drastic changes to the forms themselves. Our main goal was to make them more user-friendly, with clearer and more comprehensive instructions, easier-to-read typeface, and clearer formatting. We hope these updates will 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 2016 applicants!

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.

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 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 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 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. To be considered for the 2015 cohort waiting list, please submit a complete application packet using the 2016 application materials and include a note requesting consideration for 2015 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 schedule an individual meeting. 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
Open House

The STEPP Program welcomed 14 families to our information session during ECU's Fall Open House. The next ECU Open House will be held in Fall 2016.

Meanwhile, STEPP is looking forward to hosting several information sessions for prospective students and families during the Spring 2016 semester. Check our News & Events page for updates on the dates of these sessions and how to register!

Admission Decisions for 2016 Cohort

Admission decisions for the 2016 cohort of the STEPP Program have been made, and decision letters were mailed out to all interviewees during the week of Sept. 22nd.

Applications for 2017 Cohort

Applications for the 2017 cohort will be posted on our website in early 2016. The application deadline will be May 15, 2016. Interested students are encouraged to attend one of the upcoming STEPP information sessions, which will be held Oct. 24, 2015 and in March or April of 2016.

STEPP Program represented at the 2014 Learner Profile

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...

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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