Information for High School Students attending Early/Middle College

Western Michigan University invites and welcomes high school students attending and graduating from an early/middle college program to apply and enroll. WMU considers early/middle college graduates as beginners with advanced standing. Students should follow freshman application and "next steps" timelines. This web page outlines the various steps in the enrollment process.

If you are a dual enrollment student (one who has taken college courses during high school, but not as a part of an early/middle college program), visit our early credit page for information on how to transfer the credit.

Classification of students

WMU classifies incoming students consistent with the Integrated Postsecondary Data System. Those students identified as first-time students are entering a postsecondary institution as an undergraduate degree-seeking student for the first time after receiving their high school diploma. This includes students with dual credit earned before they graduated from high school, or an associate degree earned before or at the same time as high school graduation. Incoming students who complete a high school diploma at the same time as an associate degree are classified as freshman students.

Applying to WMU

High school students enrolled at an early/middle college will apply for admission as an incoming freshman—instead of as a transfer student—and should record that information on the admissions application. Be sure to list all schools attended (e.g., high school, college, early or middle college program) on the admissions application. If you have completed any college work, you will need to submit your official college transcript at the same time as your high school transcript only if your college courses (and grades) are NOT on your high school transcript. If your current coursework (and grades) are included on your high school transcript, you will only need to submit your official college transcript post-admission to be evaluated for transfer credit. 

Early/middle college students should apply for admission the year before they will be graduating from high school or earning an associate degree; for most students this will be at the beginning of the thirteenth year.

Admission criteria

WMU applies the same freshman admission criteria to all students, regardless of the number of college credits earned while in high schoolalthough early/middle college students who have completed college coursework at the time of application need to submit an official college transcript as part of admission criteria. While WMU supports the completion of an associate degree, it is not required for admission.

Timing of the earning of a high school diploma

Early/middle college students who earn a high school diploma in May or June and begin their studies at WMU in the fall semester of that same year will be considered a first-year student, even if they choose to take college courses in the summer immediately following earning of a diploma.

Early/middle college students who earn a high school diploma in December have two options:

  1. The student can enroll at WMU in January—our spring semester—as a first-year student. Students entering WMU in January are not scholarship eligible, as scholarships are awarded for fall entry only.
  2. The student can continue as a community college student for the spring semester, and then apply as a transfer student and be eligible for WMU transfer scholarships.


WMU requests that official college transcripts be sent to the Office of Admissions as a part of your admission application (if you have taken college coursework) and after the completion of each semester for the purposes of evaluating them for transfer credit at WMU.

Office of Admissions
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5211 USA

Electronic versions of transcripts may be sent to Transcripts must be sent directly from the attended institution to be considered official. A credit evaluation will be sent to the email address used on your admissions application in the weeks following an admission decision.

Transferring college credits

Visit our Transfer Credit Equivalencies site to learn how college courses transfer to WMU. Students interested in maximizing their transfer of credits are recommended to follow a WMU transfer guide. As an incoming Western student, you may apply up to half of the minimum credits required for your intended degree with credits earned at a community college. Any college grades below a C will not be awarded credit. 

Michigan Transfer Agreement

WMU welcomes students to complete college courses included in the Michigan Transfer Agreement. Students from colleges whose transcripts have been appropriately identified and certified as having fulfilled the requirements of the Michigan Transfer Agreement by their respective Michigan community college will have satisfied WMU’s lower-level General Education requirements.

Reverse transfer available

Students who transfer to WMU before completing an associate degree may take advantage of the Reverse Transfer agreement WMU has with all Michigan community colleges. This enables students to earn an associate degree at their previous community college by transferring credits from WMU back to the community college. To take advantage of this offering, contact the Registrar's Office at (269) 387-4300.

Degree Works: Academic planning tool

WMU uses Degree Works to help students’ track their progress towards degree completion. Early-middle college students, once their college transcripts have been evaluated and transfer credits have posted, can access Degree Works to begin previewing how their credits connect to their intended major and minors. In Degree Works, students can run “what if” scenarios if considering a variety of majors and minors.

Financial aid eligibility

Students interested in receiving loans, grants or work study to pay for college should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid in October of their thirteenth year—the same year they are graduating. Eligibility for federal loans increases when a student reaches sophomore class standing.

Scholarship eligibility

Early/middle college students are eligible for WMU’s Freshman Scholarships, instead of transfer scholarships. Scholarship eligibility is based on high school GPA and may require supplemental scholarship applications or participation in an on-campus competition. Scholarships are for fall entry only. Students should submit a completed admission application and all required documents by the Early Action deadline to maximize scholarship eligibility.

Orientation and Office of student transitions

Freshman orientation is required for all students, including students enrolling from an early/middle college.

Early/middle college students are encouraged to participate in an early group advising session in order to meet individually with an academic advisor to register for fall classes. Ability to register for classes is based on number of credit hours earned and may only be completed after meeting with an academic advisor. Students should contact the academic college that houses their primary major. Participation in a group advising session is required before registering for an individual advising appointment.

All students, including students coming to WMU from an early/middle college program, will participate in Fall Welcome.

Enrollment in the First Year Seminar course is highly encouraged.

Accelerated Graduate Degree Programs

Students from an early/middle college may be interested in WMU’s Accelerated Graduate Degree Programs, which allow eligible students the opportunity to complete both an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in less time because the student may begin taking graduate courses while still an undergraduate.

Lee Honors College

The Lee Honors College may invite early/middle college students to enroll in the Lee Honors College. The Lee Honors College is home to high-achieving students who are completing programs of study in every one of WMU’s seven academic colleges.

Housing eligibility

Early-middle college program graduates are encouraged live in one of WMU’s on-campus residence halls. Students are eligible for first-year student housing.

Class standing and tuition

Although early/middle college students are considered first-year students, they are likely to come in with advanced class standing. This can affect course registration times, tuition, and loan eligibility.

Students are classified in the following levels based on the number of credit hours earned:

  • Freshman are students credited with 0-25 hours inclusive.
  • Sophomore are students credited with 26-55 hours inclusive.
  • Juniors are students credited with 56-87 hours inclusive.
  • Seniors are student credited with 88 or more hours.

Students with total hours of 56 or more will be assessed tuition costs at the upper level tuition rate. This higher tuition rate takes effect at the time of the change in classification—which may be after the start of the semester or session—and the difference in tuition cost will be applied to the cost of the student's class schedule in progress at the time of the classification change, resulting in additional charges. Calculate estimated tuition and to view tuition rates.


For questions about WMU’s processes for early/middle college students, please contact the admissions representative for your area or the Office of Admissions at (269) 387-2000.

The above information is subject to change without notice.