Hickory -- August 23, 2023: With the addition of the Hickory campus, Appalachian State University is making higher education more accessible to residents of WNC.
Hickory's metropolitan area used to be the largest in North Carolina without a state university campus.
The opening of Appalachian State University's new Hickory campus on August 21 was a major event in the university's 124-year existence since it provided residents of the state's largest metropolitan region with greater access to higher education.
Classes for the fall semester began at 9:30 a.m. on the first floor of the six-story Hickory campus building, which is located on U.S. Highway 321 just five minutes from the city's central business district. University and Hickory community officials gathered at the campus Monday morning for the opening ceremony and ribbon cutting, which kicked off a day filled with celebration that included food trucks, giveaways, and plenty of black and gold.
App State's Hickory campus offers more than a hundred different bachelor's degree programs. The campus provides a variety of resources for its students, including advising, tutoring, career development services, admissions and financial aid, a library, writing center, testing center, study areas, computer labs, accommodations for students with disabilities, medical care, counseling, and a fitness center.
The placement of an Appalachian State University campus in the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton Metro Area is consistent with both the university's mission and the priorities of the University of North Carolina System Strategic Plan, which are to broaden access to higher education for underserved populations, maximize affordability, and increase the UNC System's contribution to the state's critical workforces.
Appalachian State University's Hickory campus offers an affordable bachelor's degree option to students in the Catawba Valley by waiving room and board fees for students who live at home and attend classes there.
Hickory's private Lenoir-Rhyne University, as well as representatives from Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, Catawba Valley Community College, Mitchell Community College, McDowell Technical Community College, Western Piedmont Community College, and Wilkes Community College, attended App State's Hickory Higher Education Summit on August 18 at the new campus. All six community colleges are within an hour's drive of App State's Hickory campus, making them vital partners in creating a smooth transition for students from these institutions to earn their bachelor's degrees at App State.
Visit appstate.edu to access admission applications for the spring and fall 2024 semesters, which are now open. The annual costs and tuition fees at App State are just over $8,000, and every Hickory campus student enrolled at the campus for the 2023–24 academic year is a recipient of a $2,000 Hickory First Scholarship, reducing their tuition and fees to just over $6,000 — before any other scholarships or financial aid are applied.
Prospective students can learn more at the fall open house at the Hickory Campus on Saturday, Oct. 21.