Admission to Gardner-Webb University


Individuals with a disability enter the University through the established admissions procedures that are required of all applicants. Neither the nature nor the severity of one’s disability is used as criterion for admission. Documentation of a disability does not need to be provided during the application process.


Students requesting application material should contact one of the departments listed below or view all programs here.

Applications may be completed online.

  • Undergraduate Admissions (704) 406-4496
  • Graduate Admissions (704) 406-4489 or (704) 406-2665
  • Divinity Admissions (704) 406-3205
  • Godbold College of Business (704) 406-3229
  • Online Undergraduate Program Admissions [email protected]

Registering for Services


The student requesting accommodations from Gardner-Webb University must self-identify by completing the Student Application which may be submitted online through

The student requesting accommodations from the University must have a documented disability as defined by section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The University reserves the right to consult with University professionals in reviewing and assessing documentation when it is necessary for approving accommodations. In cases where the documentation is deemed insufficient, the student may be required to provide additional documentation. All documentation is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Determination of accommodations is a collaborative effort between the student and the Noel Center. If there is a question regarding the documentation. It may be referred to the Documentation Review Committee. This committee is comprised of individuals who have expertise in evaluating documentation. The Noel Center Associate Dean will accept the decision of the committee. If the student does not agree, he/she may file a grievance following the procedures outlined in the University catalog.


Guidelines for Documentation

All students (full or part-time) with a disability who provide appropriate documentation are eligible to receive accommodations and services for academic classes and University sponsored activities and events. In order to receive accommodations, documentation must be on file with the Noel Center no later than three (3) weeks prior to the beginning of services. To be eligible for services, students must provide documentation that provides information about a substantial limitation to one or more major life activities, specifically as it applies to meeting the demands of University life, in and/or out of the classroom. Although some disabilities do not change over time, the medical documentation must address the student’s current level of functioning. lEP’s and 504 Plans, although providing historical evidence of services and accommodations, are generally not considered sufficient to make a student eligible for services. In addition to the medical documentation, we require that students provide a current impact statement. The current impact statement is to be completed by the student requesting accommodations/services. Additional statements from others who know the student may be submitted in addition to the student’s statement. In all situations, every student will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

A professional who is licensed in the area for which the diagnosis is made and who is not related to the student should submit the documentation. The report must be presented on practice letterhead and signed by the examiner.

Students will be notified (email) whenever the Noel Center for Disability Resources receives any information from their physician, treating specialist or themselves.


  • Qualifications of Clinician/Provider:
    A professional who is licensed in the area for which the diagnosis is made and who is not related to the student must submit the documentation. The documentation must be typewritten on practice letterhead, dated and signed by the examiner and include his/her license/certification credentials.
  • Diagnosis and History:
    A diagnostic statement identifying the disability including ICD or DSM classification along with any relevant personal, psychosocial, medical, developmental and/or educational history.
  • Description of Diagnosis Methodology:
    A full description of the diagnostic methodology used, including data and measurements from appropriate evaluation instruments. The results obtained should draw a direct link to the diagnosis and the functional limitations of the disability. For cognitive disorders, evaluations should use adult norms.
  • Current Impact and Functional Limitations:
    A clear description of the current impact and functional limitations of the condition pertaining to the academic, workplace and/or residential settings. Information regarding if symptoms are constant or episodic, and the frequency and/or duration must be addressed. Any treatments, medications, services, assistive technology currently prescribed or in use, should include a description of the mediating effects and potential side effects from such treatments.


Recommendations should be directly linked to the impact or functional limitations associated with the disability, or medication prescribed to control symptoms and include a clear rationale based on level of impairment.

Information about the Student’s Disability

Federal law defines a person with a disability as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.  A diagnosis (label) does not necessarily equate with a disability (substantial limitation).

  • What is/are the physical or mental impairment(s) of the student that you have diagnosed for which you have prescribed an emotional support/comfort animal?
  • When did you first meet with the student regarding this diagnosis?
  • When did you last interact with the student regarding this diagnosis?
  • Is the diagnosed condition permanent or transitory in nature? If transitory, please state approximately when you expect the condition to subside.
  • How does the student’s diagnosed mental health condition substantially limit the student?
  • Does the student require ongoing treatment? If so, what is the student’s treatment plan to ameliorate the symptoms or effects of the diagnosed condition?

Information about the Proposed Emotional Support Animal

Please note that there are some restrictions on the type of animal that can be approved for the residence hall. It is possible the student will be approved for an ESA based on the information you provide, but may not be allowed to bring the specific animal named.

  • Is the animal named here one that you specifically prescribed as part of the treatment for the student in residence on campus?
  • What services do you expect the animal to provide to the student in the residence hall?
  • What specific symptoms of the diagnosed condition will be reduced by allowing the student to have this animal live with them in their residence hall and to what extent?
  • Please describe the evidence that indicates the animal has helped this student in the past or currently.

Importance of the ESA to Student’s Well-Being

  • In your professional opinion, how important is it for the student’s well-being that an emotional support animal be in residence on campus? What consequences, in terms of disability symptomatology, may result if the accommodation is not approved?
  • Have you discussed the responsibilities associated with properly caring for an animal while engaged in typical college activities and residing in campus housing?
  • Do you believe those responsibilities might exacerbate the student’s symptoms in any way? If yes, how?