Do I have your attention yet? I hope so, because I can’t offer free food over the Internet, so my options are limited. I would first like to congratulate those of you who may have been recently accepted into the school of your choice (shout out to #UNC18 for trending on Twitter a few weeks ago!) and to those of you still biding your time – deep breaths.
But I would like to take this time to talk to getting free money, regardless of which university you choose to attend. If you haven’t heard already, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is live and due March 1st for most schools (including UNC). If you don’t know what it is, the FAFSA is an annual, electronic application that takes the financial information of prospective and current students and determines if they qualify for student financial aid (including the Pell grant, federal student loans, and federal work study).
The application is of no cost to fill out, but as someone who has qualified every year for full financial aid and work-study, I can tell you that it’s so easy to receive some amazing benefits (and possibly even a free or reduced-tuition education).
Every year, students and families have misconceptions about what the FAFSA can do for them. You do not have to be of a particular socioeconomic background to apply nor are you less qualified because of income. The sooner you apply, the easier it is to get more money!
Now, that doesn’t sound too bad, huh?
I have had the same work-study position for three years now, and it has been amazing to pocket my own money. For those of you attending UNC in the fall, I would also make sure that you’re familiar with the CSS Profile through College Board. Carolina may offer up some aid of their own, including the opportunity to pretty much earn a free laptop based on the profile information you fill out. I’m talking Lenovos or Macs, people. I’ve had my Lenovo for three years now, completely free of charge.
Financial aid is never easy to understand. It’s constantly changing, and you learn something new every day. But there’s money out there for you to put towards your college education, at no cost to you. If you’re attending UNC in the fall and have questions regarding the FAFSA, CSS Profile, scholarships, etc., then visit the Office of Scholarship & Student Aid at studentaid.unc.edu, or call them at (919) 962-8396.
I know this time can be overwhelming. I’m here as a resource if you ever need me, so feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. I wish you all the best of luck (and fingers crossed that spring will get here soon, I can’t stand the cold)!
– Ashley Spruill ’15
Good morning! This week’s FAQs are for transfer applicants. Have more questions? Use the comments below or get in touch with us.
I submitted my materials weeks ago, but they are still listed as missing on my To-Do List. Should I re-send the materials?
Please allow 3-4 weeks after your application is submitted for materials to be linked to your application. Even if you sent your transcript or other materials weeks (or even months) ago, we can’t begin the work of linking it to your application until we have received the application itself! And because we’re receiving many materials right now, please give us at least 3-4 weeks to receive, process, and link the materials to your application. If we’re still missing required items after we have processed all incoming materials, we’ll get in touch with you by email to let you know.
When will I know how my credits will transfer?
We’re planning to notify transfer applicants of their admission decision by mid-April. Admitted students will receive an official, course-by-course evaluation of their transfer credit by email soon after these decisions are posted. Our aim is to have credit evaluations to all students by the end of April. The enrollment deadline is May 15, 2014. Learn more about how we evaluate transfer credit.
Let us know what other questions you have!
Hello, everyone! I hope that you have all enjoyed at least one “snow day” over the past few weeks, especially to all of the North Carolinian students. Having a snow day on a college campus is quite different from experiencing one in high school. For example, most students rely on social media and email to find out about cancellations. On Wednesday, February 12, when the most recent storm began, all Carolina students were checking email every 10 seconds, literally.
Secondly, snow days in college mean that a trip to the dining hall is not going to happen. So everyone in the residence hall or apartment scrambles to make a decent meal. My friends and I ended up with tater tots, chicken noodle soup and Twizzlers (sounds delicious, right?). Lastly, snow days in college mean a chance to catch up… catch up on reading, sleeping, Netflix, or most importantly, catching up with your fellow Tar Heels.
It was a moment to slow down, take a deep breath, and enjoy quality time with your friends rather than sending them a quick text throughout the day. My friends and I went sledding and had a massive snow fight with other residents. It was awesome, to say the least.
As you begin your college journey, don’t think of it as just class, joining organizations and work. It’s about creating a lifetime of memories and new experiences. I wouldn’t trade my Tar Heel experiences for the world, and I encourage you to create your own! Besides, every day is a great day to be a Tar Heel, right?
Peace, love, and snowflakes,
– Jasmine Jennings ’16
Since I was eight, I had had my own room. When I learned that UNC requires First-Year students to live on campus, I was pretty apprehensive about living with a roommate, and I know this is a common worry for students coming into college. Will my roommate and I get along? Is she a messy or clean person to live with? How will we not bite each other’s heads off when we are stressed? All these questions and more passed through my head coming into Carolina, but I am glad to say that I have had some of my most memorable First-Year moments with my roommate.
I’ve known my roommate since elementary school. I live in Hardin, which is an all-girls, suite-style residence hall. Neither of us knew our suitemates, which I really liked because we met people who were totally different than us. One of my suitemates is an international student from Belgium on the varsity golf team, and the other is from Texas on the varsity gymnastics team. My roommate is on the rowing team. I love rooming with athletes. While they are all out practicing, I have the entire room to my non-athletic self. One of the many reasons I love having a roommate is because you come out of a semester with stories that are too good or outlandish to make up. To date, my favorite experience is when my roommate and I took a midnight trek to all the iconic places around campus while it was snowing. Chapel Hill is by far one of the most beautiful college campuses, and in the snow it is downright picturesque. So on a Tuesday night, we dropped everything we were working on and decided to walk around campus to take some awesome pictures. We were bitterly cold, but it was completely worth it, and we had an excuse to go to Starbucks before going back to our room. It was the best study break, and even though there wasn’t a snow day afterwards (depressing), we had a great time.
If any of y’all are worried about your potential roommate or apprehensive about having one, don’t be. You will have some of the best memories with that person. If it’s catching them before they fall off their lofted bed, trying to figure out how your roommate got a black eye while sleeping (this is still the most epic of mysteries), or just watching reruns of Frozen during a snow day, the experiences you have will be, at best, hilarious and, at worst, memorable.
– Andrea Orengo ’17
Carolina is filled with funny people, and a lot of funny people have passed through Carolina, including comedians like 1970 alum Lewis Black and 1993 alum Bryan Tucker. Lewis Black is a comedian and writer best known for his Comedy Central series, Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil, as well as his regular appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Bryan Tucker is a comedian and writer that has written for The Chris Rock Show and Chapelle’s Show, and he currently serves as one of the head writers of Saturday Night Live! What makes Carolina an amazing place is that these amazing people come back to Carolina.
The Carolina Union Activities Board has organized the Carolina Comedy Festival for the past few years, and it has always been one of my favorite weeks of the year. Comedy is a huge part of the Carolina community, and it is nice to see it reflected in the events that are organized. This year was an amazing year with Lewis Black returning to host a seminar as well as headline a performance at Memorial Hall. Lewis brought standup and former writer and executive producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Rory Albanese, to perform as well as have a question and answer session. I am interested in getting into the entertainment industry, so getting to speak with Rory and Lewis was an amazing experience, and I learned a lot about the current media environment and how to potentially get a job.
Bryan Tucker brought some current cast members from SNL to hold a seminar as well as perform as Friday Night Live. Bryan, Aidy Bryant, Brooks Wheelan, and Bobby Moynihan were amazingly nice, supportive and very funny. Their performances may have been one of my highlights for this year (at least so far.) CUAB brought lots of other funny people including another UNC alum, Dean Roughton, who recently published a book, and standup Matt Stanton.
Carolina’s alumni care about the Carolina community, and it is so nice to have some of them back and bringing experiences that both entertain us and help us grow. I want to thank Lewis Black and Bryan Tucker for giving me amazing once-in-a-lifetime laughs. If you’ve ever wanted to get into the comedy scene, Chapel Hill is the place to be.
– Wynton Wong ’15
With the financial aid deadline around the corner (March 1! Don’t forget!), we thought we’d share some more information about the Carolina Covenant.
Eligible low-income students who are admitted to Carolina can enroll without worrying about how they will pay for it. And, if they take on 10-12 hours per week at a federal work-study job, they can graduate debt-free.
This program made all the difference for Megan, a first-generation college student from Florida. “Coming from a low-income household, my family and I really had no idea how we would scramble together money for all of the expenses of a college education. When I began applying for financial aid, the words “Expected Family Contribution,” “Net Price,” and “FAFSA” made my head spin. It seemed that the college experience would be just out of reach, until I learned about Carolina’s financial aid program.”
Many of our students are in the same situation as Megan. Nearly half of the students at Carolina receive financial aid. UNC is one of only two public colleges in the nation that meets 100% of demonstrated financial need.
The University considers more than just the cost of tuition; Carolina also factors in the expense of housing, supplies, travel, and healthcare when determining aid. Megan even received a grant to pay for a brand new laptop that she uses every day for class. The Carolina Covenant program also offers programming that connects students with other students from similar financial backgrounds and with mentors across campus.
Megan adds, “I love the Carolina community, and am so grateful that UNC removed the financial barrier to higher education! Carolina truly upholds its promise to serve and support its students. The University’s commitment to financial aid stands as just a single example of this, and is ultimately the chief reason why I and so many other students are able to afford such an exceptional education.”
One of the things that makes us the proudest about working in the Admissions Office is Carolina’s unusually warm and welcoming community. It’s why so many prospective students tell us that simply after visiting they just knew that Carolina was the right school for them.
Our students take academics very seriously and our classrooms are full of spirited discussions and debates. Our students are also bold about using their talents to help others. And yes, as last night’s victory demonstrates, whether athlete or fan, our students are fierce about athletic competition. It’s why we’re so proud when cross-country runners such as Annie LeHardy and basketball players such as Marcus Paige earn top honors in their fields.
So back to last night’s game. Some schools might choose to gloat about a victory over a legendary archrival, but at Carolina we know that last night’s game was about so much more than one team beating another. It was about the Carolina community. Adam Lucas, who wrote about the game on Go Heels said it best: “Some crowds are reactive. This one was proactive. This one cheered for everything. This one stood for everything. The reason we still go to games in the era of high definition television and expensive parking and home projection screens is for that very rare occasion, the one that may not even happen once a season, when you are part of a crowd that feels like they had an impact on the game. The chance to say, when you are telling this story in a few years: Leslie McDonald had 21 points and James Michael McAdoo had 10 rebounds and those other 21,750 of us, we helped, too.”
Our athletes—who juggle dedication to sports with academic aspirations and still find time to serve others—are truly role models for the entire Carolina community. They do all that they do with grace and seemingly boundless reserves of energy. So is it any wonder that when the Tar Heels win in any athletic arena it’s really a victory for everyone?
We’ll close this post with a video, which demonstrates how Marcus Paige and fellow basketball player Leslie McDonald created a very special day in the life of Anthony Hernandez, a 12-year-old Tar Heel fan from Morganton, N.C. Watch it, and we can guarantee that it’ll make your day, too.
Just a quick reminder to all Early Action admitted students about the Global Gap Year Fellowship deadline, which is Friday, February 21 at 5 p.m.
For the fourth year in a row, the Campus Y, GAPPL (the UNC student gap year advocacy group), and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions are proud to offer the Global Gap Year Fellowship, which will fund an international, service-based gap year for several incoming students before their first year at Carolina. UNC staff will help you plan your service project and keep in touch during the year. GAPPL helps returning gap year students catalyze new-found potential and make a smooth transition to college and leadership opportunities. Please note that any admitted Early Action student may apply, and if you offered the Fellowship, you must enroll to accept it.
According to Carrie Hamilton, a first-year student and former Fellow, her gap year was pivotal in helping her expand her horizons.
“After applying to college during my senior year of high school, I was more than eager to continue with my education. I loved learning and was excited to go to college, but I realized that I wanted the opportunity to learn through experience and to explore the world outside of the classroom. So I traveled to Ecuador, where I lived in an indigenous community in the Ecuadorian Amazon. I became the newest member of a Kichwa family, worked for a nonprofit organization, taught English and Environmental Education classes, and spoke Spanish endlessly. Nearly two years later, my experience is still such an essential part of who I am and what I want to do with my life.”
After an unusually severe winter storm that closed the University for two and a half days last week, we’re so grateful to open the doors of the Admissions Office today. Thank you so much for your patience; we are so sorry that we were unable to take your phone calls during this time but our phone lines are now open. You may reach us at 919-966-3621. If you do call, please know that we are expecting heavy volumes today, and your wait might be a little longer than usual.
You may also continue to reach us at email@example.com. While we did our very best to answer as many of your emails as we could last week and over the weekend, we know that we are still a little behind. We posted a list of the FAQs we were receiving, so if you have questions, please take a look as an answer might be included in this list.
As a reminder, we have extended the transfer application deadline and the midyear grade submission deadline to Wednesday, February 19, at 11:59 PM EST to give all of those affected by the storm more time.
Due to adverse weather, University offices will be closed again today, Friday, February 14. We apologize for the inconvenience if you have attempted to call our office; we are optimistic that we will re-open on Monday, Feb. 17. Hopefully, today’s sunshine will melt the pesky ice and snow that have accumulated in our area.
Because we know that many students have also been affected by the weather and power outages, we are extending the deadline for the submission of midyear grades until Wednesday, February 19.
We do appreciate the many emails we’ve received through firstname.lastname@example.org. A team of us are going through the email box as I type this and trying to answer them as soon as we can. In the meantime, I’ll post a summary of the most frequently asked questions.
My counselor already submitted my midyear grades through the Common App or they are on my transcript. Why can’t you accept them this way?
We do require that admitted students, deferred students, and all regular deadline applicants self-report their midyear grades using the form available in your MyCarolina/ConnectCarolina Student Center. Please log into your MyCarolina/ConnectCarolina Student Center with your Guest ID and follow the instructions on your Admissions To-Do List to self-report your grades online. We apologize that we cannot accept these grades by email, even if you or your counselor already submitted a transcript through the Common App. The only way we can accept your grades is if you self-report them through your MyCarolina/Connect Carolina Student Center.
I have already graduated or I am taking a gap year. Do I need to still submit my midyear grades?
We apologize for the inconvenience but we do need you to complete the midyear grade form for our records. But this is a very simple step. On the midyear grade form in your MyCarolina/Connect Carolina Student Center, please simply enter a new course called “Gap year” or “Graduated” and for the grade, please enter “pass.” Please also enter a short line in the description box that says something such as: “I have already graduated and am taking a gap year.”
I never received or lost the email with the instructions to create my Guest ID. Will you re-send?
Sure. Please send an email to email@example.com with the subject line “Resend My Guest ID” and give us your full name, birthdate, and address, and we will email you back with these instructions.
I sent my test scores to your office already. Would you check and see if you have them?
If the documents were sent by U.S. mail or another method prior to February 6, 2014, then we apologize that we must ask you to send them again. We’re very sorry but if we have not received your missing items by February 21, the Admissions Committee will review your application on the basis of the information that is available and may, at its discretion, either deny you admission or withdraw your application from further consideration.
I am applying as a transfer applicant and am being prompted for the name of an evaluator/adviser.
It is a requirement of the Common App in the education history page that transfer applicants are required to enter the name and email of an evaluator/advisor at their college. But no worries, this is not required by UNC, so to bypass this requirement, please fill out the information in this way.
First name – Unknown
Last name – Unknown
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
And you should then be allowed to continue to work on your application. We’re sorry for the inconvenience. Please see an earlier post on the “Invite a Registrar” requirement.
Do transfer applicants need to submit a recommendation letter?
Please note that we don’t require a letter of recommendation for transfer students, and many successful transfer applicants never submit one. However, if you would like to send one, you are welcome to do so. You can enter the email address of an “academic evaluator” through the Common App online and the CA will then email that person with instructions for submitting the letter online. Or, you’re welcome to have your recommender simply email the letter directly to us at email@example.com. Letters may also be mailed to us if your recommender prefers but we will need to receive the letter within 2 weeks of the transfer application deadline (Feb. 19) for us to be able to consider it with your application. And we’re sorry, but because this is not required, it will not be reflected on your to-do list.
What must be submitted by the transfer application deadline?
Only your portion of the online application must be submitted by the deadline. Other materials, including your transcripts and test scores (if required), may arrive after the deadline. Read more about transfer application materials.
Thank you for your patience and your diligence in completing your applications and all the steps that we require of our applicants and admitted students. Please know that we will continue to work with you over the coming weeks should extenuating circumstances affect your ability to complete these requirements.
Stay safe and warm!