Carolina Undergraduate Admissions

News, deadlines and Q&A

The Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Aug 31

76 Reasons to Apply Early Action – Reason 31

Early Action applications are due October 15, 2014. We’re counting down the days with 76 reasons you should apply EA to UNC!

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Reason 31: A year from now you could sign up for your first 5K for charity at UNC.

Do you love to run? In Chapel Hill there are countless 5Ks to run benefiting a range of charities from the N.C. Children’s Hospital to the Arc of Orange County.

For the serious runners out there try the Tar Heel 10 Miler which usually happens in April.

Even if you don’t like running, walking a 5K is a great way to contribute to charity.

Click here for more information regarding Early Action.

Aug 30

76 Reasons to Apply Early Action – Reason 30

Early Action applications are due October 15, 2014. We’re counting down the days with 76 reasons you should apply EA to UNC!

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Reason 30: Want to learn more about the scholarships and Excel@Carolina opportunities available to Early Action applicants? Listen to Senior Assistant Director of Admissions Andrew Parrish explain scholarships at UNC and Excel@Carolina.

Click here for more information regarding Early Action.

Aug 29

Admissions Mythbusters: Application Edition

When applying to colleges, it can be helpful to get advice from friends, family, peers, teachers and students who attend your prospective universities. However, too often, these tidbits of wisdom are exaggerated, out-dated, or just plain wrong. So today we are tackling the myths of Carolina Admissions to set the record straight. Below, you will read a common rumor and our response to its validity, along with helpful tips along the way–straight from the horse’s mouth.

Myth: Whether your parent or parents attended UNC plays a huge role in the admissions decision.
Depends. For in-state applicants, although we do always welcome the opportunity to learn more about an  applicant’s background and their ties to the University, it does not make a difference in an admissions decision. Since the number of alumni within our state is considerable and since the University is a state-supported institution, giving a significant advantage to their in-state children wouldn’t be fair to the other North Carolina taxpayers. However, we do find that the children of in-state alumni tend to fare well in admission since they generally apply well-prepared to succeed at Carolina.  For out-of-state applicants, family ties do play a small role in the decision if your parent or step-parent ever enrolled at UNC. But overall, we’re looking at you as an applicant, not what your mom accomplished while she was here.

Myth: For North Carolina applicants, the county you live in affects your chances of admission.
False! UNC does not have quotas for any high school, city, school system, county or region in the state. This may seem hard to believe because some counties have higher or lower representation in the class profile, but only because there are many competitive applicants in these areas. The only quota the Admissions office has is for in-state and out-of-state residents.

Myth: Being well-rounded is critical.
Not quite. We are looking for passionate, engaged students who will help us create a well-rounded class. A class of 4,000 will have some well-rounded students, some “pointy” or focused students, and many in between. So where does that leave you? Find what you love, pursue opportunities in that interest area, and tell us about it on your application.

Myth: Choosing ‘Undecided’ as a major on your application will disadvantage me.
Not at all. Because all of our students enter at Carolina through the College of Arts and Sciences, all students are reviewed using the same method, regardless of the major stated on the application. In fact, because of the way that we assign academic advisers to incoming students, it’s better for you to put “Undecided” instead of picking a random major. But, we repeat, what you put on your application has no bearing on our review.

Myth: Certain extra-curricular activities look better on an application than others
Untrue. Students should participate in the activities they enjoy and excel in. Do what matters to you and use the essay portion of the application to share these passions with us. We understand that students come from different situations and if you work part-time or care for your siblings after-school, that’s also something to tell us about! Family responsibilities and part-time work get just as much weight as extra-curricular activities–just be sure to include these duties on your application.

Myth: Letters of recommendation from UNC alumni or individuals with “big titles” will significantly impact your admissions decision.
No. Sometimes they can even hurt if they don’t read as personal. A plain letter from a big whig can detract from your application. Meaningful letters from people who truly know you and are familiar with your accomplishments are far better.

Myth: Your chances of admission are better if you apply Early Action.
If your grades in the first semester of senior year will strengthen your application, apply by the regular deadline. Perhaps you had a rough start to high school or you didn’t do so well junior year when you increased your course load. Let us see how you improved this fall.

If you do apply early, you will be considered for more merit scholarships and special opportunities, and you will be eligible for the Global Gap Year program. So, if your application is ready by the early deadline and your senior year grades won’t show drastic improvement, send it on in.

Myth: If you don’t apply Early Action, you won’t hear a decision until March.
True. If your application is ready by the Early Action deadline, send it on in! You will hear a decision by late January at the latest. And, our early deadline isn’t binding. Applicants who apply by the regular deadline will hear by late March at the latest.

Aug 29

76 Reasons to Apply Early Action – Reason 29

Early Action applications are due October 15, 2014. We’re counting down the days with 76 reasons you should apply EA to UNC!

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Reason 29: Because this time next year, you could be linking arms with your new classmates to sing Hark the Sound at the first home football game of the year.

Want to learn the other Carolina fight songs?  Check out this guide from the General Alumni Association.

Click here for more information regarding Early Action.


Aug 28

Submitted Your App…Now What?

You still have a little more than a month and a half to submit your Early Action application by our October 15 deadline. But if you’re an early bird and you’ve already submitted your application, you’re probably wondering…what next?

Just this week, we started importing applications from the Common Application. Once you submit both your application and your application fee payment (or indicate that you’ll pay by check or fee waiver), we should receive your information the next business day. Here’s an overview of what you can expect to happen next:

  • Look out for two emails from us. The first will confirm that we received your application, and the second will give you details on how to create your UNC Guest ID so that you can log into ConnectCarolina. This is an online portal where you’ll be able to track the status of your application. Please wait until you receive our email before you set up your account, as there are important instructions in the email that you’ll need to follow. (Didn’t receive the email? Check your junk folder–our emails will come from so you can add us to your safe-sender list. If you still can’t find the email and it’s been more than a week since you submitted your application, use that email address to contact us so we can re-send it.)
  • Confirm your email address. We’ll also send an email asking you to fill out a brief online form to confirm that the email address you provided on your application is accurate and the best place to reach you. We’ll be communicating with you entirely through email, so it’s very important that you stay in touch with us!
  • Track your application status through your ConnectCarolina Student Center. Once you’ve set up your account, you’ll be able to view your Admissions To Do List on ConnectCarolina. This is where we’ll post any required materials that are still missing from your application. It can take several weeks for sent materials to update on your To Do List, especially if they were sent by snail mail, so don’t panic if you see items on the list that you know you’ve sent. Just keep an eye on the list to make sure everything is on track with your application. We may post new items (such as an extended residency form or other additional information that we need) over the course of the next couple months, so it’s a good idea to log in periodically to make sure we have everything we need to review your application.
  • Sit back and await your decision. We know, this is the hardest part! Early Action applicants will receive a decision by the end of January. This year, we are saving many tall and beautiful trees by not printing paper decision letters. When your decision is available, you’ll be able to view it on your ConnectCarolina Student Center.
  • Have questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us at any time if we can help.

Aug 28

76 Reasons to Apply Early Action – Reason 28

Early Action applications are due October 15, 2014. We’re counting down the days with 76 reasons you should apply EA to UNC!

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Reason 28: There are many so ways to be involved in public service at Carolina. Many of our most committed students graduate as Buckley Public Service Scholars, after completing 300 hours of service and special training. By applying early, you could get a head-start on your journey as a Buckley Public Service Scholar through the Excel@Carolina program.

Learn more about pre-enrollment for the Buckley Public Service Scholars program here.

Click here for more information regarding Early Action.


Aug 27

Essay Tips Omnibus

Over the past few years, we’ve posted a lot of advice for the application essays, so we thought it might be helpful to gather it all in one place. Read on for our very best tips for writing your essay:

First, if you haven’t yet seen our Fall 2015 application essay prompts, check them out here!

Then check out the video we made of Assistant Director Melody Levy discussing essays, What Makes You Stand Out: Essay Edition.

We’ve also posted five essay tips here on the blog:

Curious what our Director of Admissions, Stephen Farmer, thinks about the essays? Then check out this classic blog post where he offers Three or Four Hints about Essays.

Hope this helps you get the creative juices flowing for your own essays! Questions? Let us know.


Aug 27

76 Reasons to Apply Early Action – Reason 27

Early Action applications are due October 15, 2014. We’re counting down the days with 76 reasons you should apply EA to UNC!

Early Action 27

Reason 27: Because this time next year you could be joining your first intramural team (sand volleyball, perhaps, or water polo?) and on the way to a championship t-shirt.

Are you the only one of your friends interested in floor hockey? Don’t worry! At UNC you can register for an intramural team as a “free agent.” If you don’t have enough people to form your own team, Campus Rec will match you with a team in need of players.

Click here for more information regarding Early Action.


Aug 26

76 Reasons to Apply Early Action – Reason 26

Early Action applications are due October 15, 2014. We’re counting down the days with 76 reasons you should apply EA to UNC!

Early Action 26

Reason 26: Because you could visit the Morehead Planetarium and Sundial any time you want.

Even if you’re not an astronomy major you can still look at the stars with a show at the planetarium.

Click here for more information regarding Early Action.

Aug 25

Our Best Tips for the Common Application

If you’re applying for admission to UNC, you’ll use the Common Application, an online application that is accepted by more than 500 colleges. From their website, you’ll probably be able to apply to several of the schools you are interested in, which we hope will save you time and energy.

We polled the staff in our office to gather our very best tips for the Common Application:

  1. Before you start, check out the Sample Application to get your bearings and understand the different parts of the application. (But don’t submit that to colleges–instead, you’ll enter all of your information online after you create your account.)
  2. Once you’ve started your application to UNC, you’ll find all the UNC-specific questions in the Member Questions section, including our second essay and the short-answer questions. Don’t stress about the short-answer questions—they’re meant to be fun!
  3. Throughout the application, you’ll find little help bubbles that pop up when you hover over the question marks. Keep an eye out for them, as they often offer great advice.
  4. In the Writing section, you have the option to use the Additional Information area. It’s completely optional, but it’s a good chance to share important info that hasn’t been covered elsewhere. We recommend filling out the rest of the application, then stepping back and asking yourself “Is there anything about my experiences or background that I haven’t gotten to explain yet?” If the answer is yes, then put it in the Additional Info section. If the answer is no, then you don’t need to bother with it.
  5. Look for the green check marks on your Dashboard to show you’ve successfully submitted your application.
  6. Proofread before you submit! Use the Print Preview to get a final view of your application. You may notice that a few of your answers do not appear on the preview of your UNC application (for instance, your religious affiliation and financial info) because we don’t use that information during our admissions review.
  7. We won’t receive your application until you successfully submit it online through the Common App site, so we can’t help much with an in-progress application or with technical questions about their website. But get to know the Common App Knowledge Base—it’s a great online support center and you can submit help requests 24/7.

Have questions about the Common Application? Or, if you’ve already started your application, do you have tips for your fellow applicants? Please share them in the comments below!