Carolina Undergraduate Admissions

News, deadlines and Q&A

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

May 26

C-STEP Leads By Example!


We have some very inspirational news to share this month about the Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program (C-STEP). This news comes from the talented students who will be entering Carolina through Durham Technical Community College (DTCC), one of our nine partner schools.

First, we will be welcoming Luzita Francis (pictured above with her son, Luthfi Bustillos Francis), who will be transferring here this fall through C-STEP and will be enrolling in the UNC Gillings School of Public Health. Luthfi will be enrolling as a traditional Carolina transfer student in the UNC School of Information and Library Science. Both are immigrants from Colombia and are following a family tradition of earning an education in the U.S. Luzita is a world-traveler and has worked as a Spanish translator, teacher, and advocate for children. This mother-son team was recently featured in the The Herald Sun. We look forward to getting to know Luzita and Luthfi and benefiting from the many gifts they will bring to Carolina.

Second, C-STEP has a scholarship winner! Andrew McRae, a first-generation college student and another DTCC graduate coming through C-STEP, was one of two DTCC students to earn the 2015 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship! Andrew, who is also a 2015 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Silver Scholar, is C-STEP’s second Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship winner. Lauren Key, a rising C-STEP senior who will soon be studying Shakespeare in the United Kingdom, was our first. Additionally, another traditional Carolina transfer student, Casey VanAlstyne, also from DTCC, earned the 2015 Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship. We are so excited for both Andrew and Casey–this is great news for C-STEP, Carolina, and DTCC!

We continue to be grateful to the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for its early support of C-STEP in 2006.  The purpose of C-STEP is to enable more community-college students to transfer to and graduate from Carolina.  Talented low and moderate income high school and community college students are guaranteed eventual admission to Carolina if they are admitted to and complete the program successfully. Funded by grants and private gifts, C-STEP has served over 500 students since its launch. In our office, C-STEP is led by Rebecca Egbert and Brian Woodard. For more information and how to see if you might qualify, please visit our website.


May 26

Frequently Asked Questions about the New SAT

As many of you might have heard, in an effort to more accurately reflect the work that students need to do to prepare for college, the College Board has redesigned the SAT. There are several changes but the primary ones include:

  • Asking students to apply their reading, writing, language, and math skills to answer questions in science, history, and social studies contexts
  • Testing students on relevant vocabulary, the kinds of words that they will use throughout their lives
  • Removing the penalty for wrong answers

For more, please visit the College Board’s microsite for the Redesigned SAT.

The new SAT won’t be available until March 2016. I am applying for Fall 2016 admission. Will you accept scores from the current SAT?

Absolutely. While we will continue to require either the SAT or the ACT for first-year applicants and sophomore transfer applicants, we will accept scores from both the current and redesigned versions of the SAT. Please note that the current SAT (what’s offered this fall) will include the writing section so students will still submit these scores until the new SAT is offered in the spring. However, starting immediately, students taking the ACT will not be required to submit the additional writing score.

Do you prefer the SAT over the ACT?

No. We encourage students to take the exam that suits them best. While only one exam is required, some students may choose to submit scores from both exams. In that case we use the test results from whichever exam is most advantageous to the student. Beginning with students applying for Fall 2016 admission, we will no longer require students to submit the writing portion of the SAT or ACT.

How will we evaluate scores from the current version of the SAT with those from the redesigned version?

Prior to releasing the test results from the spring 2016 exam, the College Board will release a concordance table that will allow us to compare and align scores from the current version of the test with those from the redesigned version.

Will you superscore the redesigned SAT?

Yes. We will continue to superscore the exam.

Will you superscore the current version of the SAT with the redesigned version?

No. We will superscore results from the same version of the exam, but we will not mix scores from the two versions.

Will the optional essay be required with the redesigned SAT?

No. The optional essay will not be required.

How important are test scores in the application review?

It is important to remember that we review applications holistically. Academic program and performance, along with activities, essays, and recommendations, will continue to be significant factors in our evaluation. Read more about Applying.

May 19

2015 Waiting List Update

Thanks so much to all of you who have patiently waited for news about the waiting list. We understand how difficult the waiting can be, and we’re grateful to you for hanging in there with us. We had a very strong response from admitted students this year, so unfortunately, we are not expecting to be able to admit many students from either our first-year or transfer waiting lists.

Earlier today (Tuesday), we made a small wave of admission offers to students on the first-year waiting list. These students received an email notifying them that a new decision was available to view on ConnectCarolina. If we’re able to make additional offers, we’ll let students know as soon as possible. However, as the class is just about at capacity, we don’t anticipate being able to make many, if any, additional offers. We’ll provide all students on our waiting list with a final decision as soon as we can, by June 30 at the latest.

We have not taken any action on the transfer waiting list, and we’re very sorry, but we do not yet know if we will be able to offer admission from our transfer waiting list. As with our first-year waiting list, we’ll let all students know a final decision as soon as we can, by June 30 at the latest.

Please also know that while we’re grateful for the strong interest from our admitted students, we are sorry to disappoint the students who accepted a place on the waiting list in hopes of joining the class.

If you’re curious about how we select students from the waiting list, please see our FAQs for first-years or transfers. We don’t rank the list in any way, so all students who accept a place on the waiting list are considered for any spaces that are available.

Please let us know what questions you have. Thanks again.

May 12

After Carolina: James

Excited for your time at Carolina, but can’t help but wonder about life after graduation? We had a few seniors answer the question: “What’s next?”

We spoke with James Martin, a graduating senior.

What are your plans for next year?

I will be in Austin, Texas this summer working in IBM’s research lab as an Extreme Blue intern before returning to UNC in the Fall to finish my final year in our 5 year B.S./M.S. combined program for Computer Science.

What experiences (classes, internships, research, activities) were the major turning points on your UNC path/journey?

Being selected to be a part of Admissions Ambassadors was a turning point for me, as I was introduced to so many people of all different backgrounds. I really started to get an idea of just how amazing the students are that attend this University. I also took a Bioethics class my second semester here, which really stretched my ability as a student and taught me how to read and write critically. I decided to pick up my minor, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) after taking that course. PPE has provided me the opportunity to attend two classes at Duke, which has also taught me about collaboration between institutions.

Is there any single person (or group) who helped you along the way to reach this point?

I have had several amazing professors who have inspired me to be engaged in my studies. To name a few, Dr. Max Owre (History), Dr. Gary Bishop (Computer Science), and Dr. Jonathan Anomaly (Philosophy) have all been mentors to me.

Any stumbling blocks you encountered? How did you overcome them?

I’ve also been through quite a lot of stumbling blocks. Whether it is a tough class, a falling out with a friend, missing your family, an inconsiderate roommate, there will always be stressors in college. Though I haven’t perfected the technique by any means, trying to let things roll off your back and not taking failure too personally is how I’ve tried to overcome my challenges. I have also found that you never have to look too far for someone who is willing to hear you out or help you with a problem.

Why Carolina?

There’s something for everyone at Carolina. It’s the most well-rounded, rigorous, and fun college in a picturesque town. I prefer to ask #WhyNotCarolina?

Best piece of advice for incoming first-years?

Find what you’re passionate about and go for it. If you follow your heart and don’t let yourself get bogged down what other people have to say, you’ll do just fine. It won’t be easy, but you’ll make it.


May 12

Utilizing academic advising

Why use academic advising? They’re your go-to for all things registration and planning your major.

Here’s how to make the most of academic advising:

  • Schedule an appointment: Seems like a no-brainer, but many students never visit advising unless there is a hold on their account. Don’t let that be you! Below are some reasons why you might want to stop by.
  • Visit the website. You’ll find lots of useful information including course planning worksheets.
  • Stop in to drop a class. After the initial registration period, you’ll have to meet with an academic adviser to drop a class. They can talk you through the process and give you advice on whether dropping the course is the best for you.
  • Get help choosing a major: In order to declare a major once you’re enrolled you have to meet with an adviser. If you want to change your major or pick a new one, meeting with an adviser is a must-do.

You can follow UNC Advising on Twitter Instagram and Facebook.

May 11

After Carolina: Shayna

Excited for your time at Carolina, but can’t help but wonder about life after graduation? We had a few seniors answer the question: “What’s next?”

We spoke with Shayna Purcell, a graduating senior.


What are your plans for next year?

I will be moving to Chicago to attend Northwestern University’s Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling! I am very excited that I will have the chance to broaden my knowledge about genetics, while simultaneously learning how to apply what I’ve learned in clinical rotations. By pursuing a career in genetic counseling I hope to further my understanding of the fascinating field of genetics—and more importantly—to provide patients with the resources and support they need to make informed decisions about their own treatment.

What experiences (classes, internships, research, activities) were the major turning points on your UNC path/journey?

Throughout my first two years of college, I had yet to figure out what I was most passionate about. I knew that I wanted to be in a profession that helped others, but I was unsure how to successfully merge this with my interest in biology. However, in the fall of my junior year I took “Genetics and Molecular Biology” with Dr. Hogan, and everything changed. Our class discussions were so intriguing that I found myself reading the textbook for fun, and searching for news stories to learn more about modern advancements in genetics. This was a major turning point in my UNC journey: when I met with Dr. Hogan to talk about career options in genetics, she suggested that I look into the field of genetic counseling, because she thought it might satisfy my academic drive while still providing the patient interaction that I felt was so important. Dr. Hogan put me in contact with a genetic counselor at UNC Hospitals, and after shadowing her for a day in the clinic, I knew with certainty that I too wanted to be a genetic counselor!


Is there any single person (or group) who helped you along the way to reach this point?

So many different people have helped me along the way! And I know that my UNC experience would not have been the same without their support and encouragement. But one of the most influential is Dr. Copenhaver, who has been my research mentor for the past year and a half — I have learned so much from working in his lab! We study the meiotic recombination using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, and it has been interesting to learn all of the laboratory techniques and data analysis that go into a research project. I regularly do PCR and gel electrophoresis, which is good experience because we talk about these techniques in all of my biology classes! Dr. Copenhaver has been a great mentor, and from him I have learned about the intellectual curiosity and in-depth understanding that are necessary to conduct research.


I chose Carolina because of the students who make up this community; their academic drive, passion for unique causes, and well-roundedness are what make this university so great. UNC students are all so multi-faceted: not only are they motivated to learn, but they are also passionate about issues on campus and in the world, and driven to make an impact in the community. And even amidst all the schoolwork, internships and club meetings, Carolina students find time for enjoyment and make the most of their college experiences. I think that UNC makes it possible to combine these diverse characteristics so seamlessly, which is why our school attracts so many ambitious people with unique aspirations. Every day I am inspired by the people I meet; to me, that is what makes Carolina so special.

Best piece of advice for incoming first-years?

Don’t feel like you have to have it all figured out! I think that the greatest thing about college is that you have the opportunity to explore and learn about all kinds of different subjects. For me, minoring in studio art gave me the chance to exercise a different side of my brain and learn how to express myself creatively. So even though they’re not directly related to genetic counseling, I feel that my art classes taught me so much and helped me grow as a person, and isn’t that what college is all about? You only have four years here (and trust me, they go by way too fast) so make the most of every experience!


May 7

Top 10 Tips to Succeed Academically Your First Year at UNC

We want UNC 19 to enjoy their summer before college. But we also know that can be hard if you’re worried about what college classes will be like. That’s why we’re giving you our best advice now.

Without further ado, here our are top 10 tips to succeed academically

1. Use your academic advisers! And we don’t just mean for the mandatory appointments. Whether you have changed you major and need to see what classes are required or you just need advice, don’t be afraid to schedule an appointment. After all, it’s their job to help. Visit them in the Steele Building or Hardin Hub.

Steele Building2. Get to know your professors. It might seem intimidating to ask a question to a PhD, but professors at Carolina want to answer your questions. Office hours are a great way to get to know your professors and seek out help if you’re struggling in class. Even if you don’t need help, you might decide to reach out to learn more about the research they do and get advice.  For larger lectures, you might decide to get help from your TA. They will also hold office hours, so be sure to keep track of that information.

3. Form good study habits. Even if you were a straight A student in high school, chances are you are going to have to readjust how you study. There is no one right way to study. Each person is different, but it’s important to figure out what works for you. Visiting the Learning Center for a one-on-one coaching session or workshop is a great place to start.

4. Go to class. No, seriously. Go to class. While professors do post some lecture material online, going to class allows you to learn everything you need to know as well as go over questions about the material. It also helps to make a friend in the class you can borrow notes from in the event you miss a class due to illness or other excused absences.

5. Take the classes that are required- and the ones that interest you. Even if you have a major picked out, use your first year to explore different departments. You never know when an elective will change your life. If you take classes that are interesting to you, chances are you’ll also do better since you’re more likely to pay close attention.

6. Don’t overload your course schedule. Taking 18 credit hours your first semester? We don’t recommend it. While some students can manage this, the focus of your first semester should be adjusting to college life and academics. Also try to balance out taking courses in subjects you are stronger in with courses that might be more difficult for you.

7. Don’t wait until the last minute to do assignments. All-nighters are a rite of passage in college. And sometimes they can’t be avoided-but most of the time they can. Start planning for assignments in advance and save yourself the last-minute stress. Working on drafts of papers early also gives you the chance to visit the Writing Center to get feedback on your draft.

8. Find your perfect study spot. Want to be productive? Find your perfect study spot. Are you one of those people who needs absolute quiet? Or maybe you think better with some background noise.  Whether it’s a cozy carrel on the 6th floor of Davis Library or a comfy chair in a local coffee shop, having a good spot to study in is imperative.


9. Stay healthy. Taking care of your emotional and physical health should be your number one priority. It’s hard to keep up on sleep, exercise, and nutrition when you’re busy with classes and extracurriculars. But learning how to balance these things early on is important for long term success.  Visit Student Wellness for walk-in appointments for your physical and emotional health needs.

10. Just try your best. If you work hard and seek out help when you need it, you’ll make it through!

May 6

Why Carolina? Because Chapel Hill Is a Gateway to the World

By Carolyn Coons 

Carolyn Coons ’16 is a history and journalism double major from Charlotte, North Carolina. She was the former editor-in-chief of Blue & White and a writer at The Daily Tar Heel.

Coons_Carolyn- cropped

My heart swells every time I return to Chapel Hill from a break. I can’t help but smile at the Old Well or stop for a moment to take in the beauty of Wilson Library.

I’ve come to have the same reaction to the sights of my new campus: King’s College London.

While walking over Waterloo Bridge, I still get giddy at the sight of Big Ben. I sometimes have to catch my breath as I walk along the Thames — and not because I’m out of shape (although that probably doesn’t help).

I chose to study abroad in London because I’ve always wanted to live there. Probably stemming from an early childhood obsession with Harry Potter, my desire to move to the United Kingdom never faded, even as my belief in Hogwarts and Diagon Alley did. Fulfilling my dream, I came to study at King’s in early January of 2015.

It was undoubtedly one of the best decisions I have made while at Carolina. King’s and UNC could probably cease distributing any and all promotional materials when I return to campus, because anyone who will listen or who is unfortunate enough to sit next to me at the dining hall will hear me gabbing about how much I enjoyed studying abroad. UNC has afforded me the incredible opportunity to study and live alongside regular King’s students.

I have had my moments of homesickness and fear, but I’m confident I will come to forget those moments of insecurity over the years. My lasting memories will be of exploring London and the countryside with other study abroad students, hanging out in my floor’s disgustingly dirty kitchen with my flat mates, and traveling to visit my UNC family across Europe.

Study abroad has been eye opening— anyone will tell you that— but when I look back the thing I will remember most of all is fun. Having so much fun I can’t adequately express it in a blog post — it’s one of those “you had to be there” things.

Sometimes it feels like studying abroad for one semester didn’t give me enough time, but then I think of UNC again and I’m torn. These two vastly different but equally divine places have become home, and I guess I should just count myself lucky to have studied at both.


May 5

Advice from #UNC2015

Class of 2019, have you met our friends at UNC Advising? In addition to helping students navigate academic requirements and choose majors, they run fantastic social media accounts.

Last week they asked UNC 2015 what advice they had for incoming first-years, and here are the results:



You can follow UNC Advising on Twitter Instagram and Facebook.

May 1

After Carolina: Jess

Excited for your time at Carolina, but can’t help but wonder about life after graduation? We had a few seniors answer the question: “What’s next?”

We spoke with Jess Kambic, a graduating senior.


What are your plans for next year?

This summer I will be starting my post-graduate career at Yelp Inc. in New York City as an Account Executive. As a Public Relations major I never pictured myself in sales, but I feel equipped to be successful, armed with my education from UNC’s J-School.  Yelp’s culture is any Millennial’s dream. I will work alongside 50 other recent graduates from the nation’s top universities. Yelp boasts an array of benefits and amenities, including a full-time barista and gym membership, that alleviate the stresses that accompany a job in sales. I am thrilled to join the Yelp team and get started with this cutting-edge company that supports local business.

What experiences (classes, internships, research, activities) were the major turning points on your UNC path/journey?

Originally, I had my heart set on working for a PR agency. However, two classes in the J-School helped me discover a passion for pitching and sales that I never knew I had. These classes were “Branding of Me,” taught by Gary Kayye and “Digital Advertising and Marketing,” taught by JoAnna Sciarrino. Sciarrino’s class organized the students into teams and charged us with developing and pitching a strategic marketing plan for a real-life client. We were taught how to deliver the perfect pitch, and the culmination of the class was a pitch to the client and judges, a highly valuable and illuminating experience. There is nothing more exhilarating than selling something you believe in and convincing your audience to jump on board with you. I realized a career in sales would allow me to represent a company, like Yelp, with goals I value including growing local business.

Is there any single person (or group) who helped you along the way to reach this point?

UNC graduate Natalia Segnini reached out to me about a potential career with Yelp. She told me her journey to Yelp, which began as a reporting student in the J-School. Segnini also interned with CNN! She helped me realize that I didn’t have to be well-versed in sales to be successful in this position. Speaking with her also showed me the diverse array of people I’d be working with at Yelp, which would be beneficial to my personal growth and development.

Best piece of advice for incoming first-years?

Keep an open-mind throughout your four years at Carolina. I never anticipated pursuing a career in sales, but here I am–psyched to begin! Life constantly throws curve balls, and it’s important to keep swinging. If you feel limited, take a moment to sit back and consider new opportunities that aren’t necessarily the natural next step. Connect with UNC graduates early, by using LinkedIn and  networking. Most importantly, have fun and appreciate every day you spend at Carolina. Heaven knows, us seniors will be missing it after next month. Enjoy yourself! The future is bright with a degree from Carolina.