“Why does it take so long to get my decision?”
It’s a question we hear frequently, and one you’ve probably been wondering. For Early Action applicants, it might feel like January is an eternity away. For Regular Decision — March is even further.
But just as you probably didn’t submit your application without proofreading it first and making sure it was the best it could be, we don’t want to give your decision without fairly and thoroughly reviewing every application.
And for our early action deadline, that means over 19,000 applications to read and discuss.
Our readers are hard at work, but it takes time to read that many applications, all of which have essays, a letter of recommendation, test scores and transcripts.
Despite the common belief that admissions offices just toss any application without a certain GPA or test score in the trash bin, each reader at our office does thoroughly review every part of the application. Read more about the kind of student we’re seeking, or check out our “What Makes You Stand Out” video series.
And it doesn’t stop there. After the reader makes his or her decision, each application’s decision (yes, all 19,000) is reviewed to ensure fairness and accuracy.
Once all decisions are finalized, we will release our Early Action decisions by the end of January. Regular Decision applicants receive news by the end of March.
Until then, why not read The Waiting Game, a blog post by a current UNC student who was once in your shoes and offers her own advice. And of course, we’re here to answer any questions you may have. Tweet at us @uncadmissions, or feel free to email us at email@example.com or call us at (919) 966-3621.
By Gabriela Pickett, UNC ’18
Dramatic Arts/ Journalism with a Concentration in Advertising
Fort Myers, FL
You may think you have overcome the hurdle of college admissions; you may feel relieved that the hardest part is behind you. I have news for you, though. The most difficult part is yet to come! What is it, you ask? THE WAITING! I vividly remember feeling that the days in between October 15 and the end of January were actually longer than all the other days of the year. I wanted so badly to know what my admissions decision would be. There’s really nothing I can do for you that will make this time pass more quickly, but I do have some tips for what you can do with that time.
If you haven’t already done so, schedule a visit and come see us! Our admissions office has a team of Carolina students who would love to give you a tour, show you our favorite places on campus, tell you (hopefully) funny stories, and let you take a sip of water from the Old Well. Getting a feel for “The Southern Part of Heaven” is important in your college decision. Visiting campus will also give you a chance to remind yourself of the great college adventure that lies ahead.
Enjoy High School
Senior year seems to be totally focused on your “next step.” While this is good, it is also important to remember that high school is an irreplaceable part of your life. Have you never been to a school pep rally? Paint your face and try going to one! Are there classmates who you’ve always wanted to talk to? Sit with them at lunch! While you may only want to sit in your room and count down the days until you get your college decision, you can’t forget to enjoy the present.
Wear Some Carolina Gear
If you are being super patient maybe you can reward yourself with some Carolina swag! It’s never too early to show your Carolina pride!
Carolina students immerse themselves in an extremely wide variety of extracurricular opportunities, ranging from conducting original scientific research on adolescent psychology, to managing local political campaigns, to performing in UNC’s musical theatre groups and so much more. As a result, student life at UNC is incredibly diverse, and no two students have exactly the same Carolina experience. Here’s a glimpse into the diversity of student life at UNC, as seen through 10 current Tar Heels.
Izzy, Junior, Albany, NY
Served in the First-Year Service Corp., worked in an undergraduate research lab studying adolescent psychology, worked in a second undergraduate research lab studying health humanities research methodologies, received the Burch Fellowship and used it to travel to South Africa to study the victimization of LGBTIs living in the country, Alpha Chi Omega member, Timmy Global Health member
Grace, Junior, Mebane, NC
Volunteers for an ESL class on campus to help teach English and will be going to Nicaragua over holiday break to help build the only secondary school in the region and teach English to elementary schoolers, women’s varsity rowing team member, Buckley Public Service Scholar
Christopher, First-year, London, England
Co-producing and directing an independent short-film, works with Carolina Advocating for Gender Equality to prevent sexual harassment, works with the CoachWrite program to help develop the writing skills of local primary school students, member of Honors Carolina
Andrea, Junior, Matthews, NC
Works as a manger for Carolina Performing Arts, works as a spin instructor for UNC CampusRec, researched solar energies in Bangkok, Thailand, serves as an executive member for Admissions Ambassadors, serves as an orientation leader for incoming first-years, Honors Carolina member
Enrique, Senior, Miami, FL
Serves as a student judge in the UNC Honor Court, serves as a C-Step mentor to ease the transitions of other UNC transfer students, works as the campaign manager for a Chapel Hill Town Council candidate and manages 12 other UNC interns
Caroline, Senior, Mooresville, NC
Serves as the historian for the executive board of Phi Sigma Pi National Gender-Inclusive Honor Fraternity, volunteers at UNC Hospitals in the Women’s Health Information Center and the Birth Partners Volunteer Program, works as a medical scribe at the UNC Emergency Department, Carolina Summer Research Fellow
Joseph, Senior, Tamuning, Guam
Serves in UNC’s student government, lives in the sustainability living-learning community, Kenan-Flagler Business School GLOBE scholar, Undergraduate Research Fellow, club tennis player, club volleyball player
Gwendolyn, Sophomore, Charlotte, NC
Writes for the Daily Tar Heel as a columnist, participates in the Catalyst Conference through the Campus Y to promote social justice, member of Black Student Movement to celebrate black culture
Dale, Senior, Newton, NC
Serves as the speaker pro-tempore of Student Congress, serves as a senior marshal on the service committee, serves as the external relations chair of Admissions Ambassadors, serves as the community outreach coordinator for UNC’s musical theatre group Pauper Players, interned in the US Senate, founding father and philanthropy chair of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity
Jennifer, Junior, Lexington, KY
Serves as an EASE mentor to help ease the transition of exchange students, works with UNC’s Mentoring Future Leaders in Pharmacy program, works in the Global Programs department of the Campus Y, member of Kappa Epsilon Pharmacy Fraternity
By Theo Prime
College selection is a daunting task and challenging journey. This four-year investment in our futures will reshape how we think, direct us toward people who will help us grow, and enable us to have unique and unforgettable experiences.
At Carolina, there are many features that make this institution special. Students have the opportunity to be surrounded and appreciated by an intellectually-engaged, down-to-earth student body and faculty. It’s an incredible feeling!
After attending my morning classes and a modest day of studying, I decided to take a walk through campus on a breezy fall afternoon. As I journeyed through campus, I was taken aback by the scenery. I saw students lying on well-manicured lawns with their laptops lit and ready to be filled with information, students recruiting on behalf of their clubs and organizations, people walking briskly on their way to class chatting about future plans and international voyages. No time was wasted here. Everyone was doing their part in making this university great.
I look to these people and I find the motivation to smile and push forward when I become overwhelmed by my class workload. I value being in a place where education is not just about academics, but also about an energetic source of self enlightenment and personal discovery.
Before selecting your college destination, consider, will the school you select offer you opportunities to find yourself even when you feel lost? At Carolina, the answer is yes. I am forever a Tar Heel and I hope you too get to experience the wonders of a Carolina afternoon.
Theo Prime is a senior from Yardley, Pennsylvania. He is a transfer student from Bucks County Community College in Newtown, Pennsylvania.
By Mansi Vakil
For my senior year Fall Break, I went to Chicago Ideas Week for one of my business school classes. Though the previous sentence may seem like it’s putting a damper on an otherwise fun time of college, I can wholeheartedly say it only added to the plentiful and rewarding experiences I’ve had as a GLOBE Fellow, a Kenan-Flagler business major, and, most importantly, a Carolina student.
This study trip consisted of going to Chicago (when the weather was actually pleasant) with about 50 friends I’ve made and traveled through Europe and Asia with over the previous year through the GLOBE Program. The purpose of this trip was to really explore and immerse ourselves in the entrepreneurial environment that has changed (or more appropriately, disrupted) the global business world and shaped American culture. By digging into the ideas of entrepreneurship, innovation, and disruptive technologies, I learned entrepreneurship isn’t limited to coming up with the next new idea or starting my own business, but instead it is a mindset I can leverage to ease the daily pains and frustrations my peers and I face.
Of course, learning and participating in talks with different companies was interesting, but having the Carolina connection really elevated this study trip to an experience. This Carolina connection was evident through the multiple alumni we spoke to who are now starting their own businesses or managing multimillion-dollar funds. The connection even spanned to having great faculty like Professor Ted Zoller opening his network to us so we could visit the Groupon headquarters.
Highlights of my favorite parts of Fall Break include: hanging out with friends at the hotel on Magnificent Mile, sightseeing at the Bean between corporate visits, going to the Genius talks and seeing the man behind the Stanford prison experiment, a 14-year-old composer who had played at the White House, the man who has come close to curing epilepsy, and the woman who was part of the team that discovered water on Mars. It was a great way to spend Fall Break!
Mansi is a senior GLOBE Fellow in the Kenan-Flagler Business School. Her studies focus on international business.
By Jasmine Jennings
Hello Tar Heels!
My name is Jasmine Jennings and I am an Admissions Ambassador on campus, which means I give tours to visiting students and their families. Often times students ask, “Why Carolina?” or “What makes Carolina unique?” Instead of responding with a three-hour lecture about why I love my university, I tell them about my favorite place on campus: The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History. The story of the Stone Center is a stellar example of what makes Carolina such a special place.
Students of different races and backgrounds gathered behind the goal of creating a space to celebrate Black culture. The space also preserves our history and culture. The ultimate goal is to honor Dr. Stone and to ensure the ideals she championed would become permanently ingrained into the fabric of this campus. Today, the Stone Center serves as an integral part of the student experience and its rich history is a daily reminder of how far we have come. It also serves as a solid reminder of how much further we have to go, in order to ensure our campus is inclusive and welcoming to all students.
What makes Carolina unique? Many things. For me, I love how Carolina has a building students fought for, not just for themselves, but also for betterment of this university as a whole. They wanted to create a space for students of color to call their own, and even though it was no easy task, these students felt it was worth it. The Stone Center created a special legacy at Carolina. This legacy calls students to fight for causes that impact their student-experience and will create a better experience for students to come. It has personally inspired me to leave a lasting impact on this collegiate space. I would encourage you to spend some time at the Stone Center, if you don’t already. I am sure it will inspire you as well.
Lots of Carolina Blue love,
Jasmine is a senior majoring in Political Science and minoring in History. She is an Admissions Ambassador and president of the Theta Pi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. You can reach her as firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Pooja Panduranga
I start every tour I give by saying, “Hey y’all! My name is Pooja Panduranga. I’m a junior from Charlotte majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Spanish and Business. My fun fact is I’m currently working on learning my 5th language.”
All the tour guides make sure to include a fun fact in our introductions because they help distinguish us.
Last Monday, UNC celebrated its 222nd birthday. In light of this event, I want to share some fun facts that make UNC special and distinct from any other university!
First Public University
It’s a well-known fact that UNC is the oldest public university in the country. This is pretty cool. But to me, it’s more than just the title. It’s the idea that this fact means I share something in common with centuries worth of people. It means our traditions are tried and true. It’s looking at the Old Well and thinking about how many people have drank from it, how many proposals have happened there, how many stories it has heard. It’s knowing we were the first and inherently the finest. It’s recognizing our dedication to public education and our care for the community around us.
Two’s a Pair
As of a couple of weeks ago, UNC claims two Nobel Prize winners. Dr. Aziz Sancar won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in October 2015 for his work mapping DNA repair. Eight years ago, Dr. Oliver Smithes won the Nobel Prize in Medicine. This is SO cool to me. This means we are doing groundbreaking research here. For me, this represents a unique juxtaposition at UNC. We’ve been around for quite a long time so we have age-old traditions. At the same time, we are at the forefront of innovation and are constantly working to make our world a better place.
In Good Company
Michael Jordan, James K. Polk, Mia Hamm, Andy Griffith—the list of impressive UNC alumni goes on for days. Each of these people was a student at UNC, just like I am. They, too, wore the Tar Heel name with pride. To think that one of my peers could be part of this amazing list one day is pretty darn inspiring. These alumni serve as ambassadors for our school. When I was studying abroad in Chile and Spain, locals would ask me where I went to school. When I said “UNC Chapel Hill,” they immediately would say, “Oh! Michael Jordan!” UNC’s name carries far and wide, and I couldn’t be prouder to be part of that.
I can’t wait to keep learning about what makes UNC unique. In my final three semesters, I look forward to creating more fun facts that make my UNC experience special.
Pooja is a junior from Charlotte, NC majoring in Public Relations with minors in Business and Spanish for the Business Professions. She is a tour guide, a resident advisor, a member of the sports marketing committee, and a proud Tar Heel! She can be reached at email@example.com.
We thank all of the applicants who applied for admission for our Early Action deadline. We are honored by your interest in us, and we look forward to reading your application and getting to know you in the weeks ahead! Students who apply by our EA deadline will receive their decision by the end of January. And if you haven’t applied yet, no worries! First-year students have until January 15 to be considered for our Regular Decision and final deadline; transfer students may apply now and up until February 15.
We received a few calls from students wanting to check on the status of their applications, and we wanted to update you on the next steps to do so.
Our staff is currently working around the clock to import your applications and the required supplemental materials that you’ve also kindly submitted to us. As a reminder, supplemental materials such as a teacher recommendation and school statement may arrive up until November 1; test scores for EA applicants may arrive through the end of November. If you need an extension on these materials due to extenuating circumstances, please let us know by calling us at (919) 966-3621 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upon application submission, you should receive an email from us within the week with your Guest ID credentials. These will allow you to log into your Connect Carolina Student Center and review the status of any outstanding items on your Admissions To-Do list. If you do not receive this email within 5 business days, please email us at email@example.com, and we will happily assist you.
Please note that due to the volume of materials we’ve received, it may take us up to 2-3 weeks before your To-do list is fully updated. This is why we ask for your patience. In the meantime, please continue monitoring your Connect Carolina Student Center over the coming weeks.
If you have any questions at all, however, we encourage you to call our office, and we will happily assist you. Again, we are so very honored by your application and your interest in us.
Best wishes for a successful year ahead!
As you get closer to graduation and life after high school, if you haven’t already, we hope you will think carefully about continuing your education at a college or university that will serve you well.
At UNC-Chapel Hill, we believe strongly that college should be possible for any student who is ready and willing to do the work. We also believe that all students deserve our encouragement and support as they search for schools where they will thrive. For these reasons, we work closely with sixty-five high schools across North Carolina through a program called the Carolina College Advising Corps.
Through this program, recent UNC-Chapel Hill graduates—many of whom are the first in their families to attend college—work full-time as college and financial-aid advisers in high schools across our state. They have some advice for you, and it all starts with practice, explore…and apply!