< To First Years

The First-Year Application

What we need from you.

As a first-year applicant, you’ll submit:

  • The online application. Apply online through the Common Application. EMAIL: When applying, we strongly encourage you to use an email address that is unique to you, rather than a family email address. This will ensure the confidentiality of our communication with you. RESIDENCY: Please note that if you are applying as a North Carolina resident, there is a separate process for determining your residency. For more information about this process, please see our Residency page.
  • $85 nonrefundable application fee. If you cannot afford the application fee, talk to your school counselor about submitting a fee waiver. We accept College Board and NACAC fee waivers, or a letter from a school official requesting that we waive your fee. FEE WAIVER: We will waive the application fee for any applicant who is an active-duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces. No extra paperwork is required. Please just indicate your active-duty status on the Common Application and we will waive your application fee.
  • One essay + Two short answers. We don’t get to meet our applicants face-to-face, so your essay (250-650 words) and short answers (200-250 words) give us the opportunity to hear your voice and get to know you as a person. The essay and short answers are a critical part of our review, not only as we select students for admission, but also for merit-based scholarships and Excel@Carolina opportunities, such as Honors Carolina. View our 2018 application prompts on the blog.
  • Official transcript. Ask your school counselor to submit a transcript on your behalf. Transcripts should be official copies sent by mail or secure electronic delivery. Please note that we will happily accept transcripts submitted to us through the College Foundation of North Carolina.
  • Secondary school statement. Your school counselor will submit this on your behalf. This information helps us understand your high school and the curriculum available to you.
  • SAT or ACT scores. First-year applicants must submit either the SAT or ACT. We can consider scores for tests taken through November for Early Action, and through December for Regular Decision. Scores should be sent directly to us from the testing service. Our SAT code is 5816 and our ACT code is 3162. Learn more about how we use test scores as we review your application. Please note that the writing portion of the SAT and ACT is no longer required nor is it recommended.
  • Letter of recommendation. We ask that you include one letter of recommendation from a teacher who taught you in one of the core academic areas. We generally find that one letter is sufficient, but you may include a second letter if you wish. Please note that your teacher should submit the letter on your behalf. When you are deciding who to write your letter of recommendation, choose someone who knows you well and can describe both your academic potential and your unique personal qualities. Letters are most helpful when they provide new information and personal insights, rather than just a re-listing of the same information you’ve already provided elsewhere in the application.
  • Disclosure: Please note that if we do offer you admission, we require all admitted students to disclose any school-based disciplinary incidents and/or criminal charges (unless they have been expunged) that have occurred since applying. The student’s written explanation as well as the required corroborating documentation (from a school official or legal representative) can be emailed directly to honorcode@admissions.unc.edu. While the occurrence of a disciplinary or criminal incident rarely results in an offer of admissions being revoked, the failure to disclose such incidents in a complete, accurate, timely, and truthful manner may.

Are you claiming North Carolina residency?
You will need to submit a residency application with the North Carolina Residency Determination Services (RDS), which is a government agency that serves the entire state. Please visit our residency page for more information.

Can I submit other information?
We’ve carefully written the application to include all of the information we find most helpful when considering students for admission, so there is no need to provide any additional materials. Below are some of the “extras” that students sometimes send, and how we look at them.

  • Resumés. A resumé is often redundant, as most of the information typically found on a resumé also appears on the application. Unless your resumé provides new information that can’t be found elsewhere in the application, it’s probably not necessary.
  • Artwork and music samples. We don’t admit students to our music or art majors based on their prior skills or experience—these majors are available to any enrolling student who has an interest. However, if you’d like us to see some of your art or musical work because you feel it would help us get to know you better, you’re welcome to submit it. The best way to share this type of information is by posting your work online, then including a URL in your application. We can’t review media that is submitted by CD or DVD. We also can’t return any materials submitted to us, so please do not send originals.
  • Disability-related documentation. If you believe your academic progress has been affected by disability-related issues, we encourage you to share this information with us. Learn more about submitting disability-related documentation.

If you need to add information to your application after submitting it, you can email it to us at uncsubmit@admissions.unc.edu. Please remember to include your full name and date of birth so we can easily add the new information to your application.

Can I interview?
While we’d love to meet you, unfortunately we can’t arrange to meet every single one of our applicants. For this reason, we don’t use interviews as a part of our admissions review. However, if you’re planning a visit to campus, we would be happy to show you around! Learn more about visiting campus.

How will I receive updates on my application? How will my decision be communicated?
MAINTAIN YOUR EMAIL:
All communication with you regarding the status of your application, items missing from your application, and your admission decision will be sent electronically. For that reason, it is critical that you maintain the email address you provide on your application and that you check it regularly for messages from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Excel@Carolina
As part of the UNC supplement to the Common Application, you will be asked to indicate your interest in up to three Excel@Carolina opportunities. These special opportunities range from Honors Carolina to assured admission in business and journalism. Please note that certain programs are only available to candidates admitted through Early Action. Learn more about Excel@Carolina and the selection process.

Please note that your interest in any of these opportunities will not affect your admission to the University in any way.

Group of friends hug each other upon meeting on UNC campus
South Building steps on UNC campus