Carolina Undergraduate Admissions

News, deadlines and Q&A

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

Jul 29

What Makes You Stand Out: Unrequested Extras Edition

Assistant Director of Admissions Patty Baum explains what you should do with the extra materials you may want to submit, but aren’t required on the application.


Jul 2

What Makes You Stand Out: Letters of Recommendation Edition

Have you ever wondered what makes a letter of recommendation stand out? Senior Assistant Director of Admissions Jared Rosenberg explains why letters of recommendation are important, and shares tips to make each letter the best it can be.

Jan 7

This Week’s FAQs

Happy New Year! It’s a cold day in Chapel Hill, but we’re so happy to see students filling campus again! Classes start tomorrow–it’s known as FDOC around here, “first day of classes”. Here are a few of the questions we’re hearing from applicants this week. Have a different question? Ask us in the comments or get in touch with us.

I’m an Early Action applicant. Can I submit my December test scores? 
If you’ve recently received scores from a December SAT or ACT test, you’re welcome to submit those to us if you’d like. However, please know that we can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to consider these scores–there just isn’t enough time before decisions are released. But we’ll do our best to consider them if you send them asap.

Should I send my midyear grades?
There’s no need to submit any midyear grades at this point. In early February, we’ll ask all admitted and deferred EA applicants, as well as all RD applicants, to self-report these grades on MyCarolina. Instructions will be sent by email at that time.

When will you release EA decisions?
We’re on track to release EA decisions by the end of January as scheduled. We are working hard to be sure we give every single application the thorough review it deserves. Read more about what we’re doing and why it takes time. Thanks for your patience!

Dec 19

What We’re Doing and Why It Takes Time

This year nearly 17,000 students chose to apply to Carolina under Early Action. We’re honored by the interest of these students and humbled by their achievements and potential. If you’re one of them, we’re grateful to you.

A lot happens between the time you hit the Submit button and the time you receive a decision. First we review what you sent us to make sure that everything came across intact. Then we match your application with the credentials – transcripts, school reports, recommendations, test scores – that others have sent us on your behalf. As we connect your credentials with your application, we check them off your to-do list.

All of this takes some time, not least because our applications, and the credentials that accompany them, tend to come to us all at once. The majority of applicants apply within a week or two of the deadline; their credentials came rushing right behind. The combined effect is sort of like a thousand owl-borne letters flying through the chimney of number four, Privet Drive.

This year, we made great progress assembling application materials and at this point, all but a few hundred applications are complete. (Not sure if your application is complete? Check this blog post for more info.)  We’ve also made great progress reviewing applications; the admissions committee has been busy reading, re-reading, and discussing applications for many weeks now. We’ll finalize this work in the coming weeks, and we’ll also review finalists for merit scholarships, Honors Carolina, and Excel@Carolina.

We’re lucky to have great students at Carolina – and the interest of other great students who are thinking about joining us. I promise you we don’t take your interest for granted. And I promise we will give your application the careful and thorough review it deserves.

In the meantime, thank you for your patience, and thank you for choosing Carolina.

–Stephen Farmer

Dec 9

EA Applicants: Make Sure Your Application is Complete

UNC wants to read your application

This afternoon, we’re sending a second email to students whose early action applications remain incomplete. We’re not able to review your application until all the parts are received and linked to your record. Check out this recent blog post for more details about how to check if your application is complete, and what to do if we’re missing materials.

December is flying by, and we’re working hard on reviewing applications to get Early Action applicants their decisions by the end of January. If your application is missing materials, help us out by taking action and following up with us. We really do want to read your application!

Nov 25

EA Applicants: Missing Application Materials?

Late last week, we sent an email to all EA applicants whose applications were incomplete. If you received one of these emails, please don’t panic! There is still plenty of time to re-send materials, or to work together to locate materials that have gone astray. Don’t panic, but please do take action. Your first step: READ THE WHOLE EMAIL. I know it’s a long email, but it has important instructions that will tell you what to do, depending on when and how you originally sent the items in question. I’ll repeat the most important points here:

  • You can always check the status of your application by going to MyCarolina and clicking the orange “MyCarolina for Applicants” button. Log in with your UNC Guest ID. (Never created a Guest ID? Refer back to the email we sent you after you submitted your application. If you can’t find the email, contact us at so we can re-send it).
  • Your To-Do List will list any missing application materials. If there’s nothing on the list, then your application is complete!
  • If you submitted materials via the Common App, but they’re still showing up as missing, email us at with your full name, date of birth, which item is missing, and the date you originally submitted it. With that information, we’ll be able to better locate items that are in electronic limbo.
  • If you sent the items within the last 7-10 days, please give us a little more time to link these materials to your app.

We’re receiving many phone calls and emails, so it’s helpful if you choose one or the other. We’ll get back to you as quickly as we can. If you have general questions, please feel free to use the comments below. We look forward to completing these applications so we can get to work reading them! Thanks for your patience and help.

Nov 6

Early Action Update: What’s Happening with your Application?

Hello applicants! Thanks again to all of you who submitted applications for Early Action. We received a little more than 16,000 applications and we’ve been hard at work assembling all of your application materials and getting ready to sit down and read them. A few notes for those of you who have already applied:

  • If you submitted for Early Action, you should have received an email from us with instructions on how to create your UNC Guest ID. Using these login credentials, you can log into MyCarolina for Applicants (click the orange button) to view the status of your application and your To Do List. If you didn’t receive this email, email us at so that we can re-send it. (Please first double-check the correct email address and your spam filter.)
  • Your To Do List will list any items that haven’t yet been linked to your application. Please allow 2-3 weeks for your To Do List to be updated (and even up to 4-6 weeks for materials submitted by snail mail). Even if you submitted all of your materials at the same time, you may notice that some items update more quickly than others. With the new Common Application this year, we’ve encountered some challenges in making our database system “talk” to their new system. We’re hoping to be fully caught up with linking materials to applications this week.
  • Please don’t send duplicate items at this point. After we process and link all of the materials that have been submitted to us (probably later this month), we’ll contact students by email who still have outstanding items.

And finally, thank you again to those of you who applied to us. We know many students and many teachers and counselors experienced technical difficulties this year while submitting applications and supporting materials, and we’re sorry for the extra stress. However, we’ve been continuing to work closely with Common Application, and we believe that most of the issues have now been resolved.

Important! We don’t want to let technical troubles prevent any student from receiving full consideration for admission, so if you have trouble, don’t ever hesitate to let us know. Please also know that you won’t be disadvantaged if your application is delayed for reasons outside of your control (for example, if it takes us a little longer to match up submitted materials or if your counselor has trouble submitting a transcript). When your application becomes complete, we’ll give it a full and thorough review.

Many members of our staff have been traveling throughout the fall, out on the road to meet students at college fairs and high schools. We’re all now back in the office and our full admissions committee has spent the past week regrouping and getting ready for a new reading season. We spend a lot of time each year discussing individual cases, and the very first case we discussed this year was an ADMIT! One down, many more to go. We promise to spend the next couple months carefully considering each of your applications, one at a time.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions.

Oct 18

Why Apply Early Action? You’ll Be Glad You Did

Our final reason to apply Early Action is pretty much a no-brainer:

Reason#3 to apply Early: Get your decision early!

Students who apply by our extended Early Action deadline of October 21 will get their decision by the end of January, rather than having to wait until March. This will give you more time in the spring to consider your options, visit schools, and make a thoughtful decision about where you’ll enroll next year. UNC (and probably most of the other schools you’re applying to) offers some great opportunities in the spring–special events just for admitted students that will give you a chance to visit campus, talk to students and professors, and really get a feel for the school. These events are offered to students from both deadlines, but you’ll have more options if you get your decision early.

Our extended Early Action deadline is MONDAY, OCTOBER 21. Submit your Common Application online by 11:59pm ET to be considered for EA. You’ll be glad you did.

Questions? Let us know.

Oct 11

Why Apply Early Action? You Still Have Time!

Want another reason to submit your Early Action application by October 15?

Reason #2 to apply Early: It’s not that hard!

All you need to submit by the October 15 deadline is your own portion of the Common Application online. Everything else–your transcript, letter of recommendation, test scores–can arrive later. So long as you submit the application online by 11:59pm ET on October 15, we’ll consider you for Early Action.

Please do work with your teacher and counselor to have the other materials submitted to us as soon as possible. We can’t review your application until we have all the required items. But it’s just fine if these materials arrive a couple weeks after the deadline.

Questions? Let us know!

Oct 9

Why Apply Early Action? Be Considered for ALL Scholarships

The Early Action Deadline of October 15 is coming up in less than a week. We offer two application deadlines, so if you’re not able to submit your application by this coming Tuesday, you still have plenty of time to get it in by our second and final deadline of January 10. Neither deadline is binding, and neither deadline plan offers an advantage in the admissions review. But, there are some advantages of applying early.

Reason #1 to Apply Early: More Chances for Scholarships

There’s no separate application for the merit scholarships that Carolina offers, so just by applying for admission, you’ll be considered for a wide range of scholarships and opportunities. We award these opportunities to students from both Early Action and Regular Decision, but there are a handful of them that are only open to Early Action applicants:

  • The Pogue Scholarship is awarded to student leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to effecting positive change in their local communities.
  • The Global Gap Year Fellowship offers students $7500, resources, and support to take a gap year for international service and travel.
  • If you’re an out-of-state student and wish to be referred to the Morehead-Cain (and are not nominated by your high school), you must apply by the Early Action deadline. (If you’re an NC student who applied directly to the program or if you were nominated by your high school, you may select either deadline).

Because these scholarships are awarded earlier in the year, they’re only available to those students who apply for admission by the Early Action deadline.

No matter when you apply, we’ll consider you for a broad range of scholarships–and there are still many exciting opportunities that are awarded to Regular Decision candidates. But, for fullest consideration, we encourage you to apply by October 15!