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FAQs for N.C. Cooperative Innovative High School (CIHS) Applicants

If you’re graduating from a Cooperative Innovative High School in North Carolina with an associate degree, you have the choice of applying to UNC-Chapel Hill as either a first-year or a transfer student. Here’s some information that we hope will help you choose the path that’s best for you. If you would like to talk through your options, please let us know.

As a CIHS student, is it easier to be admitted as a first-year applicant or a transfer applicant?
It depends entirely on each individual student’s application. Whether you apply as a first-year or a transfer student, we’ll consider your application carefully and take into account everything we know about you. If you apply as a first-year student, we consider your academic record to include courses taken and grades achieved, SAT/ACT results, extracurricular involvement, essays and recommendations. If you apply as a junior transfer student, we consider the same information although we do not require SAT/ACT results.

When will decisions be released for first-year and transfer applicants?
If you apply as a first-year applicant, you will be notified of your admission decision either at the end of January (if you apply Early Action) or at the end of March (if you apply Regular Decision). If admitted as a first-year student to the University, you have until May 1 to accept or decline your offer of admission. If you apply as a junior transfer applicant, you will be notified of your admission decision by mid-April. Admitted junior transfer students have until May 15 to accept or decline their offers of admission.

When do I register for classes?
If you’re an enrolling first-year student, you may register for fall classes after you attend first-year orientation, which takes place over the summer. For subsequent semesters, you will continue to register with your entering class regardless of the number of earned credits you bring to the University.

If you are an enrolling transfer student, you may register for fall classes as soon as you submit your enrollment deposit in April or May. For subsequent semesters, you will register based on the total number of combined credits brought to and earned at the University.

For additional information on registration, please refer to the University Registrar website section on understanding enrollment appointments.

If I choose to apply as a first-year applicant and am not admitted, may I apply again as a transfer applicant the same year?
No. But you’d be welcome to reapply as a transfer applicant for the Fall 2020 semester or a later term.

Are transfer students afforded the same academic and student life opportunities after enrollment?
Yes. All UNC students have the opportunity to apply for Study Abroad, Research opportunities, and all UNC sanctioned student organizations.

Are both first-year and transfer applicants guaranteed on-campus housing?
Yes. First-year students are required to live on campus. CIHS junior transfer students are not required to live on campus, but University housing is guaranteed and highly recommended. Every effort will be made to house first-year students with other first-year students. Transfer students will be housed either with first-year students or upperclassmen. This will be determined by room availability in the residence halls.

Are transfer applicants considered for Honors Carolina in the same way first-year applicants are?
Because Honors Carolina begins with general-education courses taken during a student’s first two years in residence, and because CIHS transfer students enter as juniors, CIHS transfer students are not eligible for Honors Carolina consideration, but they can graduate with honors by working closely with faculty members in their chosen major.

Are merit scholarships and financial aid available?
We direct most of our funding to need-based aid, because we want to make it possible for any student who earns admission to attend and graduate from Carolina. Both first-year and transfer applicants are considered for our full range of need-based aid as long as they submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and CSS/PROFILE by the March 1 priority deadline. We offer a limited number of merit-based scholarships for entering first-year students; we do not currently have any merit-based scholarships for entering transfer students.

Does my choice of applying as a first-year or transfer student impact my financial aid standing?
No. Students who submit the FAFSA and CSS/Profile in a timely manner and are eligible for financial assistance, will receive financial aid to cover 180 credit hours. Students transferring from a CIHS program will receive a minimum of 60 transferable credit hours whether they apply as a first-year or transfer applicant. After 180 credit hours, students may appeal for additional financial assistance, but they are not guaranteed that aid.

How will my choice to be considered as a first-year candidate versus a transfer candidate impact the number of semesters I will be on campus prior to graduation?
Students admitted as first-year candidates will have the option to complete their degree requirements in eight or fewer semesters.  Most students admitted as transfer candidates will have four to six semesters to graduate. If you are admitted and you choose to enroll, you will have an opportunity to work with your UNC academic advisor to plan your progress towards graduation.

What difference, if any, is there in the number of transferable credit hours I will receive upon enrollment at Carolina if I select transfer vs first-year consideration?
None. All students transferring from a CIHS program with an associate degree will receive at least 60 transferable credit hours, whether they apply as a first-year or transfer applicant. Additional hours may be awarded if you have received credit for additional college work.

Are the same orientation options available for both first-year and transfer applicants?
While first-year and transfer orientations differ in content, both programs occur over the summer immediately preceding the student’s first fall term of enrollment. Students may choose from a variety of dates once they have officially accepted their offer of enrollment.

What if a CIHS applicant chooses the transfer option but does not simultaneously receive both the high school diploma and the associate degree?
If you select the transfer option and are offered admission, but do not meet the associate degree requirement, the offer of transfer admission will be rescinded and you will be reconsidered as a first-year applicant. Your application as a first-year candidate will be considered as space in the first-year class allows. In addition, in order to complete your application as a first-year candidate, SAT or ACT scores will be required. We highly recommend that you notify the Office of Undergraduate Admissions as soon as possible once it has been determined that your diploma and associate degree will not be awarded simultaneously.

Are all majors available to CIHS transfer applicants in the same way they are to first-year applicants?
Most majors are available to CIHS transfer students. However, some programs require students to complete specific coursework before they can begin work in that major. A limited number of other programs require a separate application for admission into that program. Most of these majors are in, but not necessarily limited to, the areas of Health Affairs and Business. If particular prerequisites are required, you may need an extra 1-2 semester(s) of coursework at Carolina to obtain that specific degree. For more information by major, please see the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill course catalog and our online guide to applying to professional schools on our admissions website.

Pep Rally Anderson
A shot of the fall foliage from a Carolina residence hall