C-STEP

C-STEP is a pathway for community college students to transfer to and graduate from Carolina.

Through C-STEP, or the Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program, talented low- and moderate-income high school and community college students are guaranteed admission to Carolina. After being admitted to C-STEP and successfully completing their work at a partner community college, students come to Chapel Hill.

C-STEP gives students access to special events, advising, and transition and support services both at their community college and at Carolina. C-STEP students will be academically prepared and fully engaged in their college and university communities – setting them on a positive path to success.

A student flips through a textbook at Kenan Science Library.

Is C-STEP a Good Fit for Me?

We hope you’ll apply to C-STEP if  you’re a high school senior of community college student who is enrolled or planning to enroll at one of our partner schools.

Partner Community Colleges

You’ll also want to make sure that:

  • You plan to earn an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associates of Sciences (AS) degree.
  • You’ll maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2.
  • You’ll have completed no more than half of your associate degree when you apply.
  • You’re eligible to receive federal aid.

When Should I Apply?

If you’re interested in C-STEP, you can apply now. New students enroll at Carolina through C-STEP twice a year.

Submit Your ApplicationReceive Your Decision
April 1Late April
October 1Late October

What's Required to Apply?

    • If you’ve taken these tests, we’ll ask you to please self-report your SAT or ACT test results. Because of disruptions related to COVID-19, the UNC System — of which Carolina is a constituent university — has approved a one-year waiver of the SAT or ACT requirement for first-year candidates who are applying for admission for Spring, Summer, or Fall 2021. We encourage you to submit scores if you can, and if you do, we promise we’ll remember that you earned them under difficult circumstances. If you can’t submit scores, we promise to consider you carefully and comprehensively without them, and we encourage you to go ahead and apply.

    • Essay 1: The ideal C-STEP candidate is someone with demonstrated academic potential and has an income at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. The selection process is a holistic one that may also consider factors such as the ability to overcome obstacles, first-generation college status, diversity, employment history, and family responsibilities. Tell us why you’re a good candidate for C-STEP.

      Essay 2: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

    • Within the application, upload unofficial transcripts from your graduating high school and all colleges or universities that you’ve attended, even if you did not complete classes.

    • Submit two letters of recommendation to cstep@admissions.unc.edu. Letters should be emailed directly from the recommenders.

2021 The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill