First-Year Application

We’re grateful for your interest in joining our community at Carolina.

When you apply, we’ll consider everything we learn about you from reading your application. You’re a unique individual, and we want to treat you as you deserve to be treated — with care, appreciation, and respect.

student writes in his notebook while sitting at the Student Union on Carolina's campus

STEP 1: Pick Your Deadline


Early Action

Apply by October 15 and receive your admissions decision by January 31.

Early action is nonbinding — if you’re admitted, you won’t need to commit to Carolina any earlier than the regular reply date of May 1.

Regular Decision

Apply by January 15 and receive your decision by March 31.

Step 2: Complete the Application

Apply online through the Common Application. Provide us with your personal email address to make sure our messages go straight to you.

      • Extracurricular Activities
        Tell us about how you spend your time outside the classroom and why it’s important to you.

      • Essay and Two Short Answers
        Your personal essay and short answers give us the chance to hear your voice and see you as a whole person, not just a student. When you respond, we hope you’ll be yourself and sound like yourself.

      • Global Opportunities
        This section of your application is optional.
        In addition to considering applicants for fall enrollment, we are looking for students who want to go abroad before enrolling at Carolina through either the Global Gap Year Fellowship or Carolina Global Launch. If you’d like to be considered for either, indicate your interest and submit two additional short answer responses that share your interest in global experiences.
      • Honors Carolina and Special Opportunities
        This section of your application is optional.
        You can express interest in a range of special opportunities including Honors Carolina, assured enrollment in professional or dual-degree programs, or specific scholarships.

      • Application Fee or Fee Waiver
        The non-refundable application fee is $85, and if you can’t pay the fee right now, please talk with your school counselor about asking us to waive it. The bottom line: whether you apply with a fee or a waiver, we’ll be grateful to receive your application, and we’ll consider you with care, appreciation, and respect.

Step 3: Send Supplemental Materials

These materials help us have a full and thorough understanding of you as a student and the contributions that you make in the classroom.

      • Letter of Recommendation
        This letter should come from a teacher who taught you in a core academic area, like English, math, science, social science, or world language.

      • Official Transcript and School Report
        Ask your school to send us your official transcript by secure electronic delivery as well as an official school report.
      • College and University Courses
        If you’ve taken courses for credit at a college or university, you are required to report them on your application and include the specific courses and grades in the UNC supplement, but you don’t need to send official transcripts when applying. If you’re admitted and choose to enroll, we’ll need official transcripts for these courses along with your final high school transcript before you begin classes at Carolina.

      • SAT or ACT Scores
        Because of disruptions related to COVID-19, the UNC System has extended its waiver of the SAT or ACT requirement for candidates who are applying for fall 2023 or fall 2024 admission. This waiver means that you may apply whether or not you’ve taken either test, and if you do take a test, you can choose whether or not to share your scores and have us consider them. Whether or not you ultimately share test scores, we will consider you carefully and comprehensively for admissions, scholarships, and other opportunities. For us, testing is always one factor among many — always viewed alongside those many other factors, and never the sole or dominant reason we make our decisions. If you share your test scores, are admitted, and choose to enroll, we will require that your official scores be sent directly from the testing service.

Step 4: Share Additional information

If you need to add information to your application after submitting it, you’ll be able to upload this using MyCarolina. If a school official or recommender has additional information, please ask them to email us at and include your full name and date of birth.

a student walking past a fall tree with yellow leaves looks back over her shoulder while laughing

Step 5: Apply for Aid

Submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and CSS Profile by the priority deadline of March 1. Learn how to submit both on our Financial Aid website.

Keep in Mind

  • If you’re a North Carolina resident, you’ll need verify your residency with Residency Determination Services.
  • Check your email regularly. If we need materials or more information as we’re reviewing your application, your email is where you’ll hear from us.
  • 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.
  • We require all applicants (including students offered admission) to disclose any new school-based disciplinary incidents or criminal charges that occur after the application was submitted within ten days of the occurrence. The student’s written explanation as well as any required corroborating documentation (from a school official or legal representative) can be shared in MyCarolina.

Helpful Deadlines

DeadlineEarly ActionRegular Decision
Application and Fee or WaiverOctober 15January 15
ResidencyOctober 15January 15
Supporting Materials and Test ScoresDecember 1February 15
Financial AidMarch 1March 1
Decisions ReleasedJanuary 31March 31
Enrollment Decision if AdmittedMay 1May 1
DeadlineEarly ActionRegular Decision
Application and Fee or WaiverOctober 15January 15
ResidencyOctober 15January 15
Supporting Materials and Test ScoresDecember 1February 15
Financial AidMarch 1March 1
Decisions ReleasedJanuary 31March 31
Enrollment Decision if AdmittedMay 1May 1