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Information for Parents

We’re grateful to you and your family for your interest in Carolina. While we know that the years leading up to college can be stressful for young people, we’ve also learned that it can be equally stressful for you as the parent. We have some advice that we hope will help.

First, take a deep breath. Then pat yourself on the back. You’ve reached a major milestone for successfully raising a child to young adulthood.  Congratulations! We appreciate all the hard work that you’ve done to help your child prepare for this important step. At the same time, you may feel as if you are at another crossroads because the college years represent the official entry into adulthood. As you know, it’s important for your young adult to take ownership of his or her future. However, because the decision to go to college is an enormous investment in family resources—emotional and financial—we thought it might be helpful to also share with some FAQs just for parents.  Please continue to visit this page as we will be adding more FAQs over time.


I didn’t go to college myself. Will that place my child at a disadvantage?

Absolutely not. Carolina’s commitment to access is legendary, and we welcome students who are the first in their families to attend college. In fact, in recent years, about eighteen percent of our entering class included students who were the first in their families to attend college (about 750 students). We are very excited to see more first-generation college students applying and gaining admission to Carolina because these students help contribute to the diversity of our student body. The University provides a list of resources specifically geared to family members who didn’t attend college themselves but are interested in supporting their children while they search for the best college for them.

I am an alumnus/a of the University. Will this be taken into consideration when my child applies?

Because we maintain close ties with our alumni and value their commitment to the University, we do ask about alumni ties on our application. For non-resident children of alumni (those whose mother, father, step-father, or step-mother attended Carolina), family ties to the University may be used in our final admission decision. Please note that legacy status cannot be derived from siblings, grandparents, or other extended family.

There is no formal preference for resident applicants who are children or step-children of alumni. In the course of evaluating such an applicant, depending on the whole of the student’s circumstance, we may see this family connection as one part of the student’s larger story. But resident children of alumni tend to fare well in admission to Carolina because they’re generally well prepared to thrive in college.


We are from out of state and will be moving to North Carolina. Where is the best place to live so that our children receive the kind of education that will best prepare them for admission to Carolina one day?

Welcome to North Carolina! Our state has enjoyed a long-standing commitment to education and as a result, North Carolina is fortunate to have a wonderful public education system in both urban and rural areas that has prepared countless young people to enter Carolina. Although we are unable to recommend one school system over another, you may be interested in the resources offered by the state Department of Public Instruction.

I’ve heard that it’s easier to get into Carolina if you come from a big city such as Raleigh. Is that true?

No. It is true that we admit more students from urban areas, but that is only because more students apply from urban areas. We have no quotas of any type for admission, other than the 18 percent cap on enrollment for out-of-state students.

How is residency determined?

Under state law, North Carolina residents are eligible for a lower tuition rate to state universities, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In order to qualify as a resident for tuition purposes, a person must have established legal residence (or domicile) in North Carolina and maintained that legal residence for at least twelve (12) months prior to his or her classification as a resident for tuition purposes. Each student is classified as an in-state or out-of-state resident upon admission. For more, please visit the University’s page on Residency.


What is the payment schedule for tuition?

Electronic bills are issued around the 16th of each month and will be due the next month. Tuition, fees and other charges for the term are due prior to the first day of classes for the term. Interim bills include other charges incurred during the term. Enrolled students and Authorized Users will receive email notification when bills are available in the ConnectCarolina Student Center. For more: please see Student Account Services.

Graham Memorial building on UNC campus
Students work on robotics project during class at UNC Chapel Hill