Skip to content
Admit hero's

University of North Carolina Admissions Profile

Keep reading to learn more about UNC's admissions process, including extracurriculars, personal essays, and interviews. Maximize your application to UNC and schedule a free consultation with one of our counselors!


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the University of North Carolina admissions profile. If you're considering applying to the University of North Carolina (UNC), this article will provide you with all the essential information you need to know. From admission requirements to the application process, scholarships, and campus life, we've got you covered. Let's dive in and explore what makes UNC such a prestigious institution.

University of North Carolina Admissions Profile

The University of North Carolina is a renowned public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Established in 1789, UNC is the oldest public university in the United States and one of the original Public Ivy schools. With a rich history, top-notch faculty, and a vibrant campus community, UNC offers a diverse range of academic programs and opportunities for students.

Below are tables highlighting how UNC evaluates each applicant through information published in the Common Data Set, a resource that compiles a standardized list of data items provided by universities about their admissions profiles.

Relative importance of each of the following academic and nonacademic factors in first-time, first-year, degree-seeking (freshman) admission decisions


Screenshot 2023-07-23 at 12.50.26 PM

Admissions Requirements

To gain admission to the University of North Carolina, applicants must meet certain requirements. Here are the key factors considered during the admissions process:

  1. Academic Excellence: UNC seeks students who have demonstrated strong academic performance throughout their high school years. This includes a rigorous curriculum, high grades, and impressive standardized test scores.

  2. Test Scores: While UNC considers various factors holistically, SAT or ACT scores play a crucial role in the admissions process. It's recommended that applicants aim for scores within the range of the middle 50% of admitted students.

  3. Transcripts and Coursework: Admissions officers carefully review applicants' high school transcripts to assess their course rigor and academic achievements. Taking challenging courses like Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) can boost your chances of acceptance.

  4. Extracurricular Involvement: UNC values well-rounded students who have actively engaged in extracurricular activities. This includes participation in clubs, sports, community service, leadership roles, and other notable achievements.

The Application Process

Applying to UNC involves several steps, and it's important to stay organized throughout the process. Let's walk through each stage of the application process:

1. Online Application

To get started, visit the official UNC admissions website and complete the online application form. Provide accurate personal information, academic history, and extracurricular involvement. Double-check your entries before submitting to ensure there are no errors.

2. Essays and Personal Statements

UNC requires applicants to submit essays and personal statements that highlight their experiences, goals, and motivations. Take your time to craft compelling and authentic responses that showcase your unique personality and aspirations.

3. Letters of Recommendation

You'll need to request letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, or other individuals who can speak to your academic abilities and personal character. Choose recommenders who know you well and can provide insightful and positive feedback.

4. Standardized Test Scores

Official SAT or ACT scores must be sent directly to UNC from the testing agency. Be sure to plan and register for these exams well in advance to allow ample time for score delivery.

5. Application Fee or Fee Waiver

There is an application fee to submit your application to UNC. However, fee waivers are available for eligible students who demonstrate financial need. Check the UNC admissions website for specific details and instructions on obtaining a fee waiver.

6. Deadlines

Pay close attention to application deadlines as they vary depending on whether you are applying as an Early Action or Regular Decision applicant. Early Action allows you to receive an early decision, while Regular Decision offers a later response.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

UNC is committed to providing a high-quality education that is accessible to students from all backgrounds. The university offers various scholarships and financial aid options to help make education affordable. Here are a few examples:

  1. Carolina Covenant: This program ensures that qualified low-income students graduate from UNC debt-free by combining grants, scholarships, and work-study opportunities.

  2. Merit-Based Scholarships: UNC awards scholarships to exceptional students based on their academic achievements, leadership qualities, and other notable accomplishments. These scholarships often cover a significant portion of tuition costs.

  3. Need-Based Financial Aid: UNC's financial aid office assists students in determining their eligibility for need-based aid, including grants, loans, and work-study programs. It's important to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for financial assistance.

Campus Life and Resources

UNC boasts a vibrant campus community with a wide array of resources and opportunities for students to explore. Here are some highlights:

  1. Residential Life: UNC provides a range of on-campus housing options to accommodate the diverse needs and preferences of students. Living on campus offers a unique opportunity to connect with peers, participate in events, and immerse yourself in the university experience.

  2. Student Organizations: With over 800 student organizations, UNC offers something for everyone. Whether you're interested in arts and culture, community service, sports, or academic clubs, you'll find like-minded individuals and countless ways to get involved.

  3. Academic Support: UNC is dedicated to supporting student success academically. The university offers tutoring services, writing centers, academic advising, and various resources to help students excel in their studies.

  4. Career Services: UNC's career services office provides guidance and resources to help students explore career paths, develop job search strategies, and connect with potential employers. They also organize career fairs and networking events throughout the year.

Supplemental Essays in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Admissions Process

As part of the application process, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) requires applicants to complete supplemental essays. These essays provide an opportunity for applicants to showcase their unique qualities, experiences, and aspirations beyond what is captured in their general application. Let's explore the supplemental essays required by UNC:

Essay Prompt 1: Choose one of the prompts below and respond in a maximum of 250 words:

Carolina’s supplement will provide you with four prompts, and you will choose two. Each response will be limited to 200-250 words.

a) Tell us about a peer who has made a difference in your life.

b) What do you hope will change about the place where you live?

c) What is one thing that we don’t know about you that you want us to know?

d) What about your background, or what perspective, belief, or experience, will help you contribute to the education of your classmates at UNC?

This prompt offers a variety of options for applicants to choose from. They should select two prompts and respond to each within a maximum of 250 words. It is crucial to consider the chosen prompts carefully and provide thoughtful and well-crafted responses that reveal personal insights, values, and potential contributions to the UNC community.

Essay Prompt 2: Tell us about a time you were challenged and what you learned from it. (200-250 words)

This prompt invites applicants to reflect on a challenging experience they have faced and the lessons learned from it. Applicants should narrate their personal journey, highlighting the obstacles they encountered and the growth or transformation that resulted from the experience. It is important to articulate the significance of the challenge and convey resilience, adaptability, and personal development.

Applicants should approach these supplemental essays with authenticity, clarity, and depth. It is important to utilize the word limit effectively and provide specific examples that highlight the applicant's unique experiences, perspectives, and fit with UNC's community. By doing so, applicants can strengthen their application and demonstrate their potential contributions to the vibrant University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill community.

Essay Samples

Prompt: Describe an aspect of your identity and how this has shaped your life experiences or impacted your daily interactions with others?


You wouldn’t think an American Asian Affinity Space would be diverse, after all its whole premise is centered around one specific identity. However, members of the affinity space at my high school come from several different grades, genders and ethnicities. The group included a sophomore from China, a junior from Pakistan, and members from Korea, Japan, and even Israel. We each had unique stories of living as an Asian-American, yet, we had all chosen to come to this affinity group. As we spent time together, we were able to find shared experiences, like our parents preparing packed lunches for us from our country and being too embarrassed to bring them to school. Whether eating humbow or biryani, we all knew what it was like to feel out of place. 

My work with the AAAS got me thinking about what diversity can look like, and what it means to embrace diversity. On the one hand, you can find diversity even when people appear to be alike. By exploring our differences, we can continue learning from each other even when it seems we have shared backgrounds and values. At the same time, people who seem really different may have shared human experiences, feeling like the "other" or being embarrassed by their parents, that can bring them together. Moving forward, I want to learn about people’s differences, hearing their stories and learning about their backgrounds while also creating spaces for people to have shared experiences that bring people together.

Prompt: Describe a peer who is making a difference in your school or community. What actions has that peer taken? How has their work made a difference in your life? 


When I met Bella, my ears didn’t work. I could hear, but not listen. When I conversed with friends, we were in our own universes. There was little empathy, just interruptions and distractions. And because nobody around me seemed to have the desire to listen, I gave up on it too.

From the moment Bella and I were crowned co-winners of a middle-school cup-stacking competition, each winning half of a coveted cookie cake, things changed. I soon realized how perceptive Bella was to people’s feelings. 

Our chats morphed into meaningful conversations and fits of laughter. She was the first friend I came out to as bi. After telling her, I waited nervously for the uncomfortable acceptance and frantic search for other conversation topics. But instead, she looked me in the eye and said she loved me no matter who I loved. Then, she asked curious questions rather than trying to ignore my identity. And I was there for Bella too. When she told me about the emotional distance she felt growing up far away from her dad who lives in South Korea, I supported her, not trivializing her pain with dismissive reassurances. Since our cup-stacking battle, we’ve been strong for each other.

Bella unplugged my ears. That’s why she was the first person I interviewed for my podcast, Portraits, about people in my life. I know that as an empathetic listener, I am more vulnerable now, but, thanks to Bella, I understand how to communicate love.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Application Deadlines

When applying to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), it is important to be aware of the specific application deadlines. UNC follows a deadline-based application process, and understanding these dates is crucial for a smooth application experience.

Regular Decision

The Regular Decision deadline for UNC is typically January 15. This deadline allows students ample time to prepare and submit their application materials. It is important to ensure that all required components, such as transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, and essays, are submitted by the deadline.

Early Action (Restrictive)

UNC offers an Early Action (EA) application option known as Restrictive Early Action. The deadline for Restrictive Early Action is typically October 15. This plan is non-binding, meaning that applicants are not obligated to enroll if admitted. Applying Restrictive Early Action demonstrates a strong interest in UNC and allows students to receive an admission decision earlier in the process.

Financial Aid Application

For students seeking financial aid, UNC requires the submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile. The financial aid application deadline typically aligns with the Regular Decision deadline of January 15. It is important to complete and submit these financial aid documents by the specified deadline to be considered for need-based aid.

Late applications are generally not accepted, so it is crucial to plan ahead and allocate enough time to gather and submit all required documents. Meeting the application deadlines ensures that students are given full consideration during the admissions process.

By understanding and adhering to these deadlines, prospective students can effectively plan their application timeline and increase their chances of being considered for admission to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a prestigious institution known for its academic excellence and diverse community.

UNC aerial view

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the acceptance rate at UNC?

The acceptance rate for UNC varies each year, but it is typically highly competitive, with an average acceptance rate of around 22-25%.

Are interviews required for admission to UNC?
No, interviews are not typically required as part of the admissions process. However, some programs or scholarships may request interviews as part of their specific requirements.
What majors are offered at the University of North Carolina?

UNC offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs across various disciplines, including arts and sciences, business, engineering, health sciences, journalism, and many more.


Choosing the right university is a significant decision, and understanding the University of North Carolina admissions profile is essential for a successful application. UNC's commitment to academic excellence, vibrant campus life, and numerous resources make it an attractive choice for students seeking a transformative educational experience. We hope this comprehensive guide has provided valuable insights and answers to your questions. Good luck with your journey towards becoming a Tar Heel!