Admissions: First-Year Profile

Applied, Admitted and Enrolled

The University welcomed 4,355 first-year students – its largest freshman class ever – as well as 709 transfer students as classes began in fall 2017. This first-year class also had the highest-ever number of North Carolina residents at the time of enrollment – 3,662 – representing an increase of 4.5 percent from the previous year.Earlier in the year, a record 40,926 first-year applicants represented a 14 percent increase from a year earlier and set a record for total number of applicants for the 12th consecutive year.

The new first-year class includes 743 students who aspire to be the first in their families to graduate from college, an increase of 5 percent from last year’s entering class. The Carolina Covenant, which guarantees eligible low-income students the opportunity to graduate from Carolina debt-free, has welcomed 511 new first-year students and 214 transfer students.

This Class Profile details information provided by UNC’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions about students who applied to Carolina, about those who were admitted and then those who enrolled. (Preliminary numbers are reported each August; these numbers were compiled after the start of the fall semester.)


Geographic distribution is not necessarily tied to residency status or citizenship. The number of students who qualified for admission as in-state students differs from the number of admitted students who have North Carolina addresses as their primary residence, according to the admissions office. (For example: A student might live with one parent out of state while the other parent is a North Carolina resident and taxpayer.)

Academics – Test Scores

Academics – Class Rank

School and Community Activities

Participated in community service 92%
Studied with other students 87%
Socialized with someone from another racial/ethnic group 83%
Asked a teacher for advice outside of class 74%
Played a sport 70%
Contributed to a cause I believe in 66%
Pursued an independent hobby 65%
Used an online instructional website 60%
Assumed daily family responsibilities 58%
Participated in music, drama or other arts 50%
Traveled outside my home country 53%
Held a paying job during the school year 49%
Held position as president of class or club 48%
Participated in religious or faith-based communities 47%
Participated in academic competitions 42%
Captained a varsity sport 34%
Participated in student government 33%
Participated in academic or professional internship 25%
Earned all-conference or higher recognition as an athlete 23%
Conducted research outside the classroom 28%
Founded an organization 18%
Contributed to school publication 17%
Achieved fluency in non-native language 14%
Worked on a local, state or national political campaign 8%
Named National Achievement Scholar 6%
Studied abroad during high school 6%
Earned National Merit Semifinalist recognition 4%
Served as Student Body President 6%
Participated in Governor’s School 6%
Participated in Boys’ or Girls’ State 5%
Earned Eagle Scout or Gold Award 4%
Served as editor-in-chief of publication 5%
Earned National Merit Finalist recognition 4%

The Carolina Alumni Review has reported on the issue of admissions each year since 1996; all of that coverage is available to GAA members in the magazine’s digital archive at, with all recent reports also online at Complete editions of the Review can be found at