Admissions: First-Year Profile

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 in fall 2020. (Preliminary numbers usually are reported each August; these numbers were compiled after the start of the fall semester.)

  • 44,379 applied for admission (1% less than in 2019)
  • 10,446, or 23%, were admitted
  • 4,444 enrolled

Of those who enrolled:

  • 61.1% are female, 38.9% are male
  • 52% were born in North Carolina; 10% were born outside the U.S.
  • 86% have at least one parent who earned a two- or four-year degree
  • 47% have at least one parent who earned a graduate degree
  • 3% have no parent who earned a high school diploma
  • 36% are fluent in two or more languages; 15% speak a language other than English as their first language (4% Mandarin, 4% Spanish)
  • 16% have three or more siblings; 10% are only children
  • 17.7% of those enrolling are first-generation college students, coming from families where a parent has not graduated from a four-year school
  • 36% are receiving need-based aid while 5.4% are receiving merit-based aid
  • 7.5% are affiliated with the military
  • Admitted first-year students came from 97 N.C. counties, including 36% from rural N.C. counties; 42 states and the District of Columbia and 50 other countries
  • 859 students entered Carolina as transfer students


Class Rank

SAT Scores


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.)

School and Community Activities

Extracurricular activities
Made friends with someone who is different from me 93%
Used an online instructional website (e.g. Khan Academy, Coursera) 92%
Participated in community service 92%
Studied with other students 91%
Asked a teacher for advice outside of class 85%
Attended a concert, museum or art exhibit 79%
Pursued an independent hobby 75%
Played a sport 72%
Cooked for family or friends 72%
Contributed to a cause I believe in 70%
Read books for leisure 68%
Cared for a family pet 65%
Traveled outside my home country 61%
Assumed daily family responsibilities (e.g. babysitting younger siblings, etc.) 60%
Held a paying job during the school year 51%
Held position as president of class or club 51%
Participated in a recreational athletic event 50%
Participated in religious or faith-based communities 49%
Participated in academic competitions 47%
Played video games 43%
Conducted research outside the classroom 36%
Captained a varsity sport 34%
Participated in student government 33%
Participated in academic or professional internship 30%
Participated in a nonviolent march or demonstration 30%
Earned all-conference or higher recognition as an athlete 23%
Contributed to school publication 21%
Achieved fluency in nonnative language 21%
Participated in orchestra or band 20%
Participated in school or community-based theater 17%
Founded an organization 17%
Earned first-chair in orchestra or band 10%
Started a business or nonprofit 8%
Worked on a local, state or national political campaign 8%
Studied abroad during high school 7%
Named National Achievement Scholar 6%
Served as student body president 6%
Earned National Merit Semifinalist recognition 6%
Served as editor-in-chief of publication 5%
Participated in Governor’s School 5%
Participated in Girls’ or Boys’ State 5%
Earned National Merit Finalist recognition 4%
Earned Eagle Scout or Gold Award 4%

Intended Major

Biology 18.7%
Business administration 12.5%
Undecided 5.9%
Psychology 5.4%
Political science 5.1%
Computer science 5.0%
Biomedical and health sciences engineering 4.6%
Neuroscience 3.4%
Chemistry 3.4%
Nursing 3.3%
Economics 2.8%
Media and journalism 2.6%
Exercise and sport science 2.4%
Mathematics 2.4%
Environmental sciences 1.7%
Global studies 1.5%
Communication studies 1.4%
History 1.4%
Pharmacy 1.1%
Health policy and management 1.1%

Career Interest

Physician 18.0%
Business executive 10.1%
Scientific researcher 6.2%
Lawyer 5.7%
Computer programmer 3.9%
Engineer 3.8%
Nurse 2.9%
Policymaker or government employee 2.8%
Writer or journalist 2.6%
Business owner 2.5%
Clinical psychologist 2.3%
Dentist 2.2%
Therapist (physical, occupational, speech) 2.1%
Foreign service worker 1.6%
Pharmacist 1.4%

The Carolina Alumni Review has reported on admissions regularly 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