Admission to Carolina — Growing Easier?

From the University Report (published by the GAA 1970-94)

On a hot and humid Sunday in mid-August, Chapel Hill awakens from its summer doldrums to the presence of young freshmen, many making their first trip to the “Southern part of heaven” as members of the newest class selected to carry on the proud Carolina tradition.

On that Sunday afternoon, the Alumni Association traditionally hosts a reception for all alumni parents and their children – those proud parents who themselves attended Carolina and who are not delivering to Alma Mater a son or daughter.

As I talk with these parents and children, a parent will often volunteer “I wonder whether I would have been admitted to the University if I had applied at this time.  It seems as if it’s just getting tougher and tougher to get into Carolina.”  As all their credentials reflect, today’s freshmen are a motivated, bright and varied group.  However, as I have commented before, certain demographic changes make this an opportune time for youngsters to be applying to Carolina.  This is particularly true for alumni children.

As the chart on page 12 shows, there has been a significant increase in the acceptance rate for those applying to Carolina as undergraduates.  Overall, the acceptance rate increased by ten percent from 1983 to 1984.  Amazingly, among North Carolina applicants for the fall of 1984, 84 percent were admitted.

Many of our readers from out-of-state are already aware that if their child applied to Carolina, he or she receives a special bonus – that of competing with North Carolina applicants for admission to Carolina.  This means that the high school courses, class ranking, extra-curricular activities, and SAT scores of the alumni son or daughter will be compared with those of students who have been attending school in North Carolina.  Since roughly 85 percent of the spaces in the freshman class will be occupied by North Carolina applicants, this is a very significant advantage for alumni children.  (Of course, once admitted, and should they decide to attend, state law requires that alumni children pay the full out-of-state tuition!)

In the 1984 entering class of freshmen and junior transfers there are 804 alumni children.  Another 311 alumni children who were admitted elected not to enroll.  Only 70 alumni children were found unqualified for admission, and another 242 freshmen and junior transfer alumni children were denied admission because of space limitations.

What does all of this mean to alumni who wish to preserve the proud tradition and excellence of Carolina?  Like Coach Dean Smith, we must begin to recruit – yes, recruit the better students by encouraging them to apply to Carolina and, once admission, to attend.

Last fall our alumni chapter presidents were asked at a meeting in Chapel Hill to encourage alumni to help identify youngsters who should be urged to attend Carolina. The undergraduate admissions office has indicated that junior high school is not too soon to begin this process.  If alumni will share the names and addresses of students who are the “best” in their communities with the alumni office or the admissions office, these youngsters can be appropriately contacted before their junior year in high school.  Meanwhile, we need our alumni within their respective communities to encourage those youngsters who have been admitted to enroll at Chapel Hill.

For years private institutions have been aggressive in recruiting students and recently most public institutions have found it necessary to do likewise.  Carolina can be no exception.

As we move beyond the “baby boom” and begin graduating fewer high school seniors, the competition for the bright high school graduate has grown keen.  Alumni can play an important ambassadorial and recruiting role in sending promising youngsters to UNC-CH.

Won’t you use the form below to help us identify youngsters in your community whom you believe Carolina should begin to encourage to come to Chapel Hill?  Remember – this can be your contribution to preserving the Carolina tradition.


Yours at Carolina,

Doug signature





Douglas S. Dibbert ’70


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