Admissions: Hard Work, Sensitivity and Judgment

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

Last Year, in welcoming Jim Walters, the University’s new director of undergraduate admissions, I observed that Jim “just may have the toughest job on campus.”   A year later, it is clear that competition for admission remains keen and, unfortunately, not everyone – even many well-qualified students – can be admitted.

Many myths abound about Carolina admissions.  Please review “Eight Myths About Admissions at UNC” on Page 4.

I continue to be concerned that, in some cases, alumni give their youngsters the impression that unless they are able to attend their alma mater – Carolina – they have somehow failed or disappointed their parents.  There are many fine schools; the most important thing is not that a youngster attends a particular school, but that he or she continues his or her education.  Parents can help by encouraging their youngsters to work hard, take college preparatory courses and fully explore their leadership talents through extracurricular activities.

From time to time I hear concern that some youngsters are at a disadvantage because their parents may not contribute substantial sums to the University or may not serve in some leadership position.  It should comfort all, particularly entering students, that the leadership at Carolina has long believed that youngsters admitted should earn their admission through their performance.

Of course, because every applicant is considered as an individual – not a number – judgments must be made.  These judgments are difficult, because they are made about young adults who are about to depart the security of home to experience independence and pursue an education that prepares them for life.  It is important that our Admissions Office treat each applicant with sensitivity at all times.  If a rejection is unavoidable, the Admissions Office should assure the youngster that he or she is not being rejected as a person, only their academic credentials are less competitive than others.

I hope that our readers take the time to understand fully the complexities associated with admissions at Carolina.  Please write and ask for our Alumni Admissions Handbook, which is available to members of the Association at no cost.  Call us if we can assist you or if you have any difficulty in dealing directly with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Yes, Jim Walters has a tough job.  It is an important one.  After all, we are not only recruiting students, we are also recruiting future Carolina alumni.

Yours at Carolina,

Doug signature





Douglas S. Dibbert ’70


Profile of Students Entering UNC, August 1991


                                                Percent                                   Percent

Applied           Accepted        Accepted        Enrolled         Enrolled      



N.C. residents               6,197               4,051                 65%                2,583                64%



Alumni children               466                  236                 51%                   135                57%



residents                        8,674               1,173                 14%                   424                36%


Total                            15,337               5,460                 36%                3,142               58%


In this class, 499 students (16 percent of the freshmen) are children of alumni.



N.C. residents               1,909                 693                  36%                    495               71%



alumni children                  58                   19                  33%                      12               63%



residents                        1,477             1,015                  29%                    685               67%


Source:  UNC Office of Undergraduate Admissions



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