Admissions Season

Carolina Alumni president Veronica Mora Flaspoehler ’08. Photo: Carolina Alumni/Jason D. Smith ’94

We are currently in the midst of the most competitive admissions season to date, with applications, at last count, up 15 percent from last year’s record number. With such a strong interest in Carolina, I find myself reflecting on the essence of our shared experiences, the resilience of our Tar Heel spirit and the bonds that tie us together as one extended family. It is with this sense of unity and understanding that I reach out to you during this season, where dreams are realized and challenges are faced with unwavering strength.

In the context of this season, let me share with you some metrics that shed light on the intensity and significance of the admissions process. For the 2023–24 academic year, our alma mater received a staggering 59,012 applications (a record high at the time). Among these, 15,398 applications were from North Carolina residents, demonstrating the competitiveness within the state. Non-North Carolina residents submitted 43,614 applications, emphasizing the heightened competition faced by those from outside the state.

Of the total applicants, 6,114 North Carolina residents and 4,739 nonresidents were admitted. Within this vast applicant pool the resilience and determination of our alumni families shine through. Among admitted students, 1,021 were resident children of alumni (about 49 percent acceptance rate), and 319 (about a 30 percent rate) were nonresident children of alumni. These figures underscore the strength of our community and the enduring impact of our alumni.

As a reminder, these application metrics are for the class that entered Carolina this past fall. This year’s admissions cycle is not complete, though admissions decisions have been communicated, but the number of applications received has hit a record high at approximately 67,000. This surge reflects both the enduring appeal of UNC-Chapel Hill and the heightened aspirations of the talented individuals seeking admission to our esteemed University. The growing appeal may be partially attributed to the announcement the University made last year regarding a new initiative that will cover tuition and mandatory fees for in-state undergraduates whose family income is less than $80,000. This expanded financial support will start fall 2024.

To those families who have faced disappointments in this highly competitive process, please know that you are not alone. The journey to admissions is challenging, and these letters do not define the worth or potential of our talented applicants. I understand this personally; my own family has experienced the heartbreak that Tar Heels feel when an immediate family member is not accepted. It stings. But it was not the end of his Tar Heel journey, and he transferred to UNC for his sophomore year.

I share this to highlight that transferring can be a great opportunity for students who don’t feel connected to their current school after thriving in their first year. Although, most students do end up discovering that they are exactly where they are supposed to be.

We must remember that the essence of success is not confined to a single institution. While UNC may be the ideal home for some, academia is vast and diverse. At this moment, parents may want to consider encouraging a child to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead and reminding them that success is not limited to a specific campus but is cultivated through dedication, resilience and a commitment to personal and academic growth.

To the families celebrating admissions victories, we extend our heartfelt congratulations. Your achievements contribute to the legacy of excellence that defines our Carolina community. We eagerly await the positive impact your students will undoubtedly make on our beloved University.

As we navigate the admissions season, consider these metrics as a reminder that our Tar Heel family is connected by shared experiences, mutual support and a strong commitment to each other’s success. Together, we stand resilient, ready to face the challenges and celebrate the triumphs that come our way.

With Tar Heel pride,

Veronica Mora Flaspoehler ’08

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