Undergraduate Admissions: Myths and Realities

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

While not everyone can be admitted to UNC, alumni can help the University in this critical area. Again last year the General Alumni Association, working with our local chapter officers and other interested alumni, assisted our undergraduate admissions office by actively encouraging outstanding high school students to apply to Carolina. As you will note from the accompanying chart, our results were significant.

(A) Applications were up by 1,637.

(B) SAT score averages were up by 12 points.

(C) The percentage of entering freshmen in the top 20% of their class increased from 90% to 92%.

We hope our alumni readers will continue to help the University identify and recruit prospective students — future alumni.

New Alumni Admissions Program

In cooperation with the Undergraduate Admissions Office, as suggested by the report of the Board of Visitors Task Force on Admissions, the GAA has initiated an Alumni Admissions Program. This year local alumni chapters in targeted areas will host admitted students and encourage them to enroll at Carolina. In the near future, we hope to involve alumni even further in admissions and, thus, more personalize this process. If you would like to participate in this effort, please call (919) 962-6705 or write A!umni Admissions, c/o UNC General Alumni Association, PO Box 660, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.

To assist you in this important initiative, I share with you the following information:

Most Common Myths About Undergraduate Admissions at Chapel Hill
  • The Computer decides. (Wrong) Every application is personally reviewed by one or more members of the admissions staff. The total history and high school record of the applicant is carefully considered before making a decision.
  • SAT score determines admission (Wrong) An applicant’s high school record — grades, quality and difficulty of courses, class rank — are more important than SAT scores. Extra curricular activities with an emphasis on leadership and the total involvement of the student are also considered.
Alumni Children Do Receive Some Preference, but Competition Tougher

Alumni children living outside North Carolina receive special consideration in the admissions process. While admission is not as competitive for these alumni children as it is for other out-of-state students, it will be more difficult for these out-of-state alumni children th an for North Carolina residents.

The Board of Governors of the UNC System has mandated that total out-of-state enrollments at 15 of the 16 system campuses (excepting the School of the Arts) is not to exceed 18%.

North Carolina alumni children whose applications may be borderline are benefitted by their status as alumni children. Competition for alumni children as with all applicants has made admission more difficult.

As further evidence that competition for alumni children will continue for years to come, note the changes in the number of address known alumni receiving undergraduate degrees over the past 30 years.
1957 1,546 | 1957 to 1977 =+ 2,240 or 145%

1967 2,429 | 1957 to 1967 =+ 883 or 57%

1977 3,786 | 1967 to 1977 + 1,357 or 56%

Bits and Pieces
  • Students and parents are encouraged to visit the campus. While individual interviews have no influence on the admission deCision, the admissions office provides student-led tours nearly every day (when school is in session) at 2 p.m. and conducts meetings for potential applicants at 3 p.m. Sessions are also held on Mondays and Fridays at 10 a.m.
  • The deadline for applications is Jan. 15. The application fee is $35.
  • For those completing their applications before Oct. 15, a decision will be made by Dec. 1. For those between Oct. 15 and Nov. 15, a decision will be made by Feb. 1 and for those who complete applications between Dec. 1 and Jan. 15, a decision will be made by April 15.
  • If an applicant is informed that he/she has been placed on a waiting list, he/she is unlikely to receive a decision until late June or early July.
  • Letters of recommendation, specific in nature, can be helpful to the admissions office. They should be included with applications.
  • The Undergraduate Admissions office is located in the Monogram Bldg. on Country Club Drive (919/966-3621), Richard G. Cashwell, Director.

Please remember that alumni assistance with admissions is a most important form of “alumni annual giving!”


Yours at Carolina,

Doug signature





Douglas S. Dibbert ’70

PS: Do you have a question about undergraduate admissions? I’ll try to provide an answer. Please write me at PO Box 660, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.