The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday December 9th

Prospective students face stronger competition in admissions

High school seniors who received their acceptance letters to UNC Friday faced a more competitive early-action pool — with 15 percent more applicants than last year.

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions received 15,169 applications for the early action deadline. Only 5,393 students were offered admission.

ADMISSION STATISTICS

15,169
early-action applications

2026
average SAT score of admitted

25
countries represented by admitted

Of those, 3,618 are North Carolina residents, and 1,775 come from out of state.

Ashley Memory, assistant director of admissions, said more applications were received this year overall. 30,689 applications were counted from both deadlines, exceeding last year’s total of 29,497.

Last year, the University switched to the Common Application and the number of applicants increased, but the number of early action applications dropped. Memory said this might have been due to an earlier deadline for the new application.

This year, the admissions office reminded students of the deadline in advance, and the increase in applicants could represent an adjustment to the earlier date, she said.

Rachel Metcalf, a high school senior from Morehead City who received her acceptance Friday, said using the Common Application was simpler because she had already filled it out for other schools.

Among the accepted students, the average SAT score is 2026 and the average ACT score is 31.

“A lot of our strongest applicants tend to apply first deadline,” Memory said.

She stressed that the accepted students represent more than just statistics, and many participated in a variety of public service endeavors.

“I was shocked at some people that got deferred,” said Rally Tocheva, a Charlotte resident who was accepted.

Those accepted include students from 92 North Carolina counties, 47 states and 25 countries.

Once an application is received and deemed complete, it is read two to four times by different readers, Memory said. If there are disagreements, the application is reviewed by a committee.

According to policy, special consideration is only given to students with parents, step-parents or legal guardians who attended UNC, said Melissa Kotacka, assistant director of admissions.

In-state students whose parents attended UNC receive no preference because all residents pay taxes that support the University, but it can be a factor in out-of-state admissions, she said.

Although admission rate is a common gauge for the prestige of a university, Memory said the office is honored by the number of applications received.

“We do not pride ourselves on the number of students we must disappoint,” she said.

Contact the desk editor at university@dailytarheel.com.

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