With last week’s release of early applicant decisions, UNC prepares to welcome a diverse class of 2018, with accepted students representing 27 countries, 48 states and 94 counties in the state.
Of those admitted, 33 percent identified as minorities and 175 were international students, which is a 35 percent increase from last year, said Ashley Memory, assistant director of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
Early applicants were notified of their admissions decision Thursday, and 6,036 students found themselves face-to-face with an acceptance, Memory said.
Memory said this year’s early applicant pool included a first-deadline record of 16,987 applicants, which is a 12 percent increase from the number of first-deadline applications recorded last year. She said this increase is due to UNC’s strong academic standing and affordability.
“We certainly benefit from the University’s great academic reputation overall and Carolina’s low overall tuition,” she said. “We’ve been named best value by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance for 13 years in a row and that’s certainly helping us as well.”
Despite the University’s known academic rigor, many accepted students remain undecided.
Ben Weekley, a senior at Grimsley High School in Greensboro, said he is still waiting to hear back from other top choices, including Emory University, Johns Hopkins University and Duke University before making a commitment to UNC.
Weekley said he has some reservations about attending UNC, due to the University’s ongoing athletic scandal.
“I would hate for that to happen while I was a student because that just kind of degrades the whole university,” Weekley said. “Even though it’s not me, certain individual faults just as a whole hurt the University’s reputation.”
Sarah Dar, a senior at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Md. said she does not see the scandal as a deterrent from attending UNC, but like Weekley, she is still waiting to hear back from other schools before enrolling.
Dar said she was surprised to learn how many of her friends had been accepted, despite applying from out-of-state.
Memory said there are a variety of reasons why an applicant may be admitted.
“We read applications holistically,” she said. “We don’t admit or deny on the basis of a test score or of a GPA, but we look at that essay, we look at the recommendation letter, and we look at extracurricular activities. All of these things work together to help paint a picture of how a student might contribute to Carolina.”
Dar said she thinks it was her extracurricular activities that set her apart.
“My grades and SATs were over the average on Naviance, and I do a lot of extracurriculars and I do debate, and I was really involved in that last year so I guess that made a difference,” she said.
Despite their uncertainty, both Weekley and Dar see the benefit in attending UNC.
“UNC has always been my top choice since I started looking at schools,” Dar said.
“It just always stood out to me as a place where I would fit in really well and a place I could see myself really enjoying for the next four years, more so than any other school I have looked at.”
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