The Office of Undergraduate Admissions reported 31,848 first-year applicants, a two percent increase from last year. The University received applicants from 99 counties in North Carolina, all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and 113 countries outside of the U.S.
“We are just honored that despite some headlines back in October that students continued to be interested in Carolina,” said Ashley Memory, senior assistant director of admissions.
Memory said the admissions office prepared for concerns and questions by reading the report, ensuring all questions raised by prospective students and parents were answered and encouraging their admissions ambassadors to give their own take on the report.
“Any questions we have gotten have been minimal, and they have been gratified to know that Carolina has taken responsibility for the past and that we are going to be a better institution because of the irregularities that have been revealed,” Memory said.
Emily Netburn, a senior at Coral Springs High School in Coral Springs, Fla., said UNC is her top choice and the academic scandal did not affect her decision to apply.
“I think an athletic scandal does not define a school,” she said. “I think that the students and people there define the school and not one incident.”
Brenden Belluardo, a senior at St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in West Islip, N.Y., said he first heard about the Wainstein report on SportsCenter and it was important for him to do research to get the full story on the scandal.
“When I first heard it, I was a little concerned, but honestly it’s a prestigious academic institution,” he said. “I trust the people there that what they’ve been doing is fine.”
Belluardo said he was reassured of his desire to attend UNC during his visit in August.
Memory said it’s impossible to speculate if the Wainstein report had any affect on prospective students’ decisions to apply to UNC, as there are many factors that students consider when applying.
The admissions office granted a two-day extension for applicants, but Memory said in an email that this was just due to the timing of the typical admissions deadline.
“When a deadline falls on a weekend day we usually give our applicants an extra day during the traditional work week, knowing that our applicants are just now getting back to their normal school routines,” she said.
Willa Ma, a senior at Northwest Guilford High School in Greensboro, said the report did taint the school, but it did not affect her decision to apply.
“I hate that the scandal happened because it’s used a lot to defame UNC, and it’s a shame because the school is so great,” she said. “The report doesn’t reflect most of the students who go there.”