On Feb. 1, 2018, UNC Chapel Hill announced that for the 13th consecutive year they received a record amount of first-year applications: 43,384 students, an increase of 6 percent more than 2016 or more than 2,500 more applicants.
UNC put this information on its Facebook page, quoting, “We are again honored that so many wonderful students have given us the chance to get to know them through their applications.”
Looking closer at the article, a final line reads: “The University expects to enroll a first-year class of 4,205.” Of this huge amount of students who applied, only 9.7 percent will be accepted.
This begs the question: Why is UNC so eager to proclaim this amount of applications just to refuse 90 percent of them? The answer: Colleges want prestige and a high ranking on the infamous U.S. News and World Report lists. One way to get it? Low acceptance rates.
To be fair, UNC isn’t the only one playing this game. Chase Brown, a high school student from rural Texas, estimated that in his last year of high school, he received about a 100 recruitment letters, most of them from colleges he had never heard of before. On average, every time he went to get the mail, he told me, there were 2 or 3 more letters addressed to him. Colleges got hold of his address when he scored in the 98th percentile on the ACT.