The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday February 4th

UNC eliminates deferment in admissions outcomes

<p>After the removal of the Silent Sam pedestal from campus on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, students wonder how Silent Sam will be addressed in future campus tours to prospective students.</p>
Buy Photos Photo originally taken in January. Upon applying to UNC, students report their AP scores to receive credit hours.

UNC sent Early Action applicants their admission decisions Friday, Jan. 25, but this year, being deferred was not an option.

This year, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions eliminated deferment as a decision outcome. Now, students are either admitted, waitlisted or denied, according to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions website.

A deferred decision meant students didn't receive their decision by the end of January as expected when they applied Early Action, but had to wait to know whether they were admitted or not until March — the same time as Regular Decision applicants.

The decision was made by the admissions office last summer, Kate Luck, a UNC media relations manager, said in a statement.

“The change was really made with students in mind,” Luck wrote in an email to the DTH. "We hope that by offering students the option of waiting rather than automatically deferring them, we will give them a chance in January to decide whether they want to move forward in a different direction with their college plans."

Due to the growing number of competitive applications UNC receives each year, the University has been able to grant fewer and fewer deferred students admission, according to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions website. The admitted Class of 2022 was selected from a record-setting 43,473 applicants, with 4,326 students enrolling.

Previously, the admissions office deferred students when they needed more information, such as the applicant’s midyear grades or the strength and size of the Regular Decision applicant pool, according to the admissions website. 

Mitchell Haroldson, a senior majoring in exercise and sports science, was deferred from UNC before being accepted. Since UNC was his top choice, he was disappointed by his decision, but remained hopeful that he would be admitted to his dream school. 

“When you look at something that you really want, you still kind of feel bad thinking that it might not happen,” Haroldson said.

With so many competitive applicants, Haroldson said he knew he didn't have the best odds at being admitted, but when he got his acceptance, he knew attending was a “no-brainer.”

Katharine Shriver, a senior double-majoring in public policy and political science, was also deferred. 

“I felt like my future wasn’t in my hands, and that I didn't really have any control,” Shriver said. “The only thing I could control was where I was going to go if I didn't go to UNC.”

Shriver was touring North Carolina State University when she read her acceptance email. 

“If I hadn’t been deferred and not gotten a second read or gotten in, I don’t know where I would be right now,” Shriver said.

Although waiting through two decisions was worthwhile for both Haroldson and Shriver, for many, this is not the case. 

While admissions eliminated deferments, students still have the option to join a waiting list in January, the admissions office website says. UNC intends to keep the waiting list size small, only offering it to a limited number of applicants. 

In the fall of 2018, a total of 2,290 students accepted positions on the waitlist, while only 22 people were offered admission to the University from the list. 

“I kind of understand why they are doing it," Shriver said. "It just prepares a student to get ready for another plan. It made me think a lot about where I should end up next. I think you always have to have a plan B in life.”

Haroldson considered the admissions office’s decision from another viewpoint.

“I understand why they are doing it, because applications have gone up so much in recent years, what they are having to do, essentially, when they defer someone is having to review them twice," Haroldson said. "It's just already probably such a strain on their department to be looking at everybody already in the first place let alone do it twice — that’s got to be really hard.”

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.


The Daily Tar Heel's 2023 Rivalry Edition

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive