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As the nation’s first public university, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has dedicated over 229 years to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research and service to the people of North Carolina and beyond.

Carolina’s mission “is to serve as a center for research, scholarship and creativity and to teach a diverse community of undergraduate, graduate and professional students to become the next generation of leaders.” Consistent with those values, we pursue educational benefits that stem from having a diverse student body such as improved learning outcomes and the robust exchange of ideas — ideas the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized as compelling.

Students, faculty and business leaders across a wide variety of industries who hire hundreds of our graduates each year say one of the great strengths of a Carolina education lies in the opportunities our students have to interact with and learn from classmates who bring a diversity of experiences, backgrounds and perspectives to our community.

Now Carolina is vigorously defending our holistic admissions approach before the U.S. Supreme Court as it weighs whether universities may continue to consider race as one factor among many in admissions decisions. The outcome has profound implications for U.S. higher education.

Students for Fair Admissions Inc., a private group, filed lawsuits against Carolina and Harvard University in 2014. A federal trial court overwhelmingly ruled in UNC-Chapel Hill’s favor; federal trial and appeals courts also sided with Harvard. In July 2022, a Supreme Court order reversed a previous decision to consolidate the two cases, which will now be heard separately in oral arguments in October 2022.

All our students earn their place at Carolina. Consistent with the law, we consider everything students want to tell us about who they are when they apply. Our holistic approach to undergraduate admissions evaluates each student individually based on dozens of factors, including academic performance, class rank, essays, experiences and potential to contribute to the educational environment. Other considerations include geography, military status and socioeconomic background.

We do not use race or ethnicity as a dominant or defining feature. We only consider that information if a student chooses to share. Even then, we consider race or ethnicity flexibly, as one factor among many, in assessing all we know about an applicant.

Our need-blind approach to admissions reflects the University’s core values including a deep commitment to accessibility and affordability. Carolina long has been one of only two public U.S. universities to fully fund 100 percent of demonstrated need among eligible students.

We follow Supreme Court precedent to create a community where students who come to us with all kinds of experiences across North Carolina and beyond can excel and thrive.