There is no formula for admission to Carolina. We recruit students from all 100 North Carolina counties, across the country and around the world. The University evaluates individual candidates rigorously, holistically and compassionately.
A 1986 UNC System policy mandates that no more than 18 percent of out-of-state first-year undergraduate students may enroll on most UNC campuses.
UNC-Chapel Hill received 53,775 first-year applications for fall 2021. The overall acceptance rate was 19.2 percent – 42.2 percent for North Carolina applicants and 10.5 percent for out-of-state applicants. To learn more, visit the profile of the 2021 entering class.
Carolina seeks an entering class whose collective strengths will foster excellence within the campus community; enhance the education of everyone within it; provide for the leadership of the education, government, science, business, humanistic, artistic and professional institutions of the state, nation and world; and enrich the lives of North Carolinians.
We seek qualities including intellect, talent, curiosity and creativity; leadership, kindness and courage; as well as honesty, perseverance, perspective and diversity.
We consider each applicant in the context of his or her individual family, school and community circumstances and seek students who have not just achieved, but who have taken advantage of the opportunities that their individual circumstances have presented. We also consider race or ethnicity as one of these many factors, if a student chooses to share it on a standard Common Application or Coalition for College Application.
Although we expect each successful candidate to demonstrate strength in many of these areas, we do not expect every candidate to be equally strong in all of them. Just as there is no formula for admission, there is no list of qualities or characteristics that every applicant must present. All students earn their place at Carolina. We are grateful they choose to attend UNC-Chapel Hill and look forward to all they will accomplish in the future.
Our applicants are highly accomplished, engaged and talented. Carolina welcomed a 2021 incoming class of 4,688 first-year students and 942 transfer students. The Class of 2025 was the largest and most diverse in school history. These students came from 94 North Carolina counties, 45 states, the District of Columbia and 95 countries. Thirty-six percent of all North Carolina first-year and new transfer students were from rural counties.
Among all students, 19 percent will be the first in their families to graduate from college; 40 percent qualified for need-based aid. The class also included 211 students from one of the 78 partner high schools served during 2020-2021 by the Carolina College Advising Corps, a public service of the University that seeks to increase college-going rates among low-income, first-generation college and other underrepresented students.
The University’s admissions policy provides no legacy preference for North Carolina applicants. Out-of-state applicants whose parents are alumni must still compete for admission in the highly competitive non-resident pool, and that legacy status may be one factor among many the admissions office considers.