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. Our policy and practices are lawful and do not discriminate against any applicant or group.
Admission to Carolina is highly competitive. A 1986 UNC System policy mandates that no more than 18 percent of out-of-state first-year undergraduate students may enroll on UNC campuses.
UNC-Chapel Hill received 44,379 first-year applications for fall 2020. The overall acceptance rate was 24 percent – 48 percent for North Carolina applicants and 14 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 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.
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.
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.
Every student rightfully earns 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 – our largest in school history – and 942 transfer students. The Class of 2025 was the largest, most academically talented 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 students are from rural counties. The class was 62 percent female and 38 percent male.
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 includes 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.