Update: On March 22, 2018, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Vice Provost for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions, Stephen Farmer, informed high school counselors that his institution received more than 43,000 applications during the 2017-2018 admissions cycle – another record and a six percent increase from last year.
“We’re grateful to every student who honored us by applying, and we’ve enjoyed getting to know them over the course of the last five months. At the same time, this increased interest has made our decisions especially difficult. With more applications, a class no larger than last year’s, and yields that we expect to remain healthy, we will reluctantly need to decline the applications of many students who would have received better news from us a year ago.” wrote Farmer.
Previously: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill released its Early Action decisions on Friday, January 26, 2018; therefore, now is as good of a time as any to remind our readers that UNC at Chapel Hill doesn’t have one annual acceptance rate – the one that is published in popular college guides and online data sites such as CollegeBoard.org. In fact, UNC at Chapel Hill has a grand total of four annual acceptance rates for first-year applicants. Understanding this reality will put your recent acceptance or rejection or your future acceptance or rejection in proper perspective.
First, what the student on the street would say about UNC at Chapel Hill acceptance rates: “I will just go on Naviance Family Connection or College Board’s Big Future to figure out my chance of getting into UNC at Chapel Hill…Oh look, Naviance Family Connection says the university’s acceptance rate is 28%. College Board’s Big Future says UNC at Chapel Hill’s acceptance rate is 27%. That’s a bit odd. La di da di da…Let me compulsively check Snapchat…”
But as a reader of Admissions Intel you are not going to be the student on the street. You are going think multi-demsionally and realize that University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill actually has multiple acceptance rates EACH admissions cycle, four of which are extremely important to know in order to properly place the university into either the safety, possible, or reach section of your college list.
For first-year applicants, UNC at Chapel Hill offers both Early Action and Regular Decision consideration each admissions cycle; yet, the university has quite different standards for students applying from North Carolina versus students applying from outside of North Carolina. Thus, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill actually has four distinct acceptance rates each admissions cycle:
1. Early Action (North Carolina Residents)
2.Early Action (Out-of-State Residents)
3.Regular Decision (North Carolina Residents)
4.Regular Decision (Out of State Applicants)
We are only half-way there so far this admissions cycle, so we only have the two EA acceptance rates (reportedly 48 percent for EA North Carolina Residents and 18 Percent EA Out-of-State Residents). Those two numbers tell us quite a bit, as it’s clear that UNC is statistically far more difficult for out-of-state residents to get in than it is for in-state residents. That trend will continue Regular Decision even as the exact acceptance rates for Regular Decision will differ from those EA. At the very least, please note that the 28% and 27% acceptance rates mentioned above for UNC that are reported on two of the most trusted online college websites are averages of the four distinct acceptance rates that UNC has each year. Long story short, right about now, with EA decisions sinking in, North Carolina residents are not nearly as impressive as they feel and non-North Carolina residents are not nearly as unimpressive as they feel.
While Naviance Family Connection and College Board’s Big Future don’t even try to explain to visitors the differences in first-year applicant acceptance rates between in-state and out-of-state applicants to UNC at Chapel Hill, we are thankful that UNC at Chapel Hill itself at least shares on its website that the overall first-year application acceptance rates for in-state and out-of-state residents differs quite dramatically.
We are big fans of University of North Carolina Chapel Hill here at Admissions Intel, but we would appreciate if in the future the university could err on the side of even greater transparency by also reporting its bifurcated acceptance rates by admissions plan so that prospective students, their parents, and those who advise them are able to make more accurate assessments of students’ chances of admission in the years ahead. Until that happens, though, do note that UNC is slightly harder to get into for both North Carolina residents and out-of-state residents Regular decision than it is Early Action. So, if you didn’t get an admissions decision EA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this January, buckle up for Regular Decision later this spring, which is sure to bring acceptance rates of lower than 48% for North Carolina residents and lower than 18% for out-of-state students. Good luck.