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With an acceptance rate of 26%, admission to UNC is very competitive. Based on our analysis, to have a good chance of being admitted, you need to be at the very top of your class, and have an SAT score of close to 1460, or an ACT score of around 32.

You’re thinking about applying to UNC, and you’re curious about your chances of admission. Well, we’re here to help! Of course, there are a lot of factors in the admissions process, and it’s impossible to accurately predict whether you’ll be admitted or not. However, the most important factors in the admissions game are your GPA and test scores. So, using those as a measure, we can give you decent estimate of your chances.

With an acceptance rate of 26%, admission to UNC is very competitive. Based on our analysis, to have a good chance of being admitted, you need to be at the very top of your class, and have an SAT score of close to 1460, or an ACT score of around 32.

Not quite there? You still have a chance of getting in, especially when you need a boost in your score. If that is the case, check out our ACT prep course. Let’s take a closer look at UNC’s admission statistics.

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UNC Admissions Statistics

UNC’s acceptance rate in 2017 was 26%. For students applying to the class of 2020, out of 40,792 applicants, UNC admitted 9,386. The average GPA of admitted applicants was 4.63, the average ACT score was 29, and the average SAT score was 1370.

For students who took the ACT, the 25th percentile score of successful applicants was 27, and the 75th percentile score was 32.

For students who took the SAT, the 25th percentile score was 1280. The 75th percentile score was 1460.

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If you’re somewhere in the middle of these numbers, remember that a high test score can compensate for a slightly lower GPA, and vice versa. If you’re at the lower end, it helps if you’re a diverse applicant, the child of an alum, or have incredible personal achievements. Still, at the 25th percentile, your chances of getting in are in the low single digits.

Other aspects of your application, such as athletics, extracurricular activities, and recommendations, are important, but will likely only make a difference for admission if you’re in the 75th percentile range with your GPA and SAT/ACT scores.

As we said, admission to UNC is very competitive. Even if it is your dream school and you’re in the 75th percentile of GPA/test scores, you’ll want to make sure you apply to a wide variety of schools to ensure you’ll gain admission somewhere. Generally, your college application list should at minimum include three safety schools, three reach schools, and three target schools.

OK, so you’ve decided to apply. We took at a look at UNC’s admissions requirements to help you get everything in order.


UNC Application Requirements

To apply to UNC, you’ll need to fill out the Common App, submit an ACT or SAT score, one essay and two short answers, a school report, and a letter of recommendation from a teacher. Students are also welcome to submit music and artwork if they wish to. Everything should be submitted by October 15 for Early Action, and by January 16 for Regular Decision.

Here’s a full list of application requirements:

  • Fill out the UNC Application, answer UNC’s supplementary questions, and pay an application fee of $85 (or apply for a fee waiver)
  • Submit an ACT or SAT score (writing score optional)
  • Submit your high school transcript
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from a teacher

The application deadline is October 15 for Early Action, and January 16 for Regular Decision. March 1 is the financial aid application deadline. Early Action notifications are released at the end of January, and Regular Decision applicants find out their fates in mid-April. May 15 is the reply date for admitted students.

Have you been admitted to UNC? Congratulations! Below is a glimpse at what your classmates will be like.


UNC Admitted Students Profile

If you matriculate at UNC, you’ll be joining a diverse class, with students from all over the U.S. and the world, and have a chance to study in dozens of fields.

Here are some interesting facts about the recently admitted class:

  • 8% were first in their high school class
  • 78% were in the top 10% of their high school class

UNC has a diverse class, as well, with a large number of people of color. The ethnicities of admitted applicants are:

  • African American: 11%
  • Asian American: 14%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 7%
  • Native American:2%
  • White: 71%

What do these admitted students plan to study? UNC offers dozens of majors, and students matriculating there pursue a wide number of subjects. Here is a list of the top programs:

  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Economics
  • Exercise & Sport Science
  • Communication Studies
  • Global Studies
  • Journalism & Mass Communication
  • Political Science
  • English
  • Chemistry
  • Business Administration
  • History

Now, how are you going to pay for this?

people confused

UNC Tuition Figures

At $49,712, UNC’s cost of attendance is astronomical. But, don’t panic! The average financial aid award is $19,087.

Here’s a fuller look at UNC’s tuition and financial aid in 2017:

  • Total budget: $49,712
  • Average financial aid package: $19,087
  • The average student debt of a UNC graduate is $18,945

For the latest numbers and to learn more about financial aid options, click HERE.

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Now, what is life like at UNC? Let’s take a look.


UNC Location

UNC is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Its 729-acre campus features two quads, Polk Place and McCorkle Place. Polk is named after former United States President James K. Polk, a North Carolina native and alumnus of the university. The campus has been called a work of art, and features a bell tower, a sunken brick courtyard known as The Pit, and a planetarium.

The most famous symbol of the university is the Old Well, based on the Temple of Love in the Gardens of Versailles. The bell is located at the south end of McCorkle Place, in the same place as the well that provided the first source of water for the school.

Remember, you’re going to UNC for its excellent academics! Below is a look at what academic life will be like.


UNC Academics

UNC has dozens of majors. Some of the school’s more interesting majors are:

  • Sustainability Studies
  • Social & Economic Justice
  • Public Policy
  • Latin American Studies
  • Geography (Social & Cultural)
  • City & Regional Planning
  • Contemporary European Studies
  • Asian
  • Aerospace Studies
  • Marine Sciences
  • Geology
  • Physics & Astronomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Strategic Communication
  • Public Relations
  • Photojournalism
  • Business Journalism
  • Writing for the Screen & Stage
  • Sexuality Studies
  • Philosophy, Politics & Economics
  • Creative Writing

Now, let’s take a look at life outside the classroom at UNC.


Student Life at UNC

UNC has more than 300 student organizations, covering academic interests, creative and performing arts, cultural and racial initiatives, gender and sexuality affinity groups, government and politics interests, and various media and publications.

Here’s a sampling of UNC’s student activities:

  • Yackety Yack Publishing Inc.
  • Womens Health Interest Group
  • Wordshed Productions
  • Tar Heel Raas
  • Sangam
  • SafeWalk
  • ScienceDays
  • Ram Village Community
  • Raising Awareness for Children’s Existence
  • Radiology Interest Group
  • Offshore Caroline-Scuba Club
  • Campus Y

Are you an athlete? UNC’s got plenty of options for you.


UNC Athletics

UNC offers a large number of intercollegiate sports, with extensive varsity, as well as club, offerings, for both men and women. So, if you’re not up to varsity level, remember there are plenty of club and intramural sports to try out for, too.

UNC’s intercollegiate teams include:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Rowing
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Field Hockey
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Track & Field
  • Tennis
  • Gymnastics

Who might you become with a UNC degree? Let’s take a look at some well-known and successful alums:


Notable Alums

UNC has produced politicians, business tycoons, entertainers, musicians, media figures, and leaders in dozens of other fields.

Here’s a list of some particularly well-known alums:

  • Basketball star Michael Jordan
  • Actor Andy Griffith
  • Former United States Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards
  • Novelist Thomas Wolfe
  • Comedian Lewis Black
  • Journalist David Brinkley
  • Journalist Chris Matthews
  • Actor Ken Jeong
  • North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper
  • Actor Jack Palance
  • Soccer star Mia Hamm
  • Basketball player Vince Carter

And this is only a partial list!


Getting into UNC is very competitive. Don’t despair if you get a no. If you have a strong GPA and high test scores, you have a great chance of getting into at least one of your top schools. And if you don’t, remember: where you go is NOT who you are. If you work hard, you’ll end up at a school that’s right for you, and still get a great education.

If you need to boost your GPA or test scores before application time rolls around, you should consider signing up for a course with Prep Expert. We offer one-on-one tutoring and classes, both in-person and online, at locations throughout the United States.

Our expert teachers and tutors will not only share with you tried and true methods for improving your score, but also help you correct deficiencies in any subject that you’re having difficulty with—English, Writing, Mathematics, or Science. Additionally, online classes can be watched On Demand, so if you miss a class due to your busy schedule, you can catch it online later.

Best of luck with your applications and don’t forget to check out Prep Expert!

Clay Cooper

Clay is a double-perfect scorer - within one week, he earned a 1600 on an official SAT and at 36 on an official ACT! Clay has also achieved 99th percentile scores on the PSAT, ISEE, GMAT, GRE, and LSAT. He has taught and developed courses for high school, college, and graduate-level standardized tests extensively around the country, and specializes in the field. He has studied law at Georgetown University Law Center and worked in the legal field as well, for attorneys, judges, and the Tennessee Attorney General.

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