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So, Why UNC?

HelpfulmommyHelpfulmommy Posts: 103Registered User Junior Member
Ok, so we visited the school. It seemed much like any other public university.
I certainly understand in-state students clamoring to get into their state flagship university.
There are huge numbers of students there. Most people say advising is terrible , and in reading this forum, there were comments that students didn't feel that their degrees from there really did anything special for them. So, please explain to me why is place is so great that people flock to it, and why is it so highly rated? No disrespect, just trying to understand the hype.
Post edited by Helpfulmommy on
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Replies to: So, Why UNC?

  • JohnBlackJohnBlack Posts: 314Registered User Member
    Some people might be wondering the same thing so I'll pretend you aren't trolling..


    1) "Much like any other public university.."
    - UNC was one of the first public universities in the country founded in the late 1700s
    - Currently ranked #5 among public universities in the US
    - One of the best public flagships in the country

    2) 'instate students clamoring to get there'
    - Yields are extremely high for IS and OOS, resulting in a very low acceptance rate for OOS
    - Kiplinger lists UNC as the best value of education for the past 7 years (?) running
    - Compared with any peer public university group, UNC is generally 8k cheaper for OOS tution
    - Substantially cheaper (~15k) if comparing to full sticker privates
    - UNC had one of the first and still one of the most comprehensive aid programs for low income students at a public in the US (Carolina Covenant)
    - Listed as one of the best values in the country #12 (public and private ) by USNWR
    - Listed at #22 in the country according to guidance counselor rankings from around the country

    3)Academic reputation
    - Several international rankings put UNC approximately 40-50th in the world
    - USNWR Peer Assessment scores rated by other universities put UNC at around 20th in the US
    - USNWR has consistently put UNC as one of the top 30 schools in country for the past ~30 years

    4) Departmental Strengths
    National Universities
    #6 Best Undergraduate Business Programs
    #12 Accounting
    #12 Entrepreneurship
    #7 Finance
    #22 International Business
    #7 Management
    #6 Marketing
    #7 Production / Operations Management
    #10 Quantitative Analysis
    #13 Real Estate
    #5 Top Public Schools
    #22 High School Counselor Rankings
    #12 Best Value Schools

    U.S. News Best Grad School Rankings

    #19 Best Business Schools
    #10 Accounting
    #20 Entrepreneurship
    #10 Executive M.B.A.
    #19 Management
    #15 Marketing
    #14 Production / Operations
    #21 Supply Chain / Logistics
    #29 Best Education Schools
    #16 Curriculum and instruction
    #18 Educational psychology
    #13 Special education
    #70 Best Engineering Schools
    #11 Environmental / Environmental Health
    #30 Best Law Schools
    #17 Healthcare Law
    #25 Law Firms Rank Schools
    #2 Best Medical Schools: Primary Care
    #20 Best Medical Schools: Research
    #10 AIDS
    #2 Family medicine
    #13 Geriatrics
    #22 Internal medicine
    #20 Pediatrics
    #6 Rural medicine
    #13 Women's Health
    #6 Audiology
    #24 Biological Sciences
    #13 Chemistry
    #1 Analytical
    #8 Inorganic
    #18 Organic
    #6 Clinical Psychology
    #20 Computer Science
    #52 Earth Sciences
    #34 Economics
    #16 English
    #12 African-American Literature
    #16 American Literature After 1865
    #13 American Literature Before 1865
    #58 Fine Arts
    #3 Healthcare Management
    #12 History
    #7 African-American History
    #10 European History
    #9 Latin American History
    #8 Modern U.S. History
    #8 U.S. Colonial History
    #4 Women's History
    #1 Library and Information Studies
    #5 Archives and Preservation
    #1 Digital Librarianship
    #2 Health Librarianship
    #7 Information Systems
    #13 School Library Media
    #6 Services for Children and Youth
    #30 Math
    #4 Nursing
    #4 Clinical Nurse Specialist: Community / Public Health
    #4 Clinical Nurse Specialist: Psychiatric / Mental Health
    #12 Nurse Practitioner: Adult
    #11 Nurse Practitioner: Family
    #10 Nurse Practitioner: Pediatric
    #6 Nursing Service Administration
    #11 Nursing
    #3 Clinical Nurse Specialist: Community / Public Health
    #5 Occupational Therapy
    #2 Pharmacy
    #11 Physical Therapy
    #36 Physics
    #13 Political Science
    #11 American Politics
    #12 Comparative Politics
    #13 Psychology
    #10 Developmental Psychology
    #14 Public Affairs
    #5 City Management & Urban Policy
    #8 Environmental Policy & Management
    #16 Health Policy & Management
    #24 Public Management Administration
    #27 Public-Policy Analysis
    #2 Public Health
    #23 Rehabilitation Counseling
    #8 Social Work
    #5 Sociology
    #10 Social Stratification
    #7 Sociology of Population
    #18 Speech-Language Pathology
    #10 Statistics


    5) Athletics/School Spirit
    -Nationally competitive in a number of D1 sports
    - One of the best basketball programs in the country
    - 'Carolina Fever'

    6) Undergraduate Research
    - Office of Undergraduate research that provides research funding for summers or projects for high performing undergraduates
    - Access to a number of top faculty in the field
    - Emphasis on research which is a requisite requirement for achieving Honors at UNC

    7) NC weather..
    - Chapel Hill/Carborro = quintessential college town

    8) Intercollegiate coursework with NCSU and Duke
    You can take one course for free at those universities once a semester
  • kitesurferkitesurfer Posts: 121Registered User Junior Member
    to the great JohnBlack and that post (I think you're awesome, again, buddy!) but please allow me to toss in two things I've gleaned:

    1) UNC-Chapel Hill has a very strong national reputation (academic reputation): see JohnBlack's statistics.

    2) With that, this school will prepare the student well for graduate/professional training.

    I do not think it's hype for UNC and I don't for most schools, actually.

    the ks.
  • jambabyjambaby Posts: 690Registered User Member
    Just want to add that in this economy, a lot of people feel that their degrees do nothing special for them whether they went to UNC or any other school... It's a tough time to graduate!
  • keepittoyourselfkeepittoyourself Posts: 1,469Registered User Senior Member
    As you can see from the stats posted, UNCCH is very firmly placed at the top of the second tier of US universities. And if you're from North Carolina you can go there for a few thousand dollars a year. That's why people want to go. Not to mention good athletics and passable weather.

    It's not such a slam dunk for OOS students, but it's still a great deal.

    There are downsides to UNC for the OOS student (undergraduate academics are so-so, lack of diversity, weak international reputation, a town people either love or hate after 4 years), but most people think the upsides outweigh them.
  • scottlhscottlh Posts: 37Registered User Junior Member
    Not "at the top of the second tier of US universities" but the school is placed firmly in the first tier of US universities with the likes of Michigan, UVA, and Tufts.
  • keepittoyourselfkeepittoyourself Posts: 1,469Registered User Senior Member
    Sorry, no dice.

    There are less than ten schools in the top tier, and UNC is certainly not one of them. (Neither are the other schools you mention, well maybe Michigan).

    As with so many things in life, the second tier is a lot bigger than the top tier.

    (Interesting mccardle article in the atlantic this week about how many recruiters on wall st etc only really consider people from one of four universities.)
  • Newton13Newton13 Posts: 104Registered User Junior Member
    Anybody want to comment on why those rankings are so high?
    Are the teachers that good?
    Are the classes that influential?
    Is part of those rankings just based off of reputation rather than actual academics?
  • awayfromitallawayfromitall Posts: 131Registered User Junior Member
    So here's my rant...and not a new one for me. Won't add much to the conversation but at least it might make me feel a little better. :-)

    I think the professors at UNC are lousy teachers...at least the science professors. They might be great in their field..but teaching is a different thing than knowing the material. Tons of myedu professor reviews are along the lines "XXX is really smart but he seems to ramble/get lost in his/her lecture."

    The professors get the top 10% of students in-state and perhaps the top 5% out-of-state. With that caliber of student, the average grade on a test is probably about a 70 for the introductory courses like Chem 101/Bio 101. So the professors are able to teach the top 10% of students only 70% of the material. Now a year passes, half of the students who were going to major in the sciences (which is where we say our country falls short and where we need them to be), have now changed their major to Psychology, Sociology, Southern Folklore, etc. just to keep themselves from going crazy and because they no longer believe they could be successful in the sciences. Now the remaining students, who are presumably like the top 5% of their high school classes, now move on to the higher level Chems/Bios...like Orgo/Bio 201. Now we see that the average test grade here is still about a 70. So the professors are able to teach the top 5% of students only 70% of the material. And more students change their majors.

    UNC graduates about 300-400 psychology majors per year...way more than the number of psychology jobs available. Some of these folks go on to graduate school and become the minority who actually get psychology-related jobs. Others go to graduate school and focus on a more in-demand field in graduate school...while many end up being receptionists and sandwich makers (from personal experience).

    This is especially true of URMs. So to me, the university and the professors fail the students and the state. The state needs the top 10% of their students in jobs that use their brains not making sandwiches.

    Is this in line with a great university? Perhaps. I imagine the professors at someplace like Harvard are able to take the top 1% of the students and manage to teach them only 70% of the material.
  • ArtemisDeaArtemisDea Posts: 643Registered User Member
    Because it's unbelievably inexpensive and relatively prestigious. It is literally probably the least expensive school I could possibly attend (with the exception of community college--and even then) and it's pretty good. I was considering transferring up to a "better" school, but I ultimately decided that it wouldn't be worth the extra money just for a prestige bump. I'm graduating here debt free and will likely have a little cushion of savings, which will be so, so nice.

    I've really loved all my classes and professors, but that just might be because I STALK ConnectCarolina and weasel my way into the classes that I want. I also obsessively check ratings and review to make sure I get great profs (and I switch classes all the time during reg week). Being in the Honors Program also helps because I've really loved all my Honors classes and now I can get spots in the popular courses more easily. I am upset about the new transcript/grading system though, but I'm hopeful that I can still squeeze through on the old system.

    Anyway, UNC was the best option for me. Probably still is, even if I don't like it too much. If you have the means to attend a "better" school, then go for it.
  • JohnBlackJohnBlack Posts: 314Registered User Member
    Awayfromitall: Two interesting articles relating to the topics you brought up

    Why science majors change their mind
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/education/edlife/why-science-majors-change-their-mind-its-just-so-darn-hard.html?ref=edlife

    The real science gap
    Is America's Science Education Gap Caused By Career Planning Fears? - Miller-McCune

    Newton: 1) Anybody want to comment on why those rankings are so high? 2) Is part of those rankings just based off of reputation rather than actual academics?

    Most of the rankings are high because of heavy weights by other professors/universities in the field. UNC is a prominent research university.

    3) Are the teachers that good? 4) Are the classes that influential?

    Depends on what you mean by good/influential. UNC is a fairly large university and as such you'll find awesome and terrible teachers. Because of the heavy research focus of UNC, some teachers don't 'need' to teach well. As ArtemisDea pointed out, a bit of research before you select classes can help you find the really great teachers and avoid the others.

    That said, research schools like UNC can create marketable degrees out of liberal arts programs because undergraduates are usually involved in research. You can receive course credit, funding from the office of undergraduate research, or perhaps a paid research position all of which will build up your resume and skill base.

    A lazy student in any program/school without any initiative to build skills/experiences is going end up a sandwich-maker unless someone hands them a job (i.e. their parents).
  • NCKayNCKay Posts: 56Registered User Junior Member
    In talking with a former high level administrator about her son who attended an Ivy...
    My son and his friends - an international group, liked their time at their school..but when I talk with the students at Carolina..they love it here.
  • keepittoyourselfkeepittoyourself Posts: 1,469Registered User Senior Member
    ^ Yes and I and my friends like Carolina well enough, but friends of mine at Princeton love it there. So what?
  • HelpfulmommyHelpfulmommy Posts: 103Registered User Junior Member
    These were the responses that I was hoping for. More impressions on how UNC's status may translate, or not, to the average undergrad student.
  • kitesurferkitesurfer Posts: 121Registered User Junior Member
    Carolina? I removed my initial response to you.

    the kitesurfer.
  • SnoginthelooSnogintheloo Posts: 123Registered User Junior Member
    I choose UNC because it has it all. I love the campus, it's beautiful. All of the students have extreme Carolina pride, the alumni always flock back for any of the games. It's fun to get into it. This is my first semester at UNC and I'm not thrilled with my professors, but I'm very excited for next semester. All of my professor got awesome reviews on blinkness. My major is english/creative writing and the area is filled with literary figures. I really liked that Carrboro is right down the street - it provides a nice break from college life. I'm from the North so the south is still an adjustment for me. UNC is ranked the 5th best public university in the US
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