D2 received this email from UNC today... Is this a "likely" email or did everyone get this? D1 received the traditional "likely letter" a couple of years ago; this isn't the same, but I'm wondering if it's similar....
Thank you again for your interest in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Now that our admissions committee has come to know you through your application, we are more convinced than ever that you are a student with an exceptionally bright future.
To help you decide whether the next step on your journey will lead you to Carolina, we would very much like to have you get to know one or more members of our Board of Visitors, a group of University leaders who have distinguished themselves in their professions and their communities, and who have volunteered to answer questions and share their experiences with outstanding students such as you.
If you would like to be contacted by one of these friendly and accomplished leaders, simply reply to this email. Your reply will serve as your consent to our sharing your name, phone number, email address, high school name, and academic interest with members of the board; we will not share any other information.
We hope that you will consider your contact with your Visitor a conversation, not an interview, and that you will feel to talk frankly about your hopes and concerns for the next four years. Our aim is to help you see clearly whether Carolina can help you grow into the person you want to become.
I do hope to hear from you, and I wish you every success as you prepare for college.
The message definitely sounds pretty "likely" to me. Admissions probably wants to invite your daughter to some special programs and visits aimed at talented students but wants some demonstrated interest (an email reply) to be sure they should make that effort.
I agree with leah. I'm guessing that yield is getting to be a more important factor for admissions and that they want to invest their time, effort and possibly money in those who are really interested in attending UNC and not in those who might be throwing things at a wall to see what sticks.
We're in-state, which is a massive advantage, I realize. 2180 SATs, top 5%, really strong ECs, lots of AP classes, etc. Her sister did not go to UNC, and unfortunately for my checkbook, it's not D2's first choice either..... but, who knows??!!!
I think they try to do more to woo in-state students; perhaps the email only went to in-state applicants.
I received one of these when I applied to the University of Michigan several years ago. This had nothing to do with my odds of acceptance. This was done to try to persuade students to consider the school more strongly. I would encourage your d2 (whatever that is) to take advantage of this opportunity. For me, it made the difference between choosing a place based on my ill-informed preconceived notions and deciding against a place for legitimate reasons.
I think eadad is correct about the yield thing. When our S rejected UNC for UMCP they wanted him to fill out an extensive questionnaire explaining why he chose another university. He had received a LL on Black Friday and ultimately was invited to the honors program but not awarded any merit $. Admissions later called, as I recall to see if guaranteed admission to the business school would change his mind.
One of the stated goals of new Chancellor Thorp is to find ways to convince more of the top in-state students admitted to UNC to matriculate. There has been somewhat of a "grass is greener" mentality coupled with the fear that they will feel like they are still in high school when many from their classes are attending UNC. This last premise has been thoroughly refuted by many of the in-state posters here on CC.
Since it is the flagship school in the UNC system it can hold a higher bar for all admissions and one way to attract the best and brightest in state students is to make even in state admissions more difficult. There have been numerous reports and studies done by admissions through the years (like the questionnaire that Maximus refers to) to try to determine why people turn down UNC offers of admission. It has frustrated admissions because one of the answers they get from top in state students who actually do turn down UNC usually always mentions something to the effect of others they know who are going to UNC that they don't view as peers either intellectually or socially. Unfortunately if they actually did set foot on campus they would find a very different reality.
Yield is becoming a bigger issue at many schools as the financial crisis grows because budget cuts in all departments, including admissions, mean that they need to find ways to be smarter about who they admit, who they offer merit money to etc.