Chances/Merit Aid Competition/Environment

<p>Hi! I'm a rising high school senior from Alabama. I'm very interested in UNC but I have a couple of questions.</p>

<p>I'd assume the competition for scholarships is pretty fierce. Do "most" people get merit-based aid? Can anyone tell me, based on my stats, how likely I am to get any money? I will probably get a full ride to UA, so cost is a HUGE factor in my college choices.</p>

<p>Also, I've heard that OOS students sometimes don't like the school as much because they feel left out or something. Any truth to that rumor?</p>

<p>Also, more importantly, I was wondering if I even really stand a chance of getting into Chapel Hill.</p>

<p>(I just sort of copy/pasted this part from a thread I posted on the Georgia Tech board. I hope that's okay.)</p>

<p>My UW GPA for core classes only is 3.378 and cumulatively (including electives) it's a 3.476. If it matters, I attend a magnet school that's ranked the 20th "best" high school (4th for magnets) in the country by US News, so it's kind of hard. I'm not sure how UNC weights classes. By my school's system, I'd have W core of 4.178 and W cumulative of 4.095.</p>

<p>Overall, for my academic classes, I think I've made 6 A's and 9 B's. I made two B's in half-credit electives also (required Art I and Drivers' Ed), though I made A's in half-credit Research, Speech, and Debate and Health, as well as full year Yearbook, PE, and Creative Writing. Again, though, I have no idea if electives even matter.</p>

<p>My AP classes are as follows.
10th grade: US History (didn't take the exam)
11th grade: Lang/Comp (4?), Biology (definite pass, no idea about score), French (fail), Euro History (3-4), Cal AB (2-3) -- I also took Environmental Science (pass), though I did not take the class
12th grade: Lit, Physics or Chem (haven't decided), US Gov, Stats -- I may also take the APUSH or Comp Gov exams</p>

<p>I took the ACT once, in Oct 2009. I scored a 33 composite, with subscores of: 34 English, 33 Science, 32 Math, 32 Reading, and 31 Combined Writing and English.
I took the SAT once, in May 2010. I scored a 2250, with subscores of: 790 CR, 690 M, and 770 W.
I scored a 214 on the PSAT, which will qualify me for NM/NA. I am biracial so I will qualify for both.</p>

<p>My ECs are scholars bowl (9, 10), forensics (9-12, in which I have won numerous awards), student council (9-12), MUN (9-12, I am now chairing our school's invitational and helping to form a new annual conference), Government Club/mock trial (10), yearbook/Quill & Scroll (10, 12), Green Club (10, the only year it existed), Heritage Club (10), French Club (9-12), NHS (10-12), French Honor Society (9-12). I might also do Science/Enviro Bowl next year. I won a literary award last year for a short story I wrote. I used to volunteer at the Department of Archives and History and I might volunteer at a center for children this summer.</p>

<p>Any guidance would be greatly appreciated! Thank you all in advance!</p>

<p>I think you're IN for regular admissions, but I'm not sure about the scholarships. Sorry. </p>

<p>Do you have "demonstrated need?" (i.e. do you have a low EFC?) UNC has an absolutely, positively AMAZING financial aid office, so even if you don't get any merit aid, UNC could be completely affordable for you. </p>

<p>Case and point: I was whining on these boards a little while ago because my family's EFC was MUCH more than the $19,000 cost of attendance of UNC. We didn't qualify for any aid, but we expected it and said we'd try again next year when the EFC went down. Anyway, my dad recently re-filed the FAFSA and it went WAY down. </p>

<p>UNC has been amazing! They completely re-examined my package (which is months after the original deadline-- many schools would've told us to take a hike!) and even gave me a laptop grant! Reason #1345345345 I love UNC!</p>

<p>Merit scholarships are extremely hard to get. UNC invites about 300 applicants to Scholarship Day (both deadlines combined), and these students receive scholarships. I'm not sure if you can get a merit scholarship if you don't get invited to this event, but if you can, there probably aren't many available.</p>

<p>Honestly, the lack of substantial merit aid is my only gripe about UNC. Oh well!</p>

<p>I do not agree with Artemis Dea with the "IN" statement. Although it may have sounded encouraging, the feeling will remain temporary. Your gpa is very low and a lot of instate students that apply have pretty high stats (including gpa), but sometimes miracles do happen b/c instaters are preferred more for admissions. The best bet is to apply to the school of interest. But don't get high with the idea that you'll get "in" in UNC. Although, your SAT, ACT, and ec's are competable, your cumulative grade score isn't impressive. If I were you, I would explain to your counselor or even in your essay about why those grades are as they are. OOs competition is pretty tough and most ppl that apply, do hold an unweighted gpa of 4.0. No one can say anything about your admissions, but that your gpa is a weak side, and the best advice would be to improve it during your senior year.</p>

<p>Very few people get merit-based aid (the info about Scholarship Day is correct). I wouldn't rely on it. OOS applicants really have to be in another league in terms of credentials, so I'm not sure you would even get in... Not to be a Debbie Downer! If you are getting a full ride to UA, that's probably the best place to go.</p>

<p>Thanks for all the input. I've been wondering about my chances for a while, mostly because my GPA is pretty bad and I know UNC is like 82% in-state (AU and UA are only like 60%, so that was surprising). My mom said my brother's estimated family contribution (I really don't understand how that works, by the way) is $7,000 (he's at Auburn). I was kind of hoping the 10 AP courses + the APES exam and the test scores might make up for my mediocre grades but I guess not? Oh well... I've been conservative in my hope anyway, generally thinking either I just won't get in or I will and won't get any money.
Are any of you by chance there from OOS? I've been wondering about what one of my teachers told me about students transferring back to Alabama because they felt like UNC wasn't that enjoyable if they weren't in-state. You know, just in case they take me.
Thanks again!</p>

<p>I'm not OOS, but I was offered a place in the Honors program.
The 10 AP courses should be a huge help (that's how many I took during high school); however, colleges say that they don't really care about AP exam scores--the exams are optional, after all! Even though they say this, I still think it's fishy for a student not to release their scores to a school (for example, a student with a 99 in a class and no AP exam score would probably leave the college questioning the difficulty of the class). Just wondering, why didn't you take the exam for APUSH?</p>

<p>Your SAT and ACT scores are very high, and your GPA isn't horrendous. I wouldn't completely rule out UNC by any means. Like I said earlier, I'm in the honors program--I have a 2240 SAT, 33 ACT, 10 AP classes (5 of which were taken online... my county is poor and hardly offers any APs), some strong ECs, and essays that I really liked. Although my GPA is a 4.0 UW and a 5.12 W, it seems that everything else you have is comparable. </p>

<p>I think you have a shot, especially if your recommendations and essays are stellar. :] However, I wouldn't really bank on the merit aid... It's just REALLY hard to come by, and I'm afraid that your GPA might knock you out of the running. However, if your EFC is just 7,000, then your parents are only expected to pay $7000 a year. You'll be getting a lot of financial aid.</p>

<p>Hope this helps!</p>

<p>You are unlikely to get an honest answer to your question about OOS students not liking it on this forum. Since most of the posters here are current students, or parental boosters, you're not likely to find anyone who has experienced this, if they exist.</p>

<p>Having said that, I don't think it's an issue. Taking account the cultural differences between the smalltown South and more cosmopolitan areas of the country, I don't think I've known any OOS people who felt excluded or left out.</p>

<p>I mainly didn't take APUSH because I didn't register on time (my parents had a lot of stuff to pay for, what with debate and other ECs in that time frame and my 16th birthday being right in there too) and so I was just going to buy someone else's exam later -- I don't know if this happens at all schools, but several people started to panic about taking it and wanted to sell it to another student who didn't register on time. But at the point in time that most people realized that, it was only three weeks till the test and I didn't think I had adequate time to prepare. My teacher was pretty disappointed, because he apparently thought I would get a 5.</p>

<p>Luckily, I have a lot of others because I go to the academic magnet in my county... the other schools only have like half as many APs, I think.</p>

<p>And I'm pretty sure I can get really good recs from both science and humanities teachers.</p>

<p>I don't think OOS will feel left out. I mean, Alabama and NC are like southern states, so accent wise I dunno. Mainly, kids from our schools have an easy time avoiding students (if they want) from their own home school b/c they just wanna meet with new ppl. That being said, I think it matters about personality moreso and your own personal appeal to the school's size and teaching. Some classes such as journalism or something media focused have tons of students, so it might leave some ppl hanging, but really that's just 1-2 classes you may take in Carolina and will not exhaust you to the point that you would wanna transfer or something. Just be positive and let Carolina come to you if you are accepted, and true enough, you will see it as a second home.</p>


<p>I'm actually from Alabama as well, and I've been at UNC for two years now. As far as chances go, you have a shot at getting in, but the chances of you getting a merit scholarship are not nearly as good. Merit scholarships are incredibly hard to come by at UNC, partially because there are so many qualified applicants. However, I think that UNC's need based aid is arguably one of the best programs in the country.</p>

<p>As far as fitting in, it is a non-issue. Granted, I'm a current UNC student, so perhaps I'm not being "honest", but I never had a problem fitting in at Chapel Hill being OOS. I often forget where some of my friends are from, until it comes time for breaks and people start talking about their plans. As far as the people you meet, you meet them from all over. Just as an example, I recently went up to Madison to cheer on the Women's Frisbee Team at the National Championships. I drove 2500 miles and spent 5 nights on the trip away from home, but spent every night in a friend's home. Maybe that kind of experience is the exception and not the rule, but I would like ti think the opposite.</p>

<p>As far as UA goes, it is no where the level of UNC, but turning down a free ride to college is tough to do. It was the right decision for me, but everyone's circumstances are different. If you do end up going to UA, I would highly recommend applying to their Computer Based Honors Program and their Fellows program.</p>


<p>Thank you so much for the insight. It's good to know that the experience is as great as I originally thought. . . I declared UNC the perfect school and told my parents I'd die if I didn't get in last summer, but I think I've calmed down significantly since then. Plus I've gotten a lot more realistic.</p>

<p>I'm now kind of refocusing my college decisions based on whether a school has forensics and MUN (I already know Tech, UA, and UF all do) but I have to look into it for UNC because I'm now convinced I want to do both. I'll apply regardless, but that's a huge draw for me.</p>

<p>Also, regarding UA, I have a number of friends there and I will definitely ask about CBH -- there's at least one person from my high school I know specifically in that program whom I can talk to.</p>

<p>Thanks again!</p>

<p>If you like Model UN then I should probably letcha know that Georgetown, Harvard, and U Penn have some of the best teams in the country. When I was in high school I was a model congress person and so tried MUN at Chapel Hill and wasn't thrilled - but it may have grown since my freshman year.</p>

<p>Carolina has lots of wonderful debate opportunities, though. The Mock Trial team is intense and does well every year. There are the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies that meet every week to debate each other on campus, and also Student Congress is always full of 'scandal'.</p>

<p>Anyway, those Bs certainly aren't helping you. I wouldn't say it's an automatic rejection, but you aren't a shoo-in. Thinking back on it, I made six Bs by the time I applied and did get a pretty nice merit scholarship, but my ECs were very strong and my high school was also top 20 (dual enrollment stuff etc). So there IS hope and you should apply EA with the very best application you can present. The good news is your scores are strong. I made a 30 on my ACT and 1400 on my SAT.</p>

<p>Are you doing anything impressive with your time this summer? Every time of year counts. By no means am I saying that you should do something you wouldn't enjoy, but engage yourself with the world and see what happens! Colleges like to see that.</p>

<p>Good luck to ya</p>

<p>Well, I'm probably not doing anything a college would consider particularly "impressive." I qualified for the National Speech and Debate Tournament, so I'll be in Kansas City for a week competing in that. When I get back, I might volunteer at this -- Nehemiah</a> Center -- which as I understand it would just be helping out with less privileged kids.</p>

<p>A lot of my time the first half of the summer is devoted to planning our school's fall MUN conference. All the chairs have to meet and plan topics and details and the more bureaucratic type stuff before we invite schools. That, and writing, but I doubt they care.</p>