Feeling very conflicted about decision +scholarship

Hi, I just wanted to post here and ask for some advice. I’m a student in NC and I applied to several state schools. The main 2 I was interested in attending, UNC Chapel Hill and NC State both waitlisted me while I was accepted to all the others I applied to. I was planning on just doing some community college and reapplying as a transfer to NC State and UNC until today in which I found out I am a recipient of a $10,000 scholarship ($1,250 each semester up to 8). To get this scholarship, you have to attend one of the 16 public 4-year universities in NC. I feel very conflicted because I am not interested in really attending the public universities I applied to and If I did go to them I would need to pay for housing as well as other expenses which would be much more than just attending the community college. I looked into if any of the universities had online Gen-Ed classes so that I could attend them for one semester virtually and transfer the credits and the scholarship to either NC State or Chapel Hill after applying as a transfer student, but all the schools seem to be only offering online courses for adult learning programs and not their general education classes. I have low hopes of getting off either of the waitlists for NC State or UNC and the deposit deadlines for the other state schools I was accepted to are coming up on May 1st. I know I should be really happy about receiving this scholarship, but it’s really hard to be when I’m not sure if I can even use it or save money with it. If anyone has any advice, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much.

Were you admitted to a branch campus of UNC ?

If so, can you attend & then transfer to Chapel Hill ?

I’ve been admitted to several different UNC schools, but because they don’t seem to offer gened classes online it would be more expensive to go to them and pay their tuition + room/board then it would be to give up the scholarship and just take those classes I need at community college

NC community colleges seem to have in-state tuition+fees from about $2k to $6k.

NC public universities seem to have in-state tuition+fees from about $3k to $9k.

So the scholarship of $2.5k per year probably covers the difference in tuition+fees between NC community colleges and public universities, but it depends on which ones you compare.

However, if no NC public university is in reasonable commuting range (or has online / distance courses for what you want to take), the extra cost of living on campus compared to the cost of living at home and commuting (not $0, but generally a lot less than living on campus) would make it more expensive even with the scholarship. Based on the assumption that you are not interested in planning to stay at any one of them until graduation, that makes them unattractive cost-wise, even with the scholarship.

But note that if you start at a community college, it is not assured that you will gain transfer admission to UNC-CH or NCSU. Where you get admitted as a transfer depends on your college courses and grades (and high school record, if you attempt to transfer at the frosh/soph, as opposed to the junior, level).


You will spend at least one year wherever you choose to attend before you transfer - you’d typically apply during your second semester, with your first semester grades and activities. Deadline is Feb 15 at UNC CH for instance.

You sound like a great student with lots of admissions, why spend a year in cc? You’ll need to demonstrate leadership or participation in on campus events and have built a relationship with a professor who’ll write you a letter of recommendation (often English or foreign language because those are the most common small classes you’d have as a freshman therefore where the professor would have something to say. More options if you got into Honors somewhere. )
And remember after a year there’s no guarantee you’ll end up at UNC or NCSU.

In addition, if you pass on that scholarship, you don’t just pass it up for the first year, you also pass it up for when you’ve transferred. $10,000 is a lot of money and $2,500 will surely help wherever you go, each of sophomore, junior and senior year.

Personally, I’d pick between App State, UNCW, UNCC, and UNCA depending on major and costs (ie., did you get into the Honors college at any, did you get a college-based scholarship?)

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Send in a letter of continued interest in attending to both NC State & to UNC-Chapel Hill which shares that you have received a scholarship which can be used at either university.

Why get bummed and put your life on hold for a year? Pick your best option and make the best of it. You can always apply to transfer, but there’s nothing to be gained by going into it with that attitude - especially since there’s no guarantee that you will be able to transfer.

UNC Asheville is a wonderful school, which offers a different experience than Chapel Hill or NC State. I’d give that option in particular a close look. You might get there and find you never want to leave. A lot of kids have just that experience there.

There is no “branch” campus of UNC. All the schools in the NC system are separate entities, even though several include “University of NC” in their name such as UNC-Wilmington.

NC has a process in place that allows CC students to easily transfer to any public state university, and many students think this is almost a seemless process into the school of their choice. In reality, obviously no one school can guarantee to accept every student that wishes to transfer from cc. For instance, obviously UNC and NCSU are two campuses popular with students who wish to transfer. UNC especially does not have the capacity to absorb every cc student who might wish to transfer.

But to answer your question again specifically, there are no branch/satellite campuses of UNC or NCSU as in other states like OH or PA.

It sounds like the OP is concerned about the difference in cost of R&B rather than tuition. If the OP goes to a local cc (NC has a robust cc network) the OP will pay only for tuition. If the OP were to accept the scholarship and live on campus (ostensibly because no public 4yr is within commuting distance) then the family would be on the hook for another $9K-$14K per year.

@Masterof2D , if you were to attend UNC/NCSU, you would have to pay R&B and are obviously willing and able to pay that cost. If true, my advice is to attend the public NC university of your choosing that has accepted you and plan to attend for 4yrs. Do your best to earn a 4.0 GPA. If the university has not grown on you after that first year, apply to transfer to UNC/NCSU. I think you’ll have a better chance at transferring into one of those two from a 4yr campus than from a cc.

I’ve seen/heard anecdotal evidence that comparatively more students are admitted as 4yr transfers than as cc transfers. It appears that a lot of would-be UNC/NCSU cc transfers end up being offered seats in other NC public universities but not those two flagships. Those two simply receive too many apps to admit every student. The good news for you is NC has at least 6-7 other very good to great public universities.

If it is affordable, I would hate for you to miss the freshman+sophomore experience of living on campus because you chase a UNC/NCSU cc transfer, only to find yourself without those options again in 2 years. Enjoy your freshman+sophomore experience at another NC university and then attempt the transfer. That way, you are ensured of getting the most out of your college experience.

Good luck.

PS: @Masterof2D if cost is truly a limiting factor in your decision that indicates perhaps your family is Pell eligible. If this is true, you should perhaps be less concerned with the cost of R&B than you are. NC offers in-state Pell-eligible students a very low COA. Have you received your FinAid packages from each school?


UNC-Chapel Hill posted that for the incoming class 45% of the transfers were from NC community colleges.

Yes, but what was the acceptance percentage of CC transfer applicants. That’s the more important number for what the OP is discussing/planning.

PS: I just checked a couple of CC websites and neither mentioned specific statistics regarding transfers to UNC and NCSU. However, they did explicitly state that the process to win a transfer to UNC/NCSU is “competitive” and far from guaranteed. That supports what I’ve heard. CC students with excellent grades aiming for UNC/NCSU often end up at Charlotte, Boone, Greensboro and elsewhere. Again, the good news is those are all great options!

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It would be helpful to know what % of CC students who applied, were accepted. OP can probably get that info from the admissions office.

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