UMich vs UNC

Here’s another X vs Y college thread for you all. :smiley:
Haha no but in all seriousness, I’d love any opinions.
I was admitted to both EA, and now that all RD results have come in, these two are what I’m down to.
I honestly like both from what I’ve come to know so far, but I am OOS and haven’t even visited either state ever.
I’m undecided but some areas of interest are economics, psychology, political science, IR, and journalism. (I’m not an auto-admit to the school of media and journalism at UNC)
I also kind of like UMich’s school spirit and although I haven’t watched a game of football in my life, I love soccer and cricket so definitely think I would enjoy it. Both campuses seem lovely but AA is a more charming town for me. UNC’s research triangle park location, however, seems like it may be better in terms of opportunities.
Never been in Michigan level cold but generally prefer cold weather over hot (live in a place where we hit a 115 each year) so I doubt that’s an issue.
Also, seems like UMich is more well-known outside academic/college-admission circles. (UNC would probably be better-known in the NC area, I suppose, but barring that). My father, for example, said UNC never even registered on his radar until it was time for me to begin the Great College Search. However, he’s an engineer, so there’s probably a fair amount of bias there. In general, is UMich better known to the point of being a significant point of consideration for me?

Any opinions based on all the above things would be much appreciated. I’ll be visiting both schools next month and also attending an admitted student day at both, so this is more of a preliminary consideration. Thank you!

(let us assume, for the sake of this thread, that both will cost me the same and are affordable.)


You have 2 great options here…there is no wrong choice. UNC doesn’t have engineering ( other than BME) which explains, at least in part, your father’s unfamiliarity with the school.

Both schools have very nice college towns- I think AA is bigger. Both schools have school spirit and big time sports. The journalism school at UNC is very strong.

You will receive a top notch education at both schools, and your success will depend on you…and what you take advantage of. Hopefully you will get some clarity once you attend accepted students days.

Go with your gut. Both are amazing, so you cannot go wrong.

Both great schools. Journalism strength is significant at UNC. Otherwise, I think both have strengths in all those areas. Michigan might have a boost in poli sci.

UNC has fewer students and it’s a compact campus for its size . Biggest difference is weather.

Congrats and good luck!

Go visit both campuses. If that doesn’t make the decision clear then ask the question here. UNC has every bit as much school spirit a Michigan. If someone is not aware of UNC they are just informed.

Isn’t there a cost difference of like 10k per year? Do Michigan and UNC both meet full need, if applicable?

@JohnBlack yeah UMich is 10k more per year, but if I said that I knew most people would immediately say ‘since they’re both great schools, choose UNC’, so my other questions would never have been addressed. As it happens, both are affordable without loans.

Honestly, it is really pulling hairs here. Both Michigan & UNC are academic powerhouse schools, regarded as top 5 public ivy. UNC Journalism is legit though and is hailed as one of the best. Both are lovely college towns, with much better weather in NC. School spirit is great at both. Alumni form both are as passionate as you will find. I think UNC is prettier and has more history being the first public school in the US. Hard choice but one where there is no bad one.

obviously the soccer teams for both genders are always T10 ish in rankings at UNC. The club teams are very strong too (open to any student who tries out) . UNC campus is beautiful and a lot of urban hipster/foodie/microbrew stuff to do in nearby Durham. about 1 million people within 45 minutes of UNC

One of these fine universities has the most wins in college football history. ?

Michigan alumni are everywhere and very loyal. UNC is 85% instate. Alumni aren’t as spread around the globe like those at Michigan. That’s why your father wasn’t as familiar with the UNC name. Worldwide, The Michigan name is more famous.

“If someone is not aware of UNC they are just informed.”

I agree! ?

That’s part of it, certainly. Many Carolina graduates prefer to stay in the South, as the Sun Belt is by far the fastest growing region of the US. Charlotte and Raleigh are two of the top 20 fastest growing cities in the US, and 11 of the other top 20 cities are also in the South. No northeastern or midwestern cities crack the top 20.

It’s also a numbers game, though. Michigan has more undergraduates than Carolina has undergraduate and graduate students put together, so it’s no surprise that it has a much larger alumni network.


18,862 Undergraduates
11,049 Graduate/professional students
29,911 Total students


30,318 Undergraduates
16,398 Graduate/professional students
46,716 Total students

Both are phenomenal schools. Weather will be a huge difference. Chapel Hill is a basketball school (Michigan has a great program and improving, but it does not dominate social life). Michigan is a football school. Size will also be a huge difference. Michigan will have a much larger presence of out-of-state students and international students. Michigan is much more research oriented and a much bigger player in the academic research community, if that matters to you.

most of the kids going to Carolina probably do not go back more than 1 generation from NC. The triangle (chapel hill/durham/raleigh) has a fairly robust national/international demographic makeup. The weather during the school year is awesome and the campus is one of the more beautiful ones at UNC. (summer you are gonna sweat)

it seems that is true for much of the entire state, not just the triangle area…

yes. @yearstogo we’ve heard of “artists” from friends that move to western north carolina from all over the US by finding it as a good place to move on the internet. The south eastern part of the state is probably the most native.

“Carolina’s more than 330,000 alumni live in all 50 states — with more than half of them in North Carolina“

There are more than 590,000 Michigan alumni all across the globe.