<p>From an unbiased student residing on the West Coast</p>
<p>If big is your thing, UNC is the perfect size. Big enough to get lost in for a day, but small enough to comfortably call home
Excellent programs in the sciences, especially Pre-med, biology, chemistry, pharmacy, etc. Grad schools know UNC is a powerhouse in these areas, and thus the UNC degree holds high value in those disciplines.
The basketball...self explanatory, I think
better colors (at least I favor the Carolina blue over Duke royal)
Friendlier students...after visiting both schools, I found quite a few people at Duke pretty pretentious. You just have to go in knowing $80 single-plate dinners will be nothing to them, they'll drive nice cars, have the nicest phones, etc. I'm sure the majority are friendly, and it's not a matter of whether they'll "be nice" to you. But they might have the money to go to the expensive restaurants, the nicest clubs, get the best clothes, etc. And if you can't afford that, you might feel a little left out.
Being OOS: this is sometimes considered a "negative," but I think it could actually work in your favor. Because OOS students are more uncommon at UNC than at Duke, people will be more interested to learn about your town/state/background, etc. "Novelty" probably isn't the best word, but you get the idea.
Healthy, athletic, jock-status student body. Good looking for the most part from what I've seen.
Diversity: Much more socioeconomically diverse that Duke. More down-to-earth, students are used to earning their way instead of having things handed to them (though students at Duke earn grades as well, the elitist attitude is certainly more prevalent at that campus).</p>
<p>Not as big of a national/international rep as Duke. On the west coast, for example, people would be very surprised to hear that UNC is on-par with UCLA, USC, etc. They just know it as a big sports school. So in this regard, if you want to find a high-profile job outside of the South, Duke might have the edge.
If big isn't your thing, UNC might be a little "too big"</p>
<p>Beautiful campus, botanical gardens, etc.
Excellent depts. across the board. Ranked as one of the top-10 universities in the nation by many sources. Probably has the edge over UNC as far as programs ranked in the top-10 in several different disciplines (as opposed to just sci/med)
Great research institution (I think UNC and Duke will both provide you will great opportunities though, they're probably even in that regard).
Big-name reputation. Anywhere you go, people will associate Duke with excellence, and that alone will carry you far, no matter what profession you choose.
Funding: It's a private school. You have whatever you need at your finger-tips.</p>
<p>Because you have everything you need at your fingertips, you may not become as intellectually independent as you would at a school like UNC, where you have to make your own path. You are essentially taken by the hand. Some students want that, others want a more challenging path to success. That's something major to consider when choosing one of these schools. Who do you want to become, and how do you want to do it?
Again, pretentiousness. Not saying everyone at Duke is this way, I'm sure most of them are great. But the eliteness is certainly there, and it makes itself felt. How comfortable with that are you?
Name recognition: I know I just listed this as a pro, but along with the whole "great school" thing, people are also going to be aware of the elitist attitude on campus, and associate you with that, rightfully or wrongfully so. Even if you aren't, they'll know 3 things about Duke: basketball, great school, wealthy kids, probably in that order. Again, if that doesn't bother you, great. But just something to keep in mind.</p>
<p>Either way, you can't go wrong. It depends on where you want to live/who you want to hang out with, and what you want to major in. Good luck!</p>