UNC vs. UGA Honors

Hi, I’m an out of state student from the northeast deciding between UNC Chapel Hill or UGA with the Honors Program. UGA has also given me a scholarship that is about half the sticker price of UNC, and while the full out of state tuition is not a dealbreaker for me, it is a factor. I think the Honors Program at UGA may level out the academic playing field, but I’m not sure, especially considering post-graduate opportunities.

Beyond just cost and academics is the campus culture too. I’ve found that UGA’s Greek Life is huge, and I just worry the school will be too big. Yet, I don’t have the Honors community at UNC, like I would at UGA.

Needless to say, it’s a hard choice. Any help would be awesome, thank you so much!

If money isn’t an issue I’d take UNC all day and I went to UGA.


Agreed. Honors should be a factor for the student experience. Not for a job.

Pedigree wise and UGA is rising rapidly but UNC is a forever top school. UGA is huge. But you can always make a big school small. Often schools have a living learning community etc. so not Honors but u can still get ‘extras’.

Money is ALWAYS important. UNC is great but loads of people will do better out of UGA.

So fit which sounds like UNC. You can find the extras you seek. But also finances. No debt !!

If you got into UNC there has to be other great schools you got into with Honors like U of SC. are there any other choices ??

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I’d recommend UGA Honors. UGA Honors will have higher caliber students than UNC as a whole (check the stats) and better outcomes than the average UNC student. There are lots of Honors only opportunities that will help you stand out. UGA Honors has a great reputation in industry and with elite grad programs. It’s also a great community and you will find that many of your friends will be other honors students. If you are concerned about Greek life, definitely live in the honors dorm freshman year.

Easy decision choosing UGA Honors, imo.


What do you plan to study?

That could make a difference in the overall analysis.


Business, and Political Science/Economics.

I’m still waiting on Duke and WashU, but UNC and UGA were the best fits for me. Splitting hairs at this point, but it’s valuable nonetheless. Thanks for your reply! :slight_smile:

Duke trumps all - UNC / WUSTL a tie. UGA at the bottom. In perception. Fit matters - you have to spend four years. It’s not all about rank.

And Duke is $300K+. As is WUSTL.


Well, you have two very good options. Congratulations!

Is UGA secondary admit for the b-school like UNC? Are you aware of the secondary admit parameters at UNC for the b-school? I know they are working to expand capacity so that they don’t have to decline any students they would take if there was enough seats, but not sure what the exact capacity expectations are over the next few years.

Not sure how strongly you feel about business vs econ/poli science. UNC is pretty highly ranked (and higher than UGA, but UGA is still well ranked) in all three fields you mentioned, so all are good options. Econ and poli science are both declared majors.

I have a student at KFBS, so can speak to UNC but do not know much about UGA other than b-school is T30 (UNC is T10).

My D was in similar shoes to yours (except $ factor) 2 years ago with similar thoughts. She ultimately declined direct admit to Darla Moore b-school + HC at UofSC for UNC non-honors, including gambling on KFBS admit. We are instate, but UofSC merit made net cost pretty close to UNC in-state.

We have found that being in honors or not at UNC is not a big differential like some other schools. If you look at stat ranges for incoming students for UNC honors and UNC overall, they are very close. The majority of non-honors students at UNC probably got into an honors college somewhere else, but chose UNC. Just having the UNC part opens doors.

So, IMO not being in honors at UNC should not be a significant dissuading factor.

My student so far is having an amazing experience at KFBS with solid opportunities. The other students particpating in those opportunities tend to be from other T10 type schools (Wharton, Ross, etc).

She’s also taken several poli science courses and has liked them. Econ classes have just been the pre-reqs. They were challenging but she did fine. She really enjoyed first year experience overall pre-COVID as well.

Good luck on your decision making! I know it’s not easy. My D finally decided at the 11th hour because she couldn’t put it off any more :wink:.

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UGA Honors: 2500 students, Average SAT - 1517 - that’s better than almost every private school of 2500 or fewer students.
UNC: average Math SAT - 695, average EBRW - 684; UNC Honors - average SAT 1444.

Honors at UGA changes the game. The opportunities available to honors students at UGA will typically exceed those available to UNC students, especially your average student. Honors students at UGA have easy access to research, win national scholarships, get into top grad schools, get dual degrees (so masters in 4 years is fairly common and only open to honors) and get jobs at top companies. I see no reason to pay more for UNC, especially if cost is a factor.


This is where people, in my opinion, need to step back - and look at fit. One is a gigantic campus in a town…but a town in the middle of nowhere. The other is a mid-large school in regular civilization - and has a bit of a more urban-like feel.

These are both great options. Where do you feel a spark? That and money is what matters.


Thank you so much everyone for your replies. It’s so nice of you to take the time to help me out, and it is very appreciated. UGA Honors and UNC seem to be about even when the dust settles, so I’m just going to try to figure out which is the better fit for me. Thanks again!! :slight_smile:


Wishing you the very best as you make a hard decision!!!

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If you want to know anything specific about Athens, Greek Life, etc, feel free to ask.

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First of all, congrats on these great choices!

You don’t need to be in honors at UNC to have a great experience. Lots of students who qualify on paper do not make honors. Also- any student can be involved in research, whether in honors or not. Most students do research.

Congrats again and good luck!

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I don’t think Duke has undergrad business so would it be Econ?

As for business rankings it would be WUSTL > UNC > UGA but they’re all very close. All would be good choices. I don’t remember but is Terry a direct admit or do you have to apply as a junior? I wouldn’t worry about that too much but something to consider.

We visited UGA and UNC. S20 wanted urban so he’s at GT. Both campuses are very nice but UGA is definitely bigger than UNC. UNC seemed walkable. UGA wasn’t walkable but Athens is a neat college town.

You mentioned grad school. What would you study? If you’re thinking MBA I’d reconsider. It’s not the golden ticket it once was. Undergraduate business schools have gotten better so an MBA doesn’t mean as much any more. If this is the case I’d consider UNC. Spend more for undergrad but you’re going to T10 program. The game changer would be if you get great FA from WUSTL to make it competitive cost wise. Good luck.


You do have to apply to both business schools as a junior, but considering I got into UNC as an out of state student and considering I’m in honors at UGA, I don’t worry too much about my chances for either, and either way, they’re the same.

I’m thinking about law, but UGA has an awesome program where I could get my MBA and by Bachelors from them in 4 years, given the AP credits I have. Then I could go onto any graduate school if that’s where my path took me, but the fact that UNC is a T10 is tempting.

Thanks so much for your reply! I really appreciate it.

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For undergrad b-school it’s actually UNC > WUSTL > UGA

Agree the MBA isn’t needed if have business undergrad, unless OP really wants to go JD/MBA for Corporate/SEC law route.

Today I think MBA is generally more for people with a non-business undergrad who want to move into/up management/administration ranks.

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I can’t disagree more. But an mba is at least six years away as a decent school won’t take anyone without two years work experience. I’d say if your desire is the corporate world an MBA is more important than ever. At many companies it’s now the cost of entry.


What a difference a year makes. Olin dropped out Poets and Quants T10. They were knocking on Wharton’s door. Still might have the highest standards but not sure what happened.

MBA is still useful but it’s getting to be like law school. T20 or bust. You need good work experience. Going to top business school for undergrad will help.

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