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UNC Chapel Hill vs other locations

We are having a debate in our family regarding UNC schools. We loved UNC Chapel Hill but we are OOS so we realize our daughter may not get in. Are the other locations (like UNC Wilmington) viewed like another state school in NC (like in PA we have Shippensburg, Kutztown, etc) or is it more of a satellite campus of Chapel Hill (like Penn State has main campus and then Penn State Erie, etc). Thanks!
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Replies to: UNC Chapel Hill vs other locations

  • writeredwritered 9 replies0 threads New Member
    All the "UNC system" schools definitely stand on their own as separate institutions, each with their own history, strengths, vibe and characteristics. None would be seen in state as a "satellite" to UNC Chapel Hill or any other system schools. There are 17 in the UNC system, including NC State, Appalachian and East Carolina, as well as ones like UNC Wilmington, UNC Greensboro and UNC Asheville. They vary widely in location, size and reputation. Those with "UNC "at the beginning of the name are no more connected to Chapel Hill, or each other, than any of the others. But we are so fortunate to have so many great schools in state! Hope this helps.
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  • fancypants2019fancypants2019 48 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Each "UNC" school is part of the umbrella North Carolina system but each have their own admissions, culture, focus areas etc.... that being said, UNC Chapel Hill is unquestionably the "state flagship" and the elite state school in North Carolina. The other "UNC" system schools are much more regional and known in NC...Chapel Hill is a nationally known institution.
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  • mn2020jn2023mn2020jn2023 2 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you. While my husband and I thought this was the case, I wanted to get views from "the locals" so that my daughter would understand. She keeps thinking the other schools are more of a satellite. This helps!
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  • damon30damon30 1147 replies5 threads Senior Member
    Consider the UNC schools the way you would the different UC schools. You wouldn't compare Berkeley with Riverside and you don't compare "Carolina" (UNC-CH) to UNC Wilmington. All of these are different from each other.
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  • threegirlpileupthreegirlpileup 145 replies15 threads Junior Member
    I think people often assume that UNC-CH is the best and the other schools are sub-par. While it is true that UNC-CH is the hardest to get into academically, it depends on what your kid is planning to study. Engineering? Textile Arts? NC State. Performing Arts? UNC-Greensboro. People are often surprised that my prospective dance major is not applying to UNC-CH until I tell them that UNC-CH doesn’t offer a dance major, much less a BFA!
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  • EconPopEconPop 322 replies6 threads Member
    I think people often assume that UNC-CH is the best and the other schools are sub-par. While it is true that UNC-CH is the hardest to get into academically, it depends on what your kid is planning to study. Engineering? Textile Arts? NC State. Performing Arts? UNC-Greensboro. People are often surprised that my prospective dance major is not applying to UNC-CH until I tell them that UNC-CH doesn’t offer a dance major, much less a BFA!

    And to piggyback on this ...

    UNC-Charlotte is an up-and-comer with the benefit of being in the banking center of Charlotte. That gives business/finance/accounting majors an edge with plenty of internship opportunities and post-graduation first jobs.

    UNC-Asheville is a public LAC with a small enrollment of approximately 3300 undergraduates. The city of Asheville is the perfect environment for a LAC, with 90K people in a mountainous area with plenty of outdoor activities and an eclectic cool downtown.

    UNC-Wilmington is the beach college, with a great marine science specialty. And downtown Wilmington is a nice place to hang out.

    There are several HBCUs under the UNC umbrella, NCA&T (with a good engineering school, and a business school with the distinction of producing almost the most black CPA in the country,) NCCU, Winston-Salem State, Fayetteville State, and Elizabeth City State.

    There are a lot of special differentiators with many of the UNC schools.
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  • fancypants2019fancypants2019 48 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I respectfully disagree with the above commentators. If you are in-state and have in-state tuition and had a choice between Chapel Hill, UNCG and UNC Charlotte, I STRONGLY advise you to choose Chapel Hill. Despite what anyone says, Chapel Hill is THE cream of the crop state flagship school. IN the real world, name matters. I am sorry but it is true. If you were to move anywhere outside of North Carolina, name carries weight, name gets you the interview. Chapel Hill sends students to the best grad programs and jobs compared to any other UNC system school. Chapel Hill has much better academics, research, brand, sports, resources, campus, etc than any other UNC campus. Cost aside, go to the best school you can get into, and Chapel Hill crushes all others state schools in NC. One exception, which I agree with, if you are going straight for engineering, unless you heart is set on biomedical engineering, NC State would be the better choice specifically for engineering. UNC Chapel Hill >>>>>>all other UNC schools
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  • fancypants2019fancypants2019 48 replies1 threads Junior Member
    UNC Charlotte although has the "proximity edge" to Charlotte does not have an edge when it comes to recruiting for Charlotte finance roles. Chapel Hill's Kenan-Flagler business is #8 in the entire country and one of the most prestigious business schools period. All else equal, a UNC Charlotte business grad will never have the "edge" on a Kenan-Flagler grad. Those are just facts.
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  • EconPopEconPop 322 replies6 threads Member
    edited November 5
    UNC Charlotte although has the "proximity edge" to Charlotte does not have an edge when it comes to recruiting for Charlotte finance roles. Chapel Hill's Kenan-Flagler business is #8 in the entire country and one of the most prestigious business schools period. All else equal, a UNC Charlotte business grad will never have the "edge" on a Kenan-Flagler grad. Those are just facts.

    Kenan-Flagler is a great school, no doubt about it. I agree it is much more highly ranked than UNC-Charlotte.

    However, consider this scenario. Charlotte NC is the 2nd leading banking center in America. Multiple national and regional banks have headquarters in Charlotte. https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/banking/article221589840.html

    Take two Accounting students, one at UNC-CH, one at UNC-C. The one at Charlotte works with Bank A during a Sophomore year project, interns at Bank A during Junior year, and is invited to intern again during Senior year because Bank A has been impressed with her work ethic and capabilities. The student at Chapel Hill has the same grades but does not intern with bank A because Bank A does not have internship opportunities near Chapel Hill.

    Near the end of their senior year, both apply for the same position at Bank A offices in Charlotte. Who do you think Bank A is going to hire? The student who has a positive 3-year history with Bank A, or the student with the same grades, but whom they know nothing about except she went to Chapel Hill?

    It's simplistic to say location and internship opportunities never matter.

    I'm not arguing which is a better university. I'm not debating whether or not UNC-Chapel Hill has better national name recognition. I'm just saying that proximity has its benefits, at least in some cases.

    If both students apply for a accounting job in Minot SD, maybe the student who graduated from Chapel Hill would have an advantage.
    edited November 5
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  • jdogNCjdogNC 67 replies0 threads Junior Member
    A couple of comments:

    UNC CH is the best overall for NC. However, as some have mentioned, going to some of the other UNC schools for specific fields such as engineering, Marine Biology, etc is better if that is your thing. Also, while UNC CH is the best overall, other schools can be a better fit for someone and they will get more out of it and have a better experience. Many years of experience have shown it is not as black and white as some may think. If you are looking for a Wall Street or big bank job, then it matters quite a bit; if looking for a job most people end up with, matters not as much, especially if you are in NC.

    There were also some UNC Charlotte comments above. UNCC (and App State for that manner) will have more Big 4 accounting jobs in Charlotte than UNC CH. UNC CH and Kenan Flagler just has a Masters program for accountancy so overall will be less. Kenan Flagler will give much better opportunities than UNCC for higher level finance jobs in NYC and Charlotte (and with a kid in Kenan Flagler, it really is a great program with many opportunities). However the banking market is huge in Charlotte and there are plenty of opportunities for UNCC business grads as well. They just won't have the same opportunities for investment banking or other higher level finance jobs but will will have opportunities in other departments.

    And one final comment on accounting since that is my field, if two accountants in Minot, SD are looking for a job, its probably a toss up if they both have their CPA. Then it will likely come down to personality rather than a UNC CH or UNCC degree.
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  • itsgettingreal17itsgettingreal17 4090 replies27 threads Senior Member
    UNC Chapel Hill doesn’t offer an accounting major. Furthermore, for investment banking and high finance, with all banks now recruiting through an online and hirevue process, the gap in opportunities between going to UNC Chapel Hill versus the other campuses just isn’t as great as some people want you to believe. If one of the other campuses is a better fit, go there and work the recruiting process, which all students have to do even from target schools. Banks aren’t handing out internships or jobs on campus anymore.
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  • itsgettingreal17itsgettingreal17 4090 replies27 threads Senior Member
    Also @EconPop That’s not how bank recruiting work. If you’ve interned, you either get a full time offer after the junior year internship or you don’t. There’s no separate application process senior year for prior interns. Also most banks are filling their first year classes with past interns, not from senior year recruiting. So internships are key. Most internships will be during the summer, not during the year. Proximity isn’t a big advantage.
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  • EconPopEconPop 322 replies6 threads Member
    edited November 5
    @itsgettingreal17
    So, is there no advantage to being an accountacy student at Charlotte as opposed to any other city with an otherwise comparable accounting program? Not saying the programs are comparable, but if they were, would Charlotte accounting students have no advantage over Western Carolina (Cullowee NC) accounting students?
    edited November 5
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  • itsgettingreal17itsgettingreal17 4090 replies27 threads Senior Member
    edited November 5
    @EconPop Recruiting from non-elite schools is mostly regional, so for accounting students who want to work in Charlotte, they will have ample opportunities. Getting a job in another city in which the student has no connection will be easier out of Chapel Hill than Charlotte, but far from impossible. For accounting specifically, however, the advantage of Charlotte is actually majoring in accounting with a possibility of bypassing a fifth year masters degree with some strategic planning. Since Chapel Hill doesn’t offer an accounting major, a masters in accounting is absolutely required. If a student knows they want accounting from the start, I don’t know why they’d choose Chapel Hill. My D wanted accounting so UNC Chapel Hill and other schools with general business degrees did not make the list.
    edited November 5
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  • EconPopEconPop 322 replies6 threads Member
    @EconPop Recruiting from non-elite schools is mostly regional, so for accounting students who want to work in Charlotte, they will have ample opportunities. Getting a job in another city in which the student has no connection will be easier out of Chapel Hill than Charlotte, but far from impossible. For accounting specifically, however, the advantage of Charlotte is actually majoring in accounting with a possibility of bypassing a fifth year masters degree with some strategic planning. Since Chapel Hill doesn’t offer an accounting major, a masters in accounting is absolutely required. If a student knows they want accounting from the start, I don’t know why they’d choose Chapel Hill. My D wanted accounting so UNC Chapel Hill and other schools with general business degrees did not make the list.

    Thanks
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  • jdogNCjdogNC 67 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited November 5
    @econpop and @itsgettingreal17

    UNCC and App State specifically are known for accounting and would be better than Western Carolina. UNCC and App State get a lot of specific recruiting from the accounting firms in Charlotte and are greatly represented at all the Charlotte firms.

    And even though for investment banks these days, you go through the hirevue process, being at a target school like UNC CH is much better than the other UNC schools. The networking and recruiting opportunities are just a lot better. As mentioned, with hirevue, the gap is declining, but the gap is still there. Most UNC CH students that choose IB are getting internships either in NYC, ATL or Charlotte, while only the very best at other schools will get them. It can be done, but will be more difficult. Also there are a lot more specialized classes like private equity, entrepreneurial finance, advanced modelling, etc that a highly ranked B school like KFBS provides that the other NC schools can't match.
    edited November 5
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  • chb088chb088 966 replies32 threads Member
    @itsgettingreal17 UNCCH has a 3-2 program which offers a bachelor's (in business I think) with a Master's in Accounting and also a 12 month Master's in Accounting. I am a grad of the 12 month program. And you can no longer get a CPA without the Master's (or equivalent), so most schools are now offering that instead of the Bachelor's in Accounting. Back when I was in school, UNC was the only place around that had it. Now you can get it at NCSU, Wake, and several others. I really don't know anyone who just gets a bachelor's in accounting anymore.
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  • chb088chb088 966 replies32 threads Member
    @EconPop accounting students at UNCC definitely have an advantage over those from Western. I have worked in the accounting industry including public accounting in Charlotte for over 20 years. The firms and large companies here seem to prefer UNC, NCSU, UNCC, Wake, USC and even App over the other nearby colleges. They do not strictly want to fill their spots with students just from one college.
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  • itsgettingreal17itsgettingreal17 4090 replies27 threads Senior Member
    @chb088 Again, that’s 5 years. Most schools still have bachelors in accounting. You don’t need a masters in accounting to get a CPA. You need 150 credits and the courses required by the state. For students with AP credits, they can be CPA eligible in 4 years by just majoring in accounting. An extra year for a degree that does not increase starting salary Is not a wise investment, imo. When my D (an accounting major) was planning on practicing, her 4 year plan, which includes a masters in business analytics, would have made her CPA eligible at the end of 4 years. She’s since dropped a couple of accounting electives since she’s decided to go in a different direction post-graduation and won’t be sitting for the CPA.
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