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UNC out of state, FIRST CHOICE, chances?

tjlax25tjlax25 Registered User Posts: 122 Junior Member
Hey folks, I need some help. Was looking at the stats on collegeboard.com for UNC and noticed that the acceptance rate is around 36 percent, which isn't half bad. However, I was reminded that because I am from PA, that number does not apply. Now, I have yet to visit UNC but I already know that it is my first choice because I WANNA BE A TAR HEEL. I have heard many amazing things about the campus, and from seeing pictures of friends visiting there, and doing research on the school, I know it is the one for me.

My first question is, is there an Early Decision choice for Chapel Hill? It was unlisted on collegeboard, and I want to apply by contract to the school to make my chances as good as possible.

Second, assuming that I apply ED, or EA if that is the best choice available, will I have a good chance of being accepted? Here are my stats:

wGPA: 4.0
Rank: 32/650
SAT1 - 790 math, 720 verbal, 680 writing
SAT2 - 760 chemistry, 750 math, 740 physics
Strong Courses: Honors English grade 9, Honors Biology, Honors Earth and Space Science (sort of like geology and astronomy combined), Honors Algebra 2, Honors Pre-calculus with Trig, AP Calculus, AP Calculus 2, AP Chemistry 2, Honors Physics, AP Bio 2, Honors Biochemistry.
ECs: Key Club, JV Lacrosse Captain (650 kids in each grade, sports teams are highly selective due to large pool of students and small number of spots to fill, so still no Varsity), Tudoring neighbors, Worked since end of Freshman year roughly 25 hours per week (3 different jobs with no breaks between them), National Honor Society

My EC's have a lot to be desired, but it's too late now. Please be brutally honest, I want the facts and I'm not the type to be discouraged by someones opinion...whether you guys think ill get in or not, I'm still applying!

One more thing -- I have decided that I want to major in Biochemistry, and then possibly go on to Med School. I do not want to go strictly Pre-med so as to avoid making Medical School be my only professional option out of college. (I'm not even sure Pre-med is a major at UNC, anyway) Any opinions on that one?

Thanks for all the help!
Post edited by tjlax25 on

Replies to: UNC out of state, FIRST CHOICE, chances?

  • eadadeadad Registered User Posts: 2,759 Senior Member
    First off, there is no binding early decision, only early action. The acceptance rate for out of staters is more like 12% making it more difficult than most Ivies with the exception of HYP. They will probably unweight the GPA and for an out of stater, class rank in the top 5% is a good thing. Like anywhere else, unfortunately there is no guarantee though on paper, you look like a good candidate. The rest will be in your essays and performance the first half of senior year. Visit the school when you can, Chapel Hill (or as the students call it, Chapel Thrill) is a great place to go to school. I forgot to ask, male or female? Being a male could help because the school is 60/40 female/male and they are always trying to attract more well qualified males to make up their class.

    Your grades and scores certainly are in the area of many out of staters that we have seen accepted, though your writing score is a bit low. On the previous SAT, acceptance with a score in the 1530-1550 range usually also came with some form of merit money, and obviously, the higher the scores the better the money. You don't need a laundry list of ECs. They would much rather see passion and involvement in a few good ones than being a "member" of every club and organization possible.

    There is little or no grade inflation at UNC, and they use a +/- grading system so getting 2 As and 2A- would not result in a 4.0, but on the plus side, just missing an A and getting a B+ rather than a B works for you in the GPA compututation. Not everyone likes the +/- system but it is what it is. There are a lot of people on the premed track and there are premed advisors but not a formal program to my knowledge (I could be wrong here) with most people majoring in very diverse areas.

    UNC has very strong biology and chemistry departments as well as strength in linguistics and neuroscience. Good luck!
  • tjlax25tjlax25 Registered User Posts: 122 Junior Member
    yeah well, my writing score would have been higher but due to the 25 minute time limit I completely forgot to split my essay into paragraphs and therefore it was one big one. I told a writing specialist at my school about that and her opinion was that it would have increased by 40-60 points.

    I have taken the SAT 1 four times this past year. Because of the combination of the writing portion into the SAT 1, I would have to retake the whole entire test to raise that grade. Do you really think that 680 alone is going to affect me? I'm unsure of UNC's policy in this area, but many schools have stated that it will not have a great bearing on their decision. Is that the case at UNC?

    I intend to travel there during the beginning of August to visit. Also, I am a male.
  • Grad'06Grad'06 - Posts: 572 Member
    unc chapel hill is more competitive than unc asheville right? cuz an asian from my school got into asheville with a 1.95 GPA and 320V 450M sat score. he played b-ball though but i dont think he was that good. i'd say u have a decent chance.
  • tjlax25tjlax25 Registered User Posts: 122 Junior Member
    I wish I lived in North Carolina...all these problems would go away so fast!
  • eadadeadad Registered User Posts: 2,759 Senior Member

    It's not that I was saying that it would definitely negatively impact you, just making a comment that with UNC-CH the competition is especially keen for out of staters. They are mandated to only 18% out of state by state law. 18% of approx 3000 incoming freshman is 540 or so. Subtract the out of state recruited athletes for all sports and you might have another 50+ spots taken, maybe more. Then there are out of state legacies etc so what is left? 450+ spots from the 10,000+ out of state applicants.

    All I intended to convey is that it is a tough admission ticket to punch for an out of stater and the pool will be very competitive. There are always out of staters who are admitted and don't attend so being put on a wait list (they draw separately from in-state and out of state waitlists) could also pan out though I am not in any way saying you would only be waitlisted. You have as good a shot as anyone provided that the rest of your application is good, essays done well etc.

    No one really knows how any school is going to view/dissect the new SAT and your SAT II scores are very good.

    grad 06

    Yes, UNC-CH is a far more difficult admission (even in-state) than UNC-A . Even an athlete would not have a chance with those scores at UNC-CH.
  • Eagle79Eagle79 Registered User Posts: 1,066 Senior Member
    I have heard that it may be easier to get in to Duke than out of state to UNC-CH.
  • tjlax25tjlax25 Registered User Posts: 122 Junior Member
    so basically i have a 4.5% chance of acceptance?
  • wildcat014wildcat014 Registered User Posts: 151 Junior Member
    In 2001 the acceptance rate for non-legacy OOS students at UNC when the students were in the top 10% of their class and had an SAT of 1400+ was about 75%, so being in the top 5% with a 1500 definitely gives you a great shot. I know that admissions standards have risen since 2001, but I couldn't find any statistics more recent than 2001. I think the reason people think that getting into UNC from out of state is harder than getting into Duke is because there is a low acceptance rate, but the applicant pool is much, much weaker. Also, I think someone had the information on another UNC thread and OOS acceptance was about 30% (or maybe that was UVA - it all blends in after a while)

    I've been trying for the last 10 minutes to find the website where I saw those statistics. I looked at it about a month ago and the information stuck with me vividly.
  • eadadeadad Registered User Posts: 2,759 Senior Member

    UNC out of state ENROLLMENT is capped at 18% by state law. UVA currently enrolls around 30% OOS and has done so for the last few years. UNC obviously admits more than 18% (everyone overadmits knowing their anticipated yield) but UNC has admitted far less than 30% of OOS students the last few years because their yield has gone up. If I remember correctly from either an admissions letter or from a parents' orientation session, the number last year was around 22%.

    You can't really use 2001 numbers for comparison purposes because the application pools have continued to become increasingly larger, stronger and more competitive at most "highly selective" schools. I know several graduates of Stanford from as late as 1998-2000 who all believe that they wouldn't get in today.

    Are you saying the out of state pool at UNC is "much weaker" than Duke's? I personally know of three people who were accepted at Duke and turned down by UNC for the class of '08. You might want to relook at the numbers for applicants(not matriculation) because the latest stats for OOS application pool would rival those of many top "elite" universities. They may not all matriculate, which drives down the averages (as does the lower in state averages) but every year UNC's numbers continue to rise.
  • wildcat014wildcat014 Registered User Posts: 151 Junior Member

    Do you know of anywhere that I could find the stats of the applicant pools at UNC and Duke from the last year or two?

  • eadadeadad Registered User Posts: 2,759 Senior Member
    I was looking for them myself. My comments about UNC were based as I said on my memory of something we received either from admissions or from a comment made at either Explore Carolina or at one of the many meetings we attended during parents' orientation at CTOPS.
  • 1sokkermom1sokkermom Registered User Posts: 3,515 Senior Member
    My S applied out of state to UNC and also to Duke. (class of 08')
    He was accepted to both. He felt that the overall applicant pool at Duke was much stronger. He knew several oos kids from his school who were rejected at Duke and accepted at UNC. I guess it all depends on where you are from.....
  • tjlax25tjlax25 Registered User Posts: 122 Junior Member
    really? so if i applied from alaska id have less of a chance than say somewhere close like virginia or south carolina?

    also, what would happen if they overadmitted and their yield jumped to say 20% would people be waitlisted that had previously been accepted?
  • 1sokkermom1sokkermom Registered User Posts: 3,515 Senior Member
    Actually, coming from Alaska you would probably have a better chance than someone from Virginia or South Carolina. There probably are not that many applicants from Alaska. UNC may try to "diversify" the student body somewhat by accepting out of state applicants from various states throughout the country. Alaska may be an under representaed state and you could add to the campus diversity.
  • eadadeadad Registered User Posts: 2,759 Senior Member

    Not sure where you are coming from with your question about needing to be close to improve your chances. I agree with 1sokkermom that being from an underrepresented state like Alaska could improve chances at ANY school.

    They don't over admit, however their yield can exceed expectations which it did this year by something like 75-80 more enrolling than they had anticipated.

    1 sokkermom

    I remember discussions we had last year when we were both in the process. I know your son had some difficult decisions to make and had some things worked out for him he might have been at UNC as well. My question is, on what did he base his conclusion that" the overall applicant pool at Duke was much stronger?" I never saw stats on the applicant pool until AFTER S enrolled.

    Two of my son's best friends at UNC are Robertsons and he and I have talked about the UNC/Duke comparison. He tells me that they see little difference academically between the two schools. In their opinions the differences between the two schools fall in two or three areas.

    First, they see no real discernible difference in the quality of classes or teaching, in fact calculus and many English classes were smaller at UNC. The biggest difference in students is that Duke may have more of a concentration of the "serious" types who are more focused on themselves, don't like study groups, are less friendly and far more competitive in the wrong way,creating in some cases a bit more of a "pressure cooker" atmosphere if you know what I mean? That doesn't necessarily mean that they are "better" or "stronger" students but it does indicate a different mindset and priorities by some. This could merely be a function of numbers/statistics or it could also be because of attitudes developed based on perception of "status" on the part of some of those enrolling which ties into the next difference. They see that there are many, many kids hung up on the fact that "they go to Duke" and flaunt it when in fact some of the people they are flaunting it to turned down more prestigious or more selective schools to attend UNC. They also said that it was tougher to get an "A" at UNC because there is little to no grade inflation especially in the hard sciences.

    Duke SHOULD have a stronger OVERALL group because it is smaller and the entire group is culled from a pool of strong students. Because it is a state school, UNC will undoubtedly have some students who would never get into Duke, but it also has many students (both in state and OOS) who did get in to numerous "elite" schools and turned them down because of financial reasons, either based on true need or merit money that was too hard to turn down.

    What if 50% of the incoming class at UNC was exceptionally strong with stats comparable to or even exceeding those at Duke? Mathematically that could indeed be the case when you factor in the other 50% with lower stats, SATs, GPA etc. In this example there would be an almost even number of "exceptional" students at both schools so what difference would there really be for those "exceptional" students? With an incoming class of approx 1600 vs one of 3000 there are going to be differences, but no one at either school closely interacts with ALL their classmates on a daily basis and in both cases friendships/relationships are often formed based on classroom experiences.

    What happens in real life is that those "top" students at UNC will end up in in the same classes, either honors or regular their freshman year. They then continue to take the same classes either because requirements of their of courses of study or simply electing to take them together. They then tend to associate outside of school as well. Their daily academic living experience is really no different than the experience that a typical individual would have at Duke. Socially, there is no comparison. Chapel Hill is where the Duke kids come to eat, party and otherwise entertain themselves because Durham leaves a lot to be desired.

    This is in no way meant to disparage Duke-it is a truly great school and with its new president can only get better.

    UNC has many personalities BECAUSE of its size. If a top student wants small classes and to take advantage of a major research school, wants a little more balance in their lives and wants a complete undergraduate experience UNC is on a par with anyone. At the same time, if someone prefers the anonymity of larger classes, is not overly concerned with grades, and wants the strong social aspects, UNC can provide that as well.

    As a friend used to always say:"that's why Baskin Robbins offers 31 flavors!"
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