Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A New Semester

I meant to get out and shoot some pictures of the first day of classes, but you'll have to settle for pictures of the second day of classes. After the relative quiet of the summer, the Pit seems to be bursting with students. It's probably the busiest place on campus, since it's bordered by the Student Union, the Undergraduate Library, Lenoir (one of the main dining halls), and Student Stores. A lot of student organizations also set up tables and signs to recruit new members, so it's a great way to see what's going on around campus.

Watch the Pitcam to see what's going on in the Pit right this second.

This morning in the Daily Tar Heel, I read a great column written by first-year Olga Kuzmina. She writes about how she made the decision to come to Carolina, and also about the challenges of adjusting to college life. It's a beautifully written and honest piece. She ends by saying:
"We all bring our own ideals of how our UNC experience should be. We put aside parts of our old lives and look to fill those voids with something new; a membership in the Campus Y or the friendship with a roommate that extends beyond Facebook wall posts. Rather than wallow in the absence of familiar faces, I'm throwing out preconceived notions, wearing the tar on my heel with pride and leaving my own footprint on campus."
It's exciting to think about all the first-years who are settling in and contemplating how they'll leave their footprint here. And in the Admissions Office, we're already thinking about the next class of amazing students (that'll be the Class of 2013!). The ones who will be walking through the Pit this time next year, feeling slightly lost, a little homesick, but confident knowing that Carolina is the right place for them. Is it the right place for you?

Our student bloggers are back on campus, and blogging over at the Tar Heel Blog. They are an incredibly enthusiastic and helpful group of students. Check it out, and ask them any questions you have.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Our Two Application Deadlines

As in past years, we have two deadlines for first-year applications. This time of year we get a lot of questions about our two application deadlines: What’s the difference? Which should I do? Will applying early give me a better chance?

One of the most important things to know is that applying early does not commit you to a binding decision. You may apply elsewhere for binding or other early admission programs. We want to give you more options, rather than less.

Why do we offer two deadlines?
We find it makes the whole experience much more pleasant. For you and for us. You can choose whichever deadline is most convenient for you, and best fits your schedule. And we don't have to read all 20,000+ applications at one go. Just thinking about that makes me shudder. I don't think it would be humanly possible. Last year, of the approximately 21,500 applications we received, 11,300 applied first deadline and 10,200 applied second deadline.

Although we have two deadlines, we evaluate each application against our entire pool of applicants. For this reason, there is no inherent advantage in applying first vs second deadline. The only advantage for one over the other lies in which deadline allows you to submit the best application you can.

Why apply first deadline?
  • A stress-free spring semester. Enjoy your senior year a little bit more. (Not too much, of course. You will still have to submit all final grades for your senior year. Beware senioritis.)
  • Have more time to make a thoughtful decision about which college is the right fit for you. You’ll have more time in the spring to visit schools, talk to students, and consider what you need for a successful college experience.
  • Spread the work of applications over a longer span of time. If you are applying to multiple schools, you can get your Carolina application out of the way early, and be less stressed while completing the others.

Why apply second deadline?
  • Be able to submit first semester grades. If your junior year grades are not as high as you’d like, it might be a good idea to apply second deadline, so that we will be able to see the first semester grades of your senior year.
  • Take the SAT/ACT one more time. For second deadline, you can take the tests in December and the results will still reach us in time.
  • Have more time to submit the best application you can. Take extra time with your essays and get thoughtful recommendations for your teacher and counselor.

Make sense? Good. You decide when you want to submit your application, and we’ll be delighted to read it. And if you have any further questions, as always feel free to leave a comment below.