Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Last-Minute Application FAQs

Monday is our first application deadline. If you have your application submitted by midnight on Monday, you'll get your decision in mid-January. So a lot of you will be finishing up your essays and then holding your breath as you hit that "Submit" button in the next few days. I know it's stressful, but it will also feel so good to get it out of the way. (I sound like your mother again, sorry.)

I thought I'd pull out a few of the most common questions we get this time of year and answer them here:

Exactly what needs to be submitted and/or postmarked by November 3?
You need to submit your application, essays and application fee by November 3. If you're mailing your application, these materials need to be postmarked by November 3. All the other materials--teacher recommendations, transcripts, counselor statement, and test scores--can arrive after the deadline. (One small exception to the rule: if you are paying by check or money order, or have requested a fee waiver from your counselor, those items can arrive after the deadline. Just be sure when you submit your application online that you choose the correct payment option.)

How late on Monday can I submit my application?
Until midnight EST.

Will you let me know if there are items missing from my application?
Oh yes, you will get many delightful emails from us if we are missing anything vital.

If I'm applying online, can I send my teacher recommendations by mail?
Yes. You may send any items by mail to add to your application. Please be sure to put your name and birth date on any items that you send, so we know who you are!

Can I send supplemental materials like new clippings, certificates, or artwork to add to my application?
You're welcome to send paper materials to add to your application. Unfortunately we rarely have time to view electronic media sent on CD, so please don't send those. If you choose to send additional items, keep in mind that you want to present yourself as completely, but also as concisely and articulately, as you can. So, for instance, it will be much more effective to send a neatly organized, one-page resume of your achievements than all 50 perfect attendance certificates you've received since kindergarten. Also, please know that we can't return any items you submit, so be sure to send photocopies and not the originals.

If I'm denied first deadline, can I re-apply second deadline?
No. We do defer a small percentage of our first deadline applicants, whom we then review again with our second deadline applicants. But if you are denied first deadline, that is a final decision.

I was originally going to apply first deadline, but now I would like to be considered for second deadline. What do I need to do?
No problem. Just send an email requesting that change to It's helpful if you put "Deadline Change" in the subject line and include your full name and birth date.

I'd like to take the SAT/ACT in November. Will that score be considered with my first deadline application?
Yes. Any scores for test dates in October and November will be considered for first deadline applicants. Just be sure to request that your scores be sent to UNC-Chapel Hill. There is no need to request rush delivery, as we receive the scores electronically.

What's all this "defer" nonsense?
As we are reading first deadline applicants, there is a small percentage of students that we can not make a decision on this early in the season, so we "defer" them and review their applications again with our second deadline applicants. Typically this is because we just can't predict what our second deadline pool will look like, how many students will end up applying, etc. If you receive a defer decision in January, we truly appreciate your patience as you wait for your final answer in March.

What other questions do you have? Please keep in mind that our office is not open over the weekend, so you won't be able to get us on the phone. Please use this comment stream to ask your questions over the weekend, and I'll be sure to check in here often.