Wednesday, September 30, 2009


For all you aspiring math and science majors, have you ever considered teaching? Whether you teach for a couple years before returning to graduate school or pursue a lifelong career in teaching, you'll be serving your community in one of the most important ways there is.

So if you're planning to get a degree in math or science, take a look at the UNC-BEST program. In four years, you can get both a bachelor's degree in Biology, Geology, Mathematics, or Physics AND get your licensure to teach. The program aims to help meet the urgent demand for talented math and science teachers in secondary schools. Check it out!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Application Tips Omnibus

Over the past year or two, we've posted several times with tips for the application, so I thought I'd repost the links here for those of you applying this year. I hope you'll find these helpful as you complete your applications. Please let us know what questions you have--and if you have suggestions for another "tips" post, let us know that too and we'll get right on it!

Should I Apply First Deadline or Second Deadline?
Three or Four Hints about Essays
Tips for the Activities Section


Friday, September 11, 2009

Welcome New Tar Heel Bloggers!

Over on the Tar Heel Blog, we have seven new students joining us this year. You can follow Ashton, Caitlin, Diana, Jacob, Noah, Steph, and Victoria as they blog about their experiences at Carolina. They come from all over the country and are interested in everything from linguistics to women's studies to biology. I really encourage you to ask them any questions you have--they will be a very helpful and enthusiastic resource for you as you learn more about Carolina and decide if this is the right place for you.

Our returning bloggers are also getting back into the swing of the new school year and filling us in on all the excitement of a new semester. So head on over and say hello to our student bloggers!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

MyUNC Will Be Down Briefly This Weekend

Please note that MyUNC and our online applications will be down for a scheduled maintenance outage from Saturday, Sept 12 at 6pm until Sunday, Sept 13 at 6am. We hope this will not affect many of you, but we apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions or we may help in any way.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Update on Test Scores--Please Read

Thank you for your patience as we continue to import test scores into our new administrative system. If you do not see your scores in your MyUNC account, please know that we may have received them but that they may not have been imported into our system yet. Please continue to check your MyUNC account throughout the month of September for updates on your scores.

As always, please contact us at (919) 966-3621 if you have any questions.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Three or Four Hints About Essays (Reposted)

We received this essay two years ago, in response to a prompt that asked students to choose and describe a logo that encapsulates who they are:

Logos are symbols that are used to describe or stand for objects, places, or people. If I were to choose a logo for myself it would be a boat.

One reason I would choose my logo to be a boat is because I love to fish and most of the time when I go fishing it takes place on a boat. I try to go fishing on my boat as often as I can. I usually go out every weekend and if I have free time after school I don’t mind going in the late afternoon. My favorite fishing is waking up early and going way offshore. I like this best because the fish are bigger.

Another reason I would choose a boat as my logo is that I’d much rather drive a boat than a car. …

And so it went on — for five well-organized but tough-to-wade-through paragraphs. After reading it, we knew that this student liked his boat. But we didn’t know much else about him.

Now here's an excerpt from a different essay — one that left a different impression.

It seemed like everything exciting in the world was about to happen to you when you were ten. Even in the books I read, ten-year-olds seemed always about to embark on some new adventure. Wendy from Peter Pan was ten. So was Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, and Anne in Anne of Green Gables. Secretly I had a feeling that life would now start being like a book, full of humor and excitement. I was ten years old, and I thought I could do anything. Well, no, that’s not true. I knew I could do anything.

This student was writing in response to a prompt that asked, “What advice would you give to a ten-year-old?” She ended like this:

Keep that feeling, that confidence, as long as you can. It’s a way of looking at things that makes the whole world seem as if it’s just a little more brightly colored, a little more gentle. If you don’t know the odds, you may find yourself accomplishing anything.

Where did this essay succeed where the Boat essay fell short? Here are three ideas about these two essays, and about essays in general.

1. Voice matters as much as content. Good essays sound as though they were written by real people — ideally, smart, curious, good-hearted people.

2. Little is better than big. Small subjects close at hand are better than big subjects that are beyond any writer’s grasp. Students are tempted to write about big things, about ultimate experiences — the best thing that ever happened to me; the worst thing that ever happened to me. Almost no one can write well about this kind of thing, and students should generally steer clear.

3. Others are better than self. Not everyone shares this view. In fact we often advise students that the essay is a chance to say something about themselves — preferably something winning and definitive. But in my view this is really a tall order for any student, and in fact it’s something of a curse. It’s the rare writer and the rarer seventeen-year-old who can write self-consciously in this way. Better to write about something else, especially since we learn a lot about others by listening to them talk about something not themselves.

To illustrate this point, here’s a third essay from two years ago. The prompt read: “Describe a mistake you’ve seen some leader make.”

Head over heels, my grandfather entered the grave. He was merely ashes at that point, stored in a modest cardboard box. Before his death, he was a dedicated minister and teacher. Despite this, the pastor in charge of the internment ceremony bent down slightly and tossed Granddaddy into the hole. The priest let gravity take my grandfather three feet down when he was supposed to be ensuring a journey many miles upward.

I watched disbelief spread like a wave around the circle of family members. Their eyes fixated on the hole as my grandfather bumped and tumbled into his final resting place like a man in a barrel going over Niagara Falls.

The pastor was the leader of the ceremony, the emcee of mourning and remembrance. …

“The emcee of mourning and remembrance”: I wish I'd written those words. Wouldn’t we all want to teach this student? Wouldn’t we want to learn alongside her?

Three ideas: Voice as much as content. Little better than big. Others better than self.

And this fourth one: stories help. If you get stuck, tell us a story. Humans are suckers for stories, because our stories tell us something about ourselves, and because our stories matter.

--Stephen Farmer

(Reposted, with a few changes, from October 2008.)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Brief Outages in Credit Card System

Hello all! We wanted to let you know about a couple brief outages in our credit card system that will occur over the next two weeks. These are regular maintenance outages, and hopefully they will not inconvenience many of you. But in case you try to pay your application fee during one of these times, you will get a message indicating that the system is down and to please try again at a later time.

Sept 4 from 3am until 7am
Sept 14 from 8am until 11am

Please let us know if you have any issues or have any questions. Thanks!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Online Transfer and Readmission Applications Are Now Available

Ready to apply for transfer admission or readmission to the University? Both of these applications are now available online.

The online transfer application for Fall 2010 admission is available through your MyUNC account. To access the application and apply, please either log in or create your MyUNC account. Please note that the junior/senior level transfer programs for Public Health and Education will not be available until October 1 (tentative date). If you are interested in transfer admission for Biostatistics, Health Policy and Management, Child Development and Family Studies, Elementary Education, and Middle Grades Education, please check back October 1.

If you are applying for readmission for Spring 2010, please do so through our existing Online Readmission Application. If you are applying for readmission for Fall 2010, to access the application and to apply, please log in or create your MyUNC account.

Please continue to check this site for updates to all applications, including the new online Part-Time Studies application, which we expect to be available in October.

As always, thank you for your patience as we implement our new student administrative system. If we may help you in any way, please contact us at (919) 966-3621.