Monday, February 21, 2011

Update on Merit Scholarships, the Honors Program, and other Special Opportunities

After releasing decisions for our first-deadline applicants, we have been following up with students about special opportunities and scholarship awards. Many students have had questions about the timing of these notifications, so below are some notes about these opportunities:

Merit-Based Scholarships. First-deadline applicants who are being considered for a merit-based scholarship have been invited to campus for Scholarship Day in late March. At Scholarship Day, students take part in discussion sessions with faculty members and other scholars. After the event, final scholarship selections are decided. This year, we were able to invite about 100 first-deadline admitted students to Scholarship Day, and these invitations were mailed on January 26. Invited students are also able to view information about Scholarship Day in the Events section of their MyUNC. We will mail Scholarship Day invitations to a select group of our second-deadline candidates by mid-March.

Almost all of the merit-based scholarships offered by Carolina are awarded to the students who attend Scholarship Day. A small number of additional scholarships are awarded outside of this event; these scholarships are smaller in amount and for North Carolina residents. First-deadline recipients of these scholarships will be notified by early March; second-deadline recipients will be notified in late March.

The Honors Program. Invitations to Honors are sent directly from the Honors Program. This year, the program emailed their invitations for first-deadline admitted students the week of February 7. Mailed letters were also sent the same week.

If you did not receive an invitation to the Honors Program, you will still find several ways to benefit from Honors. You can apply to join the program after your first semester here, and any new first-year student, or any returning student with a 3.0 or better GPA, may take Honors courses; in fact, nearly a third of all the students who take Honors courses at Carolina aren't formal members of the program. Even if you choose not to apply to the program or take Honors courses, you may still write an honors thesis and graduate with honors. Honors opportunities at Carolina are incredibly broad and inclusive, and we want any motivated student to be able to take advantage of them.

Other Special Opportunities. We also offer a number of other special opportunities to roughly a quarter of the entering first-year class. These opportunities include assured admission to the Business and Journalism Schools, a special program to connect new students to our research community, fellowships for summer research and study abroad, and more. If you were admitted by our first deadline, and if we are able to offer you any of these opportunities, we will contact you by email by March 1. Admitted second-deadline students will be contacted by email in late March.

We hope this information is helpful. Please let us know what questions you have.