Friday, October 28, 2011

Writing for the Daily Tar Heel

Interested in studying journalism? Did you know the Daily Tar Heel (or "DTH," as it's usually called) was recently named the best college newspaper by the Princeton Review? Over on the Tar Heel Blog this week, Maddy describes life as a DTH reporter. Check it out and ask her any questions you have about getting involved with the newspaper or studying journalism at Carolina.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Applying Regular Decision

We've passed our early action deadline, and now we're looking ahead to our final first-year application deadline on January 5, 2012. So if you haven't applied yet, you have just over two months to: 1) eat plenty of holiday turkey and pie--this is very important; 2) finish your Carolina application; and 3) oh yeah, school and sports and all the other things that you do. No worries! You can do it. 

Some students worry that applying regular decision will be more competitive, or that we won't think they are as interested in Carolina and so be tougher on them. Nope. We really don't care which deadline you choose. We offer two deadlines to give students more options, and we trust you to choose the deadline that works best with your schedule. We work very hard to make sure that each applicant is considered within the context of our entire applicant pool, so early-action and regular-decision candidates are held to the very same standards. And we review applicants solely on the basis of the information submitted within their application, so demonstrated interest on the part of the student is a non-factor. While we are completely honored to learn that Carolina is a student's first-choice college and we love meeting students on campus or during our recruitment travels, those indicators of interest are not going to play a role in our review of their application. We want all of our applicants on a level playing field, so whether you apply first or second deadline you'll receive exactly the same review.

As a reminder, regular decision applicants must apply by January 5 and will get their decision by the end of March. All admitted students from both deadlines will have until May 1 to make up their mind about whether or not they'll enroll at Carolina. Let me know if you have any questions!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Photographing Our Great Students

We held our annual photoshoot this week, taking the many student photos that will populate the emails and brochures we'll send to prospective students over the coming year. We've been doing this annual shoot for a few years now, and it's just a blast. I love getting to sit and talk with these students between shots. I thought I'd share a few of their stories on the blog today:
  • Lina Carballo (seated above right) is a senior biomedical engineering student. She took us to the lab where she is working with Professor Richard Goldberg on a project to develop tools for people with disabilities. All of the students in the class are working on devices that would interpret nerve impulses to control a hand-like instrument that will move an egg from one location to another. The technology could be used to help people who have lost the use of limbs or have other physical impairments. It was pretty amazing to see. There is a great Spotlight Story on Dr. Golberg's class that describes some of the other recent projects.
  • Gabriel Whaley is a senior philosophy major who, together with his roommate, founded a non-profit called Kicking4Hunger. They run free soccer camps around the state in return for food which is donated to local food banks. Their aim is to help kids develop leadership and learn about healthy lifestyles, all while giving back to their local communities. Gabriel said that they plan to expand the project across the country and even to other parts of the world. After talking to him and his roommate, I have no doubt they will make it happen!
  • Lauren-Kristine Pryzant is a sophomore business and economics major who co-founded Flash! Seminars -- small, one-time seminars on a wide variety of subjects taught by top faculty members. Think flash mob but with debate instead of dancing! Next week's topic is on math and art; last week students discussed the death penalty. 
It was a fun (and tiring!) two days of photography, but we met nearly 70 students who are all doing very cool things. We'll be featuring these students in upcoming emails and other publications, so you will likely hear more of their great stories. But now I have to get back to reading applications--they piled up while I was out of the office! Thanks again to all of you who applied for Early Action. Now we are hunkering down like squirrels for the winter. But with applications instead of acorns. And we're not going to eat the applications, just read them. That was a bad metaphor. Sorry. Anyway, thank you again to our EA candidates!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Submitting Your Common Application

To all of you who have submitted Early Action applications, thank you! We’re looking forward to reading your applications and learning more about you.

There has been a bit of confusion about what exactly needs to be submitted within the Common Application in order to be considered for Early Action. You need to submit three things: your application, your UNC-Chapel Hill Supplement, and your application fee payment. For the fee, you need to complete the payment page by indicating how you will pay the application fee. If you're paying by credit card, it's ok if your payment takes a few days after the deadline to process. And if you're paying by check or fee waiver, the mailed payment can arrive at our office after the deadline.

So, when you log into the Common App and look at the “My Colleges” section, under UNC-Chapel Hill, you should see this:

Three little green triangles show that you’ve submitted these three portions of your application. School Forms can still be in progress because we don’t require those materials by the deadline.

If you meant to submit your application by the Early Action deadline but don’t have three little green triangles, it’s not too late. Go ahead and submit your application, supplement, and payment. You’ll need to choose Regular Decision within your application, as the Early Action option is no longer available. Then send us an email to and explain that you would like to be considered for Early Action. Please also include your full name, mailing address, and date of birth in the email. If we receive your application by October 19, 2011 and you send us an email request, we’ll still consider you for Early Action.

Please let us know what questions you have.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Early Action Deadline SUNDAY October 16

Hello! In order to give you all a little more time on your applications, we'll be accepting Early Action applications through the weekend (until 11:59pm Eastern Time on Sunday, October 16, 2011). See below for more FAQs about the Early Action deadline. Thanks and good luck on those applications!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Early Action!

Our Early Action deadline of October 15 is coming up this weekend, so there are just a few days left. If you’re planning to submit an early-action application, here are some of the FAQs we’ve been getting this week:

What must be submitted by the deadline?
Only your application and the UNC-CH supplemental form (if you are submitting the Common App) must be submitted by the deadline of October 15. Everything else—transcript and counselor form, letters of recommendation, test scores—can arrive after the deadline. Even if these items arrive later, we'll still consider you for Early Action so long as your part of the application is submitted by the deadline.

We accept SAT and ACT scores for tests taken through November for Early Action and through December for Regular Decision. Just be sure to have the test report sent to us as soon as it is ready.

What happens after I submit my application?
Whether you submit the Common Application or the CFNC application, we’ll receive your application electronically on the business day after you hit the “submit” button. We’ll send you an email thanking you for submitting your application at that time. Then, within another day or so, we’ll send you a second email detailing how you can create your MyUNC account. Be on the lookout for this important email as it will include specific login information. All emails will come from, so be sure that your email will accept messages sent from this address. Through MyUNC, you’ll be able to view your Admissions To-Do List and you’ll also be able to view your decision when it’s ready (in January for Early Action or in March for Regular Decision).

Have you received my [transcript, test scores, etc…]?
After you create your MyUNC account, you can track all submitted materials through your To-Do List. You can see what test scores we’ve received by clicking the “View my test scores” link at the bottom of your Student Center. Please know that we are receiving thousands of documents every day so it can take a good bit of time (up to 4-6 weeks) for us to link submitted materials to your application. If you call our office, we probably will not be able to tell you anything more than you can see for yourself on your To-Do List. Please be patient and continue checking MyUNC. We’re working hard to link materials as quickly as we can.

Above all, please don’t stress about your submitted application materials! They will all find their way into your application in good time. And we don’t give any advantage to students who apply early, so a slight delay is not going to affect the review of your application in any way. Just do your due diligence in sending the materials in a timely manner, and follow up with your counselor and teacher to be sure they’re submitting their materials as well.

Keep in mind that our final application deadline will be January 5.

What other questions do you have? Please just let me know.

Monday, October 10, 2011

On the Road This Week

I'm late in getting this week's travel highlights up, but we'll be attending some great events this week all around the country:
  • Together with UVa, Emory, and Notre Dame, we'll be hosting receptions on the West Coast this week for our last leg of this consortium tour. Our Director of Admissions, Stephen Farmer, will be in Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Palo Alto. Learn more and RSVP.
  • On Wednesday, we're hosting a special reception for local students from the Triangle area at Panther Creek High School. Sr. Assistant Director Damon Toone will be there from 7-9pm. RSVP online
  • In partnership with two of our awesome advisers from the Carolina College Advising Corps, we'll be attending college fairs at two Charlotte high schools this week. Assistant Director Kendra Lawrence will be helping Adviser Portia Newman at the West Charlotte High School College and Career Fair on Wed, 10/12 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm and she'll also be helping Adviser Deziree Martin at the Olympic High School College and Career Fair on Thurs, 10/13 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm.
  • Assistant Director Andrew Parrish will be at the South Florida Sunshine Invitational College Fair in Boca Raton on Saturday, October 15 from 11:30 am - 2:00 pm. 
As always, check Tar Heels in Your Town for the full details of our travels. Our travel season is winding down as we prepare to begin reading applications, so we hope to see you before we hunker down for reading season!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Your Rank in Class

In my post about GPA last week, a great question came up in the comments: What about rank in class? How do we view that?

Rank in class is just about as tricky a number as GPA, because it depends so much on your school. The size of your school, the rigor of your curriculum, the academic achievements of your fellow students—all of these things affect class rank. So, as with GPA, we work very hard to understand your class rank within the context of your specific school. We ask your counselor to report your rank in class, or to estimate it if your school does not rank. We also ask your counselor to tell us about the curriculum in your school, whether they limit how many advanced classes a student can take, if there were any circumstances that limited your curriculum, and what percentage of graduates from your school typically go on to a 4-year college. All of this information taken together helps us understand the context of your school, and how you are achieving in comparison with your nearest peers.

Last year, as reported in our class profile, 80% of our enrolling class was in the top 10% of their high school class, so that gives you a rough idea of where most of our admitted students fall. But please don’t think that there is any type of cutoff. We hear that rumor a lot: “If you’re not in the top 10% of your class then you can’t get in.” NOT TRUE! We would never make an admission decision about a student on the basis of a single number.

At the heart of the matter, we’re looking to see that you’ve taken advantage of the opportunities available in your school and community by continually challenging yourself. We want students here at Carolina who are going to continue pushing themselves and their fellow students to grow intellectually and explore new ideas—both inside and outside of the classroom. So help us understand how you’ll do that. How are you hoping to stretch your mind once you get here? That’s a great thing to think about as you write your essays.

Please just let me know what other questions you have. And don’t forget that our Early Action deadline is only 10 days away. October 15 will be here before we know it!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Typical Monday at Carolina...

Tar Heel Blogger Katelyn has just posted a fun description of how she spends a Typical Monday. From  French grammar and the study of epigenetics to a service project in the Pit and volunteering at the Craniofacial Center at UNC Hospitals, she's keeping busy! Check it out.