University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

With distinguished alumni including Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize recipients, and Rhodes Scholars, UNC-Chapel Hill has a robust academic reputation. Educators consider it to be among the best colleges in North Carolina.

The flagship of the state’s public university system, the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill is a research school with academic standards equal to Ivy League universities. UNC Chapel Hill’s academic prestige is reflected in the low UNC acceptance rate. The UNC acceptance rate is far below the national average. 

As one of the nation’s greatest public institutions, UNC traces its roots to the post-Revolutionary war era. It began accepting students in 1795. As such, it is one of the first colleges in the U.S. that offered students an opportunity for education.

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Overview

As is clear from its name, UNC is located in Chapel Hill. The town of Chapel Hill has a population of roughly 61,000 residents. Centrally located in North Carolina, it is part of the Chapel Hill-Raleigh-Durham metropolitan region, which has a population of more than 500,000 residents and is a growing center of technology and innovation.

The UNC-Chapel Hill campus covers 729 acres in the heart of the city. Home to the Tar Heels sports teams, it’s part of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Women’s soccer, men’s basketball, and women’s field hockey are among the Tar Heels’ most winning teams.

When you make it through that low UNC acceptance rate and receive your acceptance letter from UNC Chapel Hill admissions, you have the chance to follow in the footsteps of the nation’s top leaders. These include United States House Representatives, senators, governors, former U.S. President James H. Polk, and basketball legend Michael Jordan.

Don’t be phased by the strong academics and low UNC acceptance rate. CollegeAdvisor has all the information you need to know to successfully navigate the selective UNC Chapel Hill acceptance rate and join the ranks of UNC students in Chapel Hill.

UNC Acceptance Rate

Acceptance Rate 19%
Acceptance Deadline January 15

The UNC acceptance rate is far below the national average. In 2021, UNC-Chapel Hill admissions accepted approximately 19% of all applicants. The UNC acceptance rate for North Carolinians was 42% . For out-of-state students, it was just over 10%.

If you aspire to join other UNC students at Chapel Hill, you have about a one in five chance of acceptance. However, you’ll have much better odds if you are a resident of North Carolina. For this reason, we consider the UNC-Chapel Hill acceptance rate rather competitive. According to U.S. News, the UNC acceptance rate makes it a ‘most selective’ school. And compared to the national average of 70.1%, the UNC acceptance rate of 19% is low. 

The UNC application deadline for Early Decision is October 15. You will hear back by January 31. The regular UNC-Chapel Hill application deadline is January 15 for a decision by March 31. Unlike other schools, UNC-Chapel Hill admissions early acceptances are not binding. Although you will learn of your acceptance early, you simply have to commit by the standard deadline of May 1.

Like many other schools, UNC-Chapel Hill accepts the Common Application. If you prefer the Coalition App, UNC-Chapel Hill admissions accepts that UNC application, too.

The current UNC enrollment is nearly 2o,000. UNC-Chapel Hill is small by state university standards. For example, Texas A&M has an undergraduate enrollment of between 55,000 and 65,000. The small enrollment is one of the many reasons for the low UNC acceptance rate.

The UNC ranking on the U.S. News National College list is 28th. UNC also ranked in the top ten for Best Value Schools. In addition, the UNC ranking among the Best Colleges for Veterans is 10th.

UNC Admissions

Students accepted by UNC-Chapel Hill admissions had UNC SAT scores between 1350-1500. About half of incoming freshmen had UNC SAT scores between 1270 and 1470. If you have similar UNC SAT scores, you have a better chance of beating the low UNC-Chapel Hill acceptance rate.

Additionally, UNC-Chapel Hill admissions accepts ACT scores. Most successful candidates scored between 27 and 33 on the ACT. Consider submitting your ACT scores rather than SAT scores for UNC-Chapel Hill admissions if they compare better to the average. Given the low UNC acceptance rate, you want to show your academic abilities in the best light possible. 

There are no stated minimum UNC GPA requirements. However, UNC-Chapel Hill admissions does consider your GPA. Based on the high UNC SAT scores, and low UNC acceptance rate,, you should view the informal UNC GPA requirements as about a 4.0. Your UNC SAT scores and UNC GPA should reflect a high standing among your classmates. Similarly, meeting the assumed UNC GPA requirements with a 4.0 will show off your strong academic skills.

Once you have sent in your application to UNC-Chapel Hill admissions, it’s time to apply for financial aid. The deadline to submit a FAFSA for UNC-Chapel Hill financial aid is March 1.

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Cost

As a state university, UNC-Chapel Hill tuition is not as high as, for example, that of a private Ivy League college. Like other state-funded schools, though, UNC does have one UNC-Chapel Hill tuition and fee schedule for in-state residents and another for out-of-state students. This is primarily because state residents already pay taxes that help support the state’s public universities. This means their UNC-Chapel Hill tuition will be less.

For in-state students, the 2022-2034 annual UNC expenses include:

  • UNC Chapel Hill tuition: $7,020
  • Fees: $1,978
  • Housing (if applicable): $7,014
  • Meals: $5,240
  • Books: $1240
  • Travel: $840
  • Loan fees: $56
  • Personal expenses: $1,829

UNC-Chapel Hill tuition and fees for in-state students add up to $25,258 total for the school year. If you live and eat your meals at home while at UNC-Chapel Hill, you could save around $7,000 per year.

For out-of-state students, UNC-Chapel Hill tuition is considerably more. In fact, tuition and fees come in at $35,580 annually. Given the high UNC ranking, though, it’s still a bargain when compared to similarly ranked private schools. If you want to investigate the UNC-Chapel Hill tuition and fees further, use the UNC-Chapel Hill tuition and cost calculator

Although the cost is high, half of the students in their first year at UNC-Chapel Hill receive financial aid. About 42% of all undergrad students depend upon some form of financial assistance. The average amount UNC students receive in need-based grants and scholarships from UNC-Chapel Hill financial aid is $15,828, according to U.S. News.

Because of this financial aid structure, 60% of UNC students graduate without any federal loan debt. Besides need-based financial help, UNC-Chapel Hill offers several programs to help students afford college. UNC awards about 200 academic scholarships to exceptional incoming students each year. There are also special scholarships for science, creative writing, and music majors.

UNC participates in the Moorhead-Cain and Robertson scholarship programs, too. It also offers the Carolina Covenant aid program for students with extreme need. UNC-Chapel Hill Covenant scholars receive a full UNC-Chapel Hill financial aid package of grants and scholarships that do not have to be repaid. Although only incoming UNC students may apply, once awarded, the UNC-Chapel Hill financial aid Covenant scholarship is applicable for all four years.

Average Cost* $12,469
Average Total Aid Awarded $17,341
Students Receiving Financial Aid 39.47%
*Average cost after financial aid for students receiving grant or scholarship aid, as reported by the college.

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University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Academics

UNC Chapel Hill has a strong academic reputation. This attracts a high number of applicants, making for a competitive UNC acceptance rate.

One result of this low UNC acceptance rate is a UNC student-to-teacher ratio is 15:1. Almost half of all classes at UNC-Chapel Hill have fewer than 20 students, so you’ll get plenty of facetime with your professors. This makes it an attractive option to prospective students.

The most popular UNC-Chapel Hill majors include:

  • Social Sciences (15% of UNC students)
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences (10% of UNC students)
  • Communications, Journalism, and related majors (10% of UNC students)
  • Psychology (8% of UNC students)
  • Computer and Information Sciences (7% of UNC students)
  • Business, Management and Marketing (6% of UNC students)

During your freshman and sophomore years at UNC-Chapel Hill, you will complete your academic requirements in the UNC College of Arts and Sciences. Then, you can choose from more than 70 UNC-Chapel Hill majors and minors.

In your first year at UNC-Chapel Hill, you’ll experience First-Year Seminars and First-Year Launches. The Launch is a prerequisite for declaring UNC-Chapel Hill majors, and it aims to forge a connection between you and a faculty member in your prospective field. First-Year Seminars introduce you to college academics, faculty, and ways of thinking and evaluating knowledge. They help you build stronger relationships with your fellow UNC students and a wide array of UNC faculty.

Student Faculty Ratio 16:1

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Online

Online courses at UNC-Chapel Hill make it easier for busy students to attend college. Whether you are juggling a job and college classes or have family responsibilities that conflict with in-person studies, UNC online provides the flexibility you need to work toward completing UNC-Chapel Hill majors.

If you love your career but would like to move up, you can study with UNC online for UNC Masters and Doctoral programs. You can also take advantage of UNC online for your undergrad studies.

UNC offers a number of online degree programs for UNC-Chapel Hill majors. These include physical therapy, health leadership business, government, library science, journalism, and pharmacy, among others. UNC online graduate programs invite you to work on advanced UNC-Chapel Hill majors on your own schedule.

Undergraduate UNC programs online are available for UNC students worldwide in dozens of disciplines. From African Diaspora studies to Women’s and Gender studies, UNC online coursework caters to a broad range of interests. Online students are eligible for UNC-Chapel Hill financial aid, too.

UNC-Chapel Hill also offers certificate courses and boot camps focusing on specific career skills. These UNC online courses take less time to complete than a UNC degree program. In fact, a certificate course at UNC online might be just what you need to advance your career.

Offers Online Courses No

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University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Students

The UNC enrollment currently consists of 19,743 undergraduates who attend full-time. Graduate and professional UNC students number 11,796. The number of staff members at UNC is just over 9,000.

With nearly 54,000 high school seniors applying for UNC enrollment in the class of 2025, just under 5,000 were accepted by UNC Chapel Hill admissions. The enrollment rate of 8% is much lower than the UNC acceptance rate of 19%. Remember that the UNC acceptance rate is the proportion of those given an offer, not the proportion of those who enroll. This is why UNC acceptance rate is higher than UNC enrollment rate. 

Most were students with higher UNC SAT scores who meet or exceed the assumed UNC GPA requirements. Of the nearly 5,000 freshmen, 790 UNC students were the first in their families to go to college.

As of fall 2020, about one-fourth of all undergraduate UNC students lived on campus. About 60% of UNC enrollment are women and 40% are men. Most on-campus UNC housing is coed, but there are a handful of women’s dorms and men’s dorms at UNC. Frat and sorority housing makes up about 8% of UNC on-campus accommodations.

The nearly 350,000 UNC-Chapel Hill alumni live in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and 150 foreign countries. UNC-Chapel Hill has received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award five out of six years from 2016 through 2021. 

The demographics for UNC students break down as follows:

  • White: 60%
  • Asian: 10%
  • African American/Black: 8%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 8%
  • Two or more races: 5%
  • Native Americans and Pacific Islanders: 0.4%
Full-Time Undergrad Enrollment 19,897

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Advisors

If you’re starting to wonder how to get into UNC-Chapel Hill, start doing research. Learn more about UNC-Chapel Hill from people who actually joined UNC enrollment, as well as those who beat the UNC acceptance rate and gain acceptance from UNC-Chapel Hill admissions but did not attend. You’ll find out lots of insider information about the real UNC admissions process, along with invaluable tips for getting into UNC despite the low UNC acceptance rate.

It’s clear from the UNC-Chapel Hill acceptance rate and UNC enrollment that this public college is selective. So, hopeful UNC applicants must be at the top of their game. Our UNC advisors are here to help.

Wondering how to get into UNC-Chapel Hill? Our UNC advisors can provide useful tips on writing UNC supplemental essays with a competitive edge. We also offer advice on completing your UNC application.

Additionally, get insight on how to navigate UNC enrollment once you’re in. Our experienced CollegeAdvisor experts offer insider information on navigating the UNC-Chapel Hill financial aid process. Tap into their advice at no cost by creating a CollegeAdvisor profile. Then, get the help you need to write UNC supplemental essays that garner notice given the low UNC-Chapel Hill acceptance rate.

Kevin Kim
Northwestern University
Hi everyone! My name's Kevin, and I plan on double majoring in political science and economics at Northwestern University. Even without super unique extracurriculars or experiences (finding the cure to cancer or starting a million dollar business at the age of two), I know that each applicant has the potential to present a unique story to the admission officers! As your advisor, I will work to help highlight the unique parts of your application in your essays. I'm excited to share the tips and tricks of the college process that I learned while applying for colleges and advising other students. I can't wait to help make these polar opposite terms (fun and the college process) seem like synonyms :)

Also Accepted to

Aliyah Turrentine
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
Hello! My name is Ms. T and I am a Senior College Advisor here to serve you! I have a B.A. in Hispanic Linguistics and Psychology from UNC-CH and a M.Ed. from UNC-C. I am a first generation college student and have experience serving as an in school college advisor for two years. I have advised over a thousand students in their post-secondary plans and look forward to working with you too! Some of the students I have served have been accepted to Duke, Emory University, Columbia, Harvard, UNC-CH, Georgia State, U-Penn, UVA, and that's just to name a few! Where would you like my assistance getting into? Lets connect today!

Also Accepted to

Chi Chan
University of Virginia
Chi (he/him) is a first-generation college graduate from the University of Virginia, and holds a Master's in Higher Education from the University of Pennsylvania. With 4+ years of experience in higher education, his work in student affairs and admissions seeks to support students from marginalized backgrounds excel in post-secondary education. Chi calls West Virginia home, and enjoys seeking new food sites, hikes, and anything sports.

Also Accepted to

Jordan Williams
Elon University
Jordan has a Bachelor of Arts in English, with concentrations in Literature and Creative Writing and minors in Business Administration and Women's, Genders, and Sexualities Studies. Her academics were just as diverse as my extracurriculars, where she was involved in a number of activities from working as a tour guide and a Resident Assistant to doing research and volunteer work. After graduation she took what she learned and worked as a personal tutor and a Creative Writing teacher so writing and teaching are still huge passions of hers! In addition to working, she loves to read, write, and manage a relatively successful TikTok account where she teaches Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity content.

Also Accepted to

Lara Van Rooyen
Hi! My name is Lara, and I'm currently a sophomore at Harvard College studying Molecular and Cellular Biology with a minor in Psychology. I grew up in a small town in South Africa, with a graduating class of only 25 people (including myself!) and know firsthand how difficult it can be to navigate the college application process without the help of an academic advisor. Because of this, I am passionate about helping students from under-resourced high schools aim high and succeed in gaining admission to the colleges of their dreams! I am also excited to share my experience of being on a pre-med track at college, pursuing research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, being a STEM major, and engaging in various forms of volunteerism.

Also Accepted to

College Testimonials from Clients Who Were Accepted to University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

At CollegeAdvisor, we recruit admissions experts and experienced advisors who have first-hand experience that can help you get into the college of your choice. Currently, we work with over 300 advisors, including former admissions officers and even current UNC students and alumni.

Anyone can fill out a UNC application. However, only those with specific knowledge about UNC-Chapel Hill are best suited to help students overcome the UNC-Chapel Hill acceptance rate. Our UNC student testimonials provide personal insights about how to get into UNC. They also speak about what it is like to work with CollegeAdvisor Admissions Experts. 

Many of these students who successfully beat the UNC acceptance rate got answers to their questions about the UNC application and the UNC admissions process from our advisors. They learned about UNC GPA requirements and sought advice on how to put forth competitive UNC SAT scores. These now-UNC students also received advice on the best ways to approach their UNC supplemental essays. 

Be sure to create your CollegeAdvisor profile today. Then, make the most of your free access to insider knowledge on colleges, admissions, and how to get into UNC-Chapel Hill. It’s a challenge, but not impossible, to get accepted to a school with stats like the UNC-Chapel Hill acceptance rate. Use CollegeAdvisor’s expertise to your benefit when filling out your UNC application.

Navneet Raam
University of Michigan

Excellent service with over the top commitment to ensuring the student succeeds and reaches their goals. Couldn’t be happier with the process! Best investment of my life.

Lucas McKamey
Cornell University

Going into the college application process, I didn’t even know what CommonApp was, much less who I was or what characteristics I wanted to present to these mysterious arbiters of my next four years. My experience with CollegeAdvisor and, specifically, my mentor, Julia, has equipped me with the confidence, supportive guidance, and sense of identity to slay that application dragon once and for all. I’m confident whoever is found underneath Julia’s congenial tutelage will embrace a similar triumph over this fire-breathing devil.

Hiya Shah
Stanford University


Allison Guo
University of Michigan

My advisor made a genuine effort to get to know me, which made the essays that we worked on together stronger and much more authentic. Working with CollegeAdvisor helped build my confidence in my college applications!

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Related Essay Guides

Like many colleges with rankings similar to the UNC ranking, UNC-Chapel Hill requires you to submit supplemental materials. In addition to the essay questions on the Common Application or Coalition Application, UNC supplemental essays help UNC-Chapel Hill admissions officers learn more about who you are.

Given the low UNC-Chapel Hill acceptance rate, UNC supplemental essays can be pivotal in UNC-Chapel Hill admissions decisions. CollegeAdvisor offers plenty of information, advice, and exercises designed to help you write your best. For example, when brainstorming topics for your UNC supplemental essays, try these strategies to get your creative juices flowing.

When you’re ready to start writing, take advantage of our UNC Supplemental Essays Guide. It tells you the number of UNC supplemental essays as well as a breakdown of the actual questions. Strong UNC supplemental essays can help your UNC application stand out.

These essays can be even more important than UNC SAT scores and your cumulative GPA. They offer more information than the general essay prompts on your Common/Coalition app. The UNC supplemental essays cover topics specific to UNC-Chapel Hill. The essays you write for UNC are your chance to make a positive impression on UNC-Chapel Hill admissions, especially if you have a lower-than-average GPA or UNC SAT scores. So, we recommend that you get all the information, suggestions, and tips you can before sitting down to write.

You can even check out some of the supplemental essay pages for other schools that have similar rankings to the UNC rankings. This will help you form a clear, 360-degree view of the entire supplemental essay process.

UNC Supplemental Essay Examples The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of the top public universities in the United States.  Many students wonder how to get into […]

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University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Related How to Get Into Guides

Armed with the above information, you already have a handle on how to get into UNC-Chapel Hill. Beyond the assumed UNC GPA requirements and minimum UNC SAT score, though, our experts can help you increase your UNC-Chapel Hill admissions odds.

Take advantage of our knowledge of how to get into UNC-Chapel Hill. Given the low UNC-Chapel Hill acceptance rate and highly competitive UNC-Chapel Hill admissions process, you should do all you can to increase your odds. You can strengthen your application with the insider advice of our 300+ experienced college admissions advisors.

Check out our “How to Get into UNC” Guide here, for additional tips on increasing your chances of a UNC admissions offer.

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Merit-Based Scholarships

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Since you are interested in attending UNC-Chapel Hill, you may also be interested in similar schools. These universities have rankings similar to UNC rankings, numbers similar to the UNC enrollment, and academic standards on par with UNC. Some of them have slightly different acceptance rates from the UNC acceptance rate:

  • North Carolina State University
  • Duke University
  • Harvard
  • Virginia Tech
  • University of Virginia

Harvard and Duke University admissions have more selective acceptance rates than the UNC-Chapel Hill acceptance rate. Only about 5-8% of applicants are successful. The University of Virginia accepts 24% of students who apply by the regular admissions deadline.

North Carolina State has an acceptance rate of 45%, which is higher than that of the UNC acceptance rate. Virginia Tech accepts about 70% of applicants. Even though these schools may be easier to get into than UNC, they share an A+ ranking with the other above colleges. This is very similar to the UNC acceptance rate.

In terms of UNC-Chapel Hill tuition, you’ll find that an Ivy League university like Harvard is significantly more costly. Duke’s costs and fees are also about twice the cost of UNC-Chapel Hill tuition and fees for a year.

Although rankings, location, and acceptance rates will impact your college list, keep your priorities in mind. Each school offers a unique academic focus, specific programs, and courses of study you may not find at any other college. Make sure you are a good fit for each of the colleges you ultimately apply to. Good luck!

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Campus Videos