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Unc Supplemental Essays 2015

First-Year Admission - Additional Considerations

Several other items are taken into consideration when making your admissions decision in an effort to get to know you on a personal level. These items include your required essay, your short answer question, involvement and letter of recommendation.

UNCW requires both a personal essay and a short answer question. Since UNCW does not offer personal interviews, approach your essay like a personal interview. Don't waste your time with demographic information (your name, age, hometown, high school, etc.), as it is already included on your application for admission. Do tell us everything we need to know about you to fully-understand your academic potential, work ethic, distinguishing characteristics, etc.

2017-2018 Essay Prompts

PROOFREAD your essay and the short answer. While we are not anticipating a Pulitzer Prize-winning essay, we are expecting a well thought out college essay. It is never a bad idea to have a parent or educator proofread your essay as well.

In addition to reviewing your short answer writing for admission purposes, we also want to see who has composed the best "Why UNCW" response to this question. Each year the Office of Admissions will select some of the most well written answers and enter them in the running for a UNCW book scholarship. The amount of the book scholarship will be determined at the time of the award.

From clubs and organizations to varsity or junior varsity athletics and part-time or full-time jobs to volunteer and community service activities, paint a picture of yourself beyond the classroom. This is your space on the application to brag about yourself, so tell us your most impressive achievements first (leadership positions, varsity letters, awards, etc.) and end your list with the clubs and organizations you have recently joined or are merely a member of. If you run out of room on the application, send us a resume.

In addition to the supplemental items above, you have the opportunity to provide a letter of recommendation. Submitting a letter of recommendation is encouraged, but not required. Should you choose to submit one, we would prefer for it to come from a core academic teacher (English, foreign language, math, science, or social studies) or your guidance counselor. This recommendation should not merely recap your GPA and class rank, but should address your preparedness for a rigorous collegiate environment, your academic integrity and social character. Ultimately, your recommendation is an expert review of your qualifications to join our freshman class.

Ask someone to not only write you a recommendation, but also to write you a good recommendation. Often times the best person to write this recommendation is an individual who has experienced first-hand your work ethic and determination in the classroom and has observed or knows of your activities outside of the classroom.

For the required recommendation letter, students are encouraged to submit one from an instructor other than the parent. This is usually possible since most home-schooled students have taken or are taking a dual-enrolled course at a local college. If that is not the case, the student should submit one from an employer or former employer. For further suggestions, please contact the Admissions office.

Admission of applicants residing outside the State of North Carolina to an online degree, certificate program or individual online course offered by UNCW, is dependent on UNCW‘s ability to secure authorization from the applicant's state of residence, if such authorization is required. Due to evolving changes in higher education regulations, at this time, UNCW is unable to serve all of the students that are interested in our courses or programs. For the most current list of states and statuses, visit this link: For questions specific to the state authorization process, call 910.962.2807 or email

A little while ago, I spent two years living in North Carolina, just a few miles away from UNC Chapel Hill. Like you may have been, I was instantly smitten with the stately brick buildings, the charming tradition of the Old Well, and the outstanding food surrounding the campus. What took me by surprise, however, was just how truly dynamic and impressive the academic and community experience was in real life. Carolina is a special place, in part because it is the oldest public university in the US, but also because it is one of the best examples of the ingenuity of public higher education.

As such, Chapel Hill commands an impressive number of applicants for their programs, both from in-state and out-of-state applicants, resulting in an incredibly diverse community of scholars. The way that UNC goes about selecting this community goes beyond the numbers (GPAs and test scores), and focuses on what makes each applicant unique. This is why Carolina asks students to answer two additional college essay prompts on top of the personal statement.

Applicants are asked to address two of the following essay prompts in written statements of 200-250 words each:

  • Tell us about a peer who has made a difference in your life.
  • What do you hope will change about the place where you live?
  • What is one thing that we don’t know about you that you want us to know?
  • What about your background, or what perspective, belief, or experience, will help you contribute to the education of your classmates at UNC?

Two-hundred and fifty words is not a lot of space, so the key to delivering a strong response is brevity. Carolina really is trying to get to know you a bit better through these responses, so make sure that you are direct and focused when answering. Additionally, think of these as an additional personal statement in that you should be reflective in nature, use the first person, and write in a way that mimics your voice. Since this is an opportunity to share more about yourself on top of what you have already written in your personal statement, make sure that the topics you choose discuss two new facets of your personality and life experiences. Each piece of writing is like a snapshot into your life, so make sure each “photo” is of something different.

You will notice that most of these prompts ask about you: your thoughts, your experiences, and your beliefs. In addressing these topics, however, don’t forget to include specific details about UNC Chapel Hill. These should be woven throughout your response. While it’s important for your application reviewer to learn more about you through these essay responses, it is equally important for you to explain to them why you are excited about attending Chapel Hill. Are there certain courses, labs, or research opportunities in which you would be excited to participate? Are there campus traditions, clubs, or extracurricular experiences that speak to you? Remember to go beyond the surface level details of Carolina that anyone can find by doing a quick internet search, and instead focus on aspects of the campus that are unique to UNC Chapel Hill. Most of all, have fun with these responses—let your personality show so that the admission reviewer can imagine what type of community member you might be on campus, if admitted.

Good luck! And if you do become a member of the Tar Heel nation, grab a biscuit from Southern Biscuit Kitchen in my honor.