Who is the Class of 2019?

August 24, 2015

Specific accomplishments:

  •     Serving in the U.S. Armed Forces with distinction in Afghanistan
  •     Winning championships in soccer, swimming, basketball, football, cross-country and synchronized skating
  •     Achieving on the highest level in the arts—writing, music, dance and drama
  •     Founding Science Olympiad, Odyssey of the Mind and Model U.N. chapters at schools
  •     Conducting research on soft tissue sarcoma at Duke University; cholesterol removal at N.C. State University; invasive plant species at the American Museum of Natural History; and mental fatigue at the National Institutes of Health
  •     Caring for and researching pandas in the China Conservation & Research Centre for the Giant Panda in Ya’an City, Sichuan, China
  •     Founding a company that specializes in web hosting and selling it to a leading business-to-business company in the United Kingdom
  •     Refurbishing a limousine and starting a chauffeur business
  •     Launching a marketing consulting firm with classmates that serves local businesses
  •     Raising $35,000 to provide aid and five water wells in Tarija, Bolivia
  •     Building bridges and setting up a temporary medical clinic in the Dominican Republic
  •     Raising funds to rescue and protect abused and abandoned animals
  •     Working on the family farm after school and on the weekends

Academic credentials

Among the 70 percent of the class whose schools reported an official rank in class, 42 percent ranked within the top 10 students in their high school class. Fourteen percent ranked first or second, and 77 percent ranked in the top 10 percent.


The middle 50 percent of the class scored between 1820 and 2130 on the SAT and between 1230 and 1430 on the critical reading and math sections combined. The middle 50 percent scored the following ranges on each component:  610-710, critical reading; 620-720, math; and 590-700, writing. For enrolling students who reported ACT scores, the middle 50 percent reported scores between 28 and 33.


In evaluating candidates, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions uses the highest score presented by each candidate on each part of the SAT reasoning and on each subject test of the ACT. When a candidate submits results from both the SAT and the ACT, the admissions office uses the test with the stronger results.


Seventy-six percent of enrolling students reported submitting at least one AP score. They submitted a total of 21,458 scores. Of these, 18,234 were scores of three or higher. Enrolling students submitted 1,149 scores from IB exams.



Admitted first-year students hail from 97 North Carolina counties, 44 states and the District of Columbia and 21 countries, including the U.S.

The share of students identifying themselves as a race or ethnicity other than Caucasian is 33 percent. Other race or ethnicities include: African-American, 9 percent; Latino or Latina, 7 percent; Asian or Asian-American, 15 percent; and American Indian or Alaskan Native, 2 percent.

Students who will be the first in their families to graduate from a four-year college or university comprise 19 percent of the class.

Females comprise 59 percent of the incoming first-year class, men 41 percent.

The class includes 126 international students, up from 95 last year. International enrollment has more than doubled over the past 10 years.

The class also includes 168 students (or 4 percent of the enrolling class) from one of the 59 partner high schools served in 2014-2015 by the Carolina College Advising Corps, a public service of the University, which seeks to increase college-going rates among low-income, first-generation college, and other underrepresented students. The Carolina Corps, a constituent program of the national College Advising Corps, places recent UNC alumni as admissions and financial-aid advisers in high schools statewide. The Carolina Corps will serve 64 high schools and 53,200 (11,100 high school seniors) in 2015-2016. These numbers include 19 percent of the state’s African-American students; 13 percent of Hispanic students; and 33 percent of Native American students.

In addition, 251 enrolling first-year students indicated an affiliation with the U.S. Armed Forces, primarily as a dependent with a parent who served or is serving in the military.

Aid and scholarships

Forty-five percent of the incoming class will receive need-based aid and 6 percent will receive merit-based aid, which includes summer fellowships offered through Excel@Carolina, a program that connects top admitted students with extraordinary opportunities at UNC.

Carolina Covenant Scholars, students from low-income backgrounds who earned a place at UNC-Chapel Hill and will have the opportunity to graduate debt-free, comprise 14 percent of the new class. Through a combination of grants and work study, along with academic and personal support services, the Covenant helps scholars make the most of their college experience while working toward an on-time, debt-free graduation.

In September 2014, UNC-Chapel Hill was named among the top three most economically diverse colleges in the nation by The New York Times. This was based on the University’s high percentage of first-year students in recent years who received a Pell grant, as well as Carolina’s affordable net price for low- and middle-income families. In Carolina’s most recent results, students awarded a Pell Grant (for the 2008 cohort) graduated at a rate of 87 percent, compared to 90 percent for the student body as a whole. This is far higher than the national average among public universities, reflecting Carolina’s commitment to both excellence and opportunity.

The Carolina Covenant, which celebrated its tenth anniversary last year, helps close the gap between students from low-income families and their more affluent peers. University research has compared Covenant Scholars who enrolled in 2007 with a group of 2003 entering students who would have qualified for the program. Covenant students performed 21 percentage points better in graduation rates (77.7 percent) than the comparison group.

All aid statistics are preliminary and subject to revision.


Extracurricular achievements

  •     92 percent participated in community service
  •     72 percent played a sport
  •     60 percent contributed to a cause they believe in
  •     60 percent pursued an independent hobby
  •     52 percent participated in music, drama or other arts
  •     48 percent held a position as president of their class or a club
  •     19 percent conducted research outside the classroom


For fall 2015 first-year admission, the University received 31,955 applications—2 percent more than last year and 35 percent more than five years ago. The overall admit rate increased to 30 percent from 29 percent last year, and the number of North Carolinians offered admission rose 4 percent to 5,322 compared to 5,138 last year.


Applied / Admitted / Enrolled

First-year class

                             Applied        Admitted    Enrolled
North Carolina       10,280         5,322         3,231
Out-of-state          21,675         4,183           850
Total                     31,955         9,505         4,081

The numbers reflect residency at time of application.

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