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Unc Chapel Hill Admissions Essay Prompts

Due to its popularity among in-state and out-of-state students, the University of North Carolina is one of the most competitive public universities in the US.

The University of North Carolina is the oldest public university in the United States. With 17 campuses all over the state, UNC has its main campus at Chapel Hill and over 176,000 students statewide.

UNC Chapel Hill is recognized as one of the 8 public Ivy League universities because of its academic excellence. Among the academic programs they offer, UNC Chapel Hill’s undergraduate business is particularly strong and attractive to prospective students. They also offer students who demonstrate academic success programs like the Gap Year Global Fellowship and the Morehead-Caine Scholarship.

On top of UNC’s strong academic programs, they also have a strong sense of community, which stems from having Division I sports, specifically football and basketball. There’s no way you’ll graduate without supporting the Tar Heels at least once at the stadium or court.

Want to become a UNC Tar Heel? UNC’s application requires 2 additional supplemental short essays:

Carolina’s supplement will provide you with four prompts, and you will choose two. Each response will be limited to 200-250 words.

Essay Prompt #1: 

Tell us about a peer who has made a difference in your life.

TIP: Choose someone who has made an influence in your life. This person doesn’t have be someone you’re close to or know very well, but he or she should have worked with you, disagreed with you or challenged you to an idea or belief. How did it come about? How was it resolved? 

Essay Prompt #2: 

What do you hope will change about the place where you live?

TIP: How do you want to influence your community or your neighborhood? Is there something you wish was different? Is there something missing that could have improved the quality of life for you and others around you? Choose something that you feel strongly about because you felt a gap in opportunity or fairness from when you were growing up, or for the benefit for the people you care about. 

Essay Prompt #3: 

What is one thing that we don’t know about you that you want us to know?

TIP: This almost seems to good to be true! Remember your college application isn’t just one essay or one test score; it is a collection of all your application materials. So, if you choose this essay prompt, make sure you look at your application holistically and ask yourself is there anything else missing that you have to include in order for them to know who you are as a student and as a person. If there is, that’s your topic! 

Essay Prompt #4: 

What about your background, or what perspective, belief, or experience, will help you contribute to the education of your classmates at UNC?

TIP: This is a slightly different way of asking “Why UNC?”. How does your background, perspective, belief or experience relate to the community at UNC? You need to know a little bit about UNC’s culture and student body to answer that question. So, ask a few UNC students or use our advice search tool to find out more about UNC and how you can be a contributing member of UNC’s student body and future alumni network. 

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About The Author

Frances Wong

Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.




UNC 2017-2018 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: Choose two out of four prompts. 200-250 words each.

Supplemental Essay Type(s):Oddball, Why

University of North Carolina’s supplement will provide you with four prompts, and you will choose two. Each response will be limited to 200-250 words.

1. Tell us about a peer who has made a difference in your life.

This is a tricky one off the bat. Writing about other people with the intent of saying something about yourself is always hard — what’s the right balance? Start by identifying someone who has ultimately brought out the best in you, inspired an epiphany or changed something about the way you live your life or view the world. This essay is short, so spend maybe one or two lines contextualizing the peer of your choice. How did you meet him or her and what is your relationship? The bulk of the essay, however, should be spent explaining your relationship and how this person has made his or her mark on you (and vice versa)! Maybe you have a friend who helped you discover your talent for music, a classmate who tutored you in math so you could make the honor roll, a neighbor who drives you to school and gives you advice that you cherish. Did listening to the family problems of a close friend lend you perspective that has helped you navigate your own challenges? You can take this in many different directions, just make sure, at the end of the day, this essay is really about you and not the peer you choose to highlight. (It’s YOUR application, after all!)

2. What do you hope will change about the place where you live?

University of North Carolina wants to accept applicants who aim to make a lasting impact on the world. Are you the kind of person who not only identifies the inefficient processes and injustices around you, but also aims to fix them? “The place where you live” can be interpreted narrowly or loosely. Do you wish there was a community garden in your neighborhood to encourage sustainable living? Do you hope that the US government as a whole will offer better resources for the elderly? Think about something that troubles you and, if at all possible, relate it to something that interests you, academically or in an extracurricular capacity. Remember, the subject you highlight is meant to communicate something important about you to admissions — think carefully about what you want to highlight that will give them insight into your passions, interests and motivations.

3. What is one thing that we don’t know about you that you want us to know?

This is an amazing prompt because it offers you an incredible amount of freedom. It can also be incredibly challenging (like the Common and Coalition App’s “Topic of your choice” prompts) in that it almost provides you with too much choice. You might be thinking, “Where do I start?” We don’t blame you. What ideas did you cast aside when brainstorming for your personal statement? Have you had an experience that isn’t represented anywhere on your application as of yet that admissions might find interesting? Maybe your sophomore trip to Eastern Asia inspired you to declare an International Relations major or your experience as the only boy in a family of seven girls affected the way you see yourself, gender politics, and the world around you. And if the openness of this prompt leaves you flummoxed — don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Take a peek at your other three options and see if they provide a helpful course of inspiration.

4. What about your background, or what perspective, belief, or experience, will help you contribute to the education of your classmates at UNC?

This question closely resembles prompt #1 of the Common Application. Where do you come from? What has shaped you as a person, and how has that made your perspective unique? What you focus on here can be cultural, academic or even rooted in a singular experience that changed your perspective. What do you believe and how will your worldview bring something of value to the community at UNC? Admissions is looking to add diverse perspectives to the melting pot that is their student body. Is there anything you can teach your classmates about your hometown, traditions, culture, cuisine, orientation, identity, race, or ethnicity that they might not already know? Also consider why your particular background or experience will be useful in an academic setting. How will it help inspire and/or inform others. If you can find a meeting place for all of those threads, this prompt may be for you.