Preliminary Profile: 2013 UNC First-Year Class

Posted on Aug 15, 2013 in Campus and Community

Roughly 4,000 first-year students – including award-winning researchers, artists, directors, dancers, writers, community activists and champion athletes – will start classes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill next week.

 (Note: The following statistics are preliminary and won’t be final until after Sept. 3, 2013, the University’s official enrollment reporting date. UPDATE: Click here for FINAL profile.)

Roughly 4,000 first-year students – including award-winning researchers, artists, directors, dancers, writers, community activists and champion athletes – will start classes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill next week.

The University received a record 30,836 applicants, and the 3,960 enrolling students hail from 95 North Carolina counties, 45 states and 20 countries.

“The students who will be joining us this month are dedicated to excellence both inside and outside the classroom,” said Stephen Farmer, vice provost for enrollment and undergraduate admissions. “But they’re not distinguished just by their academic credentials. As reflected in their accomplishments, collectively these students also demonstrated extraordinary creativity, perseverance, compassion and humility—qualities that will inspire us all.”

 Specific accomplishments include:

           Conducting research on the therapeutic potential of glutathione (the body’s most prevalent antioxidant) at the Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C.

           Founding the North Carolina Youth Classical Arts for Charity to raise funds (roughly $35,000, so far) for charity

           Designing a national three-day conference linking entrepreneurial-minded students across South Africa

           Creating the “Little Green Bus” – an eco-friendly business described as a “farmer’s market on wheels” that delivers locally grown organic food to area households

           Founding a Muslim basketball league for young women in the community

           Earning a scholarship from the U.S. State Department to serve as Youth Ambassador to Bosnia for one year through the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study program

           Winning a national art competition award and having sculpture displayed at Parsons the New School for Design in New York City

           Teaching ballroom dance and performing the Nutcracker with the Moscow Ballet

           Traveling throughout the Southeast to network with other teens and empower them to make positive changes in their communities

           Conducting research on multiple myeloma cancer at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute

In celebration of the incoming class, a selection of these students will be featured on in the coming weeks.

Academic Credentials

Among the 72 percent of the class whose schools reported an official rank in class, 43.7 percent ranked within the top 10 students in their high school class, compared to 43.2 percent last year. The percentage of students ranking first or second also increased, from 12.6 percent last year to 13.6 percent this year. The percentage ranking in the top 10 percent declined, from 78.8 percent last year to 78.4 percent this year. Of students reporting a grade-point average on a weighted 4-point scale, 93.0 percent scored 4.0 or higher.

Enrolling students also presented stronger scores on the SAT reasoning, and although high, ACT scores remained the same. 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 area 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.

The middle 50 percent of the class scored between 1780 and 2110 on the SAT and between 1200 and 1420 on the critical reading and math sections combined. The middle 50 percent scored the following ranges on each component:  590-710, critical reading; 610-710, math; and 580-690, writing. The average total score was 1948 with averages in the following sections: 647, critical reading; 661, math, and 639, writing score; 1309—critical reading and math combined. (Note: Total average scores may not equal the sum of individual average scores due to rounding.) 

Compared to last year, the overall average rose 10 points, from 1938 to 1948. The average on the critical reading plus math sections rose five points, from 1304 to 1309.

For enrolling students who reported ACT scores, the middle 50 percent reported scores between 28 and 33. The average ACT score was 29.8, the same as last year.


The share of students identifying themselves as a race or ethnicity other than Caucasian increased, from 30.8 percent last year to 33.1 percent this year. The share of students identifying themselves as African-American increased, from 9.8 percent last year to 10.0 percent this year, as did the share of students identifying themselves as Latino or Latina, from 6.1 percent to 7.3 percent. The share of students identifying themselves as Asian or Asian-American increased from 13.2 percent to 13.5 percent, and the share identifying themselves as American Indian or Alaskan Native fell from 2.5 percent to 2.4 percent. 

The share of students in the class who will be the first in their families to graduate from a four-year college or university increased, from 17.6 percent last year to 18.6 percent this year.

Females comprise 59.3 percent of the class, men 40.7 percent. The share comprised by men is less than last year’s 41.3 percent but is the sixth largest in the last 20 years.

The class includes 91 international students, up from 76 last year. International enrollment has doubled over the past 10 years.

Aid and Scholarships

Thirteen percent of the students in the incoming class are Carolina Covenant Scholars. These scholars are from low-income backgrounds who have earned the opportunity to attend Carolina debt-free. 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.

Forty-three percent of the incoming class will receive need-based aid and ten 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.

All aid statistics are preliminary and subject to revision.

Extracurricular Achievements

           95 percent participated in community service

           74 percent played a sport

           54 percent participated in music, drama or other arts

           51 percent held a position as president of class or club

           25 percent conducted research outside the classroom

Most Popular Intended Majors

First-year students enroll in the College of Arts and Sciences and are not required to declare a major until the end of their second year at the University. When they submitted their applications for admission, 19.1 percent of enrolling first-year students indicated that they were undecided about their majors. Among those who indicated an intention, the most popular majors included:





           Political science


           Journalism and mass communication

           Exercise and sport science



           Computer science



For Fall 2013 first-year admission, the University received 4.5 percent more applications compared to last year. In the last five years, applications have increased 33.8 percent, from 23,047 to 30,836. While the overall admit rate remained steady (26.7 percent this year compared to 26.6 percent last year), UNC admitted 1.3 percent more North Carolinians for Fall 2013 admission than last year (5,039 up from 4,972).


Applied / Admitted / Enrolled

First-Year Class




North Carolina













Numbers reflect residency at time of application.

 Transfer Class

Each year UNC enrolls approximately 800 transfer students into the sophomore and junior classes in the College of Arts and Sciences. Transfer students bring a diversity of backgrounds and experiences that enrich our community, and we welcome them into the full academic and extracurricular life of the University.








Average college GPA: 3.78

The middle 50 percent of the enrolling transfer class scored between 1680 and 1980 on the SAT and between 1130 and 1330 on the critical reading and math sections combined. The middle 50 percent scored the following ranges on each component: 560-660, critical reading; 570-670, math; and 550-650, writing.

Approximately 25 percent of the enrolling transfer class is transferring from a North Carolina community college.  The top feeder schools are as follows: Durham Technical Community College, Appalachian State University, Alamance Community College, Central Piedmont Community College, Wake Technical Community College.  

Fun Facts

·      Number of twins: 19 sets

·      Greatest number of miles travelled by an enrolling student this year: 9,600 from Sydney, Australia

·      Closest distance: Less than a mile (Chapel Hill, N.C.)

·      Most common first name for a female: Emily, 51 times; followed by Sarah, Elizabeth, Rachel and Hannah

·      Most common first name for a male: Matthew, 47 times; followed by Michael, Andrew, John and Jacob

·      Most common birthday: Feb. 16, 25 times; followed by Jan. 11, Aug. 14, May 18, and Oct. 12th.

Office of Undergraduate Admissions contacts: Stephen Farmer and Ashley Memory, (919) 966-3621

News Services contact: Robbi Pickeral, (919) 962-8589,