Road Trip: "Aha Moments" at UNC Chapel Hill

Every college visit has its “aha moments”.  My August 2014 trip to visit five North Carolina schools included many.  Here are a few to share…UNC Chapel Hill – Aha!

Ambitious” is the word that was frequently used to describe UNC students. Here are a few reasons that might be true.

  • UNC’s earned the reputation as a “public ivy” and ranks regularly among the top five public universities. Accordingly, admissions qualifications are relatively selective – 26%  of applicants are accepted and 75th percentile test scores are around 2100 or 32 for the SAT or ACT respectively.
  • Beyond the numbers, the “research triangle” where the school resides (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill) has the highest percentage of MD’s and PhD’s in the country.  How’s that for ambitious role models?
  • Roughly 60% of undergrads do research.  Certainly ambitious.
  • Our tour guide was a MS/BS Computer Science student who interned at IBM last summer. Sounds ambitious.
  • And ambition isn’t only about academics --  UNC’s “global gap year” encourages students to take a year off between high school and college to do service.  And provides a $5000 stipend to do it.

Other points of note at UNC Chapel Hill:  The students are passionate yet the environment is collaborative. Along those lines, dorms are grouped 3-4 together based on themes and called Living & Learning communities. UNC was chartered under the constitution in 1776, and became the oldest public institution in 1789…accordingly, there are many traditions. 

Consider UNC: if you want to go to a public school that has strong academic credentials and a student body that is, well, ambitious.