Tips for Getting Accepted at UNC-Wilmington

As a high school student, you find yourself daydreaming and visualizing yourself at college. You can’t wait to experience freedom, dorm life, new friends, and new college classes. It takes hard work to get accepted into college. Some schools can be rather difficult for even the smartest student to get into. If you truly long to be accepted, there are a few things you need to do in high school to help increase your chances of becoming accepted to the college of your dreams.

The University of North Carolina at Wilmington, my alma mater, offers the perfect environment for learning and living. The campus is simply beautiful, with colorful landscaping and modern classroom as well as office buildings all within short walking distances from one another. UNCW is also about a 10 minute drive to gorgeous, upscale Wrightsville Beach. More than 77 percent of freshmen surveyed said UNCW was their first choice, and when asked why, many said “because it’s at the beach.”

At UNCW you will be greeted by thoughtful and passionate professors who are able to give personalized attention because of small class sizes. You will be able to choose from among 73 bachelor’s degree programs and 28 graduate programs here.

According to their website, UNCW has the fourth highest freshman SAT average (1134), the third highest freshman retention rate (85.7 percent), and the third highest six-year graduation rate (61.2 percent) in the UNC system. For the eighth year, UNCW was seventh among the top public master’s universities in the South by U.S.News & World Report. Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges lists UNCW at the “very competitive” level.

So how can you increase your chances of being admitted to UNCW? Here are some tips.

Your high school transcript is the best demonstrator to colleges of how well you will do at their institution. If you have done well in high school, they believe you will do well at their college. College admission teams pay attention to grades earned and courses taken starting in the 9th grade. They look for achievement in English, math, science, foreign language, and history. Another thing to remember is that a grade of B in a hard course is more appealing to colleges than receiving an A in an easy class. Take a few Advanced Placement and Honors courses if you think you can handle it. Colleges like to see that you challenge yourself.

As stated by Bob Collins, editor of Student Athlete magazine, if you want to go to a selective college, don’t take obviously easy English courses like Sports Literature. Pick courses that show you have a serious interest in literature and writing.

Taking math in your senior year is a good idea. You don’t have to take Calculus to be accepted. Pick Advanced Math or College Algebra. It will help keep your memory and skills fresh for the SAT.

“Taking three or more years of a foreign language is a great way to add seriousness to your transcript,” stated Bob Collins. Don’t take one year of French, then one year of Spanish, and then one year of German. Instead, make a long term commitment to one language. It shows that you don’t mind studying and are willing to stick with your decisions. It guarantees colleges that your are a student with knowledge of a language and another culture.

The SAT can be the most stressful test of high school. It is extremely important, but nothing to be that stressed about. The SAT does play a big part in college admissions and in some scholarships decisions. Obviously the better you score, the higher chance you have of being accepted. Take practice tests and study. On the day of the test, relax and do your best!

Another aspect that colleges look at are your extracurricular activities. Colleges want students who are capable of handling schoolwork and activities. They want to see that your grades don’t suffer from you being at ball practice for example. Extracurricular activities also show that students have personalities. “Quality is more important than quantity,” as Mr. Collins stated in his magazine. You are not limited to school-related activities. After school work and community involvement suffice the same as an extracurricular activity.

UNCW will ask you to submit at least one recommendation from a teacher. Recommendations can possibly make the final impression on you admission chances. Give the teacher you choose as a recommendor plenty of time and everything he/she needs. That includes a copy of your application, its deadline, and a stamped addressed envelope. Pick a teacher who will write detailed, educated, and favorable comments about you. Set up an appointment to meet one-on-one. That way you can share with them your past activities and future goals so they may include them in the recommendation letter.

UNCW is a rapidly growing university. As more students attend, the application process will only get more and more competitive. Review these tips and read more about who the university is looking for at If you are someone who can contribute and benefit from UNCW’s mission and higher education, then submit your application. Good luck!

Go Seahawks!

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