University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.

Tracie

Very smart, but condescending

Ashley

People who sit around me and work with me if assigned to.

Sheena

They're usually pretty helpful.

Asa

They are driven to get the best grades possible, often to a fault. They are all very helpful and friendly however.

Nicole

Generally intelligent and usually middle or upper class, but otherwise diverse.

Steven

Amazing people that I will love for life.

Chad

A truly diverse group of individualistic peers who pride themselves (sometimes too much) on their tolerance and diversity.

Ashley

challenging, intellectual, passionate

Lauren

intelligent and open minded

Ryan

My classmates are very diversified, come from numerous backgrounds, and represent almost every belief there is, yet they are friendly and wonderful to hang out with.

Megan

A junior claims that her best decision freshman year was spontaneously getting a job.

Megan

A junior tells how her worst decision freshman year was sticking to only a few campus activities.

Megan

A junior explains why one of her best decisions freshman year was learning Chapel Hill's bus system.

Shanon

I think everyone would feel welcome at UNC--there is a huge variety of people, and I think it just takes finding your niche, but that there are just so many different people that anyone can do that. I can't speak to that too much, though, because I generally don't feel out of place. Maybe someone else has a better idea. Students are really laid-back as far as clothing--it is not unusual to see people wear sweat pants and t-shirts to class. Most students are politically aware and active, and while I think the student body is pretty evenly split conservative/liberal, the town and professors are overwhelmingly liberal.

Heather

They're awesome.

Caitlin

Everyone I know is smart, eager to learn, and completely driven.

Gabrielle

Open-minded and predominately white.

Alex

Since I am both white and female, that puts me in two differnt majorities of UNC students, so I don't feel very qualified to talk about how other races may or may not feel out of place at UNC. However, being Jewish, I can tell you that despite what people's preconceived notions of the South and the Bible Belt might be, I found Jewish life at UNC to be overwhelmingly positive. Yes, you may run across the occasional Campus Crusade for Christ person who wants to convert you, but take comfort in the fact that it isn't personal - they try to convert everyone, even "lazy" Christians. Being a college campus, there is a typical liberal slant in terms of politics, but the conservative minority is quite a vocal one. And even though UNC isn't exactly burgeoning with diversity, considering the diversity in terms of race, religion, and sexual orientation, I think everyone gets along with everyone else for the most part and respects their fellow UNC-er.

Jessica

I dont think anyone can feel out of place at UNC. Most people are from in state and they know a lot of other students before they even begin school, so that may intimidate some. But there is so much diversity on campus, and i would say that the student body is mostly liberal-minded and accepting of people from all walks of life. everyone is very driven to succeed at this school, and many people come to UNC to make money after graduation. But a truly sucessful student will be able to discover what makes him or her happy, and be able to make a living doing that after they leave UNC. The greek community seems to have a huge presence on campus, even though less than half the students are involved. They tend to dominate the social life at UNC which can be both good and sometime bad

joe

pretty diverse, but vast majority is from charlotte, greensboro or raleigh, are from middle class afluent families, and are rebelling against "conservative pops" by avidly supporting the democrats. at any given table in the cafeteria you will most likely see a pretty diverse group based on sex and clothing brand. however i have noticed that they tend to remain rather divided on race... not that it doesnt happen but one just tends to flow with the same color skin. i have encounter very little if any racism however... it is harshly discouraged among all students.

Daniel

everyone is different. no two people are not on fire.

Cate

We are an extremely diverse campus from racial, religious, sexual, and economical backgrounds. Everyone fits in somewhere. Most UNC students are from North Carolina, but we are growing in out of state students. Since its a public university, you will really find a little bit of everything here.

Robin

overall, unc is really diverse but ethnic groups tend (in general) to stick together. not to say that there is not integration at all, there certainly is, but groups do separate themselves sometimes. there is a strong LGBT advocacy and support department made up of faculty, staff and students and the same goes for other minority groups. there are even fraternities and sororities and housing for international students, african american students, asian students, hispanic...the list is endless. it seems that it is predominately middle class and white, but there are still people of all economic classes and races, religions, etc.

Gene

I covered this slightly in an above section, but I will reiterate that no one feels out of place at UNC with such a diverse student body. We have a very active LGBT student group; if you are looking for a place that embraces diversity, look no further than UNC. People are generally very tolerable, and above all, interested in others' religions, beliefs, political views, etc. Most people come from upper-middle class homes from around North Carolina, which a lot of people coming from the Charlotte metro area or from around the Raleigh-Durham area. But, I have friends from Florida, Pennsylvania, Ireland, Arizona, Indiana, and Georgia, so there are definitely a lot of out-of-staters out there, too.

Kai

My impression of the student body is that there are always issues with people being different, but it really depends on where you situate yourself on campus. I live off campus and have all my classes in one building or at hospitals away from campus so I don't deal with the the student body much. If you want to get involved in activism on campus you can find it. I am in a very homogeneous major so we all get along pretty well.

trevor

the student body is almost entirely in state, something like 12% are out of state students. unc is a very diverse campus, though. there is little racial tension and i see people of all classes and races becoming friends easily.

Angela

One of the nice things about UNC is how varied its student body is. No matter how different you think you may be from other people, I guarantee you that there is at least one (if not many) others just like you somewhere on campus. We have groups and clubs for pretty much every type of person and activity, and if we don't, you're more than welcome to create your own. As I said earlier, UNC is very liberal, and therefore very welcoming to people from all cultures, backgrounds, religions, and class. Of course there will always be the "bad apple" but for the most part UNC students are very culturally conscious and extremely active in social justice issues. UNC in particular has a very active LGBTQI population, which is something that many universities shy away from. Most UNC students are from in-state (generally the Charlotte or the Raleigh area), but there are still students from all over the country and the world that come here. I would guess that most of the students are white, middle-class, and there are more girls than boys that attend. I think the ratio is 3:2, but I'm not completely sure. Many people here are very opinionated about various issues, but there's plenty of individuals who are quiet as well, and those people are just as welcomed as the loud ones.

matt

I think that UNC is a relatively tolerant place, granted that there probably are a few close-minded people, but those kind of people are everywhere. I don't think that a student would ever feel out of place because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status, but the "frat culture" does seem kind of exclusive sometimes. The only kind of person who I think would feel a little inhibited at UNC is a fiercely independent, perhaps introverted, person, because the school is so large that you can sometimes just feel like a face in the crowd.

Alecia

UNC welcomes everyone. It is a politically tense atmosphere at times but it is worth it to hear the differing opinions because in many ways this is how the real world is.

Allison

There is a hugely diverse student population on campus - it would be almost impossible for someone not to find a place where they fit in and feel like they belong. Most of the students are from UNC, but there is also a good number of international and out-of-state students. The feel on campus is that most students are trying to make the most of their college experience; trying to get involved, make a difference, and make lasting friendships.

Seth

Everyone is at UNC. Chapel Hill gets this name for being the liberal bubble in the conservative southern suburbia, and this isn't false, but so many groups, so many streams of thought are incredibly well-represented. A keystone of the student's relationships with each other is their willingness to understand ideas other than their own. This isn't just friendliness, because you'll certainly get into your share of academic, ideological, or theological arguments - but UNC students share the understanding that the process of rubbing our ideas up against each other is the way that we become more intelligent scholars, more complicated thinkers, a more whole people.

Dylan

enthusiastic, liberal, mostly open minded

Erin

I'm a liberal, white, straight female, so at UNC I was in the majority in every way. Therefore, it's hard for me to comment too much on diversity, but I definitely felt like minority groups didn't feel out of place. Some racial minorities assimilate with everyone else on campus, but many others form their own groups, so there's definitely a lot of self-segregation on campus -- blacks hanging out with blacks, Indians hanging out with Indians, etc. But that depends on the individual's preference. If a minority student feels the need to have extra support, there are tons of campus organizations that allow you to hang out with people like you. Some groups include Black Student Movement, GLBTSA, College Republicans, Muslim Students Association, etc. Almost all students dress casually to class - jeans and a Carolina t-shirt with Rainbow flip flops is the standard. Most students (82%) are from North Carolina, because of state law. A lot of out-of-staters bond with other out-of-staters because of shared common experiences and the ability to join the Out of State Students Association, but after four years, I couldn't really tell you which people in my classes were in-staters and which were out-of-staters, which to me is a good thing. I would guess that most students are from the middle to upper middle class at Carolina, but you can't really tell with most students unless they try to flaunt their wealth. One great thing about Carolina is the Carolina Covenant, which allows low-income students to graduate entirely debt free. Since Carolina isn't ridiculously expensive to start with, in general you have no idea what kind of economic background students are coming from, which is a great difference between college and high school. Students are extremely cause-oriented. Students are passionate about everything from politics (lots of Obama backers for sure), Darfur, labor rights, immigration, and women's rights. It's definitely a left-leaning campus. There's a great desire at Carolina to travel and make a difference. Tons of people study abroad while in school, and tons more join organizations like Teach for America and the Peace Corps after graduation.

Emmerson

Don't come to UNC if 1) Your mind is closed, or 2) You don't like interacting with others different from you. You will meet all sorts of students, although most are from North Carolina. Any type of person is guaranteed to meet other types that offend them, as there is no "typical" UNC student. Don't sweat it. There is a great deal of political awareness, but pretty much all sides are represented.

TJ

Like I said before. It is extremely diverse. Not dominated by one group alone. All I can say is that the students are some of the best people I've ever met. I have made friendships here that will last a very long time.

Casey

The student body is very diverse. There is anything anyone could want to be involved in. I loved being involved in sports, while others loved being in their sorority or fraternity or other group. If you are looking to get involved in something its not hard to find something. Most of the students are from North Carolina so many of them know each other. The town of Chapel Hill in general is liberal, so it is only natural that the campus is a refelction of that. Most of the teachers are moderatly liberal, but the student body is a good mix.

Allie

I sure UNC has a person from every culture, race, religion, and background possible getting along together at this school! Everyone interacts and wears whatever they want! Most girls are gorgeous and wear dresses and some people ride skateboards. There are definitely more girls than guys! Lots of students have wealthy alumni parents and lots are here solely on scholarship. Most everyone here has been successful in there life and will continue to be after college, no need to talk about it because almost all fall under that category.

Kelly

I think most UNC students are socially aware and try their best to follow the "Carolina Way" which is "excellence with a heart" to quote our late 2008 student body president, Eve Carson. This means that we strive to do our best in whatever we are doing, but we don't forget that there are less fortunate people. UNC is full of people who are willing to lend a helping hand to others and excel in their studies so that they can use their skills to help solve some of the world's problems. The student body is also very open-minded and diverse. We all people from all over the world and different groups of students do interact and work together.

Blake

Again, cf. above. Politics are by all means far to the left. No one censured/oppressed/etc the opposing opinion (except in the minds of a foolish few) but it does tend to be hard to get your point across in an environment where you represent a scarce minority (simply because there is no one to lend a friendly ear). Students typically go out of their way avoid stepping on any discriminatory toes (race, religion, orientation, etc), but it is taken nearly to the point of ridiculousness in the way that it often will limit conversation. Most UNC students would rather sweep away all the differences between religions, races, etc rather than actually investigate, understand, and come to terms with the differences inherent in those subjects. Gary Trudeau's Doonesbury comics of the mid 70's paint that picture better than I ever could... Just because students have a sharply liberal bias means little except in their own minds. Racism/sexism/etc is much more than a political philosophy; it is a way of life, and than tidbit is missing from the majority of students not only at UNC, but elsewhere as well

Ryon

My high school was all white and, although I hate to say it, racist towards all other types of people. I never had anything against any other race, but upon coming to UNC, I must say I was surprised at the racial diversity. I took one survey my first semester of college asking how often you communicated with someone of another race and after thinking about the question, realized that I spoke to people of different races almost constantly throughout the day. A BIG change from high school for the better. I honestly do not know which class is most represented on campus. No one asks and no one cares. I think that everyone is treated equally regardless of their class or race. (Most students are from NC though. I have met a few out-of-staters (NY and CA) who weren't happy here.)

Jesse

UNC is extremely diverse and that's one thing I loved about it! You will find Indians, Asians, Persians, African Americans, White Europeans, Hispanics and so much more. It's amazing!!! There are also all kinds of religions and everybody is very respectful of each other. The majority are Christians but there are also a lot of Muslims, Jews, and Baha'is as well. There are students from all different backgrounds but they all get along pretty well. I loved the UNC's student body!

Gene

My primary experience is in the greek system which is a small subsection of campus that the school as a whole doesn't support whole-heartedly but can't get rid of because of the amount of money that is given to the school from former greek alumni. This section of the student body definitely intermingles more amongst themselves visiting the same bars, and usually very identifiable by their clothing of collared shirts, croakies, boat shoes, rainbows, lily, brooks borthers, pearls, lacoste, polo etc. unlike the rest of the liberal campus the greek system on the whole is a much more conservative student body politically taking after their parents who are typically wealthy and white. But to reiterarte you can be greek and not be like this at all or be greek and have outlets of friends in any other community. The bottomline is UNC has a place for students that want to kill the whales, and one for students that want to save the whales, It's all about where you fit and what effort you make to get involved.

David

There are pleanty of groups for you to choose from on campus, no matter what your interests are. It's a very liberal setting, so there are groups for all sorts of folks and everyone is generally very accepting. The guys wear lots of collared shirts, khakis, North Face glasses, visors, and sunglasses. They like the sandals, too. Girls (and the girls are gorgeous) like the sundresses and summer skirts in the warm season. Most of these folks are put together very well and clearly emphasize the importance of their appearance. The campus is very politically active, though not as much as others in the North or out West. People tend to be on either extreme of the political spectrum, or they may have some off-the-wall ideas about politics just to establish their own radical non-conformity with everyone else. Overall, I would say the campus is strongly liberal. Students tend to be from very wealthy and affluent backgrounds, and most are from in-state.

Catherine

As far as race and ethnicity, I think UNC is pretty well balanced. I definitely think we are more of a liberal school, which most already know. Students are politically active and there are rallies sometimes or meetings for people who want to be involved in that sort of thing. Some students look nice or dress up for class, while other just wear their pajamas, no one really seems to care either way. Most of the kids here that I know are from some part of NC, but I do have friends from all over the US. The one thing I don't like about the students is that almost everyone I know is upper-middle class and have no concerns about money at all. Most people I know are very very well off and can't see things from a different perspective.

Paige

Students are primarily liberal, democrats. Also, the majority of the student body is white. Besides that I cannot write much besides how diverse UNC is. You can find people like you. I suppose it is the liberal-inclination of the student body, but there is a club for nearly every religious order, and every orientation. People are accepting here, and I have never heard of any fighting as a result of race or religion.

Amelia

UNC offers a good amount of diversity. While the stereotypical student is a middle-class white female, students from varying racial or socio-economic backgrounds are not made to feel out of place. There is also a very strong LGBT presence on campus and students seem very tolerant of different lifestyle choices. On the whole, UNC tends to lean towards the left, but keep in mind this is in the context of the deep South. It's certainly not as liberal as Berkley or Brown.

Maya

Going to UNC, I was warned that when I said I was Jewish people would ask "Where are your horns?" or that when I said I was from the north I would be called a Yankee. However, none of this rang true. Being that UNC is a liberal school, people are very open-minded about diversity. Even for a liberal and tolerant school, the student body appears very homogeneous. For the most part, the guys resemble country club goers and the girls look like they came out of a Lilly Pullitzer magazine. Most students get dressed up to go to class: sundresses for the girls and khakis with a polo for the boys. Most UNC students are from North Carolina, mainly Charlotte.

Maggie

To be honest- I feel like UNC lacks in the diversity crowd. There are different walks of economic life at Carolina so money isn't a problem. 86% of students from UNC are NC residents (state requirement) and then the rest are out of staters. Middle class tends to be the most prevalent. Out of state students tend to be the better students bc it is more competitive to get the few spots offered. Different students interact, but in the end, on a Friday night people end up hanging out with their own crew (but not always!). This year, students have been very politically active. Overall, Carolina is fairly left but moderates are easily found. For right friends of mine, it can get frustrating because they are severely outnumbered. Students get involved with 1 to a few clubs on campus. A lot of resume building goes on with activities in order to help them get to their ultimate goal. Yes, how much one earns can get discussed, but that tends to people in the business school...

Rose

UNC is casual. We have comfortable weather most of the year, and most students wear jeans, flip flops, and casual skirts/dresses, etc. both to class and out at night. Our campus is predominantly liberal, so there is always an advocacy group of some sort petitioning/presenting/protesting around campus. It's a fun place to be! The majority of our students are middle class North Carolinians. Only 18% of our student body is comprised of out-of-state students. We have a large open LGBT population. Many different ethnicities and religions are represented as well. There are lots of groups for each ethnicity and religion, but unfortunately such groups can tend to separate different people rather than bring them together. We are working on ways to take pride in each of our backgrounds while also coming together with people of others.

Brittany

The student body is very diverse. I feels like every type of person can find a place to fit in at UNC.