Did you know that the University of North Carolina System is the oldest public institution of higher education in the country? What started with only one university, now known as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, now includes a System of 17 world-class institutions. Sixteen universities serve students in every region of the state and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics serves high school juniors and seniors with special interests in science and mathematics. 

The UNC System is committed to ensuring that every student has more than just the opportunity to study, but also the tools to succeed. The tips and resources outlined below will help you make the most of your time at your chosen institution and graduate from the UNC System with a valuable degree in-hand.

Welcome to the UNC System

STEP ONE: Get to know our institutions

Finding the institution that is right for you is important to college success! Take a virtual tour or learn more about unique UNC System campuses from the mountains to the coast.

STEP TWO: Find a program that fits

Whether you are a first-year student exploring your options, a transfer student coming from another university or the military, or a current student considering changing majors, the program and degree finder will be a useful tool. Here, a quick search will reveal which institutions offer degrees in the field you want to study.

STEP THREE: Apply or transfer

There’s no denying that deciding where you want to study is an exciting process. On the other hand, applying for enrollment might seem a daunting challenge — but it doesn’t have to be. Visiting the admissions requirements page will help take the anxiety and mystery out of the process. There you will find information about the UNC System’s minimum eligibility requirements and direct links to every institution’s admissions page.

The UNC System is committed to serving students from all walks of life and at every stage in their journey towards a degree. If you are an undergraduate student entering the System or you are re-entering the System after serving in the military or studying at a community college or another university, visit the transfer student page. This page will direct you to useful information about how to apply to our institutions and provide guidance on how to receive credit for the coursework and immersive learning experiences you’ve already completed.

Paying for College

Getting accepted into the institution of your choice can feel like a momentous challenge. Paying tuition and fees is quite another. As a UNC System student, you can consider yourself lucky – North Carolina’s public universities are among the most affordable in the United States. 

Establishing the University of North Carolina in 1789 was a radical innovation in education, driven by one ambitious goal: to provide every North Carolinian access to education that is “as free as practicable.” Two initiatives funded by the NC General Assembly have continued the state’s historical commitment to keeping public higher education affordable and attainable for all North Carolinians.

The Fixed Tuition Program holds the price of tuition constant for four years for students who remain continuously enrolled and on track to graduate.

The NC Promise Tuition Plan lowers the cost of tuition at four UNC System institutions to just $500 per semester.

If you need additional help covering the total cost of college, there are many financial aid opportunities available at the federal, state, and institution level. The UNC System also offers scholarships and paid internship opportunities to help students and employees pay for their education.

Student Leadership

Given the UNC System’s large enrollment, it’s no surprise that students have a significant voice in University matters.

Student Government

At the System level, this voice is officially recognized, organized, and amplified through the University of North Carolina Association of Students Governments (UNC ASG). All 17 UNC System institutions have representation in this organization, which communicates with the UNC System Board of Governors and UNC System Office staff on behalf of students across the UNC System.

Presidential Scholars

Graduating seniors with an interest in continuing their leadership role in the UNC System should apply for the UNC System Presidential Scholars program. This unique program offers top graduates an opportunity to work in the UNC System Office for one year, collaborating with senior leadership, members of the Board of Governors, and staff to improve higher education in North Carolina.