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Applying as a First-Year Student

Here's How to Apply as a First-Year Student

Step one of any major life decision is to learn more about that decision! Browse our website, email our Honors Ambassadors, peruse our social media, and stop by our office if you come to Wilmington.


Visit the Honors College

The CommonApp will ask you if you are interested in applying to Honors. If you are, click "yes." Once you click "yes" to apply to Honors, you will be prompted to complete an Honors Essay (350 words) on one of two following prompts: 

A. Intellectual curiosity is a distinguishing characteristic of an Honors student. It doesn't matter what fascinates you, as long as something does! In what ways have you followed your curiosity in the past and how do you want to continue to follow your intellectual curiosity during your time at UNCW?

B. The Honors College encourages interdisciplinarity--interacting with and intertwining multiple subjects and disciplines. We often offer classes that lay on the intersections between art and science, literature and sociology, or religion and technology, to name a few. What interdisciplinarity have you found in your own life and academic interests? 

All essays must be original content written for the purpose of the Honors essay. Plagiarizing yourself or others will result in an immediate "deny" decision being returned. 

The Honors College cannot admit you until after the Office of Admissions has done so. Please hold inquiries about your Honors status until after you've received an acceptance from UNCW. 

Please feel free to email with questions if you have not received a decision by the noted dates or with other questions about Honors. 

For early action applicants: Honors College decisions will be rendered by February 1. 

For regular decision applicants: Honors College decisions will be rendered by April 1. 

You will receive an email in your UNCW inbox about your Honors admissions decision and you can choose to receive a letter in the mail (later). Checking your UNCW email is the most reliable way to keep track of your UNCW Honors admissions decision.

Scholarship offers will not be made in the same letter as the Honors acceptance letter. Please continue to monitor your UNCW email inbox to learn about your financial aid package.

All admitted students must accept their invitation to join Honors by April 15th using the link emailed in their acceptance letter to be guaranteed admission to Honors for their intended year. Failure to do so by the priority deadline can result in having your admission revoked due to high demand. 


Application Recommendations

Here are the application recommendations for applying to Honors:

  • Honors is attentive to academic background, essays, extracurricular activities (including work), and leadership. Not all students will have test scores, due to the UNC System's test-optional status due to COVID. 
  • UNCW merit scholarships and Honors College scholarships are typically awarded on a rolling basis, not at admission to Honors
  • Due to deadlines, all students interested in Honors Scholarships must apply early action
  • All students must submit the UNCW Scholarship Application to be considered for scholarships, including Honors scholarships (due March 1st)
  • The average scores for the incoming honors freshmen of the Fall 2023 cohort were:
    • GPA (weighted): 4.31
    • 11% of students were in the top 20 of their high school
    • 87% of admitted students were ranked as having strong leadership and involvement
    • Please remember these are averages: honors students had scores both above and below these numbers. The Honors College at UNCW prides itself on a holistic approach to admissions and considers many aspects of candidates