Applying to the Honors College as a First-Year Student

Our goal every year is to have a diverse population of incoming future students who see themselves as fitting and growing within an honors community that is not exclusive. To aid in this goal, our approach when reading and considering honors applications is holistic.

There is no GPA or test score that will give you automatic acceptance in the Honors College or that will count you out. Outstanding applicants for the Honors College are defined by a wide range of other characteristics. We are aware that not all students can participate in high school gifted programs or take a long list of AP or honors classes, so we want you to tell us your own story.

If you are academically motivated, curious, creative, and want to take advantage of all the opportunities the Honors College will offer you, you are encouraged to apply. An application that displays reflection and authenticity about your academic and extra-curricular accomplishments, your interests, your plans for the future, and even your failures will take you further than any scores. 

  • Step 1: Indicate Honors interest

    When you apply to UNCW through the Common App or CFNC, there will be a question on the application: 

    A screenshot of the UNCW Common App with a question about having interest in applying to Honors

    "Do you have an interest in applying to the UNCW Honors College? The Honors College provides small classes, creative coursework and high access to global learning, research opportunities, and unique programming. Please visit https://uncw.edu/honors for more information."

    Select YES. Then submit your UNCW application. 

    Oops--I didn't select YES. Now what? (Click Here)

  • Step 2: Supplement Essay

    After receiving your acceptance from UNCW, you will receive an email from the UNCW Honors College (to your UNCW email inbox -- check your admissions letter for details) with an invitation to submit a 350 word supplemental essay based on the provided prompt. Please submit the supplemental essay ASAP to receive an admissions decision from the Honors College. 

    Has it been a few weeks since your acceptance, and you haven't received a message from Honors? Make sure you submit the interest form to indicate your interest in Honors. Once you submit the interest form, you should receive messages from Honors.

  • Step 3: Admissions Decision

    Early Action applicants will receive their decision by March 1st. Regular Decision applicants will receive their Honors decision by April 1st. Remember that submitting your supplemental application early is key to hearing back sooner. Please allow 2-3 weeks from the time of submitting your supplemental essay to hear back from Honors. 

    You will receive an email in your UNCW inbox about your Honors admissions decision, and will also receive a letter in the mail after this email. Checking your UNCW email is the most reliable way to keep track of your UNCW Honors admissions decision. 

    Scholarship offers will usually 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. 

  • Important Notes

    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 and submitted the Honors supplement essay as a checklist item in your application portal. 

    Please feel free to email us at honors@uncw.edu with any questions. 

  • Criteria for Admissions as a First-Year Student
    • Our goal every year is to have a diverse population of incoming future students who see themselves as fitting and growing within an honors community that is not exclusive. To aid in this goal, our approach when reading and considering honors applications is holistic. There is no GPA or test score that will give you automatic acceptance in the Honors College or that will count you out. Outstanding applicants for the Honors College are defined by a wide range of other characteristics. We are aware that not all students can participate in high school gifted programs or take a long list of AP or honors classes, so we want you to tell us your own story. If you are academically motivated, curious, creative, and want to take advantage of all the opportunities the Honors College will offer you, you are encouraged to apply. An application that displays reflection and authenticity about your academic and extra-curricular accomplishments, your interests, your plans for the future, and even your failures will take you further than any scores. 
    • Test score submission is OPTIONAL for first-years entering in Fall 2023.
      • Since not all students will have test scores to submit, this year the Honors College will more closely focus on:
        • GPA
        • Class rank
        • Essays
        • Extracurricular activities
        • Letters of recommendation. (UNCW does not require students submit a letter of recommendation, but we highly encourage students interested in the Honors College to do so). 
      • If submitted with the application, standardized test scores will be considered after the other metrics, and only in cases where the test score is a positive addition to a student's application.
    • UNCW merit scholarships and Honors College scholarships are typically awarded on a rolling basis. Applying earlier will increase your eligibility to receive scholarships. (Please note: all students must submit the UNCW Scholarship Application to be considered for scholarships, including Honors scholarships.)
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