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Steve Farmer has high hopes for the 3,914 first-year students who enrolled at Carolina in August.

“We want to receive them warmly and treat them well and watch them over the next four years as they achieve great things,” Farmer, vice provost for enrollment and undergraduate admissions, told the University’s Board of Trustees on Sept. 27.

They were among the 7,847 students admitted to Carolina this year from an applicant pool of 29,497. In all, 56,390 students visited campus last year, he said.

“We care about those folks, too,” Farmer added, noting that undoubtedly some of those students will be admitted to Carolina as transfer students in the next year or two. This year, 12 percent of the new students admitted were transfer students.

Of that group, 28.7 percent are first-generation students; 13.7 percent are Carolina Covenant Scholars; 10.7 percent are international students; and 24.2 percent are non-traditional students, who are several years older than their classmates who arrive directly from high school.

“They are not here because we are doing them a favor,” Farmer said. “They are a diverse group, and they are here because they contribute in their own way to enrich the experience of their classmates.”

The first-year class is strong, particularly the cohort of in-state students – the second-largest ever, Farmer said. In almost every academic category, the quality of this year’s class is better than last year’s class

“We feel great about the North Carolinians we enrolled,” Farmer said.

Among this year’s class, 78.8 percent ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school class; 43.2 percent ranked in the top 10 students of their high school class; and 12.6 percent were class valedictorians or salutatorians. The average SAT score was 1304 – four points higher than last year’s class.

Within the pool of admitted students, 44 percent were also admitted to a school that has a higher ranking in U.S. News & World Report than Carolina does. Of that group, 30 percent chose to enroll at Carolina, Farmer said.

Published October 3, 2012.