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Bad vs No Honors College Essay


I am applying to UNC Early Action out-of-state. I am running out of time, so I am focusing on shortening my personal statement and the second required supplement.

Would it be better for me to submit a poor Honors College essay or none at all?


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Accepted answer

To be frank, if you truly don't have time to make sure you have a well-written essay for the Honors College then it's probably better to not apply for the Honors College at all rather than submit a poor essay. Instead, you could spend the extra time on ensuring your application and other essays are well written and of high quality. Then, if you get accepted to UNC, you can consider applying to the Honors College after your first semester. The requirements to apply change slightly (I believe you'd need to get a recommendation from a professor) but your chances are probably better doing that than submitting a poor essay. This is directly from their website:

"How are students chosen?

When students apply to Carolina, they have the option of indicating their interest in Honors Carolina. Those who indicate their interest are required to submit a short essay (250 words or less) that describes their academic interests and the ways they believe Honors Carolina can help them pursue those interests.

A committee of faculty and academic staff make the final selections, relying heavily on essays and teacher recommendations to provide insight into each student’s intellectual curiosity, passion for learning, and eagerness to embrace challenges. There is no set formula of class rank and test scores that guarantees an invitation to join Honors Carolina."

It doesn't sound like you can apply to the Honors College without submitting an essay and your chances of being accepted into the Honors College are heavily based on your essay. Since essays are such a key component a bad essay will probably ruin any chances you have of being accepted. I think the best thing to do is 1) find time and make sure you can write a strong essay but if that's not possible than 2) don't submit an essay and apply for the Honors College after your first semester. Happy to elaborate further or answer any follow-up questions if you have them. Good luck with the applications!

Thank you so much!
I recommend writing about whatever you are more passionate about. Both sound like good ideas but since you want to major in statistics and have done some things related to that it might make more sense to write about data literacy. If there are other ECs or things you've done related to stats that you can use to back up your passion then I think data literacy is 100% the way to go.