Wilmington, NC
Tuition (in-state)
$17,472 ($5,672)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 1055 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greek life here on campus is becoming more and more prominant. The campus currently is about 12% Greek and continuing to rise. Being a member of a Fraternity, I am able to see the potential for Greek life to continue to grow. Greeks are seen on campus a lot but it is very laid back in terms of being Greek or not. There is no pressure to go Greek unless it is something you're interested in.

5 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: Something for Everyone! No matter your preference in type of food or cost you can find something in Wilmington that you will LOVE. There are tons of great local spots close to the university as well as downtown and at the beach. Many places have cheap food and specials (Island's Fresh Mex Grille has dollar tacos after 5:00 every night). There are several restaurants in Wilmington that were started by UNCW alumni (try PT's Grille or the Fuzzy Peach). If you like seafood we have tons of fresh seafood restaurants and some great local pizza places. Also, if you're looking for an experience that you will only find in Wilmington, try Flaming Amy's Burrito Barn!

5 College Sophomore

Academics: UNC Wilmington has consistently been named the 2nd best public school in the state as well as a nationally ranked best bang for your buck public school. The campus has wonderful faculty that allow a great environment for academics. Teachers are always available for office hours, tutoring or any other help you would ever need,

4 College Sophomore

Weather: We at the Beach Baby!! Wilmington is located only five miles from Wrightsville beach. We start getting warm weather mid March and it continues to be warm until mid September. But in the fall and winter, it gets cold!!! Just because we are right at the beach doesn't mean we're always in bathing suits soaking up the sun! A part of being so close to the beach means that we get a lot of wind. While a little wind is appreciated on those hot days, its very frustrating in the cold and rain!

1 College Sophomore

Diversity: Have You Seen That Small White Girl? When walking around campus, its likely that a visitor will see around 60% small, Caucasian females. I am involved in the Honors Scholars College, which makes more of an attempt to include a more diverse crowd but outside of the Honors College, most of the other students seem pretty similar.

4 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Process Not Needed – I am a student that did not require financial aid. However, I was approached with the option of receiving financial aid at the beginning of each year. This was comforting, knowing that the school wanted to help.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Variety Everywhere! Wilmington has so many great restaurants that are affordable, enjoyable, tasty and fun. There is something for everyone. From fresh seafood to hibachi by the river, everyone will be happy even if on a budget!

3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Strict If You're Caught – Campus police/ RA's are very on their guard, especially at night. They know the party scene and will cut some slack but crack down when they have to. Crazy parties or belligerent behavior in public is something they don't really toy around with if things get too out of control. If you're doing anything you shouldn't (drinking, etc.) just try to not make a scene or be at a place that undoubtedly is going to be busted and you should be okay. As for drinking/drugs, it really depends who you associate with, but I'd say drinking is definitely more popular.

4 College Freshman

Overall Experience: Go Seahawks! I absolutely love UNCW. The location, the staff, the students; it's such a great school! You meet so many amazing people from all over yet most everyone still maintains that southern hospitality. Every teacher seems to really love what they're doing and tries their best to teach to the best of their abilities. Fun events are constantly happening around campus and there's lots to do in the Wilmington area (especially outdoors because the weather is so beautiful here and the beach is so close!) There may not be a football team but there is so much school spirit and pride on and off campus. Would definitely recommend this school to anyone!

4 College Student

Diversity: enjoy the diversity at UNCW, well representing many states/nations

1 College Student

Scholarships: no one knows full details, first coordinator was 2 days on job, had to look-up or ask about EVERYTHING, others knew a bit more, twice I left Vmail with reps and rec'd no return calls

4 College Student

Guys & Girls: nice mix, kind and polite, outgoing but not crazy, helpful

4 College Junior

Transportation: There are parking zones for each type of commuter or resident or student zones. They are fairly priced. There are also shuttles for on campus travel, which is helpful, as well as ones that run off campus.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: Greek life is very active at UNCW. Its not a crazy party thing like at other colleges. They have crazy times, but its more to experience fun with a family feel with fellow students.

4 College Junior

Facilities: Basketball arena is newly renovated and is an exciting atmosphere. The baseball stadium is a popular attraction and everyone loves going to the baseball games. The library, aka "Club Randall" is easy to get around and has study rooms as well as plenty of computers. There is always something going on on campus. The student body is like a family and I love it here.

1 College Freshman

Parking: You can only park by your building--park anywhere else and you're taking a serious ticket risk. Parking permits are expensive and you're not garaunteed a good spot. Wrightsville beach is even worse--don't even think about parking across the bridge unless you have a friend with a beach house you're willing to pay out the ass.

3 College Freshman

Nightlife: Some options, gets old fast – At first glance, there are a variety of places to go out at night. Sandbar is popular amongst students, but is really only fun if you're already drunk and looking to grind. There are places to go dancing but it's hard to find a club or bar that doesn't card. Ibiza, the gay bar, is one of the most fun spots downtown (though cover charge is $10 friday nights). If you wash your Xs off you shouldn't have a problem ordering drinks. There are frat party's and house party's every weekend, but you need to know people to hear about which ones are good.

2 College Freshman

Diversity: Not really – They try and play up diversity here, but the truth is, the campus is 80% white. There's not a great deal of diversity--we only recently got a Secular Students Alliance this year, and our PRIDE group is large but not significantly noticeable. It's the south, so most people are Christian, but Wilmington is a lot more liberal than most of North Carolina.

3 College Freshman

Weather: I'll never say the weather down south isn't nice--You can go to the beach almost every month of the year (though true "beach weather" only spans from April to October), and winter doesn't last long. That being said, you can leave for class under clear skies and come out in a torrential downpour. Weather in Wilmington is extremely volatile and you'll definitely need a pair of rainboots and a sturdy umbrella. Watch out for hurricanes early in the semester.

4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Attractive People – Not going to lie, our student body is, as a whole, pretty damn sexy. We draw in the hot surfers with the beach and the future Brad Pitts with Film Studies. Bonus if you're attracted to women; 60% of the students are female, and if you're in the Honors College, it's closer to 75%.

3 College Freshman

Health & Safety: On campus very safe, Off campus not so much – I've never felt threatened on campus, even when I have to walk across campus at night. Downtown is another story. During the day it's a very safe, family-friendly atmosphere, but at night you need to be on your guard. Drunk bar-hoppers are everywhere on friday and saturday nights. I had a guy try to swipe my purse on the street once. Don't walk around alone at night. Also be careful grabbing a late-night snack, especially at Waffle House. That's where the crazies go.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: UNCW has great programs in nursing, business, marine biology and film studies. Big name movies film here occasionally (Iron Man 3 is filming here this summer). The beach, of course, is one of our biggest pulls. The water and weather stay warm well into fall. Our downtown area is small but full of cute hipster shops, good nightlife and the serene riverwalk. Academics are definitely taken seriously, but people have fun. The honors program offers a lot of perks, including priority registration and free tickets to on-campus events like plays. Freshman Housing is nice as long as you don't live in Galloway, but try to get into Tri-House. Overall I'm very happy here, I won't deny there are issues but Wilmington offers a lot of diverse social and academic opportunities.

1 College Sophomore

Transportation: Off-campus students have the WORST parking situation. They don't have enough spots on campus for us, and their bus system never runs on time. It is miserable. But they don't bother telling you that there is no chance of parking on campus, or that it will cost about $300 to park in a parking lot that isn't even in walking distance to campus, if you're off-campus. They just tell you that they have a "great transportation" system. Which is a lie. Orientation RAs lie about a lot of off-campus things; I went twice and one girl explained how she loves living on-campus the first time and then she explained how she loves living off-campus the second time, both times claiming she had never even considered the other. That isn't the point, though. I'm just saying: if you don't mind a crappy bus system, live off-campus but if you do, then maybe consider living on-campus. Though on-campus housing isn't any better than the bus system, so there really is no winning.

2 College Sophomore

Academics: Registration Is Awful – I just went through the registration for the fifth time. It never seems to get any better. They push the idea of certain majors, but then when you decide to be that major you find out that your required prerequisites are only offered once a year, at one possible time, with one possible instructor, and with only 20 seats. This isn't just with some majors, I hear this story from EVERYONE. If you aren't a senior or don't have a disability, you have a miserable time registering. There doesn't seem to be any order to who registers when, since transfer students and freshmen have registered before me this last time. And the time before that, just transfer students. Anyway- Registration is a joke, but when you do get the classes they are normally pretty good and at decent enough times. I have no Friday classes now, and next semester will have no Thursday or Friday classes. See, not that bad in the end.

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: We Have the Beach – As ridiculous as this may sound, one of the reasons a lot of people decide to go to UNCW is it's location. Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Fort Fisher are all about 15 minutes in one direction while Wrightsville Beach is even closer. I don't even like the beach, but this peaceful "beach life" idea makes just about everyone friendly and happy and when they are upset, a quick trip to the beach and they are relaxed and happy again. It is basically like living where you vacation, only with the stress of school.


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UNCW Campus Commons
UNCW Campus Commons
UNCW Campus Commons UNCW Campus Commons This is a picture of a freshman class at the annual Freshman Convocation.
Photo by UNCWilmington2

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Chloe Miller
Cary, NC
English Literature
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

UNCW offers students a unique, one-of-a-kind university experience, with the combination of its state-of-the-art facilities, well-established programs, location, priority of placing students first, and constant growth. The University is quite young compared to other schools, but it's already ranked right up there along with the best public universities. So much expansion, creation, attention, and credibility has been gained since UNCW's start, and more amazing feats and accomplishments are inevitable for the University's future. Small class sizes, expert professors, and large major varieties bring students of all types to campus. With around 13,000 students total at UNCW, it's the perfect size for those interested in a medium-sized school, and it fosters a unique dynamic. Students have the opportunity to meet someone new every day if they want to, but UNCW is small enough where there is a focus on individual student showcase; students don't have to worry about being lost or overshadowed.

UNCW really gives students all of the tools for success through classes, cultural events, networking opportunities, academic programs, and career developmental training, but it's up to the student to take advantage of these offerings. UNCW can be the perfect fit because of this incredible attention and genuine care for students. The size of the University is right, and the inviting, welcoming atmosphere creates a home for students; everyone can be a part of the University and is encouraged to reach for their aspirations. The campus motto is "Dare to Soar," and UNCW actually means it and follows through with this encouragement. A top choice time and time again, UNCW allows students to go above and beyond just learning in the classroom and makes hands-on, realistic experiences possible. The University is a hidden gem, but is growing every day to gain more national acknowledgement. UNCW is a wonderful place of acceptance and growth, both in the campus and its ambitious students.

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