From an email response I solicited from Laurie Paul at Chapel Hill (I received her reply on Mar 25):
<<I am sorry that we can’t give you any more information at this time. At this point, we have made offers and constructed a waitlist, but we have not sent out rejections because we have not made final determinations about the applicant pool. As soon as our entering class is filled we will process rejections. I am sorry I can’t tell you anything more about your personal situation. I know this is a stressful period and UNC will be in touch as soon as it is possible to give you more information.
However, if it helps to have more explanation, I am reproducing a comment here that I made in an online forum about admissions last year:
"I am UNC’s Director of Admissions. I am aware that applicants would like more information, and I understand that this is a stressful time. However, I believe that, in UNC’s case, sending out rejection notices before the start of April is not in the best interest of the applicant or the Department. This is why we have not sent out rejection notices yet.
Let me explain: UNC does not have a “secret waitlist”, or anything resembling such. Rather, we have found that, on occasion, as our list of who is considering our offer of admission evolves after the campus visit (as prospective students with offers begin to make decisions), we need to revisit our waitlist. (We retain extensive notes on candidates at every round of the process.) In particular, we may revisit our waitlist because we are looking to have an entering class that is intellectually diverse, and as the season progresses and people start to make decisions, that diversity can be imperiled.
The reason we have not sent out mass rejections is that occasionally, when candidates who failed to make it past an early round are reassessed when we revisit the waitlist, a candidate is subsequently brought forward and officially waitlisted or admitted. If we rejected applicants early in the way that some people apparently think we should, we could not do this. (Rejecting candidates entails that we officially process them for rejection through the Graduate School.)
Candidates who have not been offered admission at this time from UNC can infer that their chances of admission are not high. Yet, they are not non-existent, and as soon as we can give candidates further information, we will. (We expect to begin sending rejections at the start of April. However, we are waiting on our current prospectives to make decisions, and so there is only so much we can do. We are doing the best we can, and we urge all prospectives to make decisions in a timely manner.)
My assumption has been that candidates prefer a small chance of admission to a zero chance of admission. (If they don’t, they have the power to change the situation. They can withdraw themselves from consideration.) It would be much easier to rush through the process and to send mass rejections early. But this is not in the best interests of the applicants or the Department. It is not appropriate for me to give further information about the internal workings of the admissions process, but I hope this explanation helps our applicants to understand why we have not been prompt in sending rejection notices. I am sorry that the process is drawn out and difficult, and for the anxiety this causes.”
I wish you the best in this admissions season.>>
Still not rejected or officially waitlisted, so I guess I'm waiting until the bitter end, since UNC is one of my dream programs. That said, definitely not holding my breath for a UNC offer.