Finances and Financial Aid

Student Finances

Living Expenses
Payment Methods
2013-2014 Expenses
Adjustment of Tuition
Fifty Percent Tuition Surcharge
Direct Deposit of Financial Aid Funds

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Applying for Financial Aid
Priority Deadline
Award Decisions
Types of Need-Based Aid
Eligibility for Need-Based Financial Aid
The Carolina Covenant
Federal Aid Programs
University Scholarships and Grants
Merit Scholarships
Work-Study Employment
Need-Based Loans
Non-Need-Based Loans
Laptop Grants
Questions and Assistance

Student Finances

Living Expenses

Expenses for the 2013–2014 academic year (two semesters) were approximately $23,416.00 for an in-state student and $45,806.00 for an out-of-state student. These expenses are listed separately below.

Tuition and fees are assessed on a semester basis. Billing statements will be available online through the ConnectCarolina Student Center. Students and authorized users will receive a courtesy e-mail notification after statements are available. Students are responsible for accessing their statements online and paying them on time. Any past due charges will result in a hold on registration and transcripts. Students must pay past due balances from prior terms before they will be allowed to register for future semesters. Students registering after the last billing date must either prepay tuition and fees or provide documented eligibility of financial aid to the Office of Student Accounts and University Receivables.

It is extremely important for students to refer to the online Registration Guide, which is produced by the Office of the University Registrar (see especially "Pay your bill" at registrar.unc.edu/registration/registration-guide), prior to each semester or summer session and to follow instructions concerning payment/deferment due dates to avoid registration cancellation.

Payment Methods

Online payment from your checking account: This option is available only through ConnectCarolina. There is currently no transaction fee for the use of this online service. Online payments from your checking account must be drawn from a United States bank. Students can access their account at ConnectCarolina by using their Onyen and password.

By mail or in person: Cash (in person only), money order, check, or cashier's check. All payments must be in United States dollars. Checks and cashier's checks must be drawn on a United States bank. Please note the student's PID on any check or money order.

By MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and Diners Club: Online only through ConnectCarolina. There is a 2.75 percent nonrefundable transaction fee ($3 minimum) for the use of this online service.

By installment plan: Offered through Tuition Management Systems, Inc. (TMS). Eligible expenses are tuition, fees, meal plans, and on-campus housing. The deadline to enroll in the payment plan for the fall semester or the year is July 31, and for the spring-semester-only plan, December 1. To enroll telephone 1-800-722-4867; Web site: www.afford.com/unc.

By financial aid: Deferment is available if the student is receiving verifiable financial aid.

For up-to-date information on payment options, please visit finance.unc.edu/student-accounts-and-university-receivables/student-account-services/payment-options-and-access.html.

Expenses for an undergraduate student for the 2013–2014 academic year included

 

N.C. Resident

Nonresident

Tuition and Fees

$ 7,694.00

$28,446.00

Books and Supplies

$ 1,182.00

$ 1,1182.00

Residence Hall
(average double room rate)

$ 5,630.00

$ 5,630.00

Board

$ 4,104.00

$ 4,104.00

Personal Expenses

$ 1,340.00

$ 1,340.00

Travel

$ 832.00

$ 1,588.00

Health Insurance

$ 1,500.00

$ 1,500.00

For the most updated information, please visit www.studentaid.unc.edu.

Mandatory student fees are detailed on the Web at finance.unc.edu/student-accounts-and-university-receivables/student-account-services/tuition-and-fees.html#about. In addition to these fees, incoming student, special laboratory, and designated program fees also may be charged. The returned check fee is $25, and the late registration fee is $20.

Each student is responsible for payment of his or her University charges. If a third party will be paying the charges, the Office of Student Accounts and University Receivables must receive an authorization from the third party well in advance so that arrangements can be made, if possible, for a separate invoice to be sent to the proper agency or organization in order to ensure timely payment.

Students who are expecting to receive financial aid or scholarship funds should bring with them sufficient funds (cash or travelers' checks) to take care of living expenses for approximately 15 days. This should provide sufficient time for financial aid or scholarship funds to be made available.

The last day to reduce a course load for credit on a student's financial account is two weeks from the first day of classes for each semester. Dropping the only course requires official withdrawal.

In case of withdrawal from the University, tuition and fees will be prorated according to the withdrawal refund calendar posted on finance.unc.edu/university-controller/student-account-services/student-billing.html under "Important Dates." The last date for credit on a student's financial account for withdrawal is nine weeks after the first day of classes for the fall and spring semesters.

Adjustment of Tuition

If a student withdraws from the University tuition and fees will be prorated according to the withdrawal refund schedule posted under "Important Dates" on the Web at finance.unc.edu/university-controller/student-account-services/student-billing.html. If a student drops the only course he or she is taking, this constitutes a withdrawal from the University.

Fifty Percent Tuition Surcharge

As required by Section 9.10 (b), General Statutes 116–143.7 (a), students who take more than 140 degree credit hours to complete a baccalaureate degree in a four-year program or more than 110 percent of the credit hours necessary to complete a baccalaureate degree in any program officially designated by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors as a five-year program, are to be assessed a 50 percent tuition surcharge beginning fall 2010. For further explanation of how the degree credit hours are determined, visit the Web site registrar.unc.edu/registration/registration-guide.

Direct Deposit of Financial Aid Funds

For students who are receiving financial aid in excess of tuition, fee, housing, and meal plan costs, the Office of Student Accounts and University Receivables will deposit excess funds from the account to either a checking or savings account at the student's bank. Students must complete the direct deposit consent through the ConnectCarolina Student Center as soon as possible. It takes seven days to validate the bank account information. Students also must promptly update their direct deposit information if there are any changes to their banking information.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

studentaid.unc.edu

E-mail: aidinfo@unc.edu

The University has a long-standing commitment to ensure that students who earn admission have the opportunity to attend, regardless of financial circumstances. Tuition is well below that of most major universities, and UNC–Chapel Hill maintains a comprehensive program of financial aid. Scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study opportunities are awarded by the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid to help meet the difference between the cost of attendance and the amount a student or family can afford to pay. Students and families are expected to contribute to educational costs to the extent that they are able.

Scholarship and financial aid funds come from federal, state, University, and private sources. Each type of funding comes with a particular set of rules and restrictions; award policies are set by federal and state laws, donor wishes, and guidelines established by the University Committee on Scholarships, Awards, and Student Aid.

Students simply apply for financial aid, as described below, and the University will make the most generous aid offer that a student's eligibility and available resources will allow.

Detailed information on scholarships and student aid can be found at studentaid.unc.edu. Students and parents are also welcome to email aidinfo@unc.edu for questions and guidance.

Applying for Financial Aid

Financial aid funds are limited, and the most helpful types of aid, including University scholarships, campus jobs, and low-interest loans, are awarded first to students who apply on time.

If tax and income figures are not available by the March 1 deadline, make a best estimate. Corrections are allowed at a later date.

To apply for financial aid, students should

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1. UNC's school code is 002974, and the FAFSA is available at fafsa.ed.gov.

  2. Complete the CSS PROFILE by March 1. UNC's school code is 5816, and the Profile is available at student.collegeboard.org/profile.

  3. Monitor their UNC e-mail and regularly log into connectcarolina.unc.edu for updates.

If additional information or documentation is requested, please reply promptly. The earlier applications are completed, the more likely that funding is available. Applying for aid is an annual process, and must be completed prior to each academic year of enrollment.

Priority Deadline

The FAFSA and CSS Profile should be submitted by March 1 each year. Late forms are accepted, but aid is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Entering students should apply for student aid as soon as possible, even before notification of admission. Students must reapply by March 1 each year during their time at Carolina.

Award Decisions

An entering undergraduate student who applies on time can expect to receive an aid decision sometime in April. Returning undergraduate students who meet the March 1 filing date are usually notified in early May. Both entering and returning graduate and professional students are usually informed of aid decisions in May. Students who apply after March 1 will be notified as quickly as resources allow. Awards for late-filing students may not arrive until after the enrollment period has begun.

Types of Need-Based Financial Aid

Financial aid consists of scholarships, grants, and work-study, which do not have to be repaid, and loans, which do. Aid awards will include as much scholarship or grant aid as possible, with remaining need usually met by the offer of a loan, a work-study job, or both. Graduate and professional students will receive loans and/or work to meet any eligibility remaining after awards from individual schools or departments.

Eligibility for Need-Based Financial Aid

To be eligible for financial aid, a student must be enrolled and making satisfactory academic progress in a degree or recognized certificate program. Once all requirements of the degree are met, students may no longer receive financial aid. The student must not be in default on a loan previously received for college expenses nor owe a refund on a scholarship, grant, or loan from an earlier enrollment period. Both resident and nonresident students are eligible for financial aid, though different institutional policies may apply.

The Carolina Covenant

The Carolina Covenant is available to eligible undergraduates whose family income falls at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Covenant Scholars students have the opportunity to graduate from Carolina debt-free through a combination of grants and work-study. Covenant Scholars also have access to faculty and staff mentors, enrichment activities, and other personal support services. No special application is necessary; eligible students will be notified after applying for financial aid. Details are at carolinacovenant.unc.edu.

Federal Aid Programs

Eligibility rules for federal student aid are set by Congress. The formula examines the income and assets of the student and family, the number of persons in the household and the number in college, taxes paid, and other relevant factors. Scholarships and awards from private sources are also considered in determining eligibility for federal funds.

The Federal Pell Grant Program provides assistance to exceptionally needy undergraduate students. A Pell Grant will automatically be included as part of an eligible student's financial aid package.

More detailed information is available at studentaid.ed.gov.

University Scholarships and Grants

Undergraduate students are considered for UNC-funded scholarships and grants, which do not have to be repaid, based on a detailed analysis of family financial circumstances, including home equity, other income, and family assets which may not have been considered in the calculation of federal aid. Institutional scholarship and grant funds are often combined with federal aid to provide a total package of financial aid. 

The University also offers scholarship funding to enroll students with exceptional financial need who are likely to contribute to the intellectual experience and diversity of the undergraduate student body, as well as funds to assist eligible students who are residents of North Carolina and members of an Indian Tribe recognized by the state or the federal government. No separate application is required; students will be considered based on their aid application and UNC–Chapel Hill admissions application.

Merit Scholarships

Each year, the University offers merit scholarships to a select group of entering first-year students. These competitive scholarship programs recognize and encourage academic excellence. Criteria for the University's merit scholarships include academic achievement, leadership qualities, commitment to service, and potential for success at the University. Most of these awards are based entirely on merit; some consider a combination of financial need and academic merit.

Because Carolina is a highly selective university, competition for merit scholarships is strong. Only a very limited number of merit scholarships are awarded each year to entering students. In addition to impressive academic achievements, scholarship winners excel in extracurricular activities and demonstrate strong leadership skills. Selection is based on the information provided in a student's admission application.

There is no separate application for academic scholarships (except for the Morehead-Cain and the Robertson, which are administered by private foundations and can be found at moreheadcain.org and robertsonscholars.org). All admissions applications are screened for merit award candidates, though it is highly recommended that students apply by the first admissions deadline to receive fullest consideration. Merit scholarship finalists will be notified in early January (for early admissions applicants) and late February (for regular deadline applicants).

More information about the University's merit scholarships—including the Johnston, Pogue, Carolina, and Colonel Robinson programs—can be found at scholarsprogram.unc.edu.

Work-Study Employment

A limited number of work-study jobs are available to help exceptionally needy students meet a portion of their University expenses. Most of these jobs are on campus, though there are a small number in local community service agencies. Undergraduate work-study jobs require an average of 10 to 12 hours per week and pay more than the federal minimum wage. Graduate students may be assigned work-study assistantships, with teaching and research responsibilities in their departments or schools. Eligible students can apply for a variety of work-study jobs to match their skills and interests.

Need-Based Loans

The University administers a number of student loan programs, both federal and institutional, which provide low-interest, long-term loans to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who are eligible for aid. Most financial aid packages to undergraduate students include loan offers, and the majority of aid to graduate and professional students is in the form of loans. Repayment of most loans begins six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half time.

Federal Perkins loans can be deferred and/or partially cancelled if the borrower is fulfilling certain categories of public service, such as teaching, military service, or Peace Corps volunteer. Visit studentaid.unc.edu to learn more about Perkins Loans.

After a student applies for aid, the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid determines which type of loan is most appropriate based on student need and the funds available. More information on loan programs can be found at studentaid.unc.edu/types-of-aid/loans.

Non-Need-Based Loans

Students not eligible for need-based aid, or requiring funds beyond available aid, may apply for non-need-based federal loans. Unlike need-based loans, these programs carry higher interest rates, and interest is generally not deferred. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available, subject to certain borrowing limits. Overall loan limits for dependent undergraduate students from Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct Subsidized Loans are $5,500 for first-year students, $6,500 for sophomores, and $7,500 for juniors, seniors, and fifth-year students. Independent undergraduate students may borrow up to $9,500 for the first year, $10,500 for the second year, and $12,500 for the third and subsequent years. Graduate and professional students may receive up to $20,500 per year. Federal Direct Unsubsidized and Subsidized Loans have an origination fee of 1.072 percent, deducted from each loan disbursement. Those interested in Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans should contact the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid.

Parents of undergraduate students who do not receive need-based aid, or who need additional assistance, may apply for Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans. The interest rate on Parent PLUS Loans is 6.41 percent; an origination fee of 4.288 percent is charged. Repayment begins within 60 days after the last disbursement of the loan. More information is at studentloans.gov.

Laptop Grants

All Carolina students are required to have a laptop computer. The University offers grants to cover the cost for qualifying first-year students who apply for financial aid. Students will receive these grants as part of their University financial aid package in the form of credit at Student Stores, which sells a variety of UNC-approved computers.

Questions and Assistance

Financial aid counselors are available to assist in applying and can answer any questions about UNC–Chapel Hill's programs. Visit studentaid.unc.edu or e-mail aidinfo@unc.edu to get in touch.