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By March 1, undergraduate students should complete both:
- The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – Available at fafsa.gov, this form is used to determine federal aid eligibility. UNC code is 002974.
- The CSS/PROFILE – Available at student.collegeboard.org/profile, this form is used for University scholarships and grants. UNC code is 5816.
Both forms should be submitted by March 1, but early applications are strongly encouraged. Applications are available beginning in October, and you don’t have to wait for admission before applying for aid. Late applications are accepted, but the sooner you apply, the better.
To complete your federal aid forms, you’ll need to create an FSA ID — the digital signature that allows you to access and sign federal documents. Use this form to keep track of your FSA ID records. You’ll need them in future years.
You will be notified by e-mail if we need more information, and your aid will be confirmed after you’ve submitted the requested documents.
Graduate and Professional Students
Only one application is required for graduate and professional students:
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – This is the federal form used nationally by all schools. The form is available at fafsa.gov, and the UNC code is 002974.
This form should be submitted on or before March 1st. Late applications are accepted, but the sooner you apply, the more aid is likely available.
Once your application is submitted, financial aid eligibility will be determined. In rare circumstances, additional information will be requested from you prior to determining eligibility.
Annual Process — Apply Every Year
Returning students must reapply by March 1 each year. Late applications are accepted, but the sooner you apply, the better.
Applications forms — the FAFSA and the CSS PROFILE — are available in October.
Award Notification – Notifications about aid awards will begin in March and continue through the spring. After you apply, visit your ConnectCarolina to check your application status. Once an award is posted, an email will be sent to your UNC e-mail account.
Additional Documentation – Sometimes, we need more information to calculate your financial aid. We’ll e-mail a request to your UNC e-mail address, so monitor your UNC account closely. The sooner we get documents from you, the sooner we can finalize your aid.
Aid Application Process Information and Advice
- If you are new to the University, do not wait for a final admission decision to complete your application. The FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE forms are typically available online January 1 for the upcoming academic year. You may complete the forms as soon as they are available whether or not you have received your UNC admission decision. Award eligibility will then be determined once you are admitted.
- All awards will initially be made on the assumption that you will enroll full-time for both the fall and spring semesters. If you will not be full-time, please notify our office and your awards will be adjusted.
- You must reapply for financial aid each year and prior to March 1st. The application process is annual. If your income or family circumstances change from year-to-year, then your financial aid will also change from year-to-year. If your circumstances do not change dramatically, then eligibility should also not change dramatically. But, the application process is annual, is based on available budgets, and is evaluated based on the environment in any given year.