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Grad/Professional FAQ

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  1. How do I apply for financial aid?
  2. What types of financial aid are available to graduate/professional students?
  3. Are Federal or State grants available to graduate/professional students?
  4. Do I need to apply for aid each year?
  5. I’m an international student, am I eligible for financial aid?
  6. Do you offer scholarships to graduate/professional students?
  7. If I receive a non-service award through the Graduate Program or my department, will that impact my federal loans?
  8. When do I have to repay my loans?
  9. Where can I get more information about my financial aid award?
  10. What are my Rights and Responsibilities as a financial aid recipient?
  11. My question isn’t covered!

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1. How do I apply for financial aid?

Graduate/professional students apply for financial aid by completing the FAFSA. In rare cases, you may be asked to provide additional information or documentation.

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2. What types of financial aid are available to graduate/professional students?

The primary type of financial aid available to graduate/professional students is the Unsubsidized Direct Loan. Also, students might borrow through the Grad PLUS program, if necessary, to fund the cost of education. Please see the Types of Aid section of this site for a description of these loan programs.

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3. Are Federal or State grants available to graduate/professional students?
Unfortunately, graduate/professional students do not qualify for the Federal and State grants that are available to undergraduate students. In some cases, graduate/professional students might qualify for awards through their department or school.

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4. Do I need to apply for aid each year?
Yes, you must complete the financial aid application every year at Carolina.

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5. I’m an international student, am I eligible for financial aid?
Only Permanent Residents or citizens of the United States are eligible for need-based federal and institutional funds. Follow the instructions on the FAFSA website to determine your eligibility status.

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6.  Do you offer scholarships to graduate/professional students?
Unfortunately, graduate/professional students typically do not qualify for most scholarships offered to undergraduate students. In some cases, graduate/professional students might qualify for awards through their department or school.

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7. If I receive a non-service award through the Graduate Program or my department, will that impact my federal loans?
Non-service awards are a form of financial aid and must be incorporated into your loan awards. The office will determine whether these will impact your loans once we are made aware of the award by your department or the Graduate School.

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8.  When do I have to repay my loans?
Federal Perkins and federal Subsidized Direct Loans have a grace period of 9 and 6 months, respectively, from:

  • the date of your graduation, OR
  • the date you drop below half-time enrollment, OR
  • the date you withdraw from school.

Before it is time to start repayment, you should receive a repayment schedule disclosure from your lender that tells you the total amount borrowed, current interest rates, due dates for payments, and total you will pay over the life of the loan if you follow the schedule. You can estimate your monthly repayment amounts using loan repayment calculators on the web. CFNC, FinAid.org, and StudentLoans.gov are among some of the sites offering calculators. Be sure to check with your lender for the various types of payment deferments and loan cancellations available for your particular type of loan.

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9. Where can I get more information about my financial aid award?
You can review your Information About Your Financial Aid Award document in the Forms section of this website.  Be sure to select the appropriate Aid Year.

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10. What are my Rights and Responsibilities as a financial aid recipient?
Your Rights:

  • To have all of your records and data treated confidentially.
  • To be given courteous and considerate treatment, as well as dignity and respect.
  • To have access to information about priority deadlines and forms needed to apply for aid and to information about the terms and conditions of financial aid programs, including loans.
  • To be informed of the type and amount of your assistance, how much of your need has been met, and how and when you will be paid.
  • To receive an explanation on how decisions on financial aid eligibility are made, the basis of these decisions, and the procedures for a reconsideration if it is believed that a mistake has been made or if circumstances have changed.
  • To view the contents of your financial aid file, in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Your Responsibilities:

  • To be courteous and considerate when communicating with the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid (OSSA).
  • To submit applications correctly and before the deadline.
  • To read and understand all materials sent to you from OSSA and other financial aid agencies or provided on the SFA website.
  • To provide all documentation and information requested by OSSA.
  • To read the provided information about the terms and conditions of awarded aid and to comply with those provisions.
  • To perform, in a satisfactory manner, the work that is agreed upon in a Federal Work-Study job.
  • To notify OSSA of any and all outside scholarships or resources not listed on your award notification.
  • To use financial aid only for expenses related to attending UNC.

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11.  My question isn’t covered!
If you can’t find an answer on our website or at your ConnectCarolina Student Center, contact us by email at aidinfo@unc.edu, at (919) 962-8396, or in person at 111 Pettigrew Hall.Email is your best bet; we’ll usually get back to you within a few business days. Especially during peak times (February through September), you may have a lengthy wait by phone or in person.

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