Graduate Students

Applying for Financial Aid

Graduate and professional students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.

The form is available at, and the UNC code is 002974. Be sure to select the appropriate academic year when you are applying.

Cost of Attendance

The University’s official cost of attendance serves as the basis for your financial aid. Individual student expenses will vary, but our office relies on standard cost-of-attendance calculations. UNC Graduate School  |  UNC School of Law  |  UNC School of Medicine  |  Kenan-Flagler MBAMACExecutive MBA & Online MBA.

For information about additional budget costs for a particular academic department, contact our staff located in the particular department.

Types of Aid Available

Grants and Scholarships

Graduate and professional students do not qualify for the Federal and State grants that are available to undergraduate students. In some cases, graduate and professional students might qualify for awards through their department or school. Contact your individual program for more information.

For information about scholarship opportunities, graduate and professional students may wish to check with specific academic departments and also research funding opportunities through UNC’s Funding Information Portal.


The most common form of aid for graduate and professional students is the federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan.  The FAFSA will be used to determine your eligibility for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan, which is awarded at a maximum of $20,500 per academic year. (Certain health professions programs have a higher annual maximum limit for Direct Unsubsidized Loans.)

If your cost of attendance is not covered by the annual maximum amount of Direct Unsubsidized Loan, you may also apply for a Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. Since the loan is based on credit history, you must complete the PLUS Request through


Interest is charged for both Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS Loans while students are enrolled. The interest rate is determined by the loan type and the disbursement date. Visit the Federal Student Aid website for the more current information on interest rate and payment terms.

Private student loans are also available.  They are provided by a variety of banking institutions and lending organizations.  The terms, conditions, and rates are determined by the banks and lenders, and they may differ considerably.

Viewing and Accepting Aid

Graduate and Professional students will be notified of eligibility for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the status of additional loan requests through the ConnectCarolina Student Center. Login into ConnectCarolina to view your financial aid award.

Before accepting any loans, carefully consider the overall amount of debt required to attend a particular program. Consider how an investment in graduate or professional school aligns with your long-term personal and career goals. Your comfort level with student debt will depend on your personal circumstances, your post-graduate plans, expected earnings, and other variables. Make those considerations before you borrow.

Loan Repayment

Terms and conditions of your loan repayment are determined by the loan type, amount, and the repayment plan you choose. You can review the Federal Loan repayment plans as well as estimate your monthly payments on the Federal Student Aid website.

Generally, federal loans begin repayment 6 months from:

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

Check with your loan servicer for information about payment deferments or loan cancellations available for your loan. You can log into “financial aid review” on the National Student Loan Data System website using your FAFSA ID and password to view your outstanding Federal student loans and the loan servicer(s) who hold them.

You can also download brief presentations that cover general information about loan repayment and managing student loans.

Student Loan Basics (ppt)  |  Loan Interest (ppt)  |  Repayment Options (ppt)  |  Public Service Loan Forgiveness (ppt)

Contact us

If you can’t find an answer on our website or your ConnectCarolina Student Center, feel free to contact our program-specific graduate and professional aid offices:

(919) 962-8396 

(919) 962-5919 

MD Program: (919) 962-6118 

Allied Health: (919) 966-4708

(919) 962-9096

(919) 962-0135