Costs and Paying

Costs and Paying

Understanding Expenses

The following questions can help you to understand what to expect when it comes to paying for your child's education.

To award financial aid we use a cost of attendance budget that is based on average student expenses that could be incurred while attending UNC Chapel Hill. It is important to note, that the cashier’s office handles billing of actual expenses. You can find tuition and fee rates on their website.

Your student will only be billed for direct expenses, which includes, tuition and fees, on-campus housing, on-campus meal plans, books billed directly through the student store, and university health insurance (if they are not covered under another plan). We recommend using our budgeting calculator to determine if your student will owe a bill after their financial aid offer, or if they will receive a refund.

Review the Cashier’s website for important information on billing, information for your student on creating proxy access to their account for you, and information on setting up payment plans. Please note that your bill for the fall semester will be available in ConnectCarolina on July 15 with a due date of August 15.

If your student has a remaining balance you cannot pay in full, you may choose to borrow an additional loan or enroll in the payment plan with the University Cashier’s office. Visit the cashier’s website to learn about all payment options.

If your student has remaining student loan eligibility, they may request an additional unsubsidized loan. If aid still does not cover the full cost of attendance, you may also choose to pursue a federal Parent PLUS Loan or help your student obtain a private loan from a private lender (Private loans are based on credit history and many require co-signers.)

As a parent you can begin to apply for the Parent PLUS loan the April before they will begin school for the upcoming year. For example, the 2023-2024 Parent PLUS loan application will become available April 2023.

UNC-Chapel Hill is committed to meeting the demonstrated financial need of students.

To determine financial need, we first calculate your need using this process:

cost of attendance minus estimated family contribution equals financial need

We work to meet the demonstrated financial need for first-degree, full-time students with aid in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study from federal, state and University sources.

We use the CSS Profile to determine eligibility for University grants. If your student’s CSS Profile application does not show financial need, they will not be able to receive University grants, but will be eligible for federal or state grants, along with loans and work-study, toward demonstrated federal need.

For students seeking aid who do not have demonstrated financial need, we do automatically offer unsubsidized loan eligibility, though their total amount of aid from all sources cannot exceed the cost of attendance budget.

If you have demonstrated financial need and your student still needs help financing their education, they may request additional unsubsidized loan funds or parent loans, as long as the total amount is still within cost of attendance budget.

The Parent PLUS loan is a loan serviced by the Department of Education that a parent can borrow to help their student with additional cost of attendance expenses that their aid doesn’t cover. The Parent PLUS Loan is based on the parent borrower’s credit, and the application has a credit check component. You can watch a video about this loan, or read more about the program. When you decide you are ready you can apply on the Federal Student Aid website.