Academic Scholarship


Academic Scholarship

Sometimes referred to as merit aid, but known as an academic scholarship at Carolina. Aid that is awarded to a student based upon their accomplishments or characteristics during a holistic review of the admissions application. Criteria can include some of the following, such as GPA, SAT score, ACT score, community service, leadership, entrepreneurship etc.

Academic Year

Period of enrollment that covers fall, spring and summer. For example, the academic year 2022-2023 includes fall 2022, spring 2023, and summer session I and II 2023 terms.

Aid Year

Shorthand used to describe an academic year for processing purposes in Connect Carolina. Aid year 2019 refers to Academic year 2018-2019 (Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Summer 2019). Aid Year 2020 refers to Academic year 2019-2020 (Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Summer 2020). Aid year 2021 refers to Academic year 2020-2021 (Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Summer 2021).

Carolina Covenant

A packaging policy awarding eligible students with grant and work study to meet full need. Also includes academic programming and interventions. You can read more about the Carolina Covenant here.

Cost of Attendance (COA)

COA stands for Cost of Attendance; serves as a student’s budget, including tuition, fees, room, board, etc. Total of all aid cannot be greater than COA.

CSS Profile

A separate application for financial aid found on the College Board website; UNC uses this form to evaluate a student for university-based funds, including the CCI laptop grant and University Grant


A student who is dependent upon their parents for financial aid purposes; must include parental information on FAFSA, CSS PROFILE, and any other financial aid documents. Rules for dependency can be found here.

Direct PLUS Loan

Federal loans that graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students use to help pay for education expenses.


When your financial aid is sent to your student account (paying toward your university billed charges) at the Cashier’s Office.


Expected Family Contribution; can be considered a measure of your family’s financial strength. Is determined by the FAFSA each year.