The Office of Student Financial Aid administers several federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs available to graduate students at UNC Charlotte who complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA helps US Citizens and eligible non-citizens gain access to gift aid (repayment not required) such as grants, or self-help aid (direct repayment or service required), like loans and Federal Work Study awards. For assistance with the FAFSA, or your financial aid search, please visit the Office of Student Financial Aid in Reese 122, or visit their website.
Applying for federal and state aid
The FAFSA can be completed from the Office of Student Financial Aid website, or directly via the Federal Student Aid website. The federal school code for UNC Charlotte is 002975. To be eligible for federal financial aid (loans), or to defer payment on existing loans, a graduate student must be enrolled in 5 credit hours or more.
After you file your FAFSA, you may also need to apply for a Graduate PLUS loan. It requires a credit check, but if approved, you may borrow up to the cost of attendance, minus other aid you have received.
Per federal guidelines, any amount of tuition, room, board, or other Cost of Attendance item that is paid for you by the University, will reduce the amount of money you can borrow on a federal student loan.
IMPORTANT: once you have completed all courses required for the degree, you will not be eligible for Federal financial aid. By law, it pays for degree requirements and no additional hours.
The Office of Student Financial Aid must receive your completed FAFSA by March 1 for grant assistance consideration for the following academic year, although the FAFSA may be submitted as early as October 1st for the following year. For loan assistance, there is no deadline, provided that the FAFSA is received by the Financial Aid Office to allow sufficient processing time prior to the end of the academic year (usually three to four weeks).
Tuition Assistance Grants
The Tuition Assistance Grant administered by the Graduate School on behalf of the Office of FInancial Aid and is available to graduate students. It provides up to $3,000 in grant assistance to students demonstrating financial need regardless of state residency. Eligible students are awarded these grants until funds are exhausted.
North Carolina Teaching Fellows
UNC Charlotte is among five North Carolina schools selected as partner institutions for a new initiative aimed at supporting students preparing for a teaching career in the fields of science, technology, engineering, math or special education. The North Carolina Teaching Fellows program was established to recruit, prepare and support students attending North Carolina's top education programs for preparation as highly effective STEM or special education teachers in the state's public schools. Basic criteria is listed below and we encourage prospective applicants to work with the Graduate Program Director in the College of Education when applying. For additional program information, visit the North Carolina Teaching Fellows website.
- Special Education - Adapted and General - Initial Licensure (graduate certificate)
- Middle/Secondary Math and Science - Initial Licensure (graduate certificate)
- Selected applicants may receive $8,250 a year for up to four years
- Forgivable loan if the recipient is committed to teaching special education or a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) field in a North Carolina public school for a required period of time.
Forgivable Education Loans for Service (FELS)
The Forgivable Education Loans for Service Program was established by the North Carolina Assembly to provide assistance to qualified students who are committed to working in North Carolina in designated critical employment shortage professions. For information on deadlines, eligibility, value, and application procedure, please visit the CFNC website.
Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments while working full-time for an eligible not-for-profit organization. Most non-profit colleges and universities should qualify.
Graduate students may borrow up to the Cost of Attendance annually from the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program. Only Unsubsidized Stafford loans are available to graduate students. "Unsubsidized" means that interest will begin to accrue on the loan once it is disbursed to the student's account. Students have the option of either paying the interest while enrolled in school at least half-time (5+ hours for graduate students) or having the interest added to the loan principal. Loan repayment begins nine months after the student graduates or ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.
In addition to Stafford Loans, graduate students may borrow funds through the Federal Graduate PLUS loan program. Each student's maximum loan amount (combining all loan sources) is limited to the student's total Cost of Attendance minus any other aid received. More detailed information on the Cost of Attendance can be found on the Office of Student Financial Aid website.
Loans are also available for domestic and international students through private lenders. Please visit the Financial Aid website to find answers to FAQ's including where to find a private loan.
Options for International Students
International students are not eligible for Federal financial aid, however, there are lenders that provide loans to students to attend school in the U.S. This website lists some reputable lenders; UNC Charlotte does not endorse these companies but would like to provide the information for students to do their research and due diligence before accepting any financial aid.
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