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Financial Aid


Many times this can be a tricky part of the college application process. Please do not worry! We have all the information you need right here!!


North Carolina and the Federal Government provide many financial aid programs.


North Carolina provides:


  • The Education Lottery Scholarship which is only for public colleges/universities (only for NC residents).
  • The University of North Carolina Need-Based Grant - only for UNC System schools (only for NC residents). This grant can run out of funds quickly which is why it is critical to meet ALL deadlines.
  • The NC Community College Grant which is only for Community Colleges.
  • NC Need-Based Scholarship - for students attending private institutions
  • NC Forgiveable Educational Loans for Service - only if you are planning on nursing, medicine, allied health or teaching. Go to for more information. Funding comes from the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA).
  • NC Reach - Child welfare postsecondary support program for students who live in foster care.
  • Institutional Grants - Universities/colleges may have grants available for their students. This is subject to universities chosen parameters and changes on a yearly basis due to criteria/funding. An example of this is the tuition assistance grant at UNC Charlotte.


The Federal Government provides:


  • Federal Work Study - opportunity to work on campus (similar to a part time job). Your salary typically does not come off your direct tuition/room & board charges, but all colleges vary how they disburse funding/salary. It is your responsibility to apply this salary towards your cost of attendance/loans. You must qualify for federal work study via the FAFSA, have been awarded and accepted it.
  • Federal Perkins Loan - Low interest loans, plus the opportunity for loan forgiveness if you teach in a low income school. For more info go to (this funding is currently not available, and may be phased out, keep checking for updates)
  • William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans - this includes the subsidized and unsubsidized stafford loan, direct parent plus loan and gradplus. If a parent is denied the parent plus loan then the student is automatically offered an additional $4,000 unsubsidized loan for their freshman year. If you are a first time loan borrower, after you have applied and been accepted you must complete the Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note at:
  • TEACH Grant - Turns into a direct unsubsidized loan if you do not meet the service requirement (pursuing teaching in your major of study). Provides $4,000 a year for students who plan to teach in a high-need field. Must complete 4 years teaching in the course of study for which you received the grant. For more information go to:




  • Alternative Loans - Alternative loans are private education loans in the student's name that help bridge the gap between the actual cost of your education and the amount the government allows you to borrow in its programs. Students will need to apply directly with the lender of their choice. Most students will be required to have someone co-sign the loan application. Interest rates for loans are determined by the lender. Online resource:
  • Payment Plans - Some colleges offer payment plans. For example, UNC Charlotte offers a semester payment plan in which students can divide their tuition, housing, dining, etc. into 3 smaller payments. This amount is calculated after all accepted financial aid has been applied.


**The key to receiving financial aid - all forms/applications MUST be turned in ON TIME**


To potentially qualify for any of the above programs you must fill out the

Free Application for Federal Student Aid!

Please use this excellent tool to help you with understanding the different types of aid offered by the Federal Government. It will also tell you about who gets aid, applying for aid, and managing loans.



student aid website



Many colleges will not consider you for their school based scholarships if you do not fill out the FAFSA. This is the most critical piece of the puzzle when you look at how much money the college/university is willing to award you. You MUST fill out the FAFSA!



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The first step to finding out what financial aid you are eligible for is filling out the FAFSA. This is VERY important to begin the process of seeing what financial aid you are eligible for.


Phone number for FAFSA or PIN help: 1.800.4.FED.AID (1-800-433-3243)


The following colleges are included in the Affordable College Education Act in NC:


Elizabeth City State University


Western Carolina University

In 2018 tuition will be $1,000 per year.

 Please click here to read about the Access to Affordable College Education Act



Common Financial Aid Questions:

How do I pay for college?

What is federal student aid?

What about state financial aid?

Financial Aid Checklist

How do I contact FAFSA?

Financial Aid Informational Links:








Financial Aid Calculators:



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Avoid Financial Aid Fraud:

Warning Signs:

- Many Students are unaware of free informational resources
- Often student pays for help or for "guaranteed" aid before asking a knowledgeable adult for advice
- Please use this link to make sure you are not being scammed!

Common Fraud Complaints:

- Paying for guaranteed aid and not receiving anything
- Paying for help to find aid
- Paying to file the FAFSA



Great websites to help you out through this process!


Student Financial Aid for North Carolinians:

Financial aid Administrator:

Financial Literacy:

NC 529 College Savings Plan: (Direct Federal Loan Programs:

FAFSA on the Web:

FAFSA on the Web Demo:

FAFSA on the Web Worksheet:

FAFSA Tutorial: - Very helpful website!

Veterans and Dependents Benefits:

Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) 1-800-4-FED-AID



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Tax Information for Students



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College Planning Information