< To Afford

How to Apply for Aid

Be an early bird.

You know the old saying: The early bird gets the $18,000. That’s roughly the average financial aid package at UNC, and about 47% of our students do receive financial aid. For 2011-2012, the average one-year package for a resident undergraduate student was $15,179 and $28,444 for a non-resident. The overall average was $17,911.

The early part is important because the most beneficial forms of financial aid – including University scholarships, campus jobs, and low-interest loans – are awarded first to students who complete the required documents accurately and submit them on time.

To apply for aid, you have to submit the following forms before March 1: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile.

What is the FAFSA? The FAFSA collects information about the financial circumstances of your family to determine eligibility for federal aid programs. When you complete the FAFSA, you’ll automatically be considered for Federal Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Work-Study Program jobs, and Federal Perkins and Stafford Loans. You can obtain the FAFSA from your high school counselor, from the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid and online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. There’s no fee for processing the FAFSA. The Title IV Code Number to enter is 002974.

What is the CSS PROFILE? The CSS Profile collects additional information about you and your family’s financial circumstances to help the University award institutionally based funding in the form of need-based scholarships and grants. Many questions on the CSS PROFILE are also included on the FAFSA, but the extra info here helps us see if you meet special requirements for these institutionally based funds. The CSS Profile is available online at profileonline.collegeboard.com. You’ll need the UNC-Chapel Hill Code Number which is 5816.

How will I be notified? After completing the FAFSA and PROFILE, you’ll be provided with a financial aid award package or a preliminary award estimate. If income tax information is required from you, a preliminary award will be provided based on the information submitted in your application. Once you provide your income tax information, the award package will then be finalized. In most cases, you’ll provide your income tax information through the IRS match as described on your FAFSA.

Nice thing to note: You don’t have to submit any additional application to be considered for merit-based scholarships. We’ll use the information in your admissions application to nominate you for merit-based scholarships and other opportunities.

For more information, please contact the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid.


Student reads in tree root nook on UNC campus
View from the Pit near the Student Union at UNC Chapel Hill