General Info FAQ
Cost of attendance information is updated yearly and is available here.
Direct charges to the university include:
- tuition and fees
- room and board (for students who live on campus and have a meal plan)
- parking pass (for students with cars on campus)
- health insurance (unless students opt out by providing proof of coverage)
- ID fee
All financial aid awarded, including federal student loans and parent PLUS Loans, is based on information from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).File the FAFSA on-line, www.fafsa.gov, using tax return and asset information.
- A FAFSA worksheet may be printed from the FAFSA website to help organize information for the FAFSA. High school counselors and college financial aid offices usually have paper copies of the FAFSA worksheet as well.
- UNCW does not require the College Profile form.
The easiest way to sign the FAFSA is to apply for a federal Personal Identification Number (PIN).You may apply for a PIN number via the PIN website (www.pin.ed.gov). The student and the dependent student’s parent must sign the FAFSA. Separate PINs are required for the parent and student.
You may call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) to request a paper FAFSA.
The federal government requires parent tax information on the FAFSA unless students meet specific criteria that establish independent status. The most common reasons students are considered independent are:
- Age 24
- Working on a master’s or doctorate degree
- Active duty military
- Veteran of the U.S. Armed Services
- Have children who receive more than half their support from the student during the school year
No.Unless students meet at least one of the FAFSA criteria that establish independent status, parent information must be included.
Contact the Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid (OSFA) to discuss the situation.
While we encourage students to file by March 15, if possible, UNCW has no deadline. Some financial aid is limited, so filing early means there is a better chance to receive some limited funding. Students who wish to have financial aid in place in time to pay bills in August should have the FAFSA completed and requested documentation submitted to our office by May 1.
With a reasonable idea of income, the FAFSA may be filed using estimated income information.
No.Investments do not include the value of the home in which you live, your car, the value of life insurance, retirement plans, pension funds, annuities, non-education IRAs, Keogh plans, etc., or cash, savings and checking already reported.
EFC stands for “Expected Family Contribution.”After the FAFSA is processed using the federal methodology formula, an EFC number is calculated.This is the amount a family could be expected to have available to contribute toward the student’s education. This is not an amount of money you are expected to pay to the school. EFC ranks the FAFSA in order of “need.”(A student with a large EFC may not be eligible for need-based financial aid.Students with a low EFC may qualify for more need-based financial aid, including federal and state aid.)
The State of North Carolina automatically reviews all FAFSA information for state grant eligibility and notifies UNCW.
The FAFSA is the only application required for financial aid at UNCW.We do not require the College Profile. If additional information is needed, we contact students with specific requests. Do not send tax returns, W-2s, etc., to our office unless we ask for them.
For dependent students, parent PLUS Loans are available to help with educational expenses, up to the cost of attendance.Parents may apply for a parent PLUS loan, on-line at www.studentloans.gov. Dependent students, whose parents are denied the PLUS Loan, may be eligible for additional federal unsubsidized student loan funds.Parents must apply for the PLUS Loan and be denied for the student to become eligible for additional student loan funds.Contact the OSFA for specific information. Non-federal loans may be an option as well.Please review our Loan Information page for a list of preferred non-federal lenders.
Federal Pell Grants are awarded based on federal eligibility requirements and students’ FAFSA information.
Students whose EFC is out of Pell Grant range do not qualify.
Students who already have a bachelor’s degree are not eligible for Pell Grants.
Graduate students are not eligible for Pell Grants.
Teacher Certification students are not eligible for Pell Grants.
Students may not receive Pell Grant for more than the equivalent of 6 years as a full time student, or 600%.
Effective with the 2012-13 award year, students may only utilize the Pell Grant for the equivalent of 6 years as a full time student. Federal SEOG eligibility is tied to the Pell Grant eligibility, therefore if a student is no longer eligible for Pell Grant funds due to the 600% lifetime eligibility usage (LEU), there will be no SEOG funding.
If you are nearing the 600% LEU, you may be eligible for limited Pell Grant Funds during the academic year until the full amount is utilized. To review your remaining eligibility, and prior Pell Grant lifetime usage, visit www.nslds.ed.gov or contact your financial aid counselor.
Yes. Pell Grants pay to students’ accounts based on their enrollment status. Students who are enrolled full-time will receive the entire amount of their Pell award.At UNCW, enrolling in 12 or more credit hours is considered full-time. Students who are enrolled for 9.00 hours are considered ¾ time and receive 75% of their Pell award. Half-time 50%, etc.
UNCW has limited merit scholarship funds.Many students who may qualify for a merit scholarship are not awarded due to a lack of funds. Students who apply for merit-based aid should check with the awarding departments to determine the status of their applications.
Have you been admitted to UNCW? FAFSA information is brought into our system and aid packaged for students who have been admitted. We do not package aid for students who are not yet admitted.
Has it been longer than three weeks since you completed the FAFSA?If it has, go back to the FAFSA website, www.fafsa.gov to check the status of your FAFSA.
- Make sure the student and parent (if required) have signed the FAFSA.
- Make certain UNCW's federal school code (002984) is included on the FAFSA.
- Verify that the student’s Social Security Number and Date of Birth are correct on the FAFSA.
- Be sure the student's Social Security Number is on file with UNCW.
Contact the OSFA to follow up.We can check the Central Processor’s website, if necessary, to determine the status of the FAFSA.
While the admissions application does not require a Social Security Number, it is used to match FAFSA information.Contact the Admissions Office to update the system if your SSN is not on file.
Every year, at least one-third of FAFSAs received by our school are selected for verification. During verification, we are required to compare information on the FAFSA against student and parent tax and asset information. Students selected for verification are asked to submit a completed verification worksheet (either dependent or independent), available on the UNCW Financial Aid website, in "Forms," and an IRS Tax Return Transcript, available through the IRS website, In place of the IRS Tax Return Transcript, students and/or parents may elect to go back to the FAFSA website and select the "IRS Data Retrieval" option. Tax information downloads to the student's FAFSA and updated information is available to us, electronically, for verification.
During our busiest time of year, it may take up to six weeks for verification to be completed.Please respond to request for information in a timely and complete manner.
Contact the OFSA and speak with a financial aid counselor. We can provide anestimate of anticipated financial aid, based on your EFC and your residency status. Normally, OSFA does not have early information related to merit scholarship awards.
Log into Seanet to check the status of your aid and determine whether there are outstanding requirements to be met.
- Is packaging complete?
- If verification is in process, have requested documents been submitted?
- Have classes begun?
- Are you enrolled at least half-time?
- Has aid been accepted?
- Have Master Promissory Notes been signed? (Visit the OSFA website for the link.)
- Has a Loan Entrance Counseling Session been completed? (Visit the OSFA website for the counseling link.)
- Are you making Satisfactory Academic Progress?
Contact the OSFA if all requirements have been met and aid still has not disbursed.
UNCW financial aid does not allow students to purchase textbooks and charge their UNCW accounts. Students should be prepared to purchase textbooks with personal funds in case financial aid refunds are delayed. Financial aid refunds are not available before the first week of classes each term.
Yes.The financial aid cost-of-attendance budget includes a room and board allowance. The room and board allowance is the same for students, whether they live on- or off-campus.
- Completed financial aid credits to student accounts to take care of university charges.
- Anything left is refunded to the student. Students may use refunds to pay rent and living expenses off-campus.
- Financial aid refunds are not available to students before classes begin each semester.Plan accordingly.
Financial aid is awarded with the expectation that students will complete the semester for which aid was awarded.Students who are considering dropping classes, or withdrawing from UNCW, should contact the OSFA to discuss the matter.Some students may be required to return aid already disbursed to their accounts. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and federal student loan repayment may become issues, as well.
See our Contact page.