How to Pay for UNC Chapel Hill: Aid and Student Loan Options

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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, also known as UNC Chapel Hill, is a prestigious school with a lengthy history. Founded in 1789, it was among the first public universities in the nation. It’s long since gained a reputation for its rigorous academic program. In fact, U.S. News ranked UNC Chapel Hill as one of the top 10 schools for its value.

If you dream of becoming a Tar Heel, be prepared for a large tuition bill. As of 2018, the total cost of full-time attendance at UNC Chapel Hill for a North Carolina resident is $23,734. However, for out-of-state students, the price increases to a staggering $50,634.

Although the cost of attendance at UNC Chapel Hill is high, you might not have to foot the bill in its entirety. Here’s everything you need to know about how to pay for UNC Chapel Hill.

How to pay for UNC Chapel Hill

There are a number of financial aid options available to you, including scholarships, grants, payment plans, and student loans.

1. Scholarships

As an incoming student, you might be eligible for one of UNC Chapel Hill’s scholarships. The school offers awards based on financial need, academic merit, athletic performance, and community or military service.

  • James M. Johnston Awards: A series of need-based scholarships, the James M. Johnston Awards are given to incoming students who also demonstrate leadership skills and academic ability.

  • Old Well and Founders Scholarship: Students from North Carolina with outstanding grades can receive $3,000 or more through the Old Well and Founders Scholarship.

  • College Fellows Scholarship: High-achieving students from North Carolina can receive up to $2,500.

  • MacDonald Community Service Scholarship: Students with a record of community service can receive a renewable award of $5,000.

  • Athletic scholarships: Student-athletes might be eligible for scholarships based on athletic excellence. However, students must apply through UNC Chapel Hill’s athletics department, rather than the financial aid office.

  • Military scholarships: Military service-related scholarships are available to Air Force ROTC and Army ROTC participants.

2. Grants

If you’re struggling with how to pay for UNC Chapel Hill, the school offers several grants to undergraduate students with a demonstrated financial need.

There’s no separate process to applying for a grant. The school will automatically consider you for a grant when reviewing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and CSS Profile.

3. Payment plan

Rather than having to come up with the entire tuition bill at once, UNC Chapel Hill offers several payment plans. The school offers three plans:

  • Five-month plan: To pay for one semester, you can spread your payments out over the course of five months.

  • Ten-month plan: To cover both the fall and spring semesters, you can pay your bill over 10 months.

  • Twelve-month plan: You can spread your payments even further to reduce how much you owe each month. This plan allows you to pay your bill over the course of 12 months.

4. Tuition Guarantee Program

As of 2016, North Carolina residents who enroll in an undergraduate program within the University of North Carolina school system are eligible for a guaranteed tuition rate.

That means that the tuition you pay for your first semester as a freshman will be the same price of your last semester as a senior. The Tuition Guarantee Program protects you from price hikes while in school.

5. Federal student loans

After grants and scholarships, your next source for financing your education should be federal student loans. Federal loans tend to have lower interest rates, more generous repayment terms, and other benefits than other forms of aid.

For example, you might qualify for an alternative repayment plan after you graduate where you can get a lower minimum payment. Also, you might qualify for loan forgiveness in certain circumstances, such as if you choose to work in public service.

To ensure you get access to all of the federal financial aid you deserve, make sure you complete the FAFSA.

6. Private student loans

Although federal loans are usually the most cost-effective option when it comes to student loans, it’s possible to exhaust your federal options. Most federal loans have a cap on how much you can borrow. If your education costs exceed that maximum, you’ll have to find another way to pay for school.

Private student loans can be an essential tool that fills the gap and allows you to complete your education. When shopping around for a private student loan, compare offers from multiple lenders to ensure you get the lowest interest rate and best repayment terms.

Paying for college

If you have your heart set on attending UNC Chapel Hill, don’t let its price tag scare you away. There are many options available to make it more affordable. When you’re figuring out how to pay for UNC Chapel Hill, make sure you explore all of your scholarship, grant, and loan opportunities to minimize your costs.

Not sure where to find scholarships? This all-inclusive guide for high school seniors can help you navigate through the process.

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.