Financial Aid FAQs
Table of Contents
Applying for Financial Aid
Can graduate students receive financial aid?
Yes, we encourage graduate students to apply for the FAFSA yearly to be considered for the graduate level Unsubsidized Loan. In addition, you can be considered for aid from the Graduate School and have the option of applying for a Graduate PLUS loan. Read more about loans here.
Can I apply for financial aid as an independent student?
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 or dependents who receive more than half their support from the student during the school year
Unless students meet at least one of the FAFSA criteria that establish independent status, parent information must be included.
For a detailed breakdown of the Dependency questions on the FAFSA, please visit studentaid.gov.
Do I have to fill out anything else to apply for financial aid at UNC Charlotte?
The FAFSA is the only application required for federal financial aid at UNC Charlotte. 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.
To apply for scholarships, visit scholarships.charlotte.edu.
How can I apply for State grant funding?
The State of North Carolina automatically reviews all FAFSA information for state grant eligibility and notifies UNC Charlotte.
How can I receive financial aid as an International Student?
International students are not eligible for federal financial aid.
However, we suggest you try these alternative options:
- Look for scholarship options with the Graduate school. They issue scholarships and funds based on your degree, so they may have something you can apply for. You can contact them at: https://graduateschool.uncc.edu/contact
- You have the option of applying for a private education loan. Be sure the lender is aware that you are an international student because some lenders require students to have a permanent resident or a US citizen as a cosigner.
How do I apply for financial aid?
To apply for financial aid:
- Submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
- Be sure to enter our school code (002975) so that we receive your FAFSA information
- All students must reapply for aid every year
- You can apply for financial aid at any time, but will need to be fully admitted before you are given a financial aid package
For more details, view the Four Steps to Financial Aid.
Is there a deadline for applying for financial aid?
Some financial aid is limited, submitting your FAFSA as early as possible means there is a better chance to receive some limited funding. View more on FAFSA deadlines.
Why don’t I have a financial aid package?
Have you been admitted to UNC Charlotte? 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.studentaid.gov to check the status of your FAFSA.
- Make sure the student and parent (if required) have signed the FAFSA
- Make certain UNC Charlotte’s federal school code (002975) is included on the FAFSA
- Verify that the student’s Social Security Number and Date of Birth are correct on the FAFSA and in Banner Self-Service
- Log into your MyCharlotte account to view any outstanding requirements.
Contact Niner Central to follow up. We can check the Central Processor’s website, if necessary, to determine the status of the FAFSA.
Awarding and Accepting Awards
How do I accept my award or check the status of my award?
- Log in to MyCharlotte
- Select the Student Self Service icon under Quick Links
- Select Financial Aid link
- Select the Award Offer tab
- Select the appropriate aid year at the top of the page on the Home tab
- Select Take Action to accept or decline each of your funds
- Review the information listed on the Resources tab for terms and conditions of your funds, if applicable
I haven’t received my financial information
I need to make a decision about attending school, but it depends on the financial aid I will receive. I have an EFC, but no financial aid information from UNC Charlotte. How can I decide?
Contact Niner Central and speak with a specialist. We can provide an estimate of anticipated financial aid based on your EFC and your residency status.
When will I receive my Financial Aid award?
You will receive an email when your financial aid award has been posted.
Why hasn’t my financial aid credited to my student account?
Log into MyCharlotte to check the status of your aid and determine whether there are outstanding requirements to be met.
- Is packaging complete?
- If selected for verification, 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?
- Has a Loan Entrance Counseling Session been completed?
- Are you making Satisfactory Academic Progress?
Contact Niner Central if all requirements have been met and aid still has not disbursed.
Can I use financial aid if I am living off-campus?
Yes, the financial aid cost-of-attendance budget includes a room and board allowance.
- Financial aid is applied to any outstanding balance you have with the University first (i.e – tuition, fees, meal plans, etc).
- Any remaining funds are shown as a credit on the student’s account. Refunds are then issued to the student for that credit. Students may use refunds to pay rent and living expenses off-campus.
- Available refunds are sent to students the first week of class for the semester. Please plan accordingly.
How do I request a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS?
There are three ways to obtain a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS:
- Be sure to request a Tax Return Transcript, NOT an Account Transcript
- Do NOT have transcripts sent directly to the Office of Financial Aid
How much does it cost to go to school at UNC Charlotte?
Cost of attendance information is updated yearly and is available here.
- Direct costs are those costs paid directly to UNC Charlotte and billed through your MyCharlotte account. You may choose to set up a payment plan.
- Direct costs typically include:
Your actual direct costs will vary depending on your number of credit hours, which residence hall you live in, the meal plan you choose, etc.
- Indirect Costs are those not payable to UNC Charlotte and will not show on your student account or bill.
- These charges are estimated to establish your overall cost of attendance.
- Indirect costs typically include:
- Off-Campus Housing
- Miscellaneous Expenses
What if I do not have enough financial aid to meet my cost of attendance?
For dependent students, parent PLUS Loans are available to help with educational expenses, up to the cost of attendance. Learn more about PLUS loans here. Dependent students, whose parents are denied the PLUS Loan, may be eligible for additional federal unsubsidized student loan funds. Additionally, there are PLUS loans for graduate or professional students. Contact Niner Central for specific information. Non-federal loans may be an option as well. Please review our Alternative Loan Information page for a list of preferred non-federal lenders.
What if I have no contact with my parent?
Contact Niner Central to discuss the situation.
Will I be eligible for any Federal or State aid as a post-baccalaureate student?
Only students who are in a degree-seeking program are eligible for Federal or State financial aid. However, all post-bacc may be eligible to apply for an Alternative Loan with a lender that does not require you to be a degree-seeking student.
Keep in mind you can also set up a payment plan.
Please note: Some post-bac graduate certificate programs ARE eligible for financial aid.
How can I find out if you have received a copy of my FAFSA?
- Please log into your MyCharlotte account to see if we have a copy of your FAFSA on file for the year you are inquiring about
- If there is no indication that we have your FAFSA, please update your FAFSA to include our school code: 002975
- If our school is listed on your FAFSA and it has been more than 3 business days since you have completed it, please contact Niner Central for a review
How can I sign the FAFSA online?
If you have an FSA ID, then you should use your FSA ID to sign your application electronically. When you sign your application electronically using your FSA ID, your application is processed within 3-5 days.
To sign your application electronically, click the Login button on the FAFSA on the Web home page to log in, and then click the Provide Signatures button
If you do not already have an FSA ID, you can create a FSA ID.
Alternatively, you can choose one of the following options:
- Print a signature page, sign it, and mail it to the address on the page. Your application will be processed once your signature is received
I don’t have access to the Internet. Can I still file a FAFSA?
You may call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800‑433‑3243) to request a paper FAFSA.
What if my tax return will not be completed until later in the year?
With a reasonable idea of income, the FAFSA may be filed using estimated income information. You may be asked to verify information once the FAFSA is processed.
What is the UNC Charlotte school code for the FAFSA?
The UNC Charlotte school code for the FAFSA is 002975. You must list this code on your FAFSA in order for UNC Charlotte to receive a copy of your FAFSA.
When the FAFSA asks for investment information, do I include the value of our home?
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.
Why should I complete the FAFSA if all I am offered are loans?
The FAFSA is used to determine eligibility for federal student loans. Federal loans have several advantages over non-federal loans.
- Repayment, and in some cases, interest is deferred while the student is enrolled at least half time for their program, or up to 6 months after graduation.
- The interest rate is fixed and usually a lower rate than credit cards and non-federal loans.
- No credit check is required. To qualify, students must be U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizens, in good standing on any previous student loans, and enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program.
- Some student loan interest is tax deductible.
Can you defer a Private loan until after graduation?
Each lender has different borrower benefits and it is important to review them all carefully before choosing an option.
Does the money come directly to me or is it posted to my student account?
The money is posted to your student account.
How do I apply for a Parent Plus Loan?
- As the parent or family member, log into StudentAid.gov. You will be prompted to obtain a FSA User ID and password. Parent PLUS Loan borrowers must sign in using their FSA User ID and not the student’s.
- Under the “Loans and Grants” Tab, select the PLUS Loan option.
- Follow the steps to complete the PLUS Loan application.
- The Department of Education will evaluate your credit and approve or deny the application. You will receive an immediate response.
- If your credit is approved, you will be given instructions for completing a PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) on StudentAid.gov.
- The Federal Direct Loan program will forward the approved PLUS Loan application to the Financial Aid Office to verify enrollment and eligibility. Please be aware it may take up to 48 hours for UNC Charlotte to receive your submitted application.
- If there are remaining funds available after the University charges are paid, you can have these funds sent to you or your student from your parent PLUS loan disbursement.
How do I find out my loan provider?
To find the loan provider/servicer for your Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans, you can login to your My Federal Student Aid account at studentaid.gov or contact the Federal Student Aid Center at 1.800.433.3243.
How do I sign the Mastery Promissory Note?
To sign the Master Promissory Note for a Stafford or Parent Plus Loan please go to the MPN page of StudentAid.gov. You will sign the Master Promissory Note electronically using the same FSA ID and password. Please note: You must sign the MPN so that it matches your name on your Social Security Card. This will prevent any delays in the releasing of your funds.
How long will it take for an alternative loan to process?
After you have applied for an alternative loan:
- It will take us up to 10 days to review and process your application for the lender.
Watch your email
- If we need more information from you regarding your application, we will send you an email asking you to review a message in Student Self Service indicating any additional information needed. Your loan processing will be on hold until you complete/submit the missing information.
- If you don’t receive an email from us regarding your loan application within 10 days after you apply, no action is required from you.
Updates to your financial aid award package
- When your financial aid award package is updated, you will receive an email notifying you that your award balance has been updated. This means the alternative loan processing has been completed and no further action is required from you regarding your loan application.
- Watch for an email from your alternative/private loan lender. They will provide you with your loan disbursement date, which is the date when the loan amount will be applied to your UNC Charlotte student account.
I want to change my loans. How do I do that?
To update or make changes to your loan amount, please complete the Loan Change Request form. Once received, we will be able to process your request.
What is a Parent PLUS loan?
Parent PLUS Loans are loans that are applied for by the parent(s) of the student. Parents of a dependent undergraduate student may apply for a Federal Direct PLUS loan to help meet the student’s cost of attendance not covered by other financial aid. Interest rates and repayment provisions on PLUS loans are generally more favorable than other alternative loans available for educational expenses. The student’s FAFSA is required.
What is an alternative loan?
Alternative loans are private education loans that help bridge the gap between the actual cost of your education and the amount the government allows you to borrow in its programs. Private loans are offered by private lenders and there are no federal forms to complete. Eligibility for private student loans often depends on your credit score.
What is Loan Entrance Counseling?
The U.S. Department of Education requires that students complete an online loan entrance counseling session before loan funds can be disbursed. Loan entrance counseling provides students with information regarding their rights and responsibilities in regard to their federal student loans. It can be completed at StudentAid.gov.
What is the current interest rate on federal student and parent loans?
What is the interest rate for a Private loan?
Private loans have a range of interest rates depending on the lender and your credit score.
What’s the difference between a “Subsidized” and an “Unsubsidized” Loan?
Subsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the costs of higher education.
- The Federal Government will pay interest on a subsidized loan while you are in school and during your six-month grace period.
Unsubsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, but in this case, the student does not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible for the loan.
- If you accept the unsubsidized loan, interest will after the loan disburses, while you are enrolled in school.
- If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods/deferment periods, your interest will accrue and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).
When will my Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note be added to my account?
At UNC Charlotte, the Office of Financial Aid begins to process loans for the upcoming academic year after July 1st (when the university’s new fiscal year begins). Unfortunately, until then we are unable to download Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Notes for new students. As long as you have completed these on the federal website (StudentAid.gov) we will receive them when we begin processing new loans in June.
Where can I find a Lender?
You may choose any lender of your choice. This handy ELM Select loan tool walks you through important information about types of funding and money management. It also presents your new responsibilities if you go on to borrow money.
After you review this information, you will see a list of lenders offering loan products in a way that makes it easy to compare them.
Why can’t I get enough federal student loan money to take care of my costs?
Federal student loan limits are established by Congress to help students manage loan debt.
- Freshmen may borrow up to $5,500 ($9,500 for independent students and students whose parents are denied the PLUS Loan)
- Sophomores may borrow up to $6,500 ($10,500 for independent students and students whose parents are denied PLUS Loan)
- Juniors and seniors may borrow up to $7,500 ($12,500 for independent students and students whose parents are denied PLUS Loan)
Why did I not receive any financial aid other than loans?
Students with a large EFC number may not be eligible for need-based financial aid. Federal Stafford loans are considered financial aid and are available to help students meet educational costs. Students may accept or decline any loan, or accept a portion of loans offered.
Why do I have to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) to receive my loans?
A Master Promissory Note is a promise to repay the educational loan you have been given. An MPN is usually signed online.
Why is there an Exit Counseling requirement on my account?
Exit Counseling is a federal requirement for all Federal Direct Loan recipients. Exit counseling was created to ensure that you understand your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. During the counseling, you will learn your loan repayment options and how to get help and protect your credit rating if you have problems.
My financial aid is greater than my semester bill. How do I Receive the additional funds?
Your financial aid funds will initially be applied to charges on your student account. Any amount in excess of your student account balance will be sent via direct deposit or a check in the mail.
Where/How will I receive my refund check?
Your financial aid funds will initially be applied to charges on your student account. Any amount in excess of your student account balance will be sent via direct deposit or a check in the mail. See more information on refunds here.
My parents filed a foreign tax return so I don’t have an IRS Tax Return Transcript to submit. What options do I have?
If your parents filed a foreign tax return, please submit a translated copy of the tax return. After review, you will be notified if any additional documentation is needed.
Can I email my documents for verification?
It depends on what information is on the document. We cannot accept any documents containing a Social Security Number (SSN) by email. This is for the protection of your information. Documents with visible Social Security Numbers (SSN) would need to be submitted in one of the following ways:
- Upload documents electronically here.
- Fax: 704-687-1425
- Mail: Office of Financial Aid, 9201 University City Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28223
- On Campus: Niner Central – Cone 380
As long as your documents do not contain a full Social Security Number (i.e. last four digits of the SSN only would be okay), they can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Marking out an SSN with a black pen often doesn’t make the number completely unreadable once scanned so please thoroughly review your documents before emailing to ensure that they do not have a visible SSN.
Can I get my financial aid money now and complete verification later?
No. Verification must be completed before any financial aid monies can be awarded and disbursed to your student account. You are encouraged to submit any requested documents to us as soon as possible.
Can I talk to someone who will help me complete my FAFSA or my verification requirements?
Yes! Niner Central can assist you with FAFSA and/or verification questions. No appointment is needed. We are open 8am-5pm Monday – Friday. You can contact us by phone at 704.687.8622, by email at email@example.com or in person at Cone 380. Niner Central also offers virtual FAFSA appointments specifically to help you fill out your FAFSA.
Can I ‘opt out’ of verification?
No. If you are selected for verification you must complete all requirements in order to receive financial aid.
Have my documents requested for verification been received?
During our busiest time of year, it may take up to three weeks for verification to be completed. Please respond to requests for information in a timely and complete manner.
How can I request a tax return transcript if I cannot use the IRS website or phone line (or if I’ve never filed taxes)?
Students who are unable to order via the website or phone can submit the IRS form 4506-T to the IRS.
- Download IRS form 4506-T at https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-4506-t
- Complete lines 1-4, following instructions on page 2 of the form
- Line 3: enter the information of the person whose tax return transcript you are requesting (parent or student)
- Line 6: enter the correct tax form number (i.e. 1040)
- Check the box beside “Return Transcript”
- Line 9: Year or period requested will be 12/31/20xx (for the 2023-2024 FAFSA we need the period ending on 12/31/2021)
- The requestor must sign and date the form and enter their telephone number, then mail or fax the completed IRS form 4506-T to the address of fax number provided on page 2
If the student/parent never filed (and were not required to file), please follow the same instructions but check the box on line 7 for “Verification of Nonfiling”
How do I make a change to my FAFSA if I entered something incorrectly?
Please be sure to resubmit the FAFSA once the new/changed information is added. Students can make changes to their FAFSA by logging in on studentaid.gov. The new FAFSA transaction will be received and reviewed by the university within 2 to 3 business days. Please note: Depending on the changes made, you may be required to verify the changes. In these situations, you will be notified of what is required so please be sure to monitor your My UNC Charlotte account for any updates.
How long does it take to process my verification documents? When will I see my financial aid award?
The review of verification documents may take up to 10 business days to complete; however, processing times may change during peak season (start of term). After verification is completed, and if no additional requests are made, you would be awarded within 10 business days. Please continue to monitor your My UNC Charlotte account for any updates regarding the status of your verification and/or awarding status.
I (or my parents) did not amend our taxes. Why are you requesting for an amended tax return (1040X)?
Students and/or parents will need to contact the IRS as information from the FAFSA or IRS indicates a possible amendment. They can also request an IRS Account Transcript as this document will determine if an amendment was done. Please note that you will need to submit a copy of the IRS Tax Return Transcript along with either a signed and dated 1040X, IRS Account Transcript showing an amended tax return, or other document from the IRS regarding why your return may be showing as amended.
I (or my parents) have not filed taxes yet for that tax year. Can I still complete verification?
In order to complete verification, all required documentation must be submitted which includes any tax documentation.
- If you or your parents were required to file taxes, we would suggest speaking with a tax professional or referring to the IRS guidelines for more information on how to file.
- You will need to file and then provide us a copy of the IRS Tax Return Transcript once it is available through the IRS.
- If you choose not to file and are unable to submit the required documentation, the student will not be eligible to receive financial aid.
- The student could seek alternative loans but would need to submit a written statement identifying that they will not be seeking funds from the FAFSA and will not be completing verification.
- If you or your parents were required to file taxes OR if you/your parents filed incorrectly and need to amend your taxes, we would suggest speaking with a tax professional or referring to the IRS guidelines for more information.
- If you were requested to submit a copy of your IRS Tax Return Transcript and you are amending your taxes, we will require both a copy of your IRS Tax Return Transcript and a copy of your signed, dated, 1040x (amended tax return).
I (or my parents) never filed taxes or filed incorrectly. What can I do to complete verification?
In order to complete verification, all required documentation must be submitted. If you or your parents were required to file taxes OR if you/your parents filed incorrectly and need to amend your taxes, we would suggest speaking with a tax professional or referring to the IRS guidelines for more information.
If you were requested to submit a copy of your IRS Tax Return Transcript and you are amending your taxes, we will require both a copy of your IRS Tax Return Transcript and a copy of your signed, dated, 1040x (amended tax return).
I corrected my FAFSA so why do you (still) need documents?
Depending on the changes made, you may be required to verify the changes. For example: If you made changes to income information, we will need to verify which income information is accurate. In these situations, you will be notified of what is required so please be sure to monitor your My UNC Charlotte account for any updates.
I was requested to submit a tax return transcript but I didn’t file so I submitted a Verification of Non-filing letter instead. Why didn’t you accept my Verification of Non-filing letter?
If the student (or parent) was required to file based on the IRS guidelines, we would not be able to accept a Verification of Non-filing letter in place of an IRS Tax Return Transcript. The student (or parent) would need to file their taxes and then provide us a copy of the IRS Tax Return Transcript once it is available through the IRS.
I was selected for verification last year. Why do I have to do this again?
Verification is a random process and approximately 30% of all FAFSA filers are federally selected for verification. If selected, we are required to complete verification in order to confirm that the data reported on your FAFSA is correct. Verification doesn’t mean that you did something wrong; it is just a normal part of the financial aid process. You are encouraged to submit any requested documents to us as soon as possible as you may not be awarded until after verification is complete.
I was selected to provide verification documentation but I do not have any documents to provide. Can these requirements be waived?
No. If you are selected for verification you must submit all required documentation in order to receive financial aid. You can contact Niner Central for assistance understanding the documentation requested.
My parent is not able to sign the FAFSA electronically and is unable to complete the verification forms online. What can I do to complete verification?
We typically recommend online signatures as it makes the process faster.
In certain situations, a paper signature page for the FAFSA can be sent in on behalf of a student. The student will need to print the signature page, have the parent sign it and mail it to the appropriate address indicated here.
Verification forms can also be provided by Niner Central if a hard copy is needed instead of the online form.
My situation has changed since I filled out the FAFSA. Do I complete verification to update this?
The verification process is completed in order to confirm that the data you entered on your FAFSA is correct. If you are selected for verification, you will still need to submit the requested documents even if your situation has changed. However, if you feel your current situation is not accurately reflected on your FAFSA, you may be eligible for a Reconsideration. Examples of circumstances which may warrant a Reconsideration are: job loss, death of parent or spouse, separation or divorce of parents, high unreimbursed medical and dental bills and receipt of one time payments. If you feel you may be eligible, please complete a reconsideration form. Please note: The Reconsideration Request form for the next academic year is available in early April each year.
What do you need to verify citizenship?
To verify citizenship, we will need a signed U.S. Passport, U.S. Passport Card, Certificate of Citizenship, Permanent Resident Card (Copy of the front and back), Certificate of Naturalization, Visa, I-94 Arrival-Departure Record with date of entry stamp, or a Certificate of Birth Abroad (Issued to U.S. Citizens born abroad). These documents must be submitted in person to Niner Central or filled out in front of a notary with an accompanying notary form.
What is a Federal Tax Return?
A federal tax return is a report filed with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) or with the state or local tax collection agency containing information used to calculate income tax or other taxes. These forms are often referred to as a 1040.
What is a Schedule C?
A Schedule C (Form 1040) is used to report income or loss from a business you operated or a Profit or Loss profession you practiced as a sole proprietor. An activity qualifies as a business if your primary purpose for engaging in the activity is for income or profit and you are involved in From Business the activity with continuity and regularity. For example, a sporadic activity or a hobby does not qualify as a business. To report income from a non-business activity, see the instructions for Form 1040, line 21.
What is a Tax Extension?
If the parent or student has not filed or does not plan to file a Federal Tax Return by the Tax Day deadline, they can file for a tax extension (IRS form 4868), they must provide a copy of the extension. While you may be awarded, we are unable to disburse any funds until the verification is complete. Once the signed federal tax returns and W2’s have been received and the verification is complete, our office will disburse the funds and adjust the award if necessary.
What is a W2
A W-2 form is a United States federal tax form issued by employers stating how much an employee was paid in a year. Go to IRS.gov.
What is an IRS Verification of Non-filing Letter?
- An IRS Verification of Non-filing Letter documents that the IRS has no record of a filed tax form ffor the year you requested.
- Non-Tax filers can request an IRS Verification of Non-filing of their tax return status, and Wage and Income Transcript free of charge, from the IRS.
- View this website for more information.
What verification forms can be completed online?
Students will have access to all verification forms online via My UNC Charlotte by following these directions:
- Login to my.uncc.edu
- Click on Banner Self Service under “Quick Links”
- Click on Financial Aid
- Click Check Here To See If You Have Missing Requirements or Holds
Requirements with forms will have a link to the form. Student will enter the information as prompted.
The verification forms are also located online here: https://ninercentral.charlotte.edu/financial-aid-loans/forms-and-publications
Please note: Be sure to complete the form for the appropriate award year.
Why didn’t the IRS DRT work when I attempted it?
There are some situations where someone will not be eligible to use the DRT. These situations include:
- They are married and filed Married Filing Separately
- They are married and filed Head of Household
- They filed an amended tax return (1040X)
If you have been requested to submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript but you are unable to use the DRT, the student would need to submit documentation to verify the information entered on their FAFSA was correct. Documentation may differ depending on the above scenario that applies.
- For situation 1, both parents (or the student + spouse) will need to submit a copy of their IRS Tax Return Transcript
- For situation 2, it is possible that the filing status is inaccurate and the parents (or the student + spouse) may need to file an amended tax return OR they may need to provide documentation explaining why they were eligible to file as Head of Household even though they are married.
- For situation 3, they would need to submit a copy of their IRS Tax Return Transcript and a signed and dated copy of their amended tax return (1040X).
Students and authorized parents can contact Niner Central with specific or additional questions.
Will verification change the amount of my financial aid?
There is a possibility that financial aid may change as the result of verification. Freshmen are awarded before verification is complete and any student making changes to their FAFSA can be selected for verification. If the university finds errors through the verification process and is required to make changes to your FAFSA, it is possible that your awards could change. You would be notified of your verification status and of any changes to your awards via My UNC Charlotte.
Scholarship and Grants
How will I receive outside scholarship funds?
Generally outside scholarship proceeds are forwarded to the UNC Charlotte Student Accounts office and posted to your account.
I am interested in the Federal TEACH Grant. May I receive this grant?
The Federal TEACH Grant has very specific qualification criteria. If you are interested in receiving the TEACH Grant, complete TEACH Grant counseling on the Federal Student Aid website. Upon receiving word from the program that counseling has been completed, the financial aid office will work to determine your eligibility and notify you if further steps are required.
I have been awarded an outside scholarship. Will this affect my other financial aid?
Outside scholarships can sometimes affect other financial aid. Generally the only impact outside scholarships have is a reduction in loan eligibility. Notify the financial aid office as soon as you become aware that you will be receiving an outside scholarship. If an outside scholarship causes a change in financial aid that has already been awarded, you will receive a revised financial aid award.
I was awarded a Pell Grant. Will the number of hours I take affect the amount of Pell I receive?
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 UNC Charlotte, enrolling in 12 or more credit hours is considered full-time.
- Full time enrollment- 12+ credit hours and 100% Pell disbursement
- 9-11 credit hours and 75% Pell disbursement
- 6-8 credit hours and 50% Pell disbursement
- 1-5 credit hours and 25% Pell disbursement
Is there reciprocity for out of state students?
I am an out-of-state student. My home state offers scholarship and grants funds to students attending in-state public institutions. Will UNC Charlotte match my home state’s funding?
No. Unfortunately, there is no reciprocity with out-of-state scholarship funds.
I’m not sure I have enough financial aid. How do I go about finding outside scholarship funding?
You can access UNC Charlotte scholarships by visiting our Niner Scholars Portal. There is also a list of outside scholarship websites on UNC Charlotte’s scholarship webpage. Online searches can provide a wealth of information about organizations that offer scholarship funds. You can view UNC Charlotte’s preferred scholarship search engines on our Scholarships website.
What is an outside scholarship?
A scholarship from any organization or agency other than UNC Charlotte is considered an outside scholarship. Resources for these scholarships can include civic and/or community groups, church or religious organizations, employers, other states, etc.
What types of scholarships are available at UNC Charlotte?
UNC Charlotte offers over 1,600 scholarships each year to incoming and current students. Scholarships must be applied for and are awarded based on financial need, academic merit or both. Scholarships can be applied for beginning in late October of each year through the NinerScholarsPortal. Application deadlines are typically in February or March, but some are significantly earlier. Please visit the University Scholarships website for more information.
Summer School Financial Aid
How do I receive financial aid for summer classes?
- A separate application for summer loans is required. The application is posted in Banner Self Service under the Financial Aid tab. Grants will automatically be reviewed for eligibility after Summer enrollment.
- Before you can complete the summer application, you must have enrolled for your summer classes, and you must have submitted a FAFSA for the current academic year.
- Regardless of Summer sessions, undergraduate students must be enrolled in a total of at least six credit hours in order to be eligible for aid.
- For more information, please review this page on applying for summer financial aid.
SAP and Withdrawal from UNC Charlotte
Can I keep my loan funds if I withdraw?
Not always. If a federal student loan reduction is required there is no above calculation. Maybe something like “If a federal student loan reduction is required due to no longer earning the full amount given for the semester, the student’s loan is reduced and the amount of the reduction is returned to the lender. That amount is charged to the student’s account. For example, if a student’s loan had to be reduced by $1,000 that amount would be returned to the lender, reducing the student’s overall loan debt. However, the student would owe the $1,000 to UNC Charlotte immediately.
How does my academic performance affect my financial aid?
In accordance to federal regulations, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress in order to continue receiving financial aid. Failure to earn certain minimum credit hours and/or grade point averages can casue a student to lose financial aid eligibility. For more information, please read the SAP Policy.
I dropped a course/ all courses. Why isn’t a refund being processed?
If there are no passing grades (a combination of all W’s, I’s, U’s, or F’s), you will be emailed with instructions on several methods to confirm your attendance. This form will be emailed to you from the Financial Aid Office. If the Office of Financial Aid does not receive the Confirmation of Attendance form by the deadline stated in your email, ALL of your federal funding may be returned to the particular programs. If the professors confirm attendance but no specific date is given, we will prorate your financial aid based on the midpoint of the term. If you were paid a Pell grant based on a full-time enrollment and you are not able to confirm attendance in all courses, your grant will be adjusted to the amount of the credits confirmed and the calculation will be based on the last date of attendance for the confirmed classes.
I want to retake a class; can I still receive financial aid?
Students may only receive federal financial aid for one repetition (repeat) of a previously passed course. This means that students (undergraduate and graduate) who have already passed a course with a grade of D or better may only repeat the class one additional time and receive financial aid for that course.
What are the minimum SAP standards to keep my financial aid eligibility?
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requirements:
- GPA – Minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 for undergraduate students or 3.0 for graduate students.
- Credit Completion Rate – Minimum credit hour completion rate of 66.6% for both undergraduate and graduate students.
- Maximum Time Frame – Completing the degree within a maximum time frame (150% of the number of hours required for graduation in their programs of study, including transferred hours accepted for credit toward the degree. )
What happens if I change my schedule by withdrawing or dropping?
Financial aid is awarded assuming full time enrollment, and with the expectation that students will complete the semester for which aid was awarded. Students who are considering dropping classes, or withdrawing from UNC Charlotte, should contact Niner Central 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 be factors to consider as well.
What happens if I don’t appeal or my SAP appeal is not approved?
If you don’t appeal or your SAP appeal is not approved:
What happens to my financial aid if I have to withdraw from the university?
- Adjustments to your financial aid may have to be made, depending upon the date of your withdrawal. The Office of Financial Aid is required by federal law to prorate financial aid, based on the number of days a student was in attendance each semester. The Office of Financial Aid will send you an email with a required Confirmation of Attendance form to help determine how much aid was earned.
- We will perform a Return of Title IV Funds calculation to determine if adjustments to a student’s financial aid award are required.
- If adjustments are required, aid is reduced possibly resulting in charges to the student’s account.
- A letter is sent, informing the student of the adjustment amount.
What if I plan to attend another school after I withdraw from UNC Charlotte?
Your SAP standing at UNC Charlotte is not transferred to the other school; however, your academic transcript cannot be released if you have any unpaid charges at UNC Charlotte. If you choose to return to Charlotte at a later date, your SAP standing will remain unchanged from when you left.
What is an academic plan of action?
The Academic Acknowledgement Plan (plan of action) sets the minimum requirements that need to be met by the student in order for them to maintain future eligibility for financial aid.
- Undergraduate students will need to earn an A, B, C, D, H, P or S grade in at least 75% of their classes and have a grade point average of 2.5 or above in the probationary semester.
- A review of the Academic Acknowledgment Plan will be conducted by financial aid counselors at the end of the semester. If the student is adhering to the plan and making successful progress, their eligibility will remain intac.
- This will be reviewed each semester until the student is again meeting the original, cumulative SAP standards.
What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and am I meeting the standards?
In order to remain eligible for federal financial aid, continuing students must meet GPA and completion rate standards, known as SAP standards. SAP is measured at the end of the spring semester to determine whether students remain eligible for financial aid. If you lose eligibility for financial aid, you may have the chance to appeal. View the SAP policy.
Will a withdrawal affect my Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?
It may, as this affects your completion rate. Review the SAP Policy. Based on your SAP standing, you may not be eligible for future financial aid.
If you are not meeting SAP standards, and had to withdraw due to extenuating circumstances, you may appeal using the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form. Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals are reviewed by a committee and may take several weeks to be processed. The SAP Appeal process may take several weeks to complete.
Why is my account flagged for “Visitor” or “Ineligible program”. How can I correct this?
This notation indicates that the student is a “Visitor” or they are in an ineligible program. The only way to fix this is to be accepted into an eligible program. Financial aid is only available to our degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students.
If you are a visiting student here (i.e. taking classes at UNC Charlotte to transfer back to another institution at which you are degree-seeking), you would need to apply for financial aid with your home institution.
Post-bac students in undesignated programs are not eligible for traditional financial aid programs but may be eligible for alternative loans.
Please note: Some post-bac graduate certificate programs ARE eligible for financial aid.