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 Graudate School and have the option of applying for a Graduate PLUS loan. Read more about loans here.
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:
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.
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.
The State of North Carolina automatically reviews all FAFSA information for state grant eligibility and notifies UNC Charlotte.
International students are not eligible for federal financial aid.
However, we suggest you try these alternative options:
To apply for financial aid:
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.
Contact Niner Central to follow up. We can check the Central Processor’s website, if necessary, to determine the status of the FAFSA.
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.
You will receive an email when your financial aid award has been posted.
Log into MyCharlotte to check the status of your aid and determine whether there are outstanding requirements to be met.
Contact Niner Central if all requirements have been met and aid still has not disbursed.
Yes, the financial aid cost-of-attendance budget includes a room and board allowance.
There are three ways to obtain a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS:
1. Online request at www.irs.gov/
2. Telephone Request: Automated 800-908-9946
3. Paper Request: IRS form 4506T - Must be used if you have moved since filing your taxes. The form can be downloaded at www.irs.gov.
Cost of attendance information is updated yearly and is available here.
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.
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.
Contact Niner Central to discuss the situation.
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.
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:
You may call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800‑433‑3243) to request a paper FAFSA.
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.
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.
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.
The FAFSA is used to determine eligibility for federal student loans. Federal loans have several advantages over non-federal loans.
Each lender has different borrower benefits and it is important to review them all carefully before choosing an option.
The money is posted to your student account.
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.
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.
After you have applied for an alternative loan:
Watch your email
Updates to your financial aid award package
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.
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.
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.
Private loans have a range of interest rates depending on the lender and your credit score.
Subsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the costs of higher education.
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.
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.
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.
Federal student loan limits are established by Congress to help students manage loan debt.
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.
A Master Promissory Note is a promise to repay the educational loan you have been given. An MPN is usually signed online.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 email@example.com. 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or in person at Cone 380. Niner Central also offers virtual FAFSA appointments specifically to help you fill out your FAFSA.
No. If you are selected for verification you must complete all requirements in order to receive financial aid.
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.
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”
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.
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.
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.
In order to complete verification, all required documentation must be submitted which includes any tax documentation.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Generally outside scholarship proceeds are forwarded to the UNC Charlotte Student Accounts office and posted to your account.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requirements:
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.
If you don't appeal or your SAP appeal is not approved:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.