As a student of the UNC System, you are part of our student community that is nearly 250,000 strong.
The UNC System is a vibrant and productive learning community in part because there are a variety of support mechanisms. The UNC System is committed to making sure that every enrolled student has more than just an opportunity to study—the University works to ensure that students have the tools they need to succeed.
This page compiles some of these resources. With these tools in hand, you will have more opportunities to make the most of your time at your chosen institution and to graduate from the UNC System with a valuable degree in hand.
Paying for College
Getting accepted into the institution of your choice is a momentous challenge. Paying tuition and fees is quite another. As a UNC System student, you can consider yourself lucky: North Carolina’s public universities are among the most affordable in the United States.
The establishment of the University of North Carolina in 1789 was a radical innovation in education, driven by one ambitious goal: to provide every North Carolinian access to education that is “as free as practicable.”
Two recent initiatives, both funded by the NC General Assembly, have continued the state’s historical commitment to keeping public higher education affordable and within reach of everyone in North Carolina. Passed in 2016, The Fixed Tuition Program holds the price of tuition constant for four years for students who remain continuously enrolled and on track to graduate. Initiated in 2018, the NC Promise Tuition Plan lowers the cost of tuition at three UNC System institutions to just $500 a semester.
Many students need additional help covering the total cost of college. A large percentage of students and their families seek grants and financial aid opportunities.
Broadly speaking, this assistance comes in two forms: gift subsidies and financial aid. Gift subsidies, whether scholarships or grants, do not need to be paid back. Typically, scholarships are generally awarded based on academic or athletic merit, while grants are awarded based on financial need. On the other hand, the term financial aid generally refers to loans that must be paid back.
If you need assistance paying for your college education, consult with your institution’s financial aid office to see what resources are available. The Scholarships and Funded Opportunities page provides information about System-wide opportunities available to any student in the UNC System, as well as links to institution-level scholarship opportunities.