Financial Aid Checklist

Follow these steps to apply for federal student aid:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Include the University of North Carolina school code: 002974.
  • Sign the FAFSA electronically using your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. You can create an FSA ID on the Federal Student Aid website, or when logging into the FAFSA.
  • If you wish to receive the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, you must complete Entrance Counseling and electronically sign the Loan Agreement Master Promissory Note (MPN) at Studentaid.gov.

    • Both the Entrance Counseling and MPN must be completed in order for funds to be disbursed to your student account.
    • If you have previously borrowed federal student loans, be sure to update your lender(s) with contact information and enrollment status (for loan deferment purposes). Log in on the StudentAid.gov homepage to review loan history and loan servicer details.
  • Evaluate your need for additional funding such as the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan through the Department of Education, or private education loans through various lenders of your choice.

    Note: The Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is credit-based. Please visit Studentaid.gov for detailed information regarding PLUS loan credit requirements.

    • Prior to borrowing through the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan program, you may need to review your credit reports for potential issues. Contact any of the following credit bureaus for information: Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion.
    • The Graduate PLUS Loan credit decision expires within 180 days from applying.
  • Once you have made the decision to apply for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, complete the Direct PLUS Loan Application for graduate/professional students.
    • If approved for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, you must complete a separate Loan Agreement (MPN).
    • If declined for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, you may re-apply with a co-signer (endorser) or appeal the denial through the Department of Education.
  • Visit Studentaid.gov for more information on Federal Student Aid Programs.