Financial Aid Checklist

Follow these steps to apply for federal student aid:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at Include the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 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 you log in to the FAFSA.

  • If you wish to receive the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, complete entrance counseling and electronically sign the Loan Agreement Master Promissory Note (MPN) at

    Both entrance counseling and the MPN must be completed in order for funds to be paid to your student account.

    If you have previously received federal student loans, be sure to update your lender(s) with contact information and enrollment status (for loan deferment purposes). Loan servicer contact information can be found on the National Student Loan Data System.

  • Evaluate your need for additional funding, such as the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan through the Department of Education (DOE) or private education loans through various lenders of your choice.

    Prior to borrowing through the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan program, you may need to review your credit reports for potential issues. Graduate PLUS Loan credit decisions expire 180 days from applying.

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

  • If you decide to apply for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, complete the Direct PLUS loan request.

    • If your application is approved for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, complete a separate MPN for your new loan application.
    • If your application is denied for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, you can reapply with a co-signer (endorser) or appeal the denial through the DOE.

For more detailed information on Federal Student Aid programs, visit