MPH@UNC Financial Aid FAQ

Tuition and fees are charged on a per-credit basis. Each credit in the MPH@UNC program costs $1,621 for tuition and $23.97 for fees.

For example, if a student is taking 6 credit hours in a term, the cost of their tuition would be $9,726 ($1,621 x 6), with an additional $143.82 ($23.97 x 6) in fees.

Please note that tuition and fees are subject to change each academic year, as approved by the UNC System Board of Governors. Any tuition change is applicable to all enrolled students.

MPH@UNC Financial Aid Information

Cost of tuition and fees for the program may be covered through a variety of resources.

The Office of Scholarships and Student Aid can provide information on federal or private educational loans. Personal resources, employer support, military benefits and institutional aid (such as fellowships) can also be used to pay for tuition, and student may want to explore those options.

Students enrolled in the MPH@UNC program at the UNC Gillings School can apply for student loans to cover the cost of tuition as well as living expenses.

A student’s total financial aid award (including corporate sponsorship, outside grants, fellowships and all education loans) cannot exceed the total cost of attendance, including tuition, fees and living expenses.

Financial Aid FAQ

How do I apply for financial aid?

Students can apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov.

The FAFSA should be completed annually for each academic year of enrollment in the MPH@UNC program.

Please note that applicants will not be reviewed for financial aid until they are officially admitted into the program.

MPH@UNC: FAFSA Tables
Start Term FAFSA Year
August/September 2019 Fall 2019-2020
January 2020 Spring 2019-2020
May 2020 Summer 2019-2020

Will I know what my financial aid award is before I have to submit an enrollment deposit?

Possibly; however, all students should anticipate being eligible to borrow the maximum Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan amount as long as they meet the basic eligibility requirements below:

  • United States citizen or permanent resident 

  • Not in default on any undergraduate or graduate federal education loans
  • Have not exceeded $224,000 in federal student loan debt for both undergraduate and graduate loans 


Students also have the option to apply for the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan to help cover their remaining tuition and fees costs (if needed) or living expenses after their Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan eligibility is exhausted. 


Once I complete the FAFSA, what happens? 


Once a student’s FAFSA has been received by the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid (OSSA), OSSA will notify the student via UNC email regarding their financial aid status.

When the student receives notification of their Financial Aid Offer, they should review it to determine the amount of loan they wish to accept or decline. 


In order to be eligible for federal loan funding, students must be enrolled in at least 4.5 credit hours per fall and spring semester and 1.5 credit hours in the summer I semester.

How will I be notified of my financial aid eligibility?

Students receive official notice of their Financial Aid Offer via an email message sent to their UNC email address. The message directs students to view their financial aid status via the Connect Carolina Student Service Center

Do I have to borrow the maximum loan amounts awarded to me?

No. Students can borrow as much or as little as they choose of the maximum loan amounts available to them.

Am I eligible to borrow loan funding for living expenses?

Yes. Financial aid budgets include both direct expenses (required tuition and fees) and indirect expenses (housing, meals, transportation, books and supplies, and basic personal expenses).

Students can choose to increase their overall indebtedness to include these estimated living expenses, if needed.

How can I view my financial aid cost of attendance?

Students can view the estimated financial aid cost of attendance on the Connect Carolina Student Service Center.

After logging in and accessing the Financial Aid Offer, click on the link that says “Need Calculation Summary” to view the estimated financial aid cost of attendance.

What are my loan options if I am not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident?

International students with a U.S. co-signer may be eligible for select private student loans. There are no loan options available through the University for international students.

When is financial aid disbursed?

Accepted student loans generally are sent to the University Cashier by the first day of classes each semester or term. Financial aid, including student loans, is automatically applied to billed tuition/fee charges. If a student’s financial aid exceeds the amount of their billed tuition/fee charges, the University Cashier will issue a refund for the overage. The University Cashier issues financial aid refunds within 14 days of aid being applied to a student account.

How do I reduce or decline my student loan?

Students can use the self-service reduce/decline feature in Connect Carolina to reduce or decline any portion of their student loan. The self-service reduce/decline feature is available to use at any time prior to loan disbursement. For example, if the loan disbursement date is Aug. 1, the student will only be able to use the reduce/decline feature in Connect Carolina through Aug. 1. After the loan disbursement date, if the loan has already disbursed, the student will have to email the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid (aidinfo@unc.edu) to reduce or decline the loan(s).

How does financial aid disbursement work?

The Office of Scholarships and Student Aid electronically disburses aid to the University Cashier. Financial aid is disbursed, equally, once per semester or term.

I realized I do not need as much aid as I was awarded. How do I change this?

Students can use the self-service reduce/decline feature in Connect Carolina to reduce or decline any portion of their student loan.

The self-service reduce/decline feature is available to use at any time prior to loan disbursement. After the loan disbursement date, if the loan has already disbursed, the student will have to email the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid (aidinfo@unc.edu) to reduce or decline the loan(s).

I do not wish to receive any federal loan funding. How do I decline the financial aid package?

Students who complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are automatically reviewed for federal student aid.

Students can use the self-service reduce/decline feature in Connect Carolina to reduce or decline any or all of their student loan. The self-service reduce/decline feature is available to use at any time prior to loan disbursement. After the loan disbursement date, if the loan has already disbursed, the student will have to email the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid (aidinfo@unc.edu) to reduce or decline the loan(s).

Am I able to get financial aid for the summer term?

Students are reviewed for financial aid during the summer term.

Typically, only federal student loans are available from the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid during the summer. Students accepting the full amount of the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan ($33,000) during the fall and spring semesters are only offered the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan during the summer term.

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a credit-based federal student loan program. Thus, students must go through a credit check with the Department of Education to determine approval.

My bill is due before my financial aid and/or fellowship will be processed. What should I do?

Because the MPH@UNC academic calendar differs from the UNC University Registrar’s Calendar, financial aid and fellowship disbursement dates may not align with tuition bill due dates during some semesters.

Before aid disburses, students can view the type and amount of aid scheduled to be applied to their bill using the “Anticipated Aid” dropdown box in the Connect Carolina “Financials” section.

We highly recommend that students submit a request via Connect Carolina to defer their bill so the disbursement of their aid will align more closely with the University Cashier’s billing cycle.

To DEFER a bill:

  1. Log in to the Connect Carolina Student Services Center.
  2. Select “Request Deferment” from the dropdown menu in the Finances area. 

  3. Check the box for “Financial Aid Deferment” and the “Statement of Understanding,” then click “Submit.” 

  4. Click “OK” on the confirmation screen.

Note: Students must request the deferment before the due date on the billing statement.

Students who did not accept the full amount of the Unsubsidized Loan in the fall and spring semesters will be eligible to use the remainder of that funding in the summer I semester.

When will my fellowship award be disbursed?

Disbursement of fellowship awards likely will occur within the first two weeks of the term. In some instances, this is after the first tuition bill is due.

Students are encouraged to defer their tuition bill by the amount of their fellowship. Deferment alerts the University Cashier that a student has additional funding to cover their bill and that those funds will be applied shortly after the tuition due date.

The student still will be responsible for paying the amount of tuition not covered by the fellowship by the tuition due date.

How do I determine how much financial aid I should request?

The maximum allowable amount of financial aid is determined by the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid and is based on the annual cost of attendance for MPH@UNC.

Individual students determine how much aid they want to accept. Students should review the estimated budget or cost of attendance to determine the amount of loans they wish to accept or decline.

Students can view the estimated budget/cost of attendance by following the steps below:

  1. Log in to the Connect Carolina Student Services Center.
  2. View the Finances section and select “Financial Aid Award.” 

  3. In the Financial Aid Award section, click on “Need Calculated Summary.” 

  4. Click on “Estimated Financial Aid Budget” to view anticipated costs. 


How often do I need to apply for financial aid?

Students apply (or re-apply) for federal student aid during each academic year of enrollment. Fall, spring and summer I are considered a full academic year.

If students begin the program in the spring or summer semester, they should apply for aid for that current academic year as well as the upcoming academic year.

How do I indicate how much of my total financial aid I want in each term (either fall, spring or summer)?

Students can use the “Reduce/Decline” self-service feature in Connect Carolina to indicate how much aid they want to accept. When a loan is reduced, the system will automatically split that reduction equally between both the fall and spring semesters.

For example, if a $10,000 loan is reduced to $5,000, the reduction will be updated to $2,500 per fall/spring semester (for a total of $5,000).

If a student’s first term of enrollment is spring semester, loan reductions will only be made for that semester. During the summer term, loan reductions are updated just for that term.

Can I view what my financial aid award will be prior to the term starting or prior to when the bill is due?

Yes. Students can view the amount of aid that is scheduled to be disbursed for the upcoming aid year by using the “View Financial Aid” feature in Connect Carolina.

They can then select the aid year they wish to view and see what to anticipate for each term of that academic year.

When will I be billed for the term?

The University Cashier issues tuition bills around the fifteenth of each month.

Spring tuition charges are posted in November, so the bills are due in December before the spring term starts. Summer I tuition is posted in May.

Fall tuition is posted in July, so the bills are due in August before fall term starts.

How is my financial aid impacted if I drop a course after the first day of classes?

If a student’s enrollment falls below half time (4.5 credits per semester), their aid will be canceled and they will be personally responsible for any tuition/fees charged for the semester.

After the University “census” date (generally around the tenth day of class), aid is not impacted and dropping a course, even below 4.5 hours, does not affect financial aid.

If a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence, financial aid will be prorated based on the number of days the student was enrolled during the semester, even if the withdrawal or leave of absence happens after the University census date.

Can I start to repay my loans while in the program?

Yes. Students should contact their federal loan servicer to initiate early payment(s). Students can obtain the contact information for their federal loan servicer through the National Loan Data System.

Where can I ask more questions about financial aid?

Students can contact the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid at (919) 962-8396 or via contact the Office of Scholarships via email at aidinfo@unc.edu.