Getting Started

We are so glad you've considered UNC Asheville! We hope this information will demystify and better acquaint you with the financial aid process, but please feel free to contact us with any questions. We are here for you! 

How is financial aid determined?

At UNC Asheville, the only application we require for receiving financial aid is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application takes into consideration income and asset information from the family’s previous year's tax information as well as certain information about the size of the household.

After providing the required information, the FAFSA calculates an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). While the term is a little frightening, it does not necessarily mean that the number calculated is the amount you owe to university. Rather, this number is used as a budgeting number to calculate the student/family’s eligible need.

To determine a student/family’s eligible need, the university calculates an Estimated Cost of Attendance (COA). These costs have been developed as guides/budgets to help students anticipate their direct and indirect costs at UNC Asheville. Note that not all these fees will be paid directly to UNC Asheville. Some students will spend more than the typical amounts, others less, depending on individual lifestyles and circumstances.

Once we have determined a student’s COA, we subtract the EFC and any other aid reported by the student from the COA and the result is the students eligible need.

Cost of Attendance

-Expected Family Contribution ¹
-Other Aid ²
=Eligible Need

¹ As calculated by the FAFSA
² Private scholarships and other aid reported by the student

How do I apply?

If you are going to be enrolled as a degree-seeking student and you are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, have a valid Social Security Number, and registered for Selective Service (if applicable) then you will definitely want to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The online application is a fast and secure way to qualify for financial assistance. The FAFSA becomes available on October 1st.

Never pay to have someone help you file a FAFSA. There are numerous ways you can find FREE help in filing a FAFSA. You may call the FAFSA help line at 1.800.4.FED.AID, contact your high school guidance counselor, or contact a financial aid counselor here at UNC Asheville.

UNC Asheville recommends that you file your FAFSA as early as possible. It is best if you file prior to March 1 of the year in which you will be attending UNC Asheville to ensure that you can receive as much aid as possible, as many funds may be limited.

What other resources are available?

The College Foundation of North Carolina provides a wealth of resources including scholarship searches and advice on how to pay for college. In conjunction with the NC State Education Assistance Authority, NC residents may receive state grants based on the information provided on the FAFSA.

The U.S. Department of Education also provides many resources including a Scholarship Search and valuable information to prepare for college.

Are you a parent and still concerned on how to deal with the costs?, a new site provided by the U.S. Department of Education addresses this issue.

FERPA - Privacy Laws

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prohibits The University of North Carolina Asheville from releasing non-directory* information to anyone other than the student. However, the student may voluntarily waive the right to privacy by granting access to a Proxy through our FERPA Release Process. By completing the form, the student grants the named person(s) access to the indicated information in the student’s educational record. Please note that some information cannot be given over the phone.

*Directory Information is defined as: student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, entrance status, classification, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received (including Dean’s List, Chancellor’s List and scholarships), and the most recent educational agency previously attended by the student