Financial Aid Checklist

Follow these steps to apply for federal student aid:

    1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at Include the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill school code: 002974.

      Be sure to complete the FAFSA for the aid year that corresponds with your enrollment. View the MPA@UNC financial aid video for detailed information.

    2. 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 into the FAFSA.

      The Office of Scholarships & Student Aid will receive an electronic copy of the FAFSA within five to seven business days after you submit it.

      A financial aid offer will be provided to you by the Office of Scholarship & Student Aid. The financial aid offer will include federal student loans.

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

      Both the entrance counseling and the 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). Loan servicer contact information can be found on the National Student Loan Data System.

    4. 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. The Graduate PLUS Loan credit decision expires within 180 days from applying.

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

      Utilize the Graduate & Professional Budget Worksheet from the Office of Scholarships & Student Aid to help evaluate your needs.

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

      • If your application for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is approved, complete a separate loan agreement (MPN) for this loan.
      • If your application for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is declined, you can re-apply with a cosigner (endorser) or appeal the denial through DOE.

For more detailed information on Federal Student Aid programs, visit