Navigating the FAFSA
Financing Your MPA
If you’re like most graduate students, you will need some type of financial aid in order to pay for school. Many graduate students turn to the U.S. Department of Education to help fund their education through Federal Direct Loans and Federal Graduate PLUS loan programs. The first step to applying for federal financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available exclusively online. If you are applying for admission to MPA@UNC, you should complete the FAFSA as soon as you apply, even if you have not yet been accepted into the program.
Here are some things you should know about receiving federal financial aid:
• To be eligible, you need to be enrolled at least half-time (4.5 hours per term).
• You can receive up to $20,500 annually in Direct Unsubsidized Loans.
• Federal loans provide favorable interest rates and flexible repayment programs.
• A Federal Direct Loan does not require a cosigner or credit check, while a Graduate PLUS Loan does require a credit check, which is done during the application process.
• You have the option to borrow as little or as much of the amount that you are eligible to receive.
Completing the FAFSA
Here’s what you will need in order to complete your FAFSA:
• Social Security number
• Driver’s license number
• Previous year’s W-2 forms and tax returns, recent bank statements, and mortgage and investment information
If you are a new user, you must create an account and obtain a PIN, which you will also use to access the Master Promissory Note for your loan(s) once you are approved. If you have completed the FAFSA within the last few years, you may use the PIN assigned to you at that time. The electronic application will take you through the process step by step. Remember to enter UNC school code 002974.
Quick Tip: Complete a FAFSA worksheet ahead of time to help make the application process easier.
Getting More Info
The MPA@UNC Admissions Team is friendly and always available to answer questions about financial aid or to talk with you about the program. Additionally, the UNC Office of Scholarships and Student Aid can provide you with scholarship information—providing another possible avenue for funding.