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After subtracting any savings/family support, fellowships, scholarships, military/employee benefits you’ve secured, student loans are available to help you fund remaining program costs and, if desired, certain qualifying living expenses.

Student loan options are available through the University for U.S. citizens and permanent residents and international students. You may find other loan options through the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

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Student Loan Options for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents

Students have access to non need-based loan funding (loans that being accruing interest at disbursement) to cover expenses associated with their degree. A student’s total financial aid (scholarships, fellowships, and all education loans) cannot exceed the financial aid budget for the academic year, which includes tuition and fees and living expenses (see below).

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program is available to all U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents who meet basic Federal requirements (i.e. student has never defaulted on a Federal loan, is not currently involved in filing bankruptcy, registered for Selective Service etc). Students can choose to borrow either Federal Direct Graduate PLUS or private student loan funds to supplement the Unsubsidized Loan annual maximum of $20,500. UNC Chapel Hill does not have a preferred lender list for private education loans. Students should research private education loan lenders to determine which option is best for their individual situation.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans Private Loans
Credit Requirements None, but student must meet eligibility requirements as determined by the FAFSA. Good credit history or no credit history (no delinquent accounts or bankruptcy on credit report). Lenders may require students to have a particular credit score to be approved without a co-borrower.
Interest Rate 6.08% fixed* 7.08% fixed* Fixed or variable and is normally based on either the Prime Rate or LIBOR.
Origination Fee 1.059%** 4.236%** Varies, but normally none.
Annual Maximum $20,500 Financial aid budget minus all other financial aid. Financial aid budget minus all other financial aid.
Grace Period 6 months 6 months 6 to 9 months
Repayment Method 10 to 25 years. Several repayment plans available. 10 to 25 years. Several repayment plans available. 10 to 25 years, depending on the lender
Income-Driven Repayment Options Yes Yes No
Possible Loan Forgiveness or Cancellation Yes Yes No

To apply for federal student loans, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To qualify for federal student loans an Online MAC student must be enrolled in at least 4.5 credits per semester: July and October quarters equal the fall semester, January and April quarters equal the spring semester.

*The interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan and applies to loans disbursed after July 1, 2019 and before July 1, 2020. Read more about Federal Direct Loans at the Department of Education website.

**The origination fee is part of the principal loan amount that is deducted from the disbursed amount and applies to loans disbursed after October 1, 2019 and before September 30, 2020.

Your total financial aid (scholarships, fellowships, and all education loans) cannot be more than the estimated living expenses plus tuition and fees. Living expense estimates are based on reasonable cost of living for the Chapel Hill area–individual student expenses may be less than the above amounts, which are the maximum amounts that can be covered through financial aid.

Financial Aid Budget Living Expenses

Per month Per Semester
Books N/A $486
Food $524 $2,358
Health insurance $288 $1,294
Housing $1,513 $6,810
Miscellaneous $208 $938
Direct Loan Fee N/A $127
Travel $177 $798
Total $2,710 $12,811

Student Loan Options for International Students

Private Education Loans (for students with a U.S. co-signer)

International students who have a credit-worthy U.S. citizen co-signer or U.S. permanent resident co-signer may also be eligible for private education loans through lenders such as Sallie MaeWells Fargo and Discover. Students should research private education loan lenders to determine which option is best for their individual situation.

Other Education Loans

Students should also explore other loan options that may be available through other resources, some of which are dependent on the country of citizenship. Some of these will have specific requirements for the borrower as outlined by the lender, bank, or government so the student should contact the lending agency directly for details on each program. Below is a list of possible programs, but this is in no way a comprehensive list.


For More Information

If you have questions related to financial aid, contact:

On-Campus Format

Susan Brooks
Campus Box 3490, McColl Building
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
919-962-9096 (phone)
919-962-2927 (fax)
susan_brooks@kenan-flagler.unc.edu

Online Format

Anna Kerns
Campus Box 3495, East 54 Building
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
919-962-0135 (phone)
anna_kerns@kenan-flagler.unc.edu


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