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

Financial aid budgets (2024-2025)

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 below amounts, which are the maximum amounts that can be covered through financial aid. Certain allowable expenses can be added to the financial aid budget, with documentation of the cost: MBA Global Opportunities, computer purchase, day care for children under 13, and commuting for students living more than 15 miles from campus.

Financial aid budget (per academic year) North Carolina residents Non-North Carolina residents
Tuition and mandatory fees $53,776 $71,956
Total (with living expenses) $84,234 $102,414

Living expenses Per month Per academic year
Books N/A $1,290
Food $674 $6,068
Health insurance $309 $2,784
Housing $1,628 $14,648
Miscellaneous $211 $1,900
Direct Loan fee N/A $306
Grad PLUS Loan fee N/A $1,690
Travel $197 $1,772
Total $3,019 $30,458

Student loan options for U.S. citizens and permanent residents

Students have access to non-need-based loan funding (loans that start accruing interest at disbursement) to cover expenses associated with their degree. Your total financial aid (scholarships, fellowships and all education loans) can’t exceed the financial aid budget for the academic year, which includes tuition, 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, is registered for Selective Service, etc). You can 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. You can research private education loan lenders to determine if a private loan is best for you by using our database (called ELMSelect) of lenders UNC Chapel Hill students have used in the past.

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 7.05% fixed* 8.05% fixed* Fixed or variable and is normally based on either the Prime Rate or LIBOR.
Origination fee 1.057%** 4.228** 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 period 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

*The interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan and applies to loans disbursed after July 1, 2023 and before July 1, 2024. 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, 2022 and before September 30, 2023.

Student loan options for international students

Private education loans (for students with a U.S. co-signer)

International students who are not U.S. citizens and who have a credit-worthy U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident co-signer may also be eligible for private education loans through lenders such as Sallie Mae and Citizens Bank. Students should research private education loan lenders to determine which is best for their individual situation.

Private education loans (that may or may not require a co-signer)

Students should also explore loan options that may be available through other resources, some of which are dependent on your 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 not a comprehensive list.

For more information

Our Financial Aid team is always happy to answer your questions about tuition and financial aid. You can reach out via email to