Applying for Financial Aid

Step One

Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) between January 1 and March 1. You must submit the FAFSA to be considered for financial aid, including need-based scholarships and loans. The FAFSA is available on-line.

UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine School Code is 002974.

You need the following documents to complete the FAFSA:

  • Your tax return
  • Your W-2s
  • Your bank statements from at least a month
  • Your investment records
  • Depending upon the type of financial aid, you will also need to supply parental financial information.

Determining Student and Family Contributions

Financial need is an important criterion for financial aid eligibility. Financial need is determined based on information on the FAFSA or renewal FAFSA forms. Although all professional school students are considered independent of their parents, students who want to be considered for institutional funds, PCL, HPSL, LDS, and/or SDS must provide parental information on the FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA (See Types of Financial Aid). An "Expected Family Contribution" (EFC) will be calculated from the FAFSA information. Your financial need is then determined by subtracting the EFC from the Cost of Education (COE).

You must apply for financial aid each academic year. After your initial application, you will receive a PIN (Personal Identification Number) from the FAFSA Central Processor. In subsequent years, you only needed to complete the shorter renewal FAFSA, using your PIN. If you did not receive a PIN, you can request one online at the FAFSA website.

Step Two

One to two weeks after completing the FAFSA, you will receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) via email. The SAR lists the information you reported on your FAFSA, so you can check your information for accuracy. If corrections are needed, make them immediately following the instructions. Keep a copy of the SAR for your records. The SAR also indicates your expected family contribution, which is used to determine your eligibility for certain types of financial aid (See Types of Financial Aid).  If you listed the UNC-CH School of Medicine school code in the college release section of your FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office will receive your information electronically. If you did not list UNC-CH SOM, you can request that your information be sent here after you receive your SAR.

Formula to determine Financial Need:
Financial Need = Cost of Education Expected Family Contribution

The Expected Family Contribution represents an estimate of the ability of you and, if applicable, your family to contribute to your educational costs. This standard need analysis is called the Federal Methodology (FM) and was passed into law by Congress under the Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965, and amended by the Higher Education Amendments of 1992. The FM uses the previous years' income in the analysis. An "income protection allowance," which represents the cost of basic necessities for all family members, is used in calculating the EFC. The FM allows for adjustments to be made by the Financial Aid Officer on an individual basis, with required written documentation.

Step Three

Complete any supplemental documents requested by the Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Office must have all requested information before financial aid can be disbursed and loan applications certified. Some students are selected for random verification by the U.S. Department of Education and must complete a Verification Form and return it to the Financial Aid Office, along with any other required documents.

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