Explore Financial Aid Options

Although the cost of college may sometimes seem overwhelming, there is plenty of help available to make college possible. Some basic thoughts on financial aid:

  • Always assume that you may be eligible for financial aid
  • Consider all schools, regardless of cost; financial aid may be available
  • It is FREE to apply for federal financial aid, so go ahead and try

How to Begin

  • The first step to apply for any kind of financial aid is to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This can be done online in our Apply for Financial Aid section, or copies can be obtained at any high school, college or public library.
  • Complete and submit the FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible (that's the first day it will be accepted). Most schools recommend that you submit the FAFSA between January 1 and mid-February. (Hint: It is much easier to complete the FAFSA if you have also completed your tax return for the previous year).
  • A Student Aid Report (SAR) will be generated when you submit your FAFSA. Your SAR will determine your eligibility for federal aid, as well as most other forms of financial assistance.
  • If you are a transfer student, remember that the financial aid process is different at every school. There may be different deadlines or documentation required for assistance. If you enroll in a new school, you must have your FAFSA information sent there. Check with the financial aid office of the school to which you're transferring for more details.
  • If you are a veteran of military service, you may be eligible for special benefits. For a listing of financial aid programs for military and their dependents, visit the Programs for Military and Their Dependents section of the "Student Financial Aid for North Carolinians" book.

Once you have decided where you'd like to apply, check with the financial aid office of that school as soon as possible for specific information.

You can research scholarships, grants and loans by visiting the Pay section of this web site. To apply online for loans, visit the CFNC Apply for Finanical Aid section. Or you can call our toll free number, 866-866-CFNC, to speak directly with a financial aid specialist.