2016-2017 Catalog 
    
    Apr 18, 2019  
2016-2017 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid


It is the mission of the UNC Asheville Office of Financial Aid to provide financial assistance to help students remove the financial barriers to obtaining a college education. Our goal is to help each student attend UNC Asheville regardless of financial difficulties. 

The University of North Carolina at Asheville has a broad program of financial aid for students who qualify on the basis of need and academic potential. Financial aid may consist of a scholarship, a grant, a North Carolina grant, a loan, campus employment or a combination of these. Assistance provided by the university is designed to supplement the resources of students and their parents and should not be relied upon to defray all expenses. 

Applicants for financial aid must file the electronic Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov, indicating UNC Asheville as the college choice with federal school code 002907. 

Financial aid applications for the academic year beginning in August should be submitted between January 1 and March 1. Students applying for financial aid after March 1 will be given consideration for all types of financial aid on a fund-available basis. Awards are made only after students have met all admission requirements. 

The types of financial aid offered by the university are outlined below. Additional information is available from the Office of Financial Aid’s website at http://financialaid.unca.edu/.

All financial aid is subject to change based on Federal and State funding.

How Need Is Assessed

Need is assessed once the institution receives the outcome from the FAFSA. This information provides the institution with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and that figure is subtracted from the cost of attendance (COA). If the EFC is less than the COA, the student is said to have a financial need and could receive grants, work study and loans. If the EFC is greater than the COA, the student is said to have no financial need and could receive unsubsidized loans.

Eligibility for Financial Aid

The following students are eligible for financial aid: degree seeking undergraduates seeking their first baccalaureate degree who have less than 180 cumulative attempted credit hours (including transfer hours); students seeking a second undergraduate degree who have less than 230 attempted hours; and students seeking teacher licensure or who are enrolled in courses required to complete the licensure

Visiting students, non-degree seeking students, and students who have exceeded the Maximum Time Limit (see Satisfactory Academic Progress policy) are not eligible to receive financial aid.

Financial Aid Census Date Policy

In accordance with federal and state regulations, the Office of Financial Aid will recalculate federal, state and institutional student aid awards based on the student’s enrollment status on the published census date established by the Office of the Registrar. The census date is typically the end of the 10th day of class for both fall and spring terms. The census date for summer will vary based on the term in which courses are taken.

Changes cannot be made after the census date to awards from the Federal Pell Grant program, the Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, the Federal Perkins Loan program, and the Federal Work Study program. Changes to Federal Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS loan programs are allowed after census date as long as the student meets all other eligibility requirements. Eligibility for funds from the federal programs may be affected for students whose FAFSA information was submitted or corrected after the census date.

Financial aid is awarded to eligible students prior to the start of the semester, based on the assumption that they will be enrolled in a full-time status (12 or more credit hours). Students whose credit hours are below full-time on census day may be required to repay some or all of the aid that was initially disbursed. Students are not eligible to receive additional funding for any credits added after the census date. 

University Scholarships 

The Pisgah Scholars Program

The Pisgah Scholars program is a comprehensive scholarship program offered exclusively to first-time freshmen applicants who have applied to UNC Asheville by the early action Admissions deadline. Students may be considered for admission into the Pisgah Scholars program if they meet some or all of the following criteria necessary for demonstrating excellence as members of the UNC Asheville community:

  • Academic excellence, as demonstrated by a high grade point average during high school or above average scores on the SAT or ACT
  • Interest in or passion for an academic program offered by UNC Asheville
  • Extracurricular engagement
  • Exemplary community service or community leadership

Pisgah Scholars scholarships are renewable for up to 4 years (eight semesters) provided that the student maintains the specified minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00, remains full-time in each semester and does not have a break in their enrollment.

Transfer Scholarships

Students seeking to transfer to University of North Carolina Asheville can also be considered for scholarship opportunities based on the merits of their application. Transfer students seeking to be considered for merit scholarship opportunities must apply to UNC Asheville by April 15 if they seek admission to the Fall semester, or by November 15 if they seek admission to the Spring semester.

Transfer students who demonstrate strong academic achievement through either their grade point average or a body of coursework that would demonstrate high probability of success at UNC Asheville will be considered for scholarships automatically as part of their Admissions application.

These scholarships are renewable and may be received for a second year as long as the student remains enrolled full-time and maintains at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA at UNC Asheville.

Departmental Academic Scholarships

Through the generosity of past and present donors, UNC Asheville offers a variety of scholarships to continuing students who succeed in their academic programs. These grants and scholarships include funds awarded by the Office of Financial Aid in accordance with individual aid program criteria.

Students who want to be considered for these funds should submit their FAFSA to the federal processor by the priority date of March 1 and ensure they have completed any applications required by their academic department. These aid programs are typically non-renewable and are subject to applicant pool and fund availability. UNC Asheville’s academic department scholarships are merit-based and require a minimum 3.0 GPA with few exceptions.

Federal and State Funds

Federal Pell Grant Program

^Top

Federal Pell Grants are awarded based on the student’s financial need, cost of attendance, status as a full-time or part-time student, and whether they will attend school for a full academic year. The maximum Pell Grant can change yearly based on federal funding, and does not have to be repaid. Students should complete the FAFSA to apply for a Federal Pell Grant.

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant

Funded by the federal government, this grant provides assistance for students with exceptional financial need. It does not have to be repaid.

Federal Work-Study Program

The program provides on- and off-campus jobs (10 hours/week) for students who demonstrate financial need and meet the qualifications set forth by the federal government.

Federal Perkins Loan Program

This long-term, low-interest loan (5%) was once funded by the federal government for qualified students who demonstrated financial need. At this juncture, the only funds available are based on amounts that are repaid to the school. Therefore, funds are limited. The Perkins Loan Program will be discontinued in 2018.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan is a long-term, low-interest loan designed to provide students with additional funds for college. Funds must be repaid. This program includes both Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans. For more eligibility information visit the Office of Financial Aid website: http://financialaid.unca.edu/.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Parent Loan Program (PLUS Loan)

Parents of full-time or part-time dependent undergraduate students may borrow amounts that equal cost minus financial aid.

Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan Annual Borrowing Limits

Dependent Undergraduate Students (except students whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS loan) 
     Total  Subsidized Unsubsidized         
  Freshmen $5,500  $3,500  $2,000    
  Sophomore   6,500    4,500  2,000    
  Juniors   7,500    5,500  2,000    
  Seniors   7,500    5,500  2,000    
                 
Independent Undergraduate Students (and dependent students whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS loan)        
                 
  Freshman $9,500 $3,500 $6,000        
  Sophomore 10,500   4,500   6,000        
  Junior 12,500   5,500   7,000        
  Senior 12,500   5,500   7,000        
                 

Graduate and Professional Students
Graduate and Professional Students may receive a maximum of $20,500 of unsubsidized loans each year.  

Federal TEACH Grant

The TEACH (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education) program provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who agree to serve as full-time teachers in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students. As a recipient of a TEACH Grant, students must teach for at least four academic years. This four-year service obligation must be completed within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which a TEACH Grant was received.

North Carolina State Grants

North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship (ELS)

This scholarship is awarded on the basis of financial need as determined by the FAFSA. Eligible students must be North Carolina residents for tuition purposes, be enrolled in at least six credit hours, and be undergraduate student seeking their first bachelor’s degree. The student’s initial award is based on the assumption that they will be full-time. If the student is enrolled between 6 and 11 hours, the student is only eligible to receive half of the originally funded amount. Students are not eligible for an ELS scholarship once they have 132 attempted credit hours.

The North Carolina Native Americans Scholarship

The North Carolina General Assembly has provided funds for a number of need-based grants to resident North Carolina Native American students in constituent institutions of The University of North Carolina. Eligibility for a grant under the Incentive Scholarship and Grant Program for Native Americans (ISGPNA) is limited to a person qualifying as follows:

  • admitted or enrolled as a student in good standing in a degree program at this institution;
  • classified by this institution as a resident of North Carolina for tuition purposes as defined in the residence status regulations (Residence Manual, current edition) of the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina;
  • found to have financial need by this institution; and
  • coming within this definition of Native American: an individual who maintains cultural identification as a Native American through membership in a tribe recognized by the state of North Carolina or by the federal government or through other tribal affiliation or community recognition.

University of North Carolina Need-Based Grant

This program is administered by the College Foundation of North Carolina and provides grants to North Carolina residents who are enrolled at the university at least half time. This grant is limited to eight semesters. 

Institutional Grants

North Carolina Tuition Offset Grant

This grant is provided by the state of North Carolina to help students offset the yearly increases of tuition. The student must have demonstrated financial need.

The UNC Asheville Need-Based Grant

This grant enables students who qualify for financial assistance to begin or continue their education at the university. Eligible candidates must be residents of North Carolina and must be full-time students in the academic year for which they request aid. The grant is limited in funding and is only awarded to those students with the greatest documented need as determined by the FAFSA. Recipients must have a satisfactory academic record.

  Top

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Recipients

Federal regulations require all schools participating in Title IV Federal Financial Aid Programs to have a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy. The requirements of this policy apply to all students seeking a baccalaureate degree as one determinant of eligibility for financial aid.  

The SAP policy must measure a student’s progress both qualitatively (Cumulative grade-point average (GPA)) and quantitatively (Completion Ratio). In addition, students are also required to complete their degree requirements within a certain period of time (Maximum Time Limit). This requirement applies to all applicants and recipients of financial aid. Financial Aid is defined as all federal, state, and institutional aid.

For SAP purposes, student academic records are evaluated by the Office of Student Financial Aid at the end of each semester. Students will receive one of three SAP conditions, Good, Warning or Cancelled. If aid is cancelled, the student may appeal (see Appeal Process section). If the appeal is granted, the status will be moved to Probation. The Office of Student Financial Aid will send notification of eligibility to students through their official UNC Asheville e-mail account.

Students who are suspended or dismissed from the institution will immediately become ineligible for financial aid. Students who withdraw from all courses in two consecutive semesters while receiving financial aid will not be eligible for reinstatement based on appeal. In such cases, the student will be expected to successfully complete a full-time semester of coursework (i.e., with all passing grades) before appealing for reinstatement. 

Cumulative Grade Point Average (Qualitative Measure)

To be eligible for financial aid, students must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative and term GPA. Some institutional scholarships or grants may require a higher academic achievement than those defined by the Satisfactory Academic Progress criteria. Private aid offered by agencies outside the University is not subject to the conditions of this policy, but will be administered according to donor specifications. 

Completion Ratio (Quantitative Measure)

UNC Asheville recommends students earn at least 30 semester hours per academic year in order to graduate in four years. To remain eligible for financial aid, students must earn at least 67% of the total cumulative hours attempted. Attempted hours include all credits accepted in transfer as well as those attempted at UNC Asheville. Students must receive grades of A, B, C, D (including “+/-“), or S to earn hours. 

For financial aid purposes, the following are not included as part of the earned hours at UNC Asheville. However, they are included in the attempted hours.

  • Grades of F, I, IP, U, W or X/Y (audit) do not earn hours.
  • Audited courses (X/Y) count toward attempted hours but not toward earned hours. Therefore, auditing classes may negatively affect the student’s ability to earn the required number of hours.
  • If a student repeats a course, the total attempted hours will increase with each repeat, but the student will only earn hours for a successfully completed course once. Repeating courses may negatively affect the student’s ability to satisfy the Completion Ratio standard.
  • Incomplete grades (I) count toward attempted hours but will not count toward earned hours until the I grade is replaced by a grade that contributes to earned hours.
  • In-Progress grades (IP) count toward attempted hours but will not count toward earned hours until the IP grade is replaced by a grade that contributes to earned hours.

Federal regulations have amended the definition of a full-time student to allow repeated coursework to count toward enrollment status in term-based programs. Students may repeat a previously passed course once and be paid with Title IV aid accordingly. Students may also repeat a failed course until it is passed and be paid. However, as stated above, grades of “F” do not count as earned hours. Repeating any coursework may ultimately impact a student’s maximum time limit, GPA and completion ratio as it relates to Title IV eligibility.

Maximum Time Limit

To remain eligible for financial aid, undergraduate students seeking their first baccalaureate degree must complete their requirements within 150% of the published length of their academic program. This includes students who are seeking more than one major or minor.  Therefore, students seeking a first baccalaureate degree must complete their requirements within 180 attempted hours to remain eligible for financial aid. However, because most UNC Asheville programs require no more than 120 hours to complete, students are not eligible to receive additional Title IV aid once they have fulfilled requirements to graduate.  If a student elects to postpone taking required courses to avoid graduation, while continuing to take courses not required for their program, they will no longer be eligible for aid.

Student records are evaluated at the end of each semester for Satisfactory Academic Progress.  If the SAP review shows that the student who has surpassed the 120-hour minimum requirement (100%), cannot complete his or her program within 180 credits (150%), the student will no longer be eligible for Title IV aid.

Students will not be eligible for federal, state or institutional aid once they exceed the Maximum Time Limit, even if they have not graduated.

Exceptions to the 180 Credit-Hour Maximum for the First Baccalaureate Degree

  • Students in the Mechatronics or Teacher Licensure programs must complete their requirements in 192 cumulative attempted hours. 
  • Students seeking a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree must complete their degree in 188 cumulative attempted hours.

Satisfactory Academic Progress and Maximum Time Limit for Post-Baccalaureate and Teacher Licensure Students

Students seeking a second undergraduate degree or teacher licensure are subject to the same Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements as listed above for students seeking their initial baccalaureate degree. Students seeking a second undergraduate degree must complete their requirements within 230 cumulative attempted hours. Students in the Teacher Licensure programs must complete their requirements in 192 cumulative attempted hours.

Satisfactory Academic Progress and Maximum Time Limit for Graduate Students

Graduate (MLAS) students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better and may not fail or withdraw from any classes to remain eligible for financial aid. Graduate students do not receive a warning period. Students pursuing a graduate degree in the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences program must complete their degree in 54 cumulative attempted hours.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Study Abroad Students

Students who participate in study abroad during any term will be evaluated for SAP at the end of the term. If transcripts are not received by the end of the term, students will be placed on Warning status for one semester. If transcripts are still not received by the review time for the  following term, aid will be cancelled. If this happens, students will be required to follow the SAP appeal process to have aid reinstated. Students must complete a minimum of 67% of the hours attempted. 

Financial Aid Warning

Financial Aid Warning status will be assigned at the end of the semester to students who fail to make SAP. Students under Warning status may continue to receive Title IV aid for one payment period with no appeal.

If at the end of the one payment period the student is still not making SAP, financial aid will be cancelled, and students must appeal to receive additional Title IV aid. The appeal is subject to review and approval by the SAP Appeal Committee. Students should be prepared to pay until the appeal is considered and a decision is rendered.

Financial Aid Cancellation

Failure to achieve the required GPA and/or completion ratio while on Financial Aid Warning will result in Financial Aid Cancellation. Students are not eligible to receive financial aid in this status. To regain eligibility to receive financial assistance, students must improve their GPA to the minimum requirement of a 2.0 and/or complete 67% of the credit hours attempted. Students with extenuating circumstances may be eligible to appeal for reinstatement of aid (see Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Process section).  

All “F” Grades or Zero GPA

Students receiving all F grades, or having a zero GPA in one semester, will have their status moved directly to Cancelled without a semester of Warning. Until the required hours are earned or the GPA requirement is met, the student is responsible for all charges due to the university.

Students in this situation will be required to pay for one semester even if they are meeting all other SAP requirements. They will also be required to submit an Academic Plan for review by the SAP Committee and the Enrollment Services Committee. If a student unofficially withdraws, aid for that semester is subject to the R2T4 Federal Calculation of repayment and state refund calculation. 

Regaining Eligibility for Financial Aid

If students lose eligibility to receive financial aid because they do not meet the qualitative and/or quantitative measures, they can regain eligibility by:

  • raising their cumulative GPA by taking courses and earning hours at UNC Asheville (these courses cannot be taken at other institutions); and
  • successfully completing a minimum of 67% of the attempted coursework at UNC Asheville

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Process

Students whose financial aid was cancelled due to GPA and/or completion ratio standards may be eligible to appeal for reinstatement. If one of the following circumstances exists, students should submit a completed Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form, providing the required documentation. Appeals submitted without proper documentation will be denied.

  • Death in the family
  • Medical Illness (Personal/Immediate family)
  • Loss of a job
  • Divorce or Separation

Students with chronic conditions are responsible for properly balancing work with known chronic conditions, and appeals for more than one waiver will not be considered. 

Students seeking to re-establish financial aid eligibility remain ineligible to receive financial aid assistance or deferment of payment until the appeal process is complete and a decision has been made by the SAP Appeal Committee. Students should be prepared to pay until the appeal is reviewed and a decision rendered.

Submitting an appeal with the required documentation does not guarantee that the appeal will be approved. The documentation will be reviewed by the SAP Appeal Committee and a decision will be made at that time. Notification regarding the decision of the appeal will be sent to the student’s UNC Asheville email address.  

Steps for Appealing

  1. Complete the UNC Asheville Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form, available at http://financialaid.unca.edu/forms/.  
  2. Attach a personal letter, describing in detail the extenuating circumstances that prevented you from maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress, and what steps you intend to take to assure that you will maintain SAP in the future.
  3. Submit the SAP Appeal form and all of the required documentation to the UNC Asheville Office of Financial Aid. Acceptable documentation for the appeal is as follows:
  • For Death of Immediate Family Member: A copy of the Death Certificate or newspaper clipping that states your relationship to the deceased.
  • For Illness: Statement from physician explaining the type of illness and the date and length of the illness.
  • Other: Proper documentation surrounding the circumstances.

Appeals must be received in the Financial Aid Office 30 days prior to the start of the semester for which you are trying to establish eligibility. Students appealing after this time frame should be prepared to pay for the semester expenses. If the appeal is granted, students cannot submit appeals for other semesters citing the same extenuating circumstances. Students whose appeals are approved will be placed on probationary status. 

Financial Aid Probation

The Probationary status is assigned by UNC Asheville’s Office of Financial Aid to all students who fail to make SAP, and who have appealed and had eligibility for Title IV aid reinstated. UNC Asheville’s Office of Financial Aid may impose conditions for student’s continued eligibility to receive Title IV aid. If the Financial Aid Office chooses not to impose conditions for a student’s continued eligibility, the student may receive aid for one additional payment period. If at the end of the unconditional payment period the student still fails to make SAP, all Title IV aid will be canceled until the student can regain SAP standards. No additional appeals will be granted. The student should be prepared to pay until SAP is obtained. After Financial Aid Probation, the student must be making SAP or must be successfully following an academic plan. There are no exceptions to this condition.

Denied Appeals

If the appeal is denied by the SAP Appeal Committee, and students wish to pursue it further, they may appeal to the Enrollment Services Advisory Committee. If the appeal is denied by one or both committees, students must pay for the semester expenses until satisfactory academic progress is reestablished.  

If SAP wasn’t maintained due to a deficiency in hours (quantitative measure), students may take courses at another institution as long as UNC Asheville will accept the courses in transfer. This process must first be approved by the Office of the Registrar at UNC Asheville.  

If the deficiency is due to GPA (qualitative measure), any additional courses must be taken at UNC Asheville since the GPA is calculated using only UNC Asheville courses.  

After completing the semester being used to reestablish SAP, students must submit another appeal form to The Office of Financial Aid as outlined above in Steps for Appealing.

Title IV Refund Repayment

UNC Asheville has a federally mandated Return of Funds Policy that governs the return of Title IV funds, as well as a refund policy for North Carolina state funds disbursed to students who completely withdraw from the University. If a student completely withdraws, he or she must return unearned student aid. Funds are earned in direct proportion to the length of time a student remains enrolled each semester. If the amount of funds disbursed is greater than the amount of funds earned by a student, a return of funds is required. Both the University and the student are responsible for returning a percentage of the unearned  aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Post-Baccalaureate and Teacher Licensure Students

Students seeking a second undergraduate degree or teacher licensure are subject to the same Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements as listed above for students seeking their initial baccalaureate degree.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Graduate Students

Graduate (MLA) students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better and may not fail or withdraw from any classes to remain eligible for financial aid. Graduate students do not receive a Warning period.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Study Abroad Students

Students who participate in study abroad during any term will be evaluated for SAP at the end of the term. If transcripts are not received by the end of the term, students will be placed on Warning status for one semester. If transcripts are still not received by the review time for the following term, aid will be cancelled. If this happens, students will be required to follow the SAP appeal process to have aid reinstated. Students must complete a minimum of 67% of the hours.