School Related Questions

How can I tell if a school accepts the Pell Grant?

All public community colleges and public universities accept the Pell Grant. However, there may be certain programs or classes offered at a community college that are classified at Adult Education and therefore are not eligible to receive the Pell Grant.

If you are unsure if your classes or school accepts the Pell Grant, please speak with the financial aid office at the school for more information.

How do I know if a school is Public vs Private?

Each school’s website should denote whether they are a public or private institution.

What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is the money you receive from your school to help pay for your tuition, fees, educational and living expenses. Financial aid includes the Pell Grant, Institutional Grants, Scholarships, Work Study, Student Loans and NC Reach/ETV.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) determines a student’s eligibility for federal and state grants, loans and work-study and needs to be completed every year.

Click HERE for more information or to complete the FAFSA.

What is Residency Status?

Residency status refers to whether your school is charging you in or out of state tuition. All incoming freshman, and transfer students, must provide documentation that they are a resident of North Carolina at the Residency Determination Service Requirement (RDS) website:

For more information regarding RDS go to:

How do I get my books for class if my financial aid hasn’t been refunded yet?

Depending on where a student is attending, some schools offer book vouchers or allow students to charge their books to their student account to be paid later by financial aid. Some schools have privately owned book stores and students at those schools would need to be prepared to purchase their books initially on their own, and then reimburse themselves once their refund comes in.

What is Cost of Attendance (COA) and what does it mean for me?

“Cost of Attendance” (COA) is the amount your school determines it will cost you to attend classes and live while a student for one academic year – tuition, fees, on-campus room and board (or housing and food for off-campus students), and allowances for books, supplies, personal costs (toiletries, clothing, medical), transportation and, if applicable to you, loan fees.

Each school has a different cost of attendance number, which is the cap on all the financial aid you can receive at that school. By federal law, a student cannot receive financial aid of any sort (Pell, ETV, other state grants, scholarships, or loans) beyond the published COA for their school.

NC Reach funding is combined with the rest of the financial aid you receive from your school (Pell Grant, Scholarships, Work Study or Student Loans) and the total amount must be below your school’s COA.

COA is a general figure that you can find on your school’s website, and it is divided into on-campus, off-campus, off-campus living with parents, in-state and out-of-state, undergraduate and graduate. COA does not include items like child/dependent care, a computer, costs related to a disability, or other special expenses an individual might have. However, if you visit your financial aid office you can make a case for having such expenses added to your COA, by possibly completing a cost of attendance adjustment form.

What is Student Health Insurance Waiver?

All students attending a four year university must have active medical insurance. The school will automatically provide and bill students for medical insurance each semester unless they waive it by the semester deadline, and provide proof of other insurance.

Most NC Reach students should already have Medicaid until they are 26, which will allow you to waive your student insurance and the semester fee (can be over $1100 a semester!)

Here is the link with more information on school health insurance and how to waive it:

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