As a student of the UNC System, you are part of our student community that is nearly 250,000 strong.

The UNC System is a vibrant and productive learning community, in part because it offers a variety of support mechanisms. The UNC System is committed to making sure that every enrolled student has more than just an opportunity to study—the University works to ensure that students have the tools they need to succeed.

This page compiles some of these resources. With these tools in hand, you will have more opportunities to make the most of your time at your chosen institution and to graduate from the UNC System with a valuable degree in hand.

Paying for College

Getting accepted into the institution of your choice is a momentous challenge. Paying tuition and fees is quite another. As a UNC System student, you can consider yourself lucky: North Carolina’s public universities are among the most affordable in the United States.

The establishment of the University of North Carolina in 1789 was a radical innovation in education, driven by one ambitious goal: to provide every North Carolinian access to education that is “as free as practicable.”

Two recent initiatives, both funded by the NC General Assembly, have continued the state’s historical commitment to keeping public higher education affordable and within reach of everyone in North Carolina. Passed in 2016, The Fixed Tuition Program holds the price of tuition constant for four years for students who remain continuously enrolled and on track to graduate. Initiated in 2018, the NC Promise Tuition Plan lowers the cost of tuition at three UNC System institutions to just $500 a semester.

Many students need additional help covering the total cost of college. A large percentage of students and their families seek grants and financial aid opportunities.

Broadly speaking, this assistance comes in two forms: gift subsidies and financial aid. Gift subsidies, whether scholarships or grants, do not need to be paid back. Typically, scholarships are awarded based on academic or athletic merit, while grants are awarded based on financial need. On the other hand, the term financial aid generally refers to loans that must be paid back.

If you need assistance paying for your college education, consult with your institution’s financial aid office to see what resources are available. The Scholarships and Funded Opportunities page provides information about opportunities available to any student in the UNC System, as well as links to institution-level scholarship opportunities.

Our Institutions


As an enrolled student, one of the challenges you will probably face at some point in your career is deciding what you want to major in. Whether you are a first-year student contemplating your choices or an upper-level student considering changing majors or evaluating graduate school options, the degree finder will be invaluable because it can help you locate all approved UNC System programs.

If you have transferred from a North Carolina Community College, the credits you earn at a UNC System institution could count toward an associate degree from the community college. Through the Reverse Transfer program, the UNC and the NC Community College Systems have collaborated so that your investment in a bachelor’s degree could simultaneously maximize your investment in community college coursework.  

Additionally, online courses could supplement traditional classes and accelerate your progress toward degree completion. UNC Online is your direct link to every distance education course and degree program offered throughout the UNC System.


Given the UNC System’s large enrollment, it’s no surprise that students have a significant voice in University matters.

At the System-level, this voice is officially recognized, organized, and amplified through the Association of Student Governments (ASG). All 17 UNC System institutions have representation in this organization, which communicates with the UNC System Board of Governors and UNC System Office staff on behalf of students across the UNC System. The ASG landing page provides contact information for the organization’s leadership. Students with concerns or an interest in serving are encouraged to reach out to their representative.

Graduating seniors with an interest in continuing their leadership role in the UNC System should investigate the Presidential Scholars Program. This unique program offers top graduates an opportunity to work in the UNC System Office for one year, collaborating with senior leadership, members of the Board of Governors, and staff to improve higher education in North Carolina.