The University of North Carolina Asheville offers its students a rigorous liberal arts education with robust hands-on experiences at a fraction of the cost.

Our Office of Financial Aid is here to ensure that college affordability is achievable and as straightforward as possible. Meet with our financial aid counselors one-on-one to explore what “paying for college” can really look like for you and your family!

Read on to learn more about our cost, types of financial aid, and how to choose from the funding opportunities available to you.

Affordable Liberal Arts & Sciences Education

UNC Asheville is invested in your education, and we have a longstanding history of providing an exceptional college experience that is affordable for families. The Fiske Guide to Colleges named UNC Asheville a “Best Buy” in 2021 and 2022.

  • 47% of students receive UNC Asheville scholarships
  • 47% of students are federal or state grant recipients
  • $13,069 average net price for enrolled students
  • The median monthly payment among UNCA graduate loan holders is 15% less than the national average.

Students at UNC Asheville have significant resources to reduce costs beyond their bills so they can take full advantage of their college experience.    

  • Opportunities for significant research and study abroad grants and scholarships
  • Discount rates at local art institutions, including the Asheville Symphony, Biltmore Estate, and Asheville’s two local theaters
  • Access to free commuter bikes and affordable outdoor experiences, including discounted ski trips at Cataloochee Ski Area
  • Free access to ART buses, Asheville’s public transportation
  • Free laundry in all UNC Asheville residence halls

Understanding the Cost of Your UNC Asheville Education

Your estimated Cost of Attendance at UNC Asheville includes direct and indirect costs. Direct costs appear on your bill, including tuition and fees, housing, and meal plans. Indirect costs are not included on your bill, but should be anticipated for your total college costs. Indirect costs include personal expenses, transportation, books, and supplies.

When Financial Aid determines how much aid you can receive, they base it on your total Cost of Attendance (COA), which includes both direct and indirect costs.

As a big part of your COA, tuition rate can be impacted by two main factors – your enrollment status (part-time or full-time enrollment) and your residency. In-state residents pay a lower rate than out-of-state residents. Besides tuition, our financial aid counselors can help you understand additional course and textbook fees along with costs for room and board.

When evaluating your COA, remember to factor in the support you receive from your financial aid package to see the true Cost of Attendance UNC Asheville.

Ways to Pay for College

Consider the different types of aid available to you and how they can contribute to your long-term success, both at UNC Asheville and in your life after graduation.

We award aid on two main criteria: need-based, which is calculated according to your FAFSA and family financial circumstances, and merit-based, which is awarded according to factors like your academic standing, leadership experience, and community involvement.


Scholarships are “free money” that you do not need to repay. At UNC Asheville, all first-time applicants are automatically considered for University Merit Award based on their academic profile.

Currently enrolled undergraduates can reach out to academic departments about their specialized scholarship opportunities. In the spring, undergraduates are invited to apply for additional UNC Asheville scholarships through the Scholarship Portal

Services like the College Foundation of North Carolina and the Free Scholarship Search, FastWeb, and Going Merry, host databases promoting other private scholarships that can be applied to your bill.

Student Loans

Filing the FAFSA can make you eligible for federal student loans, which have fixed interest rates. You’ll complete entrance counseling for your loan as a first-time borrower. After graduation, you’ll have a six-month grace period before loan repayment begins.

You may also choose to apply for private education loans, which may have higher interest rates than federal loans. Our financial aid counselors can direct you to resources for comparing private loan options.

Other Aid Types

Depending on your financial situation and planned involvement on campus, you may be eligible for more ways to pay for college. Many of our students qualify for need-based grants, athletic financial aid, and the federal work-study (FWS) program.

FWS allows you to earn federal funding through part-time employment related to your skills and interests, either on campus or with a local nonprofit agency. The FAFSA is required to receive FWS.

Financial Aid Award Letter – What It Is and How to Read It

Once you’ve applied for aid and received an admission decision, you’ll receive your financial aid award letter. This letter will include the total cost of attendance along with your financial aid options.

We’ll calculate your net cost—the Cost of Attendance after scholarships and grants are applied—so you can see your true annual cost that must be covered out-of-pocket or by loans, work study, private scholarships, or other types of aid.

Once you understand your net cost, you and your family can determine how to financially prepare for college. The financial aid award letter also helps you compare UNC Asheville’s financial aid award with those from other institutions.

You’ll have the opportunity to send an appeal letter if your financial situation has changed due to special circumstances like job loss since your initial application. Contact the Office of Admission & Financial Aid for the appropriate forms. You will be required to submit supporting documentation before your request is reviewed.

When you’ve made your decision, accept all or part of your award package through OnePort.

Have More Questions? Schedule an Appointment with a Financial Aid Counselor

Find support around paying for college through UNC Asheville’s Office of Financial Aid. We’ll answer your questions and offer advice about loans, scholarships, completing the FAFSA, verification selection, and more as you navigate this important process.

Earn a World-Renowned Degree from UNC Asheville at an Affordable Cost

At UNC Asheville, you can receive an affordable education from a top-ranked public university while enjoying the unique benefits of a tight-knit community. Join our considerate learners, inclusive collaborators, and bold explorers on a campus that celebrates and centers the liberal arts and sciences!

Have Questions? Contact the Financial Aid Team! 

Ask questions and get advice from the University of North Carolina Asheville if you need assistance with applying for Financial Aid.