Financial Information

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fee rates are listed on the Cashier's Office Web site under Tuition and Fees.

The Office of Scholarships and Student Aid provides estimates on the cost of attendance (including tuition, books, room and board, etc.) for one year at UNC.  The rates for master’s students are available online from UNC’s Office of Scholarships & Student Aid.
In addition, students should consider the cost of the required laptop computer.

NC Residency

Residents of North Carolina may attend UNC at Chapel Hill at a significantly lower cost. Please refer to the Graduate School's Web site for North Carolina Residency for Tuition Purposes, which contains information about NC residency requirements and how to apply for resident status.

Financial Aid

Prospective master’s students should apply for admission by mid-December to receive full consideration for financial aid. Details of the application deadlines are on the UNC Graduate School’s page for specific degree programs.

Need-Based Aid 

Need-based assistance is handled by the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid (OSSA). Application is made by completing the FAFSA form and requesting that financial information be sent to UNC at Chapel Hill. For questions regarding need-based aid, please consult OSSA directly.

Merit-Based Aid

There is no separate application process for merit-based financial aid. Awards will be made on the basis of the application to SILS.
Most SILS financial aid is given to students who begin their programs in summer or fall semesters; if an award is made in summer, it will generally not begin until the fall semester. Some of these fellowships are awarded to those entering in the spring semester.


Assistantships awarded by SILS included appointments as Carolina Academic Library Associates (CALAs), Carolina Technology Associates (CaTAs), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Library Assistants, and grant-funded or other assistantships within the School. In addition, SILS can nominate a small number of applicants for Graduate School Merit Assistantships or the Weiss Urban Livability Fellowships.

Assistantships require 15-20 hours of service to the School; recipients are not allowed to accept other employment beyond the assistantship. All assistantship stipends are at or above the minimum stipend level for terminal master’s programs, suggested by the UNC-CH Graduate School.
Key aspects of each type of assistantship are described here:

Carolina Academic Library Associates (CALAs): two-year appointments in the UNC-CH Libraries; includes stipend for 12 months, health insurance, and full tuition support. Approximately 8 CALAs are appointed each fall; appointments are made in February and early March.

Carolina Technology Associates (CaTAs): two-year appointments in a systems or technology setting on campus or in the area; includes stipend for 9 or 12 months, health insurance, and full tuition support. 1-2 CaTAs are appointed each fall; appointments are made in February and early March.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Library Assistants: appointments in the EPA Library in Research Triangle Park; varying length, usually made after one semester has been completed; includes stipend, health insurance, and full tuition support. Approximately 6 assistants are appointed each year, fall or spring; appointments are made as positions become available.

Grant-funded or SILS-funded assistantships: appointment length and duties vary, based on the needs of current grants and the School, but are typically of one year; typically includes stipend for 9 months, health insurance, and full tuition support. Approximately 4-5 assistants are appointed each year, fall or spring; appointments are made as positions become available.

Graduate School awards nominated by SILS: Merit Assistantships are described at Weiss Urban Livability Fellowships are described at Both are 9-month appointments within the School. SILS is allowed to nominate 3 people for each of these awards each year; typically, 1-2 nominations for each award are successful; successful nominees will be notified in late February.


SILS also provides small ($2500) merit-based fellowships. These awards do not require service to the School, so the awardee may also work part-time outside SILS (see section on “Other Work Opportunities” below). These awards are distributed in the fall and spring semesters.

External Awards

A number of foundations, professional associations, and other organizations provide support to students. UNC's Graduate Funding Information Center can help graduate students find fellowships and other funding opportunities. 
External funding organizations have their own procedures and require a separate application. The School posts notices of award opportunities to student listservs.

American Library Association (ALA) Funding Resources 

Other Work Opportunities

Numerous student assistant positions are available in on-campus and off-campus information technology units and libraries for students in SILS programs. Students must apply directly to the individual departments or organizations for these positions. The School receives notices of part-time job and internship opportunities and makes this information available to students via the SILS jobs listserv. In addition, students are encourage to review all the resources in the Careers section of the SILS website.

Carnegie Grants

Small grants are available to SILS students for assistance with research costs where unusual expenses are involved. Master’s students may apply once for up to $200 for expenses associated with their master’s paper. Grants can be made for the costs of travel, postage, compensation of human subjects, and certain other expenses. Grants are not made for the mechanical preparation of the resulting paper, i.e., typing, photocopying of the finished paper, etc. Your application must be approved before you make any expenditures for which you are requesting funds.


  1. Talk with your research advisor and secure the advisor’s approval for submitting a request.
  2. Complete the Carnegie grant application to apply for funding.
    1. Develop a brief statement as to how the funds are to be used, along with a proposed budget.
    2. Have the faculty advisor complete the advisor approval section.
    3. Turn in the completed application to the SILS assistant dean for administration.
    4. You will be notified upon approval of your application
  3. To apply for a cash advance for subject payments, meet with the SILS accounting technician for appropriate paperwork and instruction.  To obtain reimbursement for payments, submit receipts for covered expenditures to the SILS accounting technician.
  4. Note on compensation for human subjects: Normally, compensation should be made via gift cards. If the student and his or her advisor decide that compensation must be in cash, the following procedures should be followed:
    1. Each subject must sign and date a receipt acknowledging they received payment as compensation for participation in the study. These receipts should be kept confidential, along with the signed informed consent forms, either by the advisor or with the IRB forms in the main office for five years.
    2. To receive reimbursement, the student should submit a receipt containing the following information: number of subjects, amount given to each subject, date(s) of disbursement, statement of who holds the subjects’ acknowledgements receiving payment, signature of student, signature of advisor.
    3. In case of audit, the subjects’ acknowledgements may need to be produced for review.

Travel Grants

SILS students who are presenting their work at a professional/research conference may apply for up to $200 for expenses associated with travel to that conference. To apply, they should fill out the Conference Travel Grant Application Form.  The form needs to be submitted for approval prior to the trip. Reimbursement after the meeting will be made based on submission of actual receipts. In some cases, registration fee reimbursement may be requested in advance of the conference.