Expenses & Financial Assistance
It is estimated that the average student who is a North Carolina resident incurs necessary expenses of approximately $11,000 for room, meals, tuition, fees, and books during an academic year of two semesters. The costs of meals and textbooks may vary considerably, according to individual requirements. The university operates food service facilities in six locations throughout the campus. Meals are available either under a meal plan or by individual selections at moderate prices. A cost of approximately $1,100 per semester for meals is an estimate. Students are required to purchase their textbooks. For their convenience, the university owns and operates the Student Stores, located on the ground floor of the Wright Building, where all necessary books and supplies may be purchased. The cost of books will vary with the different curricula; $400-$600 per semester is a reasonable estimate.
Residence. To qualify as a resident for tuition purposes, a person must become a legal resident and remain a legal resident for at least twelve months’ immediately prior to classification. Thus, there is a distinction between legal residence and residence for tuition purposes. Furthermore, twelve months legal residence means more than simple abode in North Carolina. In particular it means maintaining a domicile (permanent home of indefinite duration) as opposed to “maintaining a mere temporary residence or abode incident to enrollment in an institution of higher education.” The burden of establishing facts which justify classification of a student as a resident entitled to in-state tuition rates is on the applicant for such classification, who must show his or her entitlement by the preponderance (the greater part) of the residentiary information.
Initiative. Being classified a resident for tuition purposes is contingent on the student’s seeking such status and providing all information that the institution may require in making the determination.
Parents’ Domicile. If an individual, irrespective of age, has living parent(s) or court-appointed guardian of the person, the domicile of such parent(s) or guardian is, prima facie, the domicile of the individual; but this prima facie evidence of the individual’s domicile may or may not be sustained by other information. Further, nondomiciliary status of parents is not deemed prima facie evidence of the applicant child’s status if the applicant has lived (though not necessarily legally resided) in North Carolina for the five years preceding enrollment or re-registration.
Effect of Marriage. Marriage alone does not prevent a person from becoming or continuing to be a resident for tuition purposes, nor does marriage in any circumstances insure that a person will become or continue to be a resident for tuition purposes. Marriage and the legal residence of one’s spouse are, however, relevant information in determining residentiary intent. Furthermore, if both a husband and his wife are legal residents of North Carolina and if one of them has been a legal resident longer than the other, then the longer duration may be claimed by either spouse in meeting the twelve-month requirement for in-state tuition status.
Military Personnel. A North Carolinian who serves outside the state in the armed forces does not lose North Carolina domicile simply by reason of such service. And students from the military may prove establishment of residence by reference, as in other cases, to residentiary acts accompanied by residentiary intent. In addition, a separate North Carolina statute affords tuition rate benefits to certain military personnel and their dependents even though not qualifying for the in-state tuition rate by reason of twelve months legal residence in North Carolina. Members of the armed services, while stationed in and concurrently living in North Carolina, may be charged the in-state tuition rate. A dependent relative of a service member stationed in North Carolina is eligible to be charged the in-state tuition rate while the dependent relative is living in North Carolina with the service member and if the dependent relative has met any requirement of the Selective Service System applicable to the dependent relative. These tuition benefits may be enjoyed only if the applicable requirements for admission have been met; these benefits alone do not provide the basis for receiving those derivative benefits under the provisions of the residence classification statute reviewed elsewhere in this summary.
Grace Period. If a person (1) has been a bona fide legal resident of the required duration, (2) has consequently been classified a resident for tuition purposes, and (3) has subsequently lost North Carolina legal residence while enrolled at a public institution of higher education, that person may continue to enjoy the in-state tuition rate for a grace period of twelve months measured from the date on which North Carolina legal residence was lost. If the twelve months period ends during an academic term for which the person is enrolled at a state institution of higher education, the grace period extends, in addition, to the end of that term. The fact of marriage to one who continues domicile outside North Carolina does not by itself cause loss of legal residence, marking the beginning of the grace period.
Minors. Minors (persons under eighteen years of age) usually have the domicile of their parents, but certain special cases are recognized by the residence classification statute in determining residence for tuition purposes.
Change of Status. A student admitted to initial enrollment in an institution (or permitted to re-enroll following an absence from the institutional program which involved a formal withdrawal from enrollment) must be classified by the admitting institution either as a resident or as a nonresident for tuition purposes prior to actual enrollment. A residence status classification once assigned (and finalized pursuant to any appeal properly taken) may be changed thereafter (with corresponding change in billing rates) only at intervals corresponding with the established primary divisions of the academic year.
Transfer Students. When a student transfers from one North Carolina public institution of higher education to another, he or she is treated as a new student by the institution to which he or she is transferring, and must be assigned an initial residence status classification for tuition purposes.
Regulations on Residency: the Manual. University regulations concerning the classification of students by residence, for purposes of applicable tuition differentials, are set forth in detail in A Manual to Assist the Public Higher Education Institutions of North Carolina in the Matter of Student Residence Classification for Tuition Purposes. Each enrolled student is responsible for knowing the contents of that Manual, which is the controlling administrative statement of policy on this subject. Copies of the Manual are available on request at the undergraduate admissions office, the registrar’s office, and the Joyner and Health Sciences Libraries. The Manual is also available online in the residency section of the registrar’s home page: http://www.ecu.edu/registrar/.
Deadline for Application. Newly admitted or readmitted undergraduate students applying for the in-state rate for tuition should complete the Application for In-State Residence and Tuition and return it to the undergraduate admissions office at least three weeks prior to registration day for the term for which they seek in-state tuition. Continuing undergraduate students who seek to have their residency status changed to in-state should complete the Application and return it to the registrar’s office at least three weeks prior to registration day for the term for which they seek in-state tuition. Students seeking a military waiver of out-of-state tuition should complete the Application for a Military Waiver and return it to the registrar’s office at least three weeks prior to registration day for the term for which they seek the waiver.
The credit-hour threshold for imposing the surcharge depends upon the number of hours required to earn the degree. For students earning a first baccalaureate degree in a program that requires no more than 128 s.h., the surcharge is applied to all hours in excess of 140 s.h. For students earning a first baccalaureate degree in a board-approved program that requires more than 128 s.h., the surcharge is applied to all hours that exceed 110 percent of the hours required for the degree. Examples of such programs include those that have been officially designated by the Board of Governors as five-year programs, programs involving double majors, and combined bachelor’s/master’s degree programs. For students earning a baccalaureate degree other than their first, the surcharge shall be applied to all hours that exceed 110 percent of the minimum additional hours needed to earn the additional baccalaureate degree.
Exemption: The surcharge will not be imposed on undergraduates who complete a first four-year baccalaureate degree program in eight or fewer regular term semesters or the equivalent or a five-year program taken in ten or fewer regular term semesters or the equivalent.
All refunds are subject to the above noted time limitations and will be based on the difference between the amount paid and the charge for the block of hours for which the student is officially registered.
A separate and extended refund policy exists for first-time federal Title IV financial aid recipients. Refer to financial aid materials or contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.
To officially withdraw from the university, a student must give written notice to the Center for Academic Services.
Any refunds that a student is entitled to shall first be applied to outstanding financial obligations owed the university.
East Carolina University is approved for a student to take up to 56 s.h. of foundations curriculum courses. After a student receives the 56 s.h., he or she must declare a major either officially or unofficially for the VA. The 56 s.h. will include transfer credits and credits earned on campus.
After the student declares a major, benefits will be paid only for courses listed in the catalog under that degree/major program. Substitutions are allowed when the major chairperson gives written approval prior to the student’s taking the course.
Students declared academically ineligible will be required to remove their probation before educational benefits can be recertified to the VA.
Students may be eligible for an additional allowance under a work-study program. The work-study program allows students to perform work for the VA in return for an hourly wage. They may perform outreach services under the supervision of a VA employee, prepare and process VA paperwork, work in a VA medical facility, or other approved activities. Students must be enrolled at three-quarter or full-time rate.
Students may be eligible to receive a special allowance for individual tutoring if they enter school at one half-time or more. To qualify, students must have a deficiency in a subject, making the tutoring necessary. There is no entitlement charged for tutorial assistance.
Further information is available at the campus veterans affairs office.
Three main types of financial assistance are available to qualified students: gift aid, consisting of grants and scholarships; longterm educational loans; and part-time employment. Students classified as nondegree auditors, special students, or visitors are not eligible for financial aid.
Because the primary aim of the financial aid programs is to provide assistance to students who, without aid, would be unable to continue their education, most of the funds are awarded on the basis of financial need. However, in its efforts to strive for excellence, the university offers assistance to some talented students based on merit rather than need.
The university participates in federal programs which provide funds on the basis of financial need as follows:
Information pertaining to the application process, types of aid available, and academic requirements may be obtained from the East Carolina University Office of Student Financial Aid and at www.ecu.edu/financial. Students should contact appropriate deans or departmental chairpersons of intended major areas concerning scholarships that are available in those disciplines.