Jul 14, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Expenses and Financial Assistance

General Information

Because of the early publication of this catalog, the tuition and fee schedule is omitted. The current university schedule of tuition and fees can be obtained from the cashier’s office, the admissions office, or at https://financialservices.ecu.edu/cashiers-office/.

It is estimated that the average graduate student who is a North Carolina resident incurs necessary expenses of approximately $21, 400 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 $2,130 per semester for meals is an estimate. Students are required to purchase or rent their textbooks. For their convenience, the university owns and operates the Student Stores, located on the ground floor of the Student Center on 10th Street, 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.

Graduate Student Residency

Residency Classification and Reclassification

The State Education Assistance Authority (SEAA) is the authoritative source for all residency determinations in North Carolina. Session Law 2015-241 authorized the State Education Assistance Authority (SEAA) to perform all functions necessary to implement the coordinated and centralized Residency Determination Service (RDS) to apply the criteria in G.S. §116-143.1. This statute addresses the specific standards for determining resident status for tuition purposes.

Graduate students applying for admission and claiming in-state residency for tuition purposes or currently enrolled students seeking a reconsideration after March 1, 2017, must visit the https://ncresidency.cfnc.org/residencyInfo/ for more information or to apply. The ECU Graduate School does not render decisions about residency nor hear appeals or reconsiderations. 

Determining Residency Status for Tuition in North Carolina

Residency applications must be submitted to the Residency Determination Service (RDS) by 5pm on the tenth-class day for which in-state residency for tuition purpose is being sought. https://ncresidency.cfnc.org/residencyInfo/

Overview of Requirements

To qualify for in-state tuition or to establish eligibility for state grant determination under North Carolina law, a student must prove:

  • they established and maintained their legal residence in North Carolina for 12 months before claiming residency
  • intent and capacity to maintain permanent legal residence in North Carolina
  • they are here for a purpose other than going to college (some students may never qualify as an in-state resident for tuition purposes, particularly if they came to North Carolina to attend college) Simply residing in North Carolina is NOT enough. A student must show permanent ties to North Carolina by proving that any previous state of residence has been abandoned. Students may not have more than one legal residence (domicile) at one time.

To qualify for in-state tuition or to establish eligibility for state grant determination, you or your parent(s)/guardian(s) must demonstrate capacity, presence, intent, and duration:

  • Capacity: the ability to make North Carolina your permanent home legally and financially and remain in NC permanently
    • to claim residency on your own (separate from your parent(s)/guardian(s) you must demonstrate capacity based on your own financial resources, not through support from your parent(s) or through gifts from someone else
  • Presence: be physically present in and reside in North Carolina
  • Intent: perform various actions as evidence of making North Carolina your permanent home (domicile) rather than residing in the state for the purpose of attending college
  • Duration: maintain a domicile continuously for at least 12 full months before you claim residency

Considerations During Residency Determination Process

Length/Intent of North Carolina Residency

  • How long has the student been in the state of North Carolina?\
  • Has the student left the state of NC for an extended period (including the break between spring and fall semesters)?
  • What were the reasons for moving to North Carolina?
  • Have there been sufficient actions initiated by the student to become a resident of North Carolina?
  • Is there intent for the student to reside in North Carolina following graduation from college

Financial Considerations

  • Does the student claim to be self-supporting? If so, is the student employed in the state of NC?
  • In which state did the student file taxes?
  • Is the student a dependent on someone else’s taxes?
  • In which state do the student’s parent(s) or legal guardian reside?
  • What are all the sources of financial support for the student

RDS coordinates all aspects of the residency determination process including reconsiderations, RDS appeals, and SEAA Statewide appeals. For contact information, see below. 

NC RDS Website
844-319-3640 (toll free)
919-835-2427 (fax)


Fee Payment Schedule

Returning students or those admitted and registering before the collection of fees begins for the fall or spring semesters will be subject to a late payment fee if tuition and fees are not paid by a published deadline, which usually precedes registration day by about two weeks. The academic calendars include the published deadlines and can be accessed online at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/fsonline/senate/fscalend.cfm.

Students will be charged tuition and fees based on admission status.

Tuition and fees are subject to revision by The UNC Board of Governors and/or the ECU Board of Trustees, who reserve the right to revise them at any time found necessary or advisable and without prior notice.

No person is allowed to attend class or receive class instruction without being properly registered either for credit or for audit.

See www.ecu.edu/financial_serv/cashier/tufee.cfm for summer session and continuing studies fees.

Indebtedness to the University and Returned Checks

No degree, diploma, or certificate will be granted or transcript of credits furnished a student until all financial obligations to the university, other than secured student loans, have been paid. A student may not be permitted to register, to attend classes, or to take final examinations after the due date of any unpaid obligations.

A charge will be imposed by the Office of the Cashier, Student Stores, and other university offices for returned (NSF) checks. They may subject the maker to legal action and may jeopardize other financial privileges on campus such as cashing checks where allowed.

Refund Policy

Refunding of Tuition and Fees

It is to the financial advantage of all students withdrawing, dropping to part-time status, or dropping to a lower block of credit hours to do so as early in the semester/session as possible. The official withdrawal policy may be found in the academic regulations section of this catalog. Refunds for tuition and required fees (excluding room and board charges which are determined by contractual agreement) will be made as follows for students who withdraw or drop to a lower block of credit hours:

  • Through the first week of classes (five class days starting the first official day of classes for the university) tuition and required fees will be refunded at 100 percent.
  • The second week of classes (six to ten consecutive class days) tuition and required fees will be refunded at 75 percent minus the $25 nonrefundable processing fee.
  • The third week of classes (eleven to fifteen consecutive class days) tuition and required fees will be refunded at 50 percent minus the $25 nonrefundable processing fee.
  • The fourth week of classes (sixteen to twenty consecutive class days) tuition and required fees will be refunded at 25 percent minus the $25 nonrefundable processing fee.
  • Beginning with the fifth week of classes (twenty-first consecutive class day) refunds will not be considered.

If the student wishes to appeal balances resulting from tuition and fee charges, the process must be initiated in writing to the Tuition Refund Appeals Committee. The written appeal can be submitted to the Cashier’s Office or via e-mail to tuitionappeals@ecu.edu.

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.

Policy Exceptions

There will be no refunds for special course fees after the first five class days of each semester.

A separate and extended refund policy exists for federal Title IV financial aid and North Carolina state aid programs. Generally, students withdrawing from the institution may owe a repayment of all or some portion of the financial aid received. Please 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 Office of the Registrar.

Any refunds that a student is entitled to shall first be applied to outstanding financial obligations owed the university.

Summer Sessions

The refund period for withdrawal or reduction in course load is limited to the first week of classes (five class days starting with the first official day of classes for the university). During this period, 100 percent of the tuition and fees will be refunded.

Financial Assistance

Veterans Administration Educational Payments

The Offices of Veterans Administration (VA) and Social Security require a minimum course load of 9 s.h. of required courses per semester (except summer session) for payment of full-time benefits to eligible veterans and dependents.

After the student declares a major, benefits will be paid only for courses listed in the catalog under that degree/major program. Substitutions may be 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 to receive a special allowance for individual tutoring. A student may receive tutorial assistance as long as the student is enrolled in a post-secondary program at least half time, is deficient in the course, and is enrolled in the course during the same term in which tutoring is received. Students can be reimbursed up to $100 a month. The maximum amount payable is $1200. There is no entitlement charge under chapter 35. There is no entitlement charge for the first $600 under chapters 30 and 1606.

Further information is available at the campus veterans affairs office, or by checking on their Web site, https://registrar.ecu.edu/veterans/.

National/International Fellowships and Scholarships

East Carolina University maintains a website devoted to national and international fellowships and scholarships to familiarize students with the competitive national and international fellowships and scholarships available to selected students intent on pursuing graduate work. The website includes the names of ECU faculty contact persons where identified.

These fellowships and scholarships, for the most part, are for terms long enough to ensure completion of the master’s degree, and in some cases to allow work on the doctoral degree. Among the fellowships and scholarships coordinated by this office are the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the Marshall Scholarships, the Rhodes Scholarships, the Fulbright Grants, National Science Foundation Fellowships and the Harry S. Truman Scholarships (undergraduate only).

Interested students should contact the Office of University Scholarships for more information (G131 Old Cafeteria Complex, 252-328-5816).

Office of Student Financial Aid

Through the use of federal and state funds as well as contributions from its many friends and alumni, East Carolina University makes every effort to assist students in the continuation of their education. The staff of the university Office of Student Financial Aid assists students in obtaining funds from the source best suited to the individual’s need.

Three main types of financial assistance are available to qualified students: gift aid, consisting of grants and scholarships; long-term educational loans; and part-time employment. Students classified as nondegree auditors, special students, or visitors are not eligible for financial aid at East Carolina University, though visitors may seek assistance from their home institutions. Students who are not fully admitted degree-seeking graduate students may in limited situations borrow a Federal Stafford Loan only for a limited period of time (not to exceed nine months or two semesters) for coursework that is a prerequisite for admission to an ECU graduate program.

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:

  • Federal Work-Study Program
  • Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program
  • Nursing Student Loan
  • Federal Graduate PLUS (loan program)

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. Students should contact appropriate deans or departmental chairpersons of intended major areas concerning scholarships that are available in those disciplines.

Office of University Scholarships

The goal of the Office of University Scholarships is to provide students and their families with information on both internal and external scholarship opportunities. Scholarships are gifts of money that do not require repayment.

Scholarships usually recognize special achievements in academics, talent, and leadership. Some scholarships may also require that students demonstrate financial need. Financial need will be determined by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Scholarships can come from a variety of sources. Scholarships may be awarded by the Office of University Scholarships and by each of the colleges on our campus. There are scholarships for incoming students, freshmen and transfer students, as well as students currently enrolled at the university.

East Carolina University has many scholarships that have been made available through the generous donations of alumni and friends of the university. Scholarship eligibility, criteria, and amounts may change at any time without prior notice. Information pertaining to the scholarships available and the application process may be obtained from the Office of University Scholarships and at www.ecu.edu/universityscholarships. Many scholarship opportunities can be located by visiting ECU Online Scholarship Management System or ECUAWard via Pirate Port, or by logging in directly at https://ecu.academicworks.com. Students may also find additional information about discipline/major specific scholarships by contacting the academic department of their intended major or by viewing college Web pages.

Interested students should contact the Office of University Scholarships for more information (G131 Old Cafeteria Complex, 252-328-5816).