Jul 17, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

Expenses and Financial Assistance

General Information

The current schedule and additional tuition and payment information can be obtained from the Cashier’s Office, Admissions Office, or by clicking here.

It is estimated that the average student who is a North Carolina resident incurs necessary expenses of approximately $18,395 for tuition and fees, and room and board, 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 multiple locations throughout the campus. Meals are available either by a meal plan or by individual selections at moderate prices. Information about the benefits and costs of meal plans can be found on the Campus Living website. Information about meal plans can also be found on the ECU Dining Services website

ECU First Day is a program that lowers the cost of course materials and ensures undergraduate students have their required course materials on the first day of class. Offered by Barnes & Noble College (BNC) and operated on campus by ECU Dowdy Student Stores, ECU First Day gives access to materials without the need to shop around. Included in this concierge service are textbook rentals and digital course materials, depending on the class. Students can buy their rented textbooks at a reduced price at the end of the semester if they wish. The program does not run in the summer sessions. Enrollment in the program is automatic for all undergraduate students, and the cost is $20 per credit hour per term. This is added to the student account based on the student’s course schedule. Students have a window of time to opt out and make other decisions about their enrollment in the program. To read more, go to https://first-day.ecu.edu/. Graduate students are not eligible for ECU First Day program.

For student convenience, the university owns and operates Dowdy Student Stores which located on main campus and on the health sciences campus. The main campus location is on the main level of the Main Campus Student Center (501 E. 10th Street). The health sciences campus location is inside the Health Sciences Student Center (868 Health Sciences Drive, Second floor, Room 213). At these two locations students are able to find all course materials and textbooks needed. The cost of textbooks varies according to the area of study and are available in different formats (e.g., used, rental, and digital). More information can be found on the Dowdy Student Stores website

Financial Aid and Award Information

ECU students have direct access to financial aid and award information by accessing the “Financial Aid Self Service” card in PiratePort. From the landing page and tabs across the top of the page students have direct access to outstanding requirements; cost of attendance; aid awarded and offered; and financial aid holds. There is also a resource page for definitions and links to important information.

Undergraduate 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.

Undergraduate 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. 

Determining Residency Status for Tuition in North Carolina

In order for a student’s residency determination to be effective for the current term at ECU, RDS determination must have an effective date on or before the 45th day of the term for fall and spring semesters, or 9th day of the term for summer sessions. RDS determinations effective after these dates will not be effective for the current term, but will be effective for the next term. 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)

Military Residency

All students must apply for residency through the Residency Determination Service (RDS) and supply all required documents to them for review before seeking a military waiver for residency tuition purposes.

Veterans and dependents may qualify for in-state tuition after an initial classification of out-of-state by RDS.  These veterans and dependents are required to provide additional information through one of the following:



For full details on waiver eligibility and documentation, please visit the RDS website at https://www.ncresidency.org/.

RDS coordinates all aspects of the residency determination process including reconsiderations, RDS appeals, and SEAA Statewide appeals. Please visit their website for additional information or contact RDS through their contact information listed below.

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


Enrollment Deposit

Applicants who are admitted as undergraduate students are required to remit a nonrefundable deposit of $100 to signify their intention to enroll. All enrolling applicants will receive credit for the $100 deposit toward their tuition and fees.

Applicants who are accepted for admission to East Carolina University for the fall semester must deposit the $100 with the Cashier’s Office by May 1, or shortly after admission; applicants who are admitted for the spring semester must remit the deposit by November 15. The approval for admission will be tentative until the deposit and all required final academic records are received and reviewed to ensure that admission standards have been met. If the deposit is not received by the deadline, the applicant’s acceptance will be continued only if space in the university is available.

Fee Payment Schedule

Students will be charged tuition and fees according to the tuition and fee schedule approved by the UNC Board of Governors and the ECU Board of Trustees. They reserve the right to revise the rates at any time found necessary or advisable and without prior notice. Tuition is billed by the semester based on the student’s residency status, classification, program, and number of registration hours. Tuition is due approximately 1-2 weeks before the first day of classes for each fall and spring semester. Any student incurring tuition and fee charges for the first time or who re-registers after the published deadline will be assessed a $25.00 processing fee. No person is allowed to attend class or receive class instruction without being properly registered either for credit or for audit. Distance education courses have a separate tuition and fee schedule. 

Indebtedness to the University and Returned Checks

No degree, diploma, or certificate will be granted, or transcript of credits furnished to 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 University Cashier’s Office and other university offices for returned checks.

Proctored Examinations

There may be additional fees associated with online and face to face courses for verification of student identity and integrity for proctored examinations. The systems used for verification of student identity and integrity for proctored examinations may require the use of webcams, audio, recording of the computer screen and the student, capturing of other personal information, such as student identification cards, and the storing of this collected data for review of security and integrity of the examinations(s). As part of the exam experience, the student may be asked to comply with reasonable proctoring methods, including a scan of computer monitors and the immediate desktop testing area with your webcam. By registering for courses, the student is consenting to the use of these systems and the collection of this personal information for the purpose of proctoring and maintaining the integrity of university examinations.

Refund Policy

Refunding of Tuition and Fees

It is to the financial advantage of all students withdrawing or dropping to part-time status 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 number of credit hours during the fall and spring semesters:

  • First five consecutive class days - tuition and required fees will be refunded at 100 percent. Note: Financial aid recipients may be required to repay a portion of their aid if they drop one or more classes during the 100% refund window.
  • Six to ten consecutive class days - tuition and required fees will be refunded at 75 percent minus a $25 processing fee.
  • Eleven to fifteen consecutive class days - tuition and required fees will be refunded at 50 percent minus a $25 processing fee.
  • Sixteen to twenty consecutive class days - tuition and required fees will be refunded at 25 percent minus a $25 processing fee.
  • Beginning with the 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 email 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 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 recipients. 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

Refunds for tuition and required fees for 1st and 2nd summer sessions 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, students receive 100 percent refunds of tuition and required fees.

Refunds for tuition and required fees for 11-week summer session will be made as follows:

  • First five consecutive class days - tuition and required fees will be refunded at 100 percent. Note: Financial aid recipients may be required to repay a portion of their aid if they drop one or more classes during the 100% refund window.
  • Six to ten consecutive class days - tuition and required fees will be refunded at 75 percent minus a $25 processing fee.
  • Eleven to fifteen consecutive class days - tuition and required fees will be refunded at 50 percent minus a $25 processing fee.
  • Sixteen to twenty consecutive class days - tuition and required fees will be refunded at 25 percent minus a $25 processing fee.
  • Beginning with the twenty-first consecutive class day, refunds will not be considered.

Financial Assistance

Course Program of Study (CPOS)

Course Program of Study (CPOS) is a US Department of Education requirement that only considers courses counting toward a student’s program of study for financial aid eligibility. This federal requirement is not new and is monitored for student compliance at ECU through a reporting process implemented with the Spring 2024 term. 

As defined for financial aid purposes, a program of study is the list of courses required to complete a specific degree as outlined in the University Catalog. A student’s specific catalog year is identified on the Degree Works audit in PiratePort

To receive a full financial aid award, a student’s coursework must include a minimum of twelve (12) undergraduate hours or nine (9) graduate hours from the program of study each spring and fall semester. If a student’s credit hours do not meet this requirement, financial aid eligibility is reduced. Dropped classes may reduce a student’s financial aid and the timing of a change of major is crucial. 

For more information review the questions and answers found at https://financialaid.ecu.edu/cpos-student/.

Veterans Administration Educational Benefits

The Offices of Veterans Administration (VA) and Social Security require a minimum course load of 12 s.h. of required courses per semester (except summer session) for payment of full-time benefits to veterans and eligible dependents.

East Carolina University is approved for a student to take up to 56 s.h. of general education 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 the VA 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 (Mendenhall Room 254 or https://registrar.ecu.edu/veterans/.

UNC Campus Scholarships

The UNC Campus Scholarship program is awarded on financial need and merit to incoming freshmen who are North Carolina residents. The $1,500 scholarship award is designed to assist in the diversification of the university’s undergraduate student body to include the presence of first-generation college students, and students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. These scholarships are awarded by internal selection process and do not require an application.

National and 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, and the Harry S. Truman Scholarships (undergraduate only).

Interested students should contact the Office of University Scholarships for more information (in person: G210 Old Cafeteria Complex; by phone: 252-328-5816; or by email: scholarships@ecu.edu).

Office of Student Financial Aid

Using federal, state and institutional funds, as well as contributions from its many friends and alumni, East Carolina University makes every effort to assist students in locating funds for 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.

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 also 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 Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Federal Work-Study Program
  • Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program
  • Federal Direct Parent Loan Program
  • Nursing Student Loan

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 https://financialaid.ecu.edu/.

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 the ECU Online Scholarship Management System, 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 (in-person: G210 Old Cafeteria Complex; by phone: 252-328-5816; or by email: scholarships@ecu.edu).