Financial Support Overview

Appalachian's graduate school costs are among the lowest in the southeastern US. Still, a graduate student can face financial challenges when budgeting for tuition and fees. This page gives pointers to resources and advice for financing your graduate education.

Cost of Attendance

The cost of attendance depends on three things: the location of study (on the main campus in Boone or at a remote site), your North Carolina residency status, and how many hours you will enroll in. You can find the tuition and fee schedule on the Student Accounts website. Before you look there, here are some details to help you understand the costs:

  • Location of Study: If you are enrolling in a program offered at a remote site through the field-based cohorts managed by Extension and Distance Education, you will be assessed fees at a lower rate than an on-campus student because you do not have access to the facilities on campus.
  • Full and Part-Time Enrollment: Students pay by the number of hours taken up to 8 hours. Students enrolled in 9 or more hours are considered full time and pay the full-time rate. Students enrolled part-time on campus should consider paying the additional health services fee (see the fee schedule under full time enrollment). If you do not pay the health services fee, you are not eligible to use the clinic on campus.
  • Summer Enrollment: Students pay tuition per credit hour and greatly reduced fees in the summer, but enrollment is limited to 6 hours in any one term.
  • NC Residency: The State of North Carolina subsidizes the tuition costs for its residents. Residency is initially determined based upon the information you list on your application, and some applicants will be asked to submit more information. If you are a graduate student seeking in-state residency for tuition purposes, please contact the Registrar’s Office via email at or you may call (828)262-2050.

Sources of Financial Support

Federal Financial Aid

Degree-seeking and certificate-seeking students who are US Citizens or permanent residents and are enrolled at least 1/2 time (4.5 hours) are eligible for Federal Student Loans (Stafford or PLUS). The location of your program (on or off campus) doesn't matter. Non-degree students are not eligible for Federal aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for Information.

Assistantships, Fellowships, and Scholarships

Regularly admitted, full-time, on-campus degree seeking students are eligible for assistantships, fellowships and scholarships. Because of the source of this funding, on-degree, certificate students, off-campus or part-time students are not eligible. If you were admitted provisionally, you are not eligible in your first semester of enrollment.

  • NC Tuition Scholarships for Out-of-State Students: This competitive scholarship is open to international and out-of-state students and covers the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition (approximately $6,000 a semester!). Contact your department to request consideration. Nominations are made by the program director or department chair.
  • Graduate Assistantships: Each department has funds to hire graduate students as teaching, research, or general graduate assistants. You should be sure to let the program director know you are interested in a position. In addition, assistantships are available many other offices on campus. Student Development in particular hires many graduate students. See the Assistantship Page for more information.
  • Chancellor's and Provost's Fellowships: New students should check "yes" on the admission application form to be added to the pool of applicants; returning students can fill out a scholarship application available from the Scholarship Page. Note that to qualify for consideration for the Chancellor and Provost Fellowship you must have current standardized exam (GRE, GMAT, MAT) scores, even if the program to which you are applying has an exam waiver policy in place. Please consult the Scholarship page for more information about criteria for scholarship consideration.
  • Diversity Fellowships: This competitive scholarship is intended to provide greater access to graduate school for students from under represented groups. Contact your department to request consideration. Nominations are made by the program director or department chair.
  • Department Scholarships: Some departments have scholarships for students in specific programs. Contact your department for information.

Additional Sources of Funding

Many government agencies and private corporations and foundations provide funding to help graduate students pay for their educations. Below is a partial list of opportunities to consider.

More information

Tips for Managing Finances

Below are a few pointers from graduate students.

  • Have a cell phone? Get rid of your land line.
  • Save on gas by taking the (free) Appalcart or car pooling with other students.
  • Take advantage of the free or low-cost services on campus: Health care (screenings and some prescriptions) at the campus clinic; fitness facilities (Quinn, Student Union and Rec Center); food services (Welborn and Trivette); movies (IG Greer and Greenbriar).
  • Watch the local papers (Mountain Times, Watauga Democrat) for specials at restaurants and stores.