UNCSA Tuition and Financial Aid


This guide is designed to answer one question for you: How are you going to afford University of North Carolina School of the Arts?

You probably know that planning for expenses is an important part of the college application process. What you may not know is how many different things you need to keep track of to pay tuition and apply for financial aid.

Here's what we'll cover:

  • How much does UNCSA tuition cost?
  • How much financial aid do students at UNCSA usually get?
  • How much debt is typical for students at UNCSA?
  • How much will UNCSA cost YOU, and can you actually afford it?
  • Is UNCSA a good value for you?
  • What are other schools that might be a better value than UNCSA?

By learning more about expenses and aid, you’re already on the right path to managing college costs. Let’s get started!


School location: Winston-Salem, NC

This school is also known as: University of North Carolina School of the Arts

How Much Does UNCSA Cost?

Knowing what a school costs is Step #1 in managing college costs. There’s more to think about than just the tuition—you also have to factor in where you'll live, what you'll eat, and more while attending University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

The "Cost of Attendance" is the total amount of money the average student has to pay, WITHOUT any financial aid, to attend a particular school. Think of it as a school’s sticker price. It includes not just UNCSA tuition and fees, but also room, board, textbooks, and personal expenses.

The Cost of Attendance breakdown for UNCSA differs depending on whether you’re in-state or out-of-state student - in-state students can expect lower costs for tuition and fees.

Choose your state of residence here for the most accurate info:


Here’s the Cost of Attendance breakdown for UNCSA:

  • Tuition and Fees $8271 $21416
  • Room $4018
  • Board $4392
  • Textbooks $1120
  • Other Expenses $4194

  • Typical Total Cost for In-State, On-Campus Students Typical Total Cost for Out-Of-State, On-Campus Students $21995 $35140
  • Typical Total Cost for In-State, Off-Campus Students Typical Total Cost for Out-Of-State, Off-Campus Students $21995 $35140

Because UNCSA is an out-of-state public institution, you'd be paying $13145 more than if you were an in-state student. To lower costs, you might consider looking at public schools in your state of residence.

Exclusive: Want to get into UNCSA with higher chances?

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How Much Financial Aid Do Students at UNCSA Get?

The Cost of Attendance listed above might be intimidating. The good news is that most students don’t end up paying that full price to attend UNCSA. Financial aid helps make up the difference between the Cost of Attendance and what families can actually afford.

Here we'll cover how many students get UNCSA financial aid, what types of aid they get, and how much.


A Brief Intro to Financial Aid

Aid comes in many forms, including:

  • Need-based grants
  • Merit-based scholarships
  • Student loans

This financial aid comes from a few different places:

  • Federal aid comes from the federal government, or is subsidized by the federal government.
  • Institutional aid comes from your school itself.

Generally, it’s better for MORE students to receive HIGH amounts of financial aid—this means students pay less for college.

Let’s take a look at how UNCSA compares to other schools.


Overall Aid

Let's start with the overall numbers. At UNCSA, we know that:

78% of Students Get ANY Aid

This is 8% LOWER than the average for Public schools, which is 86%.

This could be bad news - fewer students getting aid could mean students are paying more at UNCSA than they would at other similar schools. It could also mean students attending UNCSA are wealthier and need less aid.

To break this apart, we'll next look at each type of aid and how much students get from each.


Grants and Scholarships

We’re focusing on grants and scholarships first because they’re the most important forms of financial aid. Grants and scholarships are better than loans because students don’t ever have to pay them back. The more grant/scholarship aid students receive at a particular school, the better off those students are in the long run.

At University of North Carolina School of the Arts, we know that:

65% Get ANY Grant Money

This is 8% LOWER than the average for Public schools, which is 73%.

Although it’s useful to know how many students get grant aid, it’s also important to know how much grant aid people tend to receive. The bigger the average grant award, the better.

So how much grant money do students at UNCSA tend to receive?

Average Grant Award: $7800

This is $531 HIGHER than the average for Public schools, which is $7269.

Altogether, this is mixed news - at UNCSA, FEWER students get aid, but the ones who do get MORE than average. If you qualify for aid, this can work out well, since you'll get a sizable award. But it might be harder for you to qualify for UNCSA financial aid.


How Generous is UNCSA’s Financial Aid?

The grant dollar amounts we’ve seen so far have included aid from all sources - both federal and institutional. Schools don’t have much control over how much federal aid students can qualify for (like Pell Grants), but they do their own financial aid dollars and how they’re used.

To figure out how strong UNCSA’s own financial aid program is, we’ll look at how they award their own (non-federal) financial aid dollars. The more students receive aid directly from the school (otherwise known as institutional aid), and the bigger the award amounts, the better the financial aid program.

Let’s see how generous University of North Carolina School of the Arts is with its students:

65% Get ANY School Grants

This is 19% HIGHER than the average for Public schools, which is 46%.

Because more UNCSA students get institutional aid, it likely offers relatively competitive financial aid. This means fewer students will need to take out loans to pay for college.


The amount of money that students actually get is just as important (if not more important) than the percent of students who get grants. If you receive a grant, you’ll want it to be big enough to do you some good.

Average School Grant: $5017

This is $650 HIGHER than the average for Public schools, which is $4367.

Right away, it seems like University of North Carolina School of the Arts offers more institutional aid than other schools. On the surface, this can mean that students who do receive institutional grants get a competitive amount, compared to other schools.

On the other hand, this can also mean that the school just costs more than the typical school of its type. If UNCSA costs more, it makes sense for the average grant award to be higher.


Up to this point, we've looked entirely at grants for UNCSA. Next, we'll do the same analysis for student loans, which is where student debt comes from.


How Much Debt is Typical for Students at UNCSA?

Aside from grants, the other major way to pay for college is with student loans. Student loans aren’t free sums of money - you borrow a certain amount to attend UNCSA, and then pay it back with smaller monthly payments after you graduate.

The more student loan money you borrow, the more debt you’ll end up with after graduation. Ideally, you want to minimize your student debt as much as possible. Less debt means less of a financial burden once you leave school.

It’s generally a bad sign if a school has many students taking out a lot of loans. This indicates that graduates have to worry about paying back big sums of money once they leave school.

To address the amount and type of debt that students take on, this section will cover:

  • Loan Overview
  • Federal Loans
  • Other Loans

Let’s see what students at UNCSA have to deal with:

Loan Overview

First, let’s talk about how many students at UNCSA actually have to take out any student loans at all. The ideal goal is to graduate with little to no debt.

It’s very common for college grads in the US to graduate with some debt, but high percentages of students taking on loans at a particular school is a big red flag. In contrast, low percentages of students with loans is a sign that UNCSA tuition is affordable.

So how many students actually end up taking out loans at UNCSA?

56% Have ANY Loans

This is 2% lower than the average for Public schools, which is 58%.

It’s a good sign that lower numbers of students take out loans at UNCSA. It doesn’t necessarily mean that students end up with lower amounts of debt - we’ll get to that question very shortly - but it suggests that UNCSA is more affordable for the average student.

Next, we'll look at exactly HOW much debt the average person takes out while in school.


Federal Loans

Now that you have a handle on the basic loan information for UNCSA, we’ll get into some more nitty-gritty information on the types and amounts of loans that students typically have.

We’ll start with federal loans because, in general, federal loans are preferable to private loans. Federal loans tend to have low interest rates, which means they cost less in the long run. They may come with other perks (like subsidization or even options for loan forgiveness).

High percentages or amounts of federal loans still isn’t a great sign - again, you don’t want to see students burdened with too much debt. Generally, schools with strong financial aid programs will have students with more federal loans than private loans.

Let’s see how UNCSA stacks up:

56% Have Federal Loans

At University of North Carolina School of the Arts, 56% of all students take out federal loans. This is 1% LOWER than the average percent of students for Public schools, which is 57%.


Average Federal Loan: $6113

At UNCSA, the average annual federal loan amount is $6113. This amount is $522 MORE than the average for Public schools, which is $5591.


Other Private Loans

Other loans, or private loans, are the last resource students turn to when paying for college. They’re the least preferable form of financial aid because they have higher interest rates and cost students the most money in the long run.

Generally, the fewer students who take private loans, and the lower the amount of the loan, the more affordable UNCSA is.

Let’s take a look at the percentage of students at UNCSA with non-federal loans:

8% Have Private Loans

At University of North Carolina School of the Arts, 8% of students take out private loans. This is 3% HIGHER than the average for Public schools, which is 5%


Just as important as the percentage of students with private loans is the average loan amount. The smaller the average loan amount, the better:

Average Private Loan: $10459

The average private loan amount at UNCSA is $10459. This is $913 HIGHER than the average for Public schools, which is $9546.


The percentage of students getting federal loans is greater than those getting private loans, which is a good sign. This means lower-interest federal loans are usually enough to pay for UNCSA.

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What Would It Cost YOU to Attend UNCSA?

Finally, we get to the bottom line: what will UNCSA actually cost YOU? Every family has a different situation, and depending on your income level, you'll have to pay more or less to go to college.

What is Net Price, and Why Does it Matter?

Above, we've covered UNCSA's Cost of Attendance (tuition, room and board, books, and more). We also covered its typical financial aid in grants, loans, and scholarships.

The Net Price is the total cost minus the total aid given. In other words, this is the price you have to pay to the school out of pocket. The lower the school's cost, and the more aid you get, the lower the Net Price.

We'll cover two ways to get your Net Price for UNCSA - the fast way, and the precise way.

Net Price: The Quick and Easy Way

If you want a quick, general idea of your annual Net Price at UNCSA, here's a handy chart showing the net price of real students. All you need is your family income.

If your family makes between... Your Net Price will likely be around...
$0 - $30,000 $4878
$30,001 - $48,000 $8976
$48,001 - $75,000 $11595
$75,001 - $110,000 $16696
$110,000 and up $18826

Note that these values may be a few years old, and today's prices may be a bit higher.

As we'll discuss next, your exact Net Price will depend on other factors like the number of family members and total assets, but this represents the typical Net Price.


Net Price: The Most Accurate Method

Most schools have an updated Net Price calculator available. To find it, just google "UNCSA Net Price Calculator" - the official tool should be one of the top search results.

Often the school will ask for more information than just income:

  • The number of people in your household
  • The number of family members in college
  • Parental wages, income, and assets
  • Student wages, income, and assets

This will take 10-15 minutes to complete, and you'll get a specific net price that's more accurate than the table above.


Can You Afford to Attend UNCSA?

Once you have a Net Price estimate, you’ll want to figure out whether your family can afford to pay UNCSA tuition and costs. Once again, the Net Price is the total cost of attending, minus the aid you can expect to get (grants and scholarships). It's the amount you'd have to cover yourself.

The US government has come up with a standardized way to calculate how much a typical family can afford to pay without help. They call this the Expected Family Contribution, or EFC.

As an example, a family that brings home $80,000 in income before taxes, with no assets and no other children in college, has an EFC of around $7,000. This is the amount the government thinks that family can reasonably pay, and the school will have to step in and cover the rest.

Colleges use this number as a guideline to decide how much aid to give you, but it's just a guideline. Some schools will be stingier with aid, and you'll have to pay more than the government's suggested EFC.

So we're going to calculate your EFC and compare it to UNCSA's Net Price. If the Net Price is higher than the EFC, the school will cost more than you can typically afford. It's a simple equation:

Net Price - Expected Family Contribution = Deficit (extra cost you would need to cover)

We've constructed a simple tool to figure out whether UNCSA is affordable for you:


Affordability Calculator

This tool will calculate your Expected Family Contribution, or EFC. In order to calculate this amount, we need just 4 pieces of information from you. We won't save this data.

1) What is your family’s gross income before taxes?

2) What is your family’s net worth? Include cash, investments, and net worth of businesses. Don't include the value of your home.

3) How many people are in your family in total?


4) Finally, how many people in your family are currently in college, including you but not including your parents?


Your Affordability Results

According to the information you’ve entered above, your Expected Family Contribution should be about $. This is the amount that the federal government thinks you can afford to pay for school.

Please note this tool is only an approximation, and your personal situation may cause your EFC to vary. The most accurate way to get EFC is to use the FAFSA Caster tool, which can take 10-15 minutes to complete.

The typical Net Price at UNCSA for your income level is $.

The difference between the Net Price and your Expected Family Contribution is $ , which is the amount you’d have to make up for in outside scholarships, loans, a job, or other methods of payment. , which is negative and means the net price is below what your family can comfortably afford.

Unfortunately, it looks like your estimated Net Price to attend University of North Carolina School of the Arts is significantly greater than your EFC. This means UNCSA may be more expensive than what your family can comfortably afford by at least $10,000 per year.

This doesn’t mean that it’s financially impossible to attend this school. Your EFC may be higher from our quick estimate above. Also, you may be able to cover much of your expenses with loans, outside scholarships, or a job.

But over four years, $ is still a sizable amount, and if you have to take out loans, it may take many years to pay off.

Therefore, it's still worthwhile to consider your options. Is UNCSA really the best value education? Are there more affordable schools that can also give you a better education? We'll discuss this next.

It looks like your estimated Net Price to attend University of North Carolina School of the Arts is higher than your calculated Expected Family Contribution, but by a reasonable amount that's between $5,000 and $10,000 per year.

This is good news! Paying for UNCSA may be feasible with minor cost-cutting, a part-time job, or outside scholarships.

Over four years, $ is still a significant amount, but a manageable amount to pay off even if you took out loans.

It's still useful to use the school's official Net Price calculator to figure this out, but things are looking good. And even though you can afford UNCSA, it's still worthwhile to consider whether there are any schools that will offer even more value. We'll discuss this next.

Hooray! It looks like your estimated Net Price to attend University of North Carolina School of the Arts is just a tad higher than your Expected Family Contribution, below $5,000 a year.

This is great news! It means attending UNCSA is feasible for you by taking out a small amount of loans, or possibly working a part-time job. Over four years, $ is still a significant amount to cover, but manageable to pay off with your job after college, even if you took out loans.

It's still useful to search for the official Net Price calculator at UNCSA to get the most accurate estimate, but you're in good shape.

Even though you can afford UNCSA, when making such an important financial decision, it’s important to think about the actual value of the education. Are there any schools of higher value than UNCSA? We'll find out more below.

Great news! Your Net Price to attend University of North Carolina School of the Arts is less than your Expected Family Contribution. This means your family should be able to afford the cost of college without much of a problem.

You can pay for college through a variety of ways. For example, your family can pay out of pocket, and you'll graduate without loans. Or, if you want to be more independent, you can still take out loans or take a part-time job to pay for part of the costs. In any case, you should be in good financial shape to attend UNCSA.

Since we've been using estimations so far, it's still useful for you to look for UNCSA's official Net Price calculator to double-check our math.

Even though you can comfortably afford UNCSA, it’s important to think about the value of the education you’ll be receiving as well. What schools offer a better education than UNCSA or are even more affordable? We'll find out below.


Finally: Is This Price Really Worth It?

Chances are, college won't be cheap. Even if you have a few top choice schools in mind like UNCSA, it's still useful to explore broadly.

A few questions to ponder:

  • How much better off will you be if you attend UNCSA as opposed to a similar, but cheaper, school?
  • Have you considered a range of private and public schools? Big and small?
  • What if you didn't attend college at all? (This is extreme, but just worth considering even for a second.
These are the big picture questions to consider when we talk about the value of a college education.


Here's our take: college will be a really important stage in your development. Going to a better, more reputable college will usually pay off in the long run. By going to a better college, you'll be surrounded by a more interesting community, find it easier to land a job, and open up opportunities.

To determine the value of UNCSA, we're going to rely on reputable ranking lists. These consider factors like reputation, student selectivity, income after graduating, and more to determine the value of a school.


Value Judgment

So how does UNCSA stack up?

Medium Value

Based primarily on its academic reputation, we consider University of North Carolina School of the Arts a medium value school, placing it in the top 50% of schools in terms of value.

As a regional school, UNCSA may not be a household name nationwide, but it's known to people in the local area as a solid school. You're likely to have a pretty good education and graduate with a good start toward the rest of your career.

Compared to some other regional schools, UNCSA didn't appear on our best value lists. This might be because the net price is higher than for other schools of similar reputation. This isn't the end of the world - you can likely still afford UNCSA by taking out loans, earning scholarships, or working part-time. And you should still see what kind of offer they can make you.

Overall, University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a decent value, and going to college here will likely pay off over time. However, if you can get into a better school, with a better reputation and lower price, this can really make a big difference in your life.

How Do You Get In?

To meet UNCSA's admission requirements, you'll need to have competitive SAT/ACT scores and a good GPA. Otherwise, you won't meet their bar of quality.

How do you compare to other students accepted to UNCSA? Check out our Admissions Guide to UNCSA.



What Other Schools Should You Consider?

Your next step should be to get a better idea of costs and aid availability at similar schools. If you’re interested in UNCSA, you should check out some other high-value schools that could give you more bang for your buck. Get started here to check both in-state and out-of-state schools that might provide a better value.



Better Value Schools

Finally, we're going to look at schools that might offer a better value than University of North Carolina School of the Arts. To compile this list, we first find schools at similar academic levels, so you have a similar chance at getting in. Then we select schools that better value for you, by being more affordable or having a higher quality of education

It’s hard to know exactly what schools will be a great value for you without information on your family income. Enter your family income here for the best recommendations for schools:

In-State Schools

There are a lot of potential financial benefits that come with attending a school close to home. For example, in-state public schools tend to have subsidized tuitions for state residents. Students may also have the chance to save money if they choose to stay at home.

If you’re looking for good deals on schools in your state, you should start by checking out the following colleges and universities:

School Name Location SAT ACT GPA
University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, NC 1081 23 3.7
University of North Carolina at Asheville Asheville, NC 1172 25 3.37
Appalachian State University Boone, NC 1185 25 4
University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, NC 1081 23 3.7
University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte, NC 1195 24 4.07
University of North Carolina at Asheville Asheville, NC 1172 25 3.37
Cabarrus College of Health Sciences Concord, NC 1030 22 3.3
Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC 1130 23 3.78
University of North Carolina at Wilmington Wilmington, NC 1260 25 4.18
University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, NC 1081 23 3.7
University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte, NC 1195 24 4.07
University of North Carolina at Asheville Asheville, NC 1172 25 3.37
Cabarrus College of Health Sciences Concord, NC 1030 22 3.3

Out-of-State Schools

You can still get a good value on your education if you choose to attend an out-of-state school, especially if you qualify for generous financial aid.

If you’re interested in getting an education out-of-state, start by checking out the following colleges and universities:

School Name Location SAT ACT GPA
California State University Fullerton Fullerton, CA 1130 22 3.68
Brooklyn College (City University of New York) Brooklyn, NY 1140 24 3.31
University of Tennessee at Martin Martin, TN 1140 23 3.53
Farmingdale State College Farmingdale, NY 1088 22 3.2
University of North Texas Denton, TX 1160 23 3.37
University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage, AK 1080 22 3.3
University of North Florida Jacksonville, FL 1175 23 3.91
University of Illinois at Springfield Springfield, IL 1104 24 3.59
University of Central Arkansas Conway, AR 1070 24 3.48
University of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM 1150 22 3.44
University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage, AK 1080 22 3.3
University of Central Arkansas Conway, AR 1070 24 3.48
California State University Fullerton Fullerton, CA 1130 22 3.68
University of Michigan - Dearborn Dearborn, MI 1191 25 3.6
Brooklyn College (City University of New York) Brooklyn, NY 1140 24 3.31
University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage, AK 1080 22 3.3
Southern Polytechnic State University Marietta, GA 1210 25 3.51
University of North Florida Jacksonville, FL 1175 23 3.91
Wichita State University Wichita, KS 1140 23 3.42
Brescia University Owensboro, KY 1010 22 3.02
University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage, AK 1080 22 3.3
Northern Michigan University Marquette, MI 1050 23 3.18
Boise State University Boise, ID 1110 23 3.45
Southern Polytechnic State University Marietta, GA 1210 25 3.51
Missouri University of Science and Technology Rolla, MO 1300 28 3.71

How would your chances at getting into University of North Carolina School of the Arts improve with a better score?

Now that we've figured out whether you can afford UNCSA, we need to focus on getting you in. A big part of this is your SAT/ACT score.

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