Financial Aid

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Online Accelerated Programs (OAP)

Online Accelerated Programs (OAP) at UNCW currently include both Bachelor’s (currently ranked 8th nationally in the U.S. News & World Report ranking of 2020 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs) and Master’s programs of study.  These include:

Undergraduate OAP Programs
Undergraduate OAP
Graduate OAP Programs
Graduate OAP

Program Overview:The OAP student schedule includes two 7.5 week equivalency (7 calendar weeks) mini-sessions in each semester totaling 6 sessions each academic year (including summer). 

OAP Program Overview

Fall 1

Fall 2


Spring 1

Spring 2


Summer 1

Summer 2

August  -  December


January  -  May


May  -  August

  • Sessions are billed separately.
  • The add/drop deadline and bill-due date both occur within the first week of each session. 
  • To apply for aid, complete a FAFSA for the corresponding academic year.
    • The 2022-2023 FAFSA covers Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Summer 2023. 
    • The 2023-2024 FAFSA (Opens October 1, 2022) covers Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Summer 2024

Whatever is not covered by your Financial Aid, please remit payment via your E-Bill Account (Monthly Payment Plan options are not available for OAP Programs/Students).

Students are advised to have Financial Aid in place no later than two weeks prior to the bill due date. 

How is Aid Disbursed?


Half-Time Status Required: Your student loans for each term will not be disbursed until you have reached half-time status.

For Undergraduate students, half-time status is defined as having 6 credit hours of active enrollment in each semester (Fall, Spring, or Summer).  For Graduate students, half-time status is defined as having 4.5 credit hours of active enrollment in each semester

The timing of disbursements depends on when the student is scheduled to reach half-time status.  Here is how loans would disburse for these common enrollment patterns:

OAP Loan Disbursement Schedule


Session 1

Session 2

When Loans Will Disburse


3 hours

3 or more hours

Session 2


6 or more hours

3 or more hours

Half in Session 1/

Half in Session 2


3 hours

3 or more hours

Session 2


4.5 hours

3 or more hours

Half in Session 1/

Half in Session 2

*Note: Federal student loans are not available for less-than half-time enrollment. Students enrolled less-than half-time may apply for a private/non-federal loan online.


Grant funds are initially awarded as if the student will be enrolled full-time. However, grant disbursements are prorated for enrollment that is less than full-time.

Example: Student A qualifies for a $600 grant for full-time enrollment. Student A is registered for 3 hours in Session 1 and 6 hours in Session 2. Based on this enrollment pattern, the grant would pay out at $150 in Session 1 and $300 for Session 2.

For details on how the summer Year-Round Pell Grant works, click here

How do refunds work?

Refunds are processed the first week of class for any financial aid disbursed over and above the charges on the e-bill.  Please make note that financial aid pays out based on the number of classes you’re currently enrolled in/taking. Additionally, each session of a term is billed separately. For example, second-session charges will not appear on the first-session e-bill.

How do I purchase books?

Students can use Bookstore Dollars to purchase books through the UNCW Bookstore. This is helpful for students who need to purchase their books before financial aid refunds become available.  For more information regarding books, please visit the following page: Bookstore Dollars Program.

How do withdrawals impact my aid?

Withdrawing from the only course you are taking in a mini-session can have a significant impact on your award for that semester.

Before withdrawing from any OAP Class or Program, you are encouraged to contact your OAP Financial Aid Counselors, Cleofas Vital (A-D) & Lori Felumlee (F-Z) for guidance on how your financial aid may be affected if you withdraw.

For more information pertaining to Costs, Scholarship Application, Financial Aid 101 Guide and more, please visit our Cost of Attendance page.

How do I use military benefits?

Eligible students are able to use VA Education Benefits (e.g., GI Bill) to cover their program costs. More information regarding the military benefit certification process can be found here