Military Affairs

Timeline graphic showing portraits of former UNCW leaders

Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding

UNCW is pleased to hold a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Defense (DOD), which allows our institution the opportunity to further our commitment to excellence in educating military students. 

By following the guidance of the DOD MOU, we are able to ensure that all military members have access to what they need to make informed decisions about where to attend school and about how their Tuition Assistance (TA) benefits will interact with their chosen educational programs. 

Below, you will find more information about how UNCW upholds the agreement represented by the DOD MOU; please contact the offices associated with each area for more information. 

Tuition Assistance

Students who are interested in using Tuition Assistance (TA) need to proceed to the appropriate website below to begin: 

Army

Navy

Marine Corps

Air Force

Coast Guard

Compliance

For concerns about compliance with the DOD MOU, please contact Bill Kawczynski, the Director of Military Affairs (kawczynskib@uncw.ed). 

Marketing, Recruiting, & Advertising

UNCW maintains policies that reflect program integrity requirements consistent with regulations issued by the Department of Education (34 C.F.R 668.71-668.75 and 668.14) related to restrictions on misrepresentation, recruitment, and payment of incentive compensation. This applies to UNCW itself and its agents, including third party lead generators, marketing firms, or companies that own or operate the educational institution. As part of efforts to eliminate unfair, deceptive, and abusive marketing aimed at Service members, UNCW will: 

  1. Ban inducements, including any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, transportation, lodging, meals, or other item having a monetary value of more than a de minimis [defined as "an insignificant amount"] to any individual or entity, or its agents including third party lead generators or marketing firms other than salaries paid to employees or fees paid to contractors in conformity with all applicable laws for the purpose of securing enrollments of Service members or obtaining access to TA funds. Educational institution sponsored scholarships or grants and tuition reductions available to military students are permissible;
  2. Refrain from providing any commission, bonus, or other incentive payment based directly or indirectly on securing enrollments or federal financial aid (including TA funds) to any persons or entities engaged in any student recruiting, admission activities, or making decisions regarding the award of student financial assistance;
  3. Refrain from high-pressure recruitment tactics such as making multiple unsolicited contacts (3 or more), including contacts by phone, email, or in-person, and engaging in same-day recruitment and registration for the purpose of securing Service member enrollments. 

For more information, please review the UNCW policy regarding marketing, recruiting, and advertising of our school to prospective students who are military service members. UNCW recruiting strategies utilize self-reported contact information; if a student is contacted by UNCW and they wish to unsubscribe from future communications, they have the ability to unsubscribe their own accounts. 

Additionally, eligible Service members are directed to speak with their Educational Services Officer (ESO) or counselor within their Military Service prior to being enrolled at UNCW. This is to ensure that Service members understand their own eligibility for Tuition Assistance and their potential financial responsibility toward the school. If an eligible Service member decides to use TA, educational institutions will enroll him or her only after the TA is approved by the individual’s Service. Service members will be solely responsible for all tuition costs without this prior approval. This requirement does not prohibit UNCW from pre-registering a Service member in a course in order to secure a slot in the course. If a school enrolls the Service member before the appropriate Service approves Military TA, then the Service member could be responsible for the tuition. All Military TA must be requested and approved prior to the start date of the course. The Military TA is approved on a course-by-course basis and only for the specific course(s) and class dates that a Service member requests. If a military student “self-identifies” their eligibility and the Service has not approved the funding, then the Service member will be solely responsible for all tuition costs, not the Service. 

Financial Matters

Before offering, recommending, arranging, signing-up, dispersing, or enrolling Service members for private student loans, Service members may work with a counselor in the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at UNCW; this financial aid advisor will be able to offer individual loan counseling, including, but not limited to:

  1. Providing a clear and complete explanation of available financial aid, including Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.
  2. Describing the differences between private and federal student loans to include terms, conditions, repayment and forgiveness options.
  3. Disclosing the institution’s student loan Cohort Default Rate (CDR), the percentage of its students who borrow, and how its CDR compares to the national average. If the educational institution’s CDR is greater than the national average CDR, it must disclose that information and provide the student with loan repayment data. Student may review this information at College Navigator, a government site where schools report student financial data. 
  4. Explaining that students have the ability to refuse all or borrow less than the maximum student loan amount allowed.

For more information about student loan counseling at UNCW, review policies for financial aid disclosure or contact Shannon Miles, Associate Director of Financial Aid (miless@uncw.edu). 

Here is information on how UNCW complies with requirements for return of TA funds:

(a) Return any TA Program funds directly to the Military Service, not to the Service member.

(b) Up to the start date, return all (100 percent) TA funds to the appropriate Military Service when the Service member does not:
      (i) Begin attendance at the institution; or

      (ii) Start a course, regardless of whether the student starts other courses.

(c) Return any TA funds paid for a course that is canceled by the educational institution.

(d) Returns any unearned TA funds on a proportional basis through at least the 60 percent portion of the period for which the funds were provided. TA funds are earned proportionally during an enrollment period, with unearned funds returned based upon when a student stops attending. In instances when a Service member stops attending due to a military service obligation, UNCW works with the affected Service member to identify solutions that will not result in a student debt for the returned portion.

For more information about UNCW policies and procedures regarding the use of TA funds, please contact Sissy Hendricks in our Third Party Billing Office, Student Accounts department (thirdpartybilling@uncw.edu). 

Accreditation and Credentialing Requirements

The University of North Carolina Wilmington is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Ga., 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of UNC Wilmington.

Certain academic programs at UNCW require additional outside accreditation to validate the degree in the work force. View the list of external accreditation authorities for programs within the College of Health and Human Services. The Cameron School of Business is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The Watson College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and undergraduate and graduate licensure programs are approved by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI).

Academic Counseling and Post-Graduation Job Opportunities

Degree Requirements

All undergraduate students at UNCW must meet with their academic advisors prior to course selection. Undergraduate students may find the applicable Major and Minor program sheets to assist them with developing their Degree Plan, which may also be completed using the Degree Audit function in SeaNet. All students, including graduate students, may peruse the Academic Catalogue for the degree requirements and timelines for degree programs. 

Students at UNCW utilize our degree audit system (DegreeWorks by Ellucian) to review degree requirements including specific courses needed, hours needed, and GPA minimums. The audit is available online to students from the point of matriculation. Requirements are determined by the student's catalog year and are unchanging unless the student undertakes a change to his or her catalog year or degree program. The degree audit shows both UNCW earned credits as well as those accepted for transfer, including credit earned through military training.

Degree requirements in effect at the time of each Service member’s enrollment will remain in effect for a period of at least 1 year beyond the program’s standard length, provided the Service member is in good academic standing and has been continuously enrolled or received an approved academic leave of absence. Adjustments to degree requirements may be made as a result of formal changes to academic policy pursuant to institutional or departmental determination, provided that:
     (a) They go into effect at least 2 years after affected students have been notified; or
     (b) In instances when courses or programs are no longer available or changes have been mandated by a State or accrediting body, the educational institution will identify low or no cost solutions, working with affected Service members to identify substitutions that would not hinder the student from graduating in a timely manner. 

Transfer Credit

After admission to the university, all students receive a degree audit report prior to making a decision on enrollment. The degree audit report shows how credit transfers and counts within their program of choice. The Transfer Credit Equivalency Tool is another resource that can be used to ascertain how credits will articulate. Prospective students can use this tool from our website any time, even prior to submitting an application.

Military Leave of Absence and Readmissions Policy

UNCW recognizes the challenges of completing a college degree in the midst of military service requirements. Accordingly, we offer a leave of absence and readmissions policy for eligible students; the policy is outlined below: 

Students who are in good standing when called to active duty during the semester...

  • Will be granted a leave of absence, after notifying the Office of the Registrar of his or her deployment via UNCW e-mail, in person, or in writing. "Additionally, we require a copy of the student's orders be provided for our records, unless giving such notice is precluded by military necessity, such as mission, operation, exercise, or requirement that is classified or a pending or ongoing mission, operation, exercise, or requirement that may be compromised or otherwise adversely affected by public knowledge." (HEA Sec 484C(c)(1) (A)(B)(C)). This leave of absence status would end three (3) years after the completion of the period of service. Students, who were on academic probation or suspension and/or were away longer than three calendar years following completion of service, are subject to the normal readmission requirements.
  • Will be credited 100% of all tuition and fees during the call to service [Note: Any financial aid refunds received will need to be returned].
  • Will not be required to submit a re-enrolling application and associated fee upon return from active duty. Students simply notify the Office of the Registrar of their intent to return and complete a returning student questionnaire no later than three (3) years after the completion of active duty. For students hospitalized or convalescing from an illness or injury during the active duty time period, would need to notify the Office of the Registrar of their intent to return no later than two (2) years after the completion of active duty. 

For students who exercise the Military Leave of Absence outlined above, TA refunds will be issued in accordance with the university withdrawal refund schedule

Career Counseling

All UNCW students and almuni are encouraged to use Career Center resources to assist them with transitioning into a meaningful career post-graduation. In particular, the university's student employment portal helps students find jobs and internships, while events and programming help students explore career pathways. The "What can I do with a major in...?" resource provides links to specific job types within career pathways that are linked to  specific majors. 

The Office of Military Affairs also offers one-on-one career counseling and a list of career resources for military-affiliated students.