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. 

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 

If you do not see your academic program at UNCW listed in the Tuition Assistance portal for your service, please email Melanie Nelson (nelsonms@uncw.edu) to request that it be added. 

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 Aid & Loans

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). 

Military Leave of Absence and Readmission Policy

If a student is called to active duty or deployed during a semester, they are eligible to receive a leave of absence for that service period per UNCW policy. 

Should you need this, notify the Registrar’s Office (registrar@uncw.edu) from your UNCW email account of your situation and provide a copy of your orders unless you are prohibited from doing so.

The leave of absence may extend for as long as three years after the completion of the service period. During the leave of absence, you will not be made an inactive student at UNCW.

If you are in good academic standing and return within the three year window following your service period, you do not have to complete the readmission process. However, if you leave while on academic probation or suspension or exceed the three year window, then you will need to apply for readmission through the Office of Admissions.

When you are able to return to UNCW, email the Registrar’s Office with your intention. You will be asked to complete an online returning student questionnaire and then reactivated to be able to register. After that, you can connect with your academic advisor to plan out next steps.

Direct any questions about how this leave will affect your account balance and financial aid to studentaccounts@uncw.edu or finaid@uncw.edu.

Return of TA Funds

Once a military student reaches out to the Registrar’s Office regarding a call to duty and their withdrawal due to that circumstance (see Military Deployment Leave of Absence), UNCW policy is to back date the withdrawal to process 100% removal of the tuition.

Official withdrawal procedures begin in the Dean of Student’s office for Undergraduates and the Graduate School for Graduate Students. Room and board refunds are pro-rated differently; if applicable, please contact Housing and/or Auxiliary Services. 

The refund schedule (https://uncw.edu/studentaccounts/refund_schedule.html) provides current dates for refunds and the percentages associated with those dates, as follows: 

  • January 20 through January 27 (100%)
  • January 28 through January 29 (90%)
  • January 30 through February 13 (50%)
  • February 14 through March 10 (25%)
  • March 11 or later (0%) 
For Spring 2021, no refunds will be issued after March 10, the first 50% of the enrollment period. 

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

Any undergraduate student transferring to UNCW may use up to 90 semester hours of external academic credit toward their UNCW degree. These credits must be from regionally accredited institutions attended. Of those 90 hours, no more than 64 semester hours can be accepted from two year institutions.

For military students, credits earned for military training and experience are accepted for transfer and are counted as upper-level, four year institution credits toward the 90 hour limit. You will need to provide your Joint Services Transcript (JST) to the university for evaluation of your credit (or CCAF transcript if Air Force).

You can look up how UNCW equates military credits using our transfer articulation tool (https://transfer-articulation.uncw.edu). Select “Military – Americas” for the state and then find your branch of service for the institution. For step 3, select “All Subjects” to see a full display of our equivalencies.

You will qualify to have the requirement for PED 101 Physical Activity and Wellness waived upon verification of Basic or Recruit Training from your military transcript or submission of your DD214 showing good standing at your separation.

Evaluation of credits earned from non-military sources (including other colleges and universities and testing programs such as AP, CLEP, and IB) follow the same process used for other undergraduate students. You will need to submit an official transcript or report from each source directly to UNCW. When we receive those, your credits will be evaluated for acceptability. Registrar staff will add your credits to your UNCW record while observing the 64 hour/90 hour limits. If you have credits beyond those totals, our staff will select those credits that seem most suitable to your academic program. You can work with your academic advisor later if you believe some used credits need to be swapped out for unused credits that would be more beneficial for you.

The UNC System is currently developing a database of uniform course equivalents for military credits to be used at all UNC System schools. When launched, this database will replace the UNCW database currently in use. The development of this project is expected to change how credits are worked with at UNCW. Additional details on this project will be posted to this website as they are shared with us.

Once you start at UNCW, you may be able to transfer additional courses you want to take. You would follow the same rules as other undergraduate students as found in the University Catalogue, and planning for taking non-UNCW credits starts with your academic advisor.UNCW accepts 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.

Career Counseling

All UNCW students and alumni 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.