2009-10 Graduate Bulletin and Course Catalog

Expenses and Financial Aid

Office of Student Accounts: Tuition and Fees            http://www.studentaccounts.appstate.edu
Office of Financial Aid: Student Loans and Grants            http://www.financialaid.appstate.edu
Registrar's Office: NC Residency Determination           http://www.registrar.appstate.edu
Graduate School: Assistantships and Fellowships            http://www.graduate.appstate.edu

As a state-supported institution, the University recognizes its obligation to provide educational opportunities to those who will benefit from them. Considerations of space, availability of housing, and other limitations however, place some restriction on the number of students who can be admitted to the University. For this reason, students are requested to apply as early as possible.

Tuition And Fees

Tuition and fees are charged by the semester and are due and payable in advance at the beginning of each semester in accordance with payment instructions issued prior to each semester. North Carolina residents are subsidized by the State and pay tuition at the lower in-state rate. Out-of-state students pay tuition at a higher rate.

Fees are paid by both in- and out-of-state students. On-campus students pay fees at a higher rate than off-campus students, who do not use the facilities on campus. Student fees support such services and activities as the Student Health Services, Student Union, Quinn Recreational Center, campus technology, cultural programs, student government, concerts, social activities, theatre, intramurals, student publications, and attendance at athletic events on campus. Current tuition and fee information is available on-line at http://www.studentaccounts.appstate.edu.

In addition, graduate students pay the following charges if appropriate: textbook costs; internship or practicum professional liability coverage; fee for late payment of student account; application for graduation; binding fees for thesis or dissertation.

Special Note Regarding Unpaid Accounts

Before taking final examinations at the close of each semester, a student is expected to settle all accounts. A student may not register for a new semester until all charges have been settled. A student cannot receive a degree, certificate, license, or transcript of credits if any account or loan is delinquent.

Tuition Waiver For Senior Citizens

By North Carolina statute: “State-supported institutions of higher education, community colleges, industrial education centers and technical institutes, shall permit legal residents of North Carolina who have attained the age of sixty-five (65) to attend classes for credit or non-credit purposes without the required payment of tuition and fees; provided, however, that such persons meet admission and other standards deemed appropriate by the educational institution, and provided that such persons shall be accepted by the constituent institutions of the University of North Carolina only on a spaces-available basis.” An application for this waiver must be made each academic term.


An often unexpected financial burden is the cost of being treated for illnesses or accidents that require admission to the hospital or a visit to a specialist. All students are urged to carry health insurance. Many can be accommodated on plans carried by their parents. Others who do not have this opportunity may contact the Student Health Services (828) 262-3100 concerning the available basic insurance plan open to students for their own coverage and for coverage of their dependents. Insurance is not included in the student fee schedule and must be contracted separately.

Student Financial Aid

Appalachian State University recognizes that some students do not have the financial resources to meet their educational expenses. Through student financial aid programs, Appalachian makes every effort to assist students in financing their education. With the exception of certain Appalachian academic scholarships, all students interested in receiving financial assistance must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on the web. The student must have a U.S. Department of Education PIN to complete the FAFSA. Obtain the PIN at http://www.pin.ed.gov. Complete the FAFSA at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov.

In order to receive priority consideration, the FAFSA should be completed as soon after January 1 as possible and before Appalachian’s priority deadline of March 15 for the upcoming year. The FAFSA can be completed after the March 15 filing deadline, but the student will not receive priority consideration for need-based grants. Students must reapply for financial aid each year. Financial aid funding does not transfer from one institution to another. It is the student's responsibility to inquire about Appalachian’s financial aid application procedures for the academic year or for summer school.

Appalachian State University offers grants, loans and work opportunities for which a student may apply. Several of these programs are briefly described on the following pages. Further information may be obtained from the Office of Student Financial Aid which is located on the second floor of the John E. Thomas Academic Support Building or on the web at http:// www.financialaid.appstate.edu. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., excluding University observed holidays.

If you have questions concerning the financial aid process, please contact our office by phone at (828) 262-2190. Individuals who have access to the World Wide Web may get information regarding financial aid from the U.S. Department of Education at: http://federalstudentaid.ed.gov/.

Financial aid recipients should refer to the “Refund Policy” topic in this section for information concerning the return of funds due to withdrawal from the University.

Assistance for Veterans, Dependents of Disabled or Deceased Veterans, And/Or Members of National Guard/Reserves

The University is approved for training veterans and dependents of deceased or disabled veterans under the following programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs:

  • Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty Educational Assistance (Chapter 30)
  • Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)
  • Montgomery GI Bill-Selective Reserve Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 1606)
  • Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP/Chapter 1607)
  • Post-Vietnam Era Veterans' Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 32)
  • Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 35)
  • Restored Entitlement Program for Survivors (REPS)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31)

Persons eligible to receive these benefits must contact the Veterans Affairs Coordinator, Office of Student Financial Aid, John E. Thomas Hall.

NC Division of Veterans Affairs Scholarship: Children of disabled or deceased veterans, who are North Carolina residents, may be eligible for a scholarship from the North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs, Raleigh, North Carolina that pays tuition, some fees, and an allowance for room and meals. Applications may be obtained from a veteran’s service officer located in the prospective student's hometown or county.  Additional information regarding this scholarship may be obtain from the NC Division of Veterans Affairs website:  http://www.doa.state.nc.us/vets/benefits-scholarships.htm

Members of the North Carolina National Guard may be eligible for tuition assistance: The North Carolina National Guard has two tuition assistance programs:  1) Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) and 2) North Carolina Tuition Assistance (NC TAP).   All NC National Guard Soldiers must apply for Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) FIRST and must also apply for NC TAP if the school is a North Carolina State sponsored school.
State Tuition Assistance (NC TAP):

  1. Applications are due 20 days prior to the start date of classes.
  2. NC TAP is for use at a North Carolina State sponsored school only and can be verified by going to:
  3. SM must have 2 years remaining on their ETS from the ending date of classes.  SM must be an active drilling member of the NCNG and be in good standing with their unit.
  4. NC TAP can be awarded up to $5396.00 per fiscal year for Undergraduate Degrees and up to $6692.00 per fiscal year Post Baccalaureate.  Fiscal year runs 1 July - 30 June.
  5. Soldiers can obtain the NC TAP application from their National Guard Unit.
  6. Air National Guardsmen do not have a Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) program and may only apply for State Tuition Assistance; therefore, Air Guardsmen will have priority for disbursement of NC TAP funding if deemed necessary.

Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA):

  1. Applications must be submitted PRIOR to the start date of classes, and can be done 90 days in advance of the first start date. FTA application site: https://minuteman.ngb.army.mil/benefits.
  2. SM must be an active drilling member of the NCNG and be in good standing with their unit.  Courses must be completed before ETS date arrives and school must be on the National Accreditation List.
  3. FTA can be awarded up to $4500 per fiscal year for any level degree program, certificate program or license program.  Fiscal year runs from 1October - 30 September.
  4. The amounts to be paid max out at $250.00 per semester hour.
  5. FTA can only be used for one (1) degree credential at the Associate, Bachelor, and Master/First Professional level. 

Members of the Selected Reserves must contact their unit to obtain information about applying for the Federal Tuition Assistance from their branch of service.

Additional information regarding Veterans Affairs related benefits may be obtained by contacting the Office of Student Financial Aid, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina 28608, (828) 262-2190 or by visiting the Financial Aid website at http://www.financialaid.appstate.edu and click on the Veterans/Military Education link.

Student Employment Programs

Student employment programs are maintained to help students pay educational expenses while attending classes. Students participating in the programs are employed in administrative offices, in colleges and academic departments, and in service facilities such as the bookstore, the library, the food service areas, University Recreation, and the Student Union. The on-campus student employment programs consist of the Student Temporary work program and the Federal Work-Study Program.

On-campus and off-campus job information is provided by the Student Employment Office located in the Career Development Center in John E. Thomas Hall. The function of this office is to provide referral information for on-campus and off-campus jobs for enrolled students. In addition, Student Employment is responsible for placing Federal Work-Study students. You may access our online job board at http://www.studentemployment.appstate.edu. Choose Student Employment to find links to some of our larger campus employers, or choose the Job Board to search for on-campus and off-campus jobs by category.

Generally, students may work up to 10-15 hours per week in University-operated work programs. Work schedules will be arranged by the student and work supervisor with the understanding that class schedules have first priority.

Student Loan Programs

Eligible students must be enrolled at least half-time five credit (not audit or hours classified as “permit”) hours to receive a federal loan. Detailed information concerning student loan programs will be included with the financial aid award letter. General information is available in The Student Guide (published by the Department of Education), which may be obtained from any post-secondary institution or by accessing the Office of Student Financial Aid Web Site at http://www.financialaid.appstate.edu. Loans available to Appalachian students include:

  • Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan (based on financial need)
  • Federal Unsubsidized Staff Loan (not based on financial need)
  • Federal PLUS Loan for Graduate Students (not based on financial need) – Note: Students should apply for the Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford loans prior to applying for the Federal PLUS Loan for Graduate Students.

Named Fellowships

A number of fellowships are available to qualified graduate students. The Graduate School awards these fellowships to students who have been selected by the Graduate School’s Scholarships Committee; individual programs and departments make other awards. The Graduate School coordinates the Lovill Fellowship, the Chancellor’s Fellowships, Provost’s Fellowships, Alumni Fellowships, and Diversity Fellowships.

  • New students apply for Lovill, Chancellor’s, Provost’s, and Alumni Fellowships by checking the scholarship box on the on-line application for admission.
  • Continuing students apply for Provost’s and Alumni awards by submitting a paper application to the Graduate School Further information can be obtained from the Graduate School (http://www.graduate.appstate.edu/students).
  • Diversity Fellowships require a separate paper application process. Further information can be obtained from the Graduate School (http://www.graduate.appstate.edu/students).

Graduate Assistantships

Competitively awarded graduate assistantship employment involving teaching, research or service to the University are available in most academic departments, the Division of Student Development, and other units on campus for the Fall and Spring semesters. Additional support in the form of summer assistantships may be available depending upon funding.

Students may be classified as a Graduate Assistant, Teaching Assistant, or Research Assistant. Only degree-seeking students are eligible to hold an assistantship, and students who are admitted provisionally must complete one term of enrollment successfully before they are eligible. Students must be registered for at least 9 hours of program of study coursework to hold an assistantship during a semester, unless they are in the final semester of study and have completed all program of study coursework, in which case they may carry an assistantship with a 6 semester hour course load. In summer, students must be enrolled in at least 2 hours in the term of the assistantship.

Half and full-time assistantships are possible, in which students work 10 or 20 hours a week respectively. Assistants are permitted to carry an academic load of up to twelve semester hours depending upon the classification of the assistantship. The full-time (20 hour a week) assistantship carries a minimum stipend of $3500 for a semester and $1200 for a summer term. Assistantships do not include reduction in tuition or fees. Further information can be obtained from the Graduate School (http://www.graduate.appstate.edu/students).

North Carolina Tuition Scholarships

A limited number of scholarships equivalent to the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition are available to exceptional non-NC-resident students who also hold graduate assistantships during fall and spring semesters. Requests should be made to the Graduate Program Director or Department Chair as early as possible for consideration. Students who receive Tuition Scholarships must complete a full time schedule (at least 9 hours per semester) of program of study coursework and must maintain a 3.3 cumulative GPA.

North Carolina Campus Scholarships

A small amount of funding is available to full-time doctoral students with documented financial need, who are Native American (proof of tribal affiliation is required) or who fall under another minority presence classification. Complete the FAFSA to apply for these scholarships.

North Carolina Need-Based Grant (NCNB)

A small amount of funding is available to full-time graduate students who are residents of North Carolina and have exceptional financial need. Complete the FAFSA to apply for the NCNB grant.

Residence Status for Tuition Purposes

University regulations concerning the classification of students by residence, for purposes of applicable tuition differentials, are set forth in detail in A Manual to Assist The Public Higher Education Institutions of North Carolina in the Matter of Student Residence Classification for Tuition Purposes. Each enrolled student is responsible for knowing the contents of this manual, which is the controlling administrative statement of policy on the subject. The “Manual” is available for review in the office of the University Residency Officer, located in John Thomas Hall (http://www.registrar.appstate.edu). This site contains the “Manual” and appropriate application forms. Questions should be directed to the University Residency Officer at 828.262.2050.

The basis for determining the appropriate tuition charge rests upon whether a student is a resident or a nonresident for tuition purposes. Each student must make a statement as to the length of his or her residence in North Carolina, with assessment by the institution of that statement to be conditioned by the following.

Residence. To qualify as a resident for tuition purposes, a person must become a legal resident and remain a legal resident for at least twelve months immediately prior to classification. Thus, there is a distinction between legal residence and residence for tuition purposes. Furthermore, twelve months legal residence means more than simple abode in North Carolina. In particular it means maintaining a domicile (permanent home of indefinite duration) as opposed to “maintaining a mere temporary residence or abode incident to enrollment in an institution of higher education.” The burden of establishing facts which justify classification of a student as a resident entitled to in- state tuition rates is on the applicant for such classification, who must show his or her entitlement by the preponderance (the greater part) of the residentiary information.

Initiative. Being classified a resident for tuition purposes is contingent on the student’s seeking such status and providing all information that the institution may require in making the determination.

Parents’ domicile. If an individual, irrespective of age, has living parent(s) or court-appointed guardian of the person, the domicile of such parent(s) or guardian is, prima facie, the domicile of the individual; but this prima facie evidence of the individual’s domicile may or may not be sustained by other information. Further, nondomiciliary status of parents is not deemed prima facie evidence of the applicant child’s status if the applicant has lived (though not necessarily legally resided) in North Carolina for the five years preceding enrollment or re-registration.

Effect of marriage. Marriage alone does not prevent a person from becoming or continuing to be a resident for tuition purposes, nor does marriage in any circumstance insure that a person will become or continue to be a resident for tuition purposes. Marriage and the legal residence of one’s spouse are, however, relevant information in determining residentiary intent. Furthermore, if both a husband and his wife are legal residents of North Carolina and if one of them has been a legal resident longer than the other, then the longer duration may be claimed by either spouse in meeting the twelve-month requirement for in-state tuition status.

Military personnel. A North Carolinian who serves outside the State in the armed forces does not lose North Carolina domicile simply by reason of such service. And students from the military may prove retention or establishment of residence by reference, as in other cases, to residentiary acts accompanied by residentiary intent. In addition, a separate North Carolina statute affords tuition rate benefits to certain military personnel and their dependents even though not qualifying for the in-state tuition rate by reason of twelve months legal residence in North Carolina. Members of the armed services, while stationed in and concurrently living in North Carolina, may be charged a tuition rate lower than the out-of-state tuition rate to the extent that the total of entitlements for applicable tuition costs available from the federal government, plus certain amounts based under a statutory formula upon the in- state tuition rate, is a sum less than the out-of-state tuition rate for the pertinent enrollment. A dependent relative of a service member stationed in North Carolina is eligible to be charged the in-state tuition rate while the dependent relative is living in North Carolina with the service member and if the dependent relative has met any requirement of the Selective Service System applicable to the dependent relative. These tuition benefits may be enjoyed only if the applicable requirements for admission have been met; these benefits alone do not provide the basis for receiving those derivative benefits under the provisions of the residence classification statute reviewed elsewhere in this summary.

Grace period. If a person (1) has been a bona fide legal resident of the required duration, (2) has consequently been classified a resident for tuition purposes, and (3) has subsequently lost North Carolina legal residence while enrolled at a public institution of higher education, that person may continue to enjoy the in-state tuition rate for a grace period of twelve months measured from the date on which North Carolina legal residence was lost. If the twelve months ends during an academic term for which the person is enrolled at a State institution of higher education, the grace period extends, in addition, to the end of that term. The fact of marriage to one who continues domiciled outside North Carolina does not by itself cause loss of legal residence marking the beginning of the grace period.

Minors. Minors (persons under 18 years of age) usually have the domicile of their parents, but certain special cases are recognized by the residence classification statute in determining residence for tuition purposes.

  • If a minor’s parents live apart, the minor’s domicile is deemed to be North Carolina for the time period(s) that either parent, as a North Carolina legal resident, may claim and does claim the minor as a tax dependent, even if other law or judicial act assigns the minor’s domicile outside North Carolina. A minor thus deemed to be a legal resident will not, upon achieving majority before enrolling at an institution of higher education, lose North Carolina legal residence if that person (1) upon becoming an adult “acts, to the extent that the person’s degree of actual emancipation permits, in a manner consistent with bona fide legal residence in North Carolina” and (2) “begins enrollment at a North Carolina public institution of higher education not later than the fall academic term following completion of education prerequisite to admission at such institution.”
  • If a minor has lived for five or more consecutive years with relatives (other than parents) who are domiciled in North Carolina and if the relatives have functioned during this time as if they were personal guardians, the minor will be deemed a resident for tuition purposes for an enrolled term commencing immediately after at least five years in which these circumstances have existed. If under this consideration a minor is deemed to be a resident for tuition purposes immediately prior to his or her eighteenth birthday, that person on achieving majority will be deemed a legal resident of North Carolina of at least twelve months duration. This provision acts to confer in-state tuition status even in the face of other provisions of law to the contrary; however, a person deemed a resident of twelve months duration pursuant to this provision continues to be a legal resident of the State only so long as he or she does not abandon North Carolina domicile.

Lost but regained domicile. If a student ceases enrollment at or graduates from an institution of higher education while classified a resident for tuition purposes and then both abandons and reacquires North Carolina domicile within a 12-month period, that person, if he or she continues to maintain the reacquired domicile into re-enrollment at an institution of higher education, may re-enroll at the in-state tuition rate without having to meet the usual twelve-month durational requirement. However, any one person may receive the benefit of the provision only once.

Change of status. A student admitted to initial enrollment in an institution (or permitted to re-enroll following an absence from the institutional program which involved a formal withdrawal from enrollment) must be classified by the admitting institution either as a resident or as a nonresident for tuition purposes prior to actual enrollment. A residence status classification once assigned (and finalized pursuant to any appeal properly taken) may be changed thereafter (with corresponding change in billing rates) only at intervals corresponding with the established primary divisions of the academic year.

Transfer students. When a student transfers from one North Carolina public institution of higher education to another, he or she is treated as a new student by the institution to which he or she is transferring and must be assigned an initial residence status classification for tuition purposes.

Residency for North Carolina Public School Teachers. The statute allows an individual who is under contract as a full-time classroom teaching within the North Carolina public school system (i.e., grades K-12), and who has established domicile in North Carolina, to receive the in-state tuition benefit without meeting the normal twelve month durational period. This exception, however, is conditions by the following: 1) The individual must have established domicile in North Carolina PRIOR to the academic term for which the benefit is requested; 2) he or she must b under contract as either a fulltime classroom teacher or an education employee who is paid on the North Carolina “certified teacher salary schedule”; and 3) the courses taken must be limited to either those needed to fulfill the teacher licensure requirements mandated by North Carolina’s State Department of Public Instruction, or those relevant to professional development as a K-12 classroom teacher. Note, however, that once the individual has been domiciled in North Carolina for twelve months, the limitations indicated above no longer apply.

Residency for Employees of the UNC System. The statute allows individuals who are full-time employees (faculty or staff) of the University of North Carolina System to receive the in-state tuition benefit without meeting the twelve-month durational requirement. To be eligible, however, the employee must have established domicile within North Carolina, and must have done so prior to the academic term for which the benefit is claimed. This benefit is also granted to the employee’s spouse and dependent children. Note, however, that if the benefit is claimed for the spouse or for dependent children, they must also have established domicile in North Carolina PRIOR to the academic term for which the benefit is claimed.

Refund Policy

The term “refund” should be understood to mean either a) the repayment of money received by the University for tuition and fees, or b) a reduction of charges if tuition and fees have not yet been paid.

Withdrawal from the University: If a student withdraws from the University (i.e., discontinues all classes and formally notifies the Registrar's Office), a refund will be made according to the refund table found in the “Refund Policy” link in the "Schedule of Classes" tab on the Registrar’s website.

The refund calculation will be based upon the date of official withdrawal from the University. Students who wish to withdraw should immediately notify the Registrar's Office, located in John E. Thomas Hall; simply leaving the University is not considered "official."

Students who have prepaid tuition and fees will be due a full refund if they are academically ineligible to enroll. Students who do not enroll for reasons other than academic ineligibility will be due a refund LESS any advance payments made for tuition, fees and housing. Students who are suspended or expelled for disciplinary reasons will be given a refund based on the University's normal refund schedule.

Reduction in Class Schedule: If students reduce their class schedules (drop courses) during the "Drop-Add" period, one hundred percent of the difference in tuition and fees between the original and revised schedules will be credited to their accounts and available for refund. Students who reduce their class schedules (drop courses) after the first five days of classes will not be eligible for a refund.

Financial Aid Recipients (Return of funds due to withdrawal from the university): Please note that reducing your class schedule or withdrawing from the University can affect your status as a financial aid recipient. Questions about the effect of either schedule reduction or withdrawal from the University should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Aid.

If a recipient of financial aid withdraws from the University and is deemed eligible for a refund, that refund does not go directly to the student, but is repaid to financial aid programs according to federal regulations and University policy.

A student officially withdraws when she/he contacts the Registrar's Office when she/he stops attending or plans to stop attending all classes.

The Policy for the Return of Financial Aid Funds for Students Who Withdraw from the University applies to official and unofficial withdrawals.

If a student withdraws on or before the 60% point of the term, a percentage of the financial aid will be calculated as earned and a percentage will be calculated as unearned on a pro-rata basis.  Once the student has been enrolled for 60% of the term, the student is considered to have earned all of his/her financial aid.

Example:  The student enrolls in a semester that has 113 days in the term, and withdraws on the 18th day of the term, earned and unearned financial aid would be calculated as:

18 days / 113 days = 15.9% of your financial aid has been earned and 84.1% is unearned.

The unearned amount must be returned to the federal financial aid programs in this order:

    1. Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan
    2. Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan
    3. Federal Perkins Loan
    4. Federal PLUS Loan for Graduate Students
    5. Federal PLUS Loan
    6. Federal PELL Grant
    7. Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant
    8. Federal Smart Grant
    9. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The same policy applies to state, institutional, and other types of aid and will be returned in this order:

    1. North Carolina Need-based Grant (NCNB)
    2. Campus-based Tuition Offset
    3. Other Institutional Grants, Waivers, and Scholarships
    4. Athletic Grants
    5. North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship
    6. North Carolina Student Incentive Grant (NCSIG)
    7. Other State Aid
    8. Outside Scholarships
    9. Other Sources

The University will return to the appropriate financial aid program the lesser of the total amount of unearned aid or the institutional charges of tuition, fees, room, and board.  The student is responsible for returning any remaining amount to the appropriate programs.

If the student is required to return funds from the loan programs, those funds will be repaid according to the normal repayment terms of the loan program.  If the student is required to return funds to the federal grant programs, the student will be required to return only 50% of the federal grant amount that they originally received.  If the student is required to return funds from the state, institution, or other sources, the student must return the entire unearned percentage.

If the calculations result in a balance due from the student, a bill will be sent to the permanent home address and will be due upon receipt.

If the student is a Federal Stafford Loan borrower, the student is required to complete Exit Counseling at the time of the withdrawal. The student must complete the Federal Stafford Loan On-Line Exit Counseling at  http://www.financialaid.appstate.edu. The Federal Stafford Loan lender will be notified that the student is no longer enrolled, and the loan repayment process will begin.  It is important for the student to understand their rights and responsibilities, and completion of the required exit counseling will prepare the student for repaying the loan(s).

If the student is a Federal Perkins Loan borrower, he or she will receive a letter from Educational Computer Systems, Inc., (ECSI 888-549-3274) explaining the process of completing the required online exit counseling upon graduating or becoming less than half time