As the way need-based financial aid is allocated to students in the UNC System has changed, so have the populations that the funding serves. For the 2012-2013 school year, 59 percent of in-state students enrolled in the 17-campus system received need-based financial aid.

The UNC System Board of Governors meets Thursday to discuss the policies surrounding financial aid, such as what determines “need,” the demographics concerning which groups of students are receiving the grants, and how state aid programs can work within the federal rules, which dominate the system, to better leverage federal dollars.

The federal government is the largest provider of need-based financial aid. During the 2012-2013 fiscal year, UNC system students received $794 million in federal loans and $275 million in Pell Grants.

Two major state-funded programs for in-state students are the UNC Need-Based Grant, which allocated $122.5 million in the fiscal year 2013-2014, and the Education Lottery Scholarships, which provided $18 million.

The Board of Governors meets at 9:00 a.m. in the Spangler Center in Chapel Hill.