Office of the Bursar graduation cap
The Billing and Payment Gateway of UMass Amherst

Fee Explanation

Below is an explanation of the tuition and fees assessed to Undergraduate and Graduate students attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

Child Care Fee (optional)

The child care fee is a contribution to the child care assistance program on campus that provides eligible undergraduate parents assistance with paying child care costs. The child care fee is completely voluntary, and therefore can be waived if desired. Child care fees are waived through a student’s SPIRE access. 

To waive this fee, the student must log into their Spire account. Select the Finance section, and choose the Waive Mass PIRG/Childcare link.

Commonwealth Honors College Fee

The Commonwealth Honors College fee helps to fund additional faculty, maintain small classes and provide exceptional learning experiences which distinguish the College, such as visiting authors and other special programs.

This fee is assessed for all students enrolled in the Commonwealth Honors Program as of the end of the add/drop period.

Continuous Enrollment Fee

Graduate students not enrolled for course/thesis/dissertation credits and who are candidates for a degree must register for ‘Continuous Enrollment’ and pay the applicable fee every semester until that degree has been formally awarded.

The deadline to enroll for Continuous Enrollment is the end of the add/drop period. More information about this option can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook

Counseling Fee (New Student Orientation)

The new student orientation fee supports the orientation programs provided to undergraduate students entering the University for the first time in the Fall/Spring semester.

It is a one-time fee included on the student’s first semester bill. The fee is non-refundable even if a student chooses not to attend orientation.

Curriculum Fee

The curriculum fee contributes to the educational missions of the campus, helping to provide a comprehensive university offering a wide variety of programs at the graduate and undergraduate level.

The charge varies by number of credits and by residency.

Engineering Fee

The engineering fee is used by the School of Engineering to equip and operate instructional engineering equipment and laboratories.

This fee is charged to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in an engineering program.

Entering Fee

The entering fee offsets costs associated with a student’s initial enrollment at the University.

It is a one-time fee included on the student’s first semester bill. Graduate and Stockbridge students are assessed a differential amount.

Graduate Senate Tax

The graduate senate tax supports graduate student government and its services and activities for graduate students.

This fee is charged to graduate students only. Continuous Enrollment students pay 50% of the semester fee.

Mass PIRG (optional)

The MassPIRG fee provides funds for the campus chapter of the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group on environmental, consumer and government issues. The MassPIRG fee is completely voluntary, and therefore can be waived if desired. MassPIRG fees are waived through a student’s SPIRE access. 

To waive this fee, the student must log into their Spire account. Select the Finance section, and choose the Waive Mass PIRG/Childcare link.

Meal Plan

All undergraduate students living in non-apartment style campus residence halls are required to purchase a meal plan. Freshman and Sophomore students living on campus have the choice of the Value or Unlimited meal plan only.

Entering students who are going to live on campus are assigned and billed for the Value Plan but students can upgrade to the Unlimited Plan on SPIRE.

Undergraduate Juniors and Seniors living on campus have the added choice of the YCMP Gold or Platinum meal plans.

Graduate students, students living in the campus apartments, and students living off-campus may purchase any meal plan.

More information about the meal plans offered at the UMass Dining website

OIT Residential Services

The OIT residential services fee supports telephone and computer services in the residence halls. This fee is charged to all students living in the residence halls.

Room Fees

Students who live on campus are assessed room fees. These fees fund the operation and maintenance of the residence halls. Fees are differential based on room assignment. The room fees do NOT include meal plan fees (often referred to as ‘board’).

Information about room options and other residential life information can be found on the Residential Life website.

Senior Fee

This fee helps to offset costs attributed to student services applicable to upper-class undergraduate and second year Stockbridge students.

It is a one-time fee charged to students the first semester of their senior year, regardless of whether or not they intend to graduate in the following semester.

Service Fee

The service fee contributes to the student service mission of the campus; among those services are reduced Fine Art event ticket prices and an extensive transit system. The fee also provides access to intercollegiate athletic programs for undergraduates.

The charge varies by number of credits as well as undergraduate/graduate status.

Student Activities Fee

The student activities fee supports the undergraduate student government as well as over two hundred existing Registered Student Organizations on campus.

This is charged to undergraduate students only, regardless of number of credits.

Student Health Fee

The student (mandatory) health fee is NOT insurance. This fee entitles the student to be seen at our University Health Services facility on campus and supports an array of programs and services.

The student health fee is charged to students enrolled in 5 or more credits.

Student Health Benefit Plan Fee

Massachusetts state law dictates that students enrolled at a college or University in the state carry comprehensive health insurance. All students enrolled in 5 or more credits will be automatically charged for the University’s Student Health Benefit Plan. Students covered under a comparable insurance policy (personal, parent or family) are eligible to waive the health insurance coverage. To do so, students must enter their insurance policy information online. The waiver link is available on the SPIRE homepage (www.spire.umass.edu). This information must be provided each year.

Students who fail to provide proof on health insurance through the online waiver process by the end of add/drop will be covered under the University’s Student Health Benefit Plan, and will be unable to waive the fees.

The coverage period is annual with the annual fee split: half is charged in the fall semester and half in the spring semester.

Tuition

Tuition supports the cost of instruction on the campus. All students are subject to a tuition charge in addition to the mandatory fees charged.

Tuition is charged per credit and is capped at 12 credits. Tuition fees vary by residency, as well as undergraduate/graduate status.