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Frequently Asked Questions

Billing

How are bills calculated?

Bills are calculated based on the number of credits (including audits, thesis and/or dissertation credits), for which a student registers. Some adjustment is made if a student drops a course within the first five weeks (see Refund Schedule).

What is waived by an assistantship, internship, etc.?

If sufficient funding is provided, tuition and the curriculum fee are waived. GEO eligible students will also receive a health fee waiver. Please see the Graduate Assistantship Office's website for specific and updated information.

What is the refund policy?

Students are not charged for courses dropped by the end of the Add/Drop period. After that, the refund is based on the "last day of attendance" in each class.

Refund Schedule

Regular Term

  • Within the first two weeks from the beginning of the semester or term (Registration Day) - 80%
  • During the third week -- 60%
  • During the fourth week -- 40%
  • During the fifth week -- 20%
  • After the fifth week -- no refund

Summer Session

  • During the first week -- 60%
  • During the second week -- 20%
  • After the second week -- no refund
Who does the student contact when there is a problem with a bill?

If an assistantship is not recorded, contact the Graduate Assistantship Office. If the number of credits a student is billed for is incorrect, contact the Graduate Records Office. Contact the Bursar to make arrangements to pay the bill.

When can graduate students pick up loan excess checks? What does this have to do with early registration?

In order to process a loan excess check, a student must be registered, and his/her appointment papers must be completed and processed. Because graduate students pay their bills after the semester begins, the student must pre-register if they wish to pick up their loan excess check at the beginning of the semester.

How long does it take for a TA/RA appointment to be processed to show on a student's bill?

All appointments received by the Graduate Assistantship Office by the Add/Drop deadline will be shown on a student's bill. After that date, it may take up to a week for the appointment to be recorded at the Bursar's Office.

Why is the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) charge on the student's bill if it is an option?

SHIP is required for all students unless they can document that they have comparable coverage. Students must supply proof of other coverage in order to have the Supplemental Health charge waived. Even students covered by the GEO contract must provide waiver information if they have other coverage.

Can I get a bill early?

Student bills are calculated periodically prior to the beginning of the semester. These bills can be viewed on SPIRE. Paper bills are mailed only once per semester - during the third week of the semester.

When are the bills due?

Your payment is due by the due date indicated on your bill, generally about the end of the fourth week on the semester.

What is the Graduate Entering Fee?

First-semester graduate students are required to pay a one-time fee for the Graduate Transcript, Library Binding, Commencement fee and student identification card, commonly referred to as the UCard. Regardless of the number of official transcripts requested, degrees earned, or manuscripts that are bound, a student will pay the Graduate Entering Fee only once. Non-degree graduate students are not assessed the Graduate Entering Fee.

Why am I being billed as a non-resident when I've lived in state for more than a year? The fees are too high!

Residency for Tuition Purposes is determined at the time of acceptance to the Graduate School . Anyone coming to Massachusetts to attend school does not qualify for instate rates. A person who is resident in Massachusetts for at least one year before enrolling may qualify for the instate rate.

Where can I get some financial help like an emergency loan?

Short Term emergency loans are available on a limited basis through the Graduate Assistantship Office, 517 Goodell Building.

Can an international student ever qualify for instate tuition?

The same regulations apply to international students as to domestic students. Students who are in this country on student, exchange visitor or other temporary or time specific visas do not qualify for instate tuition.

International Students

What information is available regarding international students?

The Admissions section of this site has application information for international students. The International Programs office is also an excellent resource.

In order to get a scholarship I need a conditional admission, can the University grant me one?

No. Admission is offered only to those applicants who have satisfied every aspect of the admission process, including the submission of a satisfactory TOEFL score report.

Can I submit photocopies of my GRE, GMAT, or TOEFL score reports?

Initially, we advise an international applicant to attach photocopies of his/her score reports with the application, but official reports issued by ETS will be required before full processing of that application will take place. In some instances, the Graduate School will accept certified copies of these reports.

Can TOEFL be waived?

The typical answer to this question is no, but you should refer to the TOEFL section of the application for waiver qualifications.

I received a 550 on TOEFL, is that a respectable score?

Although a 550 TOEFL score satisfies the University's minimum TOEFL score, many programs are looking for much higher scores. The average total TOEFL score that the University of Massachusetts receives now is above 610.

When can I expect to receive my I-20 or IAP66?

These documents can only be issued after you have confirmed your intention to enroll and have documented your ability to fund your first year of graduate study. Questions concerning this matter should be addressed to the International Programs Office.

How much money must I show evidence of having to get my I-20?

University assistance (stipend and tuition/fee waivers), outside funding and personal funds must add to $21,000.

When will I get my registration materials and my student identification number?

When you arrive on campus they can be picked up in the Graduate Records Office or at the orientation session about graduate registration.

When will I receive my confirmation in the mail for submitting an online application?

The confirmation letter can take up to 3-4 weeks to reach an overseas address.

Is there a department code for the TOEFL?

For reporting TOEFL score results use any other department code except 00 - 00 which will send your score to the undergraduate office and not to the graduate school.

I attended several colleges/universities; which transcripts must I submit?

One official transcript must be submitted from all colleges/universities attended, undergraduate and graduate, where 6 or more credits were taken are required. You do not need to list college/universities where 5 or fewer credits were taken; however, if you do include them on your applicaton, we will consider your application incomplete until those transcripts are received.

Are there any publications or a handbook regarding international students? Where can one find this information?

Application information for international students may be found on this Web site in the Admissions section. The International Programs Office is also an excellent resource.

A new international student has not arrived, (Visa problems or whatever) but is expected shortly after the Add/Drop deadline, what can the GPD do?

Every student must be registered by the end of the Add/Drop period. If the GPD can determine that the student will arrive in time to complete the semester, the student should be enrolled in the appropriate first semester course or courses. In the event that he/she does not attend, the GPD can request a cancellation of the student's bill after the deadline. If the student is not registered by the deadline, the record will be deleted. When the student arrives there will be several problems recreating the file so that services can be provided.

If the student is not expected until late in the semester, a deferral of admission until the next semester should be considered. If appropriate, a memo should be sent to the Director of Graduate Admissions requesting the deferral.

What is the International Graduate Teaching Assistant Communication Program?

The International Graduate Teaching Assistant Communication Program (IGTACP) offered by the Graduate School helps international Teaching Assistants (ITA) improve their proficiency with the spoken English language. The objective of the program is to assure that all ITAs possess adequate spoken English language skills for classroom teaching.

The program is divided into two components:

  • Screening Test of Spoken English Communication Skills
  • Spoken English Communication Instruction Classes
What is the test of Spoken English Communication Skills?

The purpose of the test is to identify any potential difficulties International Teaching Assistants my have in understanding spoken English of in being understood in the undergraduate U.S. classroom.

Who is required to take the test?

All incoming graduate teaching assistants/associates and returning international graduate students who will be assuming TA responsibilities for the first time are required to take the test. In addition, students who are not currently funded but who may be funded in the future for a teaching assistantship should take the test.

If an international Teaching Assistant does not pass the test, what effect will it have on his/her assistantship funding?

None, the test result has no bearing on the funding of the teaching assistantship.

Are there any exceptions?

The Graduate Program Director can request a waiver at his/her discretion for students only in the following categories:

  • Students whose entire education has been in the United Kingdom, Ireland, English-speaking Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Commonwealth Caribbean, or the United States.
  • Students with an undergraduate degree from a U.S. university.
  • Student who have taken and passed a test with a similar purpose at another U.S. university must provide documentation (i.e. TSE exam results)
  • A request for a waiver should be made only after the GPD has carefully interviewed the student and has determined that the student will not encounter difficulties in understanding spoken English or in being understood in the undergraduate classroom.

Request for waiver should be sent to
Nigar J. Khan, Director
International Graduate Teaching Assistant Communication Program
Graduate School
514 Goodell Building

cc to Myrna Cronen, Ph.D. Coordinator
International Graduate Teaching Assistant Communication Program
Center for Language Speech and Hearing
Arnold House

How often is the test given on campus?

The test is given twice a year: at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters.

How are international graduate students informed about the requirement that they take this test?

Effective September 1, 1998, international graduate students will be notified by their GPDs and during orientation that if appointed as TAs or TOs, they will be required to take a test of spoken English.

Their options for such testing include:

  • taking the Test of Spoken English administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) before their arrival on campus and at their expense, or
  • taking a similar standardized test on campus at no cost to the student
How are students and departments notified of results of the test?

Students who take the test on campus are informed of the results immediately and they receive a written report and recommendation within three days of the test. The report indicates the following information:

  • The student met the criteria for all test sections and passed the test. Spoken English speaking and listening skills are satisfactory and should not interfere with the student's ability to perform the duties of a Teaching Assistant.
  • The student did not meet the criterion for one or more of the test sections. The student's level of difficulty and recommended TA duties are noted below. We recommend that the student enroll in spoken English Communication Instruction classes.
  • Level 1 Student has minor characteristics in his or her speech, which may be distracting in a classroom setting. English speaking abilities are otherwise adequate. Student can serve as a TA.
  • Level 2 Student has moderate problems with spoken English that would interfere with his or her ability to teach a class. Recommended duties include serving as a laboratory assistant or working on a one-to-one basis with students.
  • Level 3 Student has significant difficulty with comprehension and expression of spoken English. Recommended duties include setting up equipment for the laboratory and grading.
What services are provided for students who do not pass the test?

Small group English communication instruction classes are offered during fall and spring to ITAs who do not achieve test criteria. At the end of each semester, students are reevaluated. Students may continue in Communication Instruction classes for additional semesters.

Is there an Attendance Policy for Communication instruction classes?

Yes. Students who attend Communication Instruction classes are encouraged to attend all classes and complete all homework assignments. Students who miss three classes during the semester receive a written warning of poor attendance and their department receives a copy. If a student misses 5 classes during the semester, they are withdrawn from the class and their department is notified. Departments are encouraged to carefully review the results of the screening test and make sure that all appropriate students have taken the test and are attending classes.

How is the department informed of individual students' progress in Communication instruction classes?

A written report is sent to the GPDs at the end of each semester indicating each student's progress and recommend status.

What if a Graduate Program Director or the academic department has questions about a student's participation or progress during the semester?

Contact Nigar Khan, Director, IGTACP at 545-5278 or Myrna Cronen, Ph.D. Coordinator at 545-4011.

Registration

Why should a graduate student register early?

Early registration provides the student with the opportunity to plan ahead. Early registration is confirmed registration so the student will know immediately if a class is oversubscribed or if instructor permission is required. It also allows the Financial Aid office to assess a student's eligibility early and prevents delay in receiving an excess check. The best reason to register early, is so the student will not forget to register during the Add/Drop period.

How does a student register?

Registration is done over through SPIRE ( https://spire.umass.edu ). Information is sent to students in early November for Spring registration and in April for Fall registration. The early registration period runs from November/April through January/August.

What happens on "Registration Day"?

Registration day has less significance with the introduction of SPIRE. It is still the official beginning of the semester and a good day for students to get many administrative chores done. Departments should be prepared to handle registration problems such as off-line courses and courses with eligibility restrictions.

What is late registration?

Late registration is registration during the Add/Drop period. It runs from about one week prior to the beginning of the semester until the tenth class day of the semester. Students who do not register by this deadline are no longer enrolled and must be readmitted.

Who pays program fee? What is the Continuous Enrollment Fee?

Any degree (or certificate) program student who will not be registering for credits in a particular semester must register on SPIRE for Continuous Enrollment (Program Fee) by the tenth calendar day of the semester. Students who fail to either pay the fee or register by the end of the Late Registration period will be withdrawn from the University. Students who enroll for the Continuous Enrollment/Program Fee cannot be exempt from FICA/OBRA deductions if they are on the University payroll.

Will Incomplete (INC, IP grades) keep a student enrolled?

No, an incomplete grade does not comprise nor maintain enrollment. Students who are working only on incompletes should pay the program fee. IP grades on thesis/dissertation credits registered in previous semesters do not maintain enrollment.

What procedure does a GPD follow to "readmit" a student who missed the enrollment deadline?

The GPD should determine if the student should be recommended for readmission and forward a memorandum recommending readmission the Graduate Registrar. The student must pay the Readmission Fee of $125.00 and either register for 1 or more credits or pay the Program Fee for the current term. If the former student has been withdrawn for more than one term, s/he must file a formal Reapplication Form, pay the Readmission Fee, and all accumulated fees. Questions concerning readmission procedures should be addressed to the Graduate Records Office.

How many credits may a student take per semester?

The maximum credit load per semester is 16 (9 in the summer). An overload of up to 18 credits will be approved if the GPD endorses the course overload on a Course Overload Approval form. Over 18 credits requires a memorandum of justification.

How do students register for summer courses?

Summer Registration and grade collection are handled by the Division of Continuing Education for both undergraduate and graduate students. Courses taken are recorded as part of a graduate student's graduate record.

How do students register as auditors in classes?

Students sign up for audit during the add/drop period. Audited courses do not count toward total credits in determining full-time status.

What is the deadline for changing from credit to audit status in a course?

The last day of classes in the term is the deadline. The instructor must be willing to make this change and must signify that the student was passing the class at the time of the change. A Late Add/Drop form is used for this purpose.

Who is eligible to audit a class?

Any student may audit any course with the permission of the instructor. What coursework must be completed to meet the requirements to receive a grade of "Audit" should be worked out between the instructor and the student at the beginning of the term. Students should be reminded that audited courses do not count in determining full-time or half-time status for loan deferments or for waive of FICA/OBRA payments when on the University payroll.

How are audit grades recorded?

If the student has fulfilled the agreed upon requirements, the instructor should submit the grade of "AUD" on the Grade Roster. If the student does not meet the requirements determined by the instructor, the course will be removed from the student's transcript providing the instructor indicates on the Grade Roster that the student should not receive a grade of "AUD."

Do audit credits count toward student enrollment status?

Audited courses DO NOT count toward full-time or half-time status for loan deferment purposes nor for exemption of FICA/OBRA deductions.

How do students enroll for 5-College courses?

Graduate students enrolled in degree programs are eligible to register for most courses offered at Amherst, Smith, Mount Holyoke , and Hampshire colleges through the Five College Interchange Program. Students will find the instructions for Five College course registration when they log onto their SPIRE account. Most courses offered by the area colleges are undergraduate level and, therefore, are not necessarily applicable toward graduate credit at the University. Such courses may be applied toward elective credits provided a request to do so is sent to the Graduate Dean. These courses may not be used to meet the 600-800 level nor "21 in major field" requirements for a master's degree.

How do students register for thesis/dissertation credits?

Students can register for thesis (699) or dissertation (899) credits using SPIRE just as they would register for any other course. Most departments require a minimum of 6 credits of thesis and 18 credits of dissertation. The maximum number of thesis credits per semester is 10; of dissertation is 9.

Can nondegree credits be used toward a degree program?

A maximum of 6 credits may be applied to the degree program. The GPD should recommend "transfer" of the credits toward the degree program as early as practical in the student's program. Because the approval or disapproval of these courses may affect the student's entire program of study, the recommendation should be made at the start of the program, NOT when filing for graduation.

Can a GPD prevent nondegree students from enrolling in classes in my department?

Course eligibility can be set to exclude study level "N" (for non-degree) through a form obtained in the Scheduling Office. The department can then override any non-degree student who obtains permission to enroll.

Can nondegree students register early?

Registration for non-degree students generally begins one week before the start of classes.  Earlier registration is not available to non-degree students.  

Is there a Pass/Fail option for graduate students?

There is no Pass/Fail option for graduate students (not even for undergraduate level courses). Instead the instructor and student may make an agreement that the student will receive a Satisfactory (SAT) grade instead of a letter grade. This agreement should be made at the beginning of the term. It is not recorded on the student's record. In addition, certain courses may be offered with SAT/F grading option; this must be explained to all students at the beginning of the semester. Please note that there is a Graduate School requirement that students must receive a letter grades for at least half of the credits used for the master's degree.

How are full-time and half-time status determined? What beside course credits can be used to define "full-time?"

Full-time status is defined as enrollment for nine or more credits; half-time status is defined as six to eight credits. Students enrolled for five or fewer credits or who have paid the Program Fee are considered part-time. Degree students may be considered full-time or half-time regardless of the number of credits for which they are registered provided their Graduate Program Director certifies that they are working full/half time on research. Audited courses do not count in calculating enrollment status. See below for a description of enrollment status as related to loan deferments and payroll withholding.

Notes: Program Fee payers who are in the process of writing/researching their thesis or dissertation or studying for required examinations may be considered to be either "at least half-time" or "full-time" for loan deferment purposes but not for FICA/OBRA exemption purposes (see below) upon receipt of a written certification from their departments. To be eligible for a deferment, a student must be studying at a pace equivalent to taking 6 or 9 graduate credits in a given semester.

Audited and dropped courses do not count for loan certification or FICA/OBRA exemption purposes. A student on a leave of absence is not eligible for a loan deferment or a FICA/OBRA exemption. Student loans are not routinely deferred simply because of one's continued enrollment in the Graduate School.

How can errors in registration be corrected - what are the deadlines for this?

Students should be encouraged to check their course schedule on SPIRE and make corrections as soon as possible. In the event of a registration error, correction after the Add/Drop deadline should be made using a late add/drop form. As late changes do affect billing (either additional charges or refunds) all corrections should be made within the first 5 weeks of a semester.

How can GPDs/students correct errors in registration after the semester is over?

When an error is discovered in a subsequent semester, a memorandum outlining the needed change should be addressed to the Associate Registrar. Billing adjustment may not be possible after the semester is completed.

What does continuous enrollment until the degree is completed/awarded really mean?

A student must be either registered for courses or register and pay for continuous enrollment/program fee every fall or spring semester until the degree is awarded. The Degree Eligibility form must be submitted to the Degree Requirements Office along with graduation fees and the thesis/dissertation (if applicable) by December 15 for a February degree, by April 15 for a May degree, or by August 31 for a September degree (the exact dates may vary). Students who meet these deadlines would not be required to register for the semester that follows the deadline. Questions concerning this should be addressed to the Degree Requirements Office.

A new international student has not arrived, (Visa problems or whatever) but is expected shortly after the Add/Drop deadline, what can the GPD do?

Every student must be registered by the end of the Add/Drop period. If the GPD can determine that the student will arrive in time to complete the semester, the student should be enrolled in the appropriate first semester course or courses. In the event that he/she does not attend, the GPD can request a cancellation of the student's bill after the deadline. If the student is not registered by the deadline, the record will be deleted. When the student arrives there will be several problems recreating the file so that services can be provided.

If the student is not expected until late in the semester, a deferral of admission until the next semester should be considered. If appropriate, a memo should be sent to the Director of Graduate Admissions requesting the deferral.

What does it mean when the department cannot access a student's registration on SPIRE?

If the screen is blank, check the message at the bottom. In most cases the student has not yet registered. Occasionally, there will be a message, "currently in use by ..." If you receive that message, call the Graduate Records Office at 5-0024 and a staff member will release the screen so that it can be used. In very rare cases, a department may not be able to access a screen because the level of confidentiality is so great that only a Graduate Records Office staff member can access the student's file. In that case, please call 5-0024 to have the file updated.

What is an ID# and what does it control?

All students are assigned an ID number for use in accessing the SPIRE system on the Web and for use in registration. If a student does not have an ID card, or needs an ID changed, the student should go to the ID Office in Hampton Dining Commons with appropriate picture identification.

What is a RAC and what does it control?

A Registration Access Code (RAC) is assigned to students in certain departments and can be used to require that the student see their advisor before registering. Once the student has been counseled, the advisor can give the RAC. The student can then access SPIRE as often as they like during the access period.

What are off line courses and how can a department use this option?

Departments may choose to take a course "off line" - that is, not allow students to register for the course using SPIRE. This option requires that the academic department schedule each approved student into the class using SPIRE. This should be used as an option only when the enrollment restrictions allowed on the Scheduling form do not meet the instructor's/department's needs.

Who is responsible for course overrides? How can departments override eligibility requirements for a specific student?

The academic departments are responsible for posting students to courses for which instructors have given permission to enroll if the student was blocked from enrolling via SPIRE.

How can a department set or change course eligibility requirements for a specific course?

Course eligibility requirements are set using the Course Eligibility form received from the Scheduling Office.

How can departments limit class enrollment?

Class size is limited by request when a course is scheduled. It may also be limited by the size of the classroom or laboratory required.

Can an instructor award a different number of credits that is listed in the catalog for the course?

No, courses must be taught for the number of credits for which they were approved. Most courses have been approved for 3 credits. Exceptions are noted in the Graduate Bulletin.

Residency Policies

What is the University Residency Policy?

Every emancipated person who has maintained and established residency (a true, fixed and permanent home or place of habitation, where s/he intends to remain permanently for an indefinite time) in Massachusetts for a period of not less than 12 months immediately preceding the first day of classes of the academic period for which the student is applying is eligible for classification as a Massachusetts resident for tuition purposes, provided s/he has satisfied all the rules and regulations governing the residency status of students for tuition purposes. Rules and Regulations governing the residency status of students for tuition purposes are described in the document, Rules and Regulations Governing the Residency Status of Students for Tuition Purposes (PDF, 23K).

How can I determine if I should file for reclassification of my residency?
  • If you are dependent, in part or totally, for financial support by parent(s) or court-appointed legal guardian, your residency status will be that of your parent(s)/legal guardian. Generally, if you are claimed by a deduction on your parent(s)/legal guardian's Federal taxes you are considered a dependent person.
  • If you are independent of financial support by parents or legal guardian, then decision on Massachusetts residency for tuition purposes will be based on your individual circumstances.
  • If you are a foreign national, you must have applied for and/or possess a Resident Alien Registration Card (commonly called a "Green Card) to be considered for in-state tuition. Even with the Green Card you will still have to satisfy the criteria established for Massachusetts residency for tuition purposes.


In most cases, an independent person (see #1 or #2) must have resided in Massachusetts for at least 12 consecutive months as a non-student just prior to initial enrollment or readmitted enrollment in the University ("12-Month Rule"). An individual employed on a full-time basis who enrolls at a college or university within the commonwealth of Massachusetts may, however, satisfy the "12-Month Rule" provided s/he maintains a 12 month hiatus from being a full-time student.

MASSACHUSETTS RESIDENCY FOR TUITION PURPOSES IS NOT ACQUIRED BY MERE PHYSICAL PRESENCE IN MASSACHUSETTS WHILE A PERSON IS CARRYING ON A COURSE OF STUDY AT THE UNIVERSITY.

The above information reflects only a part of the Residency Policy. If you intend to apply for residency reclassification, you must read the University Residency Policy in its entirety as described in the rules and regulations in section #1 governing the residency status of students. You may also want to read the Summary of Residency/Tuition Relcassification Information (PDF, 9K) before submitting the application. When submitting the application, be certain to provide as much documentation as possible to support your claim and be certain to have the form notarized.

Any additional questions or concerns may be directed to: Lori Baronas, assistant to the Graduate Residency Reclassification Officer, 413-545-5278.

How do I apply for reclassification?

A graduate student wishing to be considered for reclassification as a Massachusetts resident must submit a completed -Residency Reclassification -Form, along with copies of all documentation which support the claim of Massachusetts residency, to Lori Baronas, Room 518, Goodell Building.

The following supporting documentation, where appropriate, must be submitted with the appeal form:

  • Statement of your relationship to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts beyond that of being a student
  • Copy of Driver's License
  • Copy of Automobile Registration
  • Copy of Alien Registration
  • Copy of Voter Registration
  • Copy of Massachusetts Income Tax Return (and W2 Forms)
  • Evidence of financial support
  • Evidence of employment
  • Evidence of real property ownership (deed)
  • Notarized copies of Leases, etc. for residency
Are there deadlines?

A student may apply for reclassification or appeal a decision at any time. However, in-state tuition rates will be effective only for the academic period for which the student applied for reclassification and which was immediately preceded by 12 months of residency.

What are my options if the Graduate School rejects my application for in-state residency?

If you are not granted Massachusetts resident status upon applying for reclassification, you may appeal the decision, in writing, to the David Markland, Chairperson of the Residency Appeals Board, Donor and Information Services, Memorial Hall Building, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003. Routinely, applications that are rejected by the Graduate School are forwarded to the Appeals Committee.

How do I appeal?

Upon rejection of an application for in-state residency by the Undergraduate or Graduate Schools, whichever is applicable, any student may appear that decision in writing to the Chairperson of the Residency Appeals Board, Memorial Hall Building , University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003. The Board meets periodically to review pending appeals and notifies the student in writing of its decision. There is a sixty (60) day deadline for appealing a residency request. However, in-state tuition rates are effective only for the academic period in which the student is eligible, and which is immediately preceded by twelve month's residency in the state of Massachusetts.

Writing the Appeals Letter: Please review the Rules and Regulations Governing the Residency Status of Students for Tuition Purposes which is described in http://www.umass.edu/dean_students/rights/admin_pol.htm. Your letter of appeal should present a thorough picture of yourself -- past, present, and future, to complement the objective data and application previously submitted. If new information exists, or if any information not provided earlier becomes available, it should be submitted along with the letter of appeal. It is important for the student who is appealing a residency decision to understand that the requirements for residency for the state of Massachusetts and the requirements for residency tuition purposes at the University of Massachusetts are two different situations. The appeals letter should provide an overall picture of the student's relationship to the state of Massachusetts beyond the status of a student.

Appointment with the Committee Chairperson
The Chairperson of the Residency Appeals Committee will meet with any student appealing a residency decision, who requests such a meeting, before submitting their case to the Committee. Once you have completed your letter of appeal, a final appointment could be made with the Chairperson by calling 545-5472. This appointment will give the student an opportunity to discuss in greater detail any factors which may need further clarification by the committee.

Special Arrangements for Tuition Bill
A student who is appealing a residency decision may make special arrangements for paying their tuition bill by requesting a deferment letter from the Chairperson of Residency Appeals committee, and may be received at the interview. This letter should then be taken to the Bursar's Office in order for the student to temporarily pay in-state tuition rates until the appeal is decided. Any student who has already paid out-of-state tuition for the period in question and who is later granted in-state status for tuition purposes for that period will receive a refund for the difference by the Bursar's Office. It is possible that such a refund may take eight weeks to be returned to the student.

Responsibility
Remember that it is the responsibility of the student to provide the Committee with documentation and written details that fulfill the requirements for Massachusetts residency for tuition purposes. All materials that are submitted in the original application are forwarded to the Appeals committee automatically.

What is a summary of the basic steps?

Student receives rejection letter from the Residency Reclassification Officer and an enclosed explanation of the appeals process.
Student reviews information regarding appeals enclosed with rejection letter. Student has 60 days in which to file an appeal.
If student decides to appeal the initial rejection, then student writes and submits letter of appeal to: Chairperson, Residency Appeals Committee, Donor and Information Services, Memorial Hall Building. At that time, student makes an appointment to meet with the Chairperson to review the student's appeal letter and supporting document.
Student may request a deferment letter from Chairperson, Residency Appeals Committee be sent to the Bursar's Office, allowing the student to temporarily pay in-state tuition rates until an appeals decision is reached. This can be obtained at the interview.
Students meet with the Chairperson to discuss in greater detail those factors which may need further clarification before being reviewed by the Committee.
Residency Appeals Committee reviews student's letter and documents (including former application filed).
Student receives written notification of Committee's decision. Please note that under Part V appeals, all decision of the Committee are final and may not be appealed further.