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Frequently Asked Questions about Financial Aid
Summer Financial Aid
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Undergraduate Aid
(413) 545-0801
Graduate Aid
(413) 545-0801

Summer Financial Aid

If you plan to take courses over the summer, you may be eligible to receive financial aid to offset the costs. The financial aid programs available for the summer are Federal Direct loans, credit based alternative loans, Summer Work-Study and Federal Pell Grant (for eligible undergraduate students).

If you want to be considered for summer financial aid, you must:

  • be a currently enrolled in a degree-granting program at UMass Amherst
  • be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). If you have a SAP issue, it must be resolved by the summer application deadline (July 7, 2014) before your summer financial aid application can be processed.
  • In addition, you must resolve any financial obligations to the University before completing a summer financial aid application.
  • For more information on eligibility for financial aid go to Eligibility Requirements

Applying for Summer Aid


To apply for summer financial aid, you must:

  • File the 2013-2014 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Complete the appropriate UMass Amherst Summer Financial Aid Application form available online.

  • All forms are now interactive PDFs that you can complete online before printing.
    -Open form and type information
    -Print it
    -Sign it (cannot be a digital signature)
    -Fax it to 413-545-1700

    or scan signed form and email to fadocs@finaid.umass.edu
    (Attachments must be a standard image file,
    or in one of the following file formats: .doc, .docx, .pdf)

    Remember to include your SPIRE ID on all documents.

  • You may also submit your application materials in person or by mail to Financial Aid Services at 243 Whitmore Building.
  • If your FAFSA was selected for verification check your "To Dos" and submit any requested documents promptly.
  • All required documents must be received by the deadline date (July 7, 2014) or your request for summer aid cannot be processed.
  • The deadline to apply for summer financial aid is July 7, 2014.

Your Rights and Responsibilities

Review your Rights and Responsibilities for applying and receiving financial aid.

Additional Information


Summer Abroad Programs
Internships and Independent Study
Enrollment Requirements
Dropping Credits
Registering for Classes or Summer Abroad Program
Summer Financial Aid Amounts
Living Expenses
Disbursement of Funds
Excess Funds

Summer Abroad Programs

You may receive financial aid to attend a summer study abroad program, if it is an approved program with the International Programs Office (IPO). To receive aid, your program must be at least six credits.

Internships and Independent Study

You may also receive financial aid if you are enrolled in a summer internship or independent study. The internship or independent study must be credit-approved academic work and you must register with Continuing and Professional Education for at least six credits. Contact your sponsoring professor or program director for assistance.

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Enrollment Requirements

If you are applying for Federal Direct loans, you are required to take at least six credits during the summer session.

If you are applying for Summer Work-Study only, you are not required to enroll in classes for the summer session.

Pell Grant eligible undergraduate students will automatically be awarded a Federal Pell Grant based on the number of credits enrolled.

If you are a graduate student working on a dissertation or field research that is considered at least half time by your program director you may be eligible for summer financial aid.

If you are applying for an Alternative loan you must comply with the lender’s criteria regarding credits and enrollment status. We recommend you apply for Federal financial aid first. Visit the lender’s website to get information about the application process

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Dropping Credits

If you do not enroll for the minimum number of credits during the summer we cannot award you loans. Additionally, if at any time during the summer session you fall below the required six credit minimum, your loans will be cancelled.

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Registering for Classes or Summer Abroad Program

Students taking summer classes: All UMass Amherst matriculated students will be able to register for summer classes in SPIRE, prior to financial aid being finalized. Please note the ability to register does not ensure receipt of summer financial aid.

Students going on exchange: After you complete a Summer Financial Aid application and submit it to Financial Aid Services, the International Programs Office (IPO) will be notified via e-mail of your eligibility for summer enrollment.

If the cost of your courses exceeds the financial aid award you receive, you are responsible for paying the difference.

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Summer Financial Aid Amounts

Federal Pell Grants: Eligible students with remaining 2013-2014 Pell grant eligibility will automatically be awarded a Federal Pell Grant based on the number of credits enrolled. Please note if you used your full annual Pell Grant eligibility for the 2013-2014 academic year, you will not receive a Pell Grant for the summer.

Federal Direct loans: During the summer session you may receive half of an academic year annual eligibility in Federal Direct Loans. For award amounts review the Summer Financial Aid Application & Eligibility Information form.

Summer Work-Study: During the summer you may earn up to $2,550 in work-study, unless you graduate in May (e.g. students graduating in May 2014 are not eligible for work-study during the summer of 2014).

Federal PLUS loans and Alternative loans: You may receive up to the cost of attendance minus any financial aid received. We encourage you to apply for Federal financial aid first. Remember to borrow responsibly. Loans are a debt that must be repaid with interest.

To apply for a Parent PLUS or Graduate PLUS loan you must complete a PLUS Loan Pre-application Form: available online.

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Living Expenses

Your cost of attendance for the summer includes a room and board allowance. However, the financial aid you may be eligible for may not cover these costs. You may want to consider applying for an alternative loan to pay for these expenses. You may also earn work-study to help pay for living expenses.

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Disbursement of Funds

The disbursement* of summer Federal financial aid will occur on a nightly basis on or after
July 1, 2014, once your enrollment of six or more credits is verified. The disbursement of summer alternative loans will occur at the time the funds are received, as long as you meet the eligibility/lender criteria for the loan and the lender has sent the funds to UMass Amherst. Alternative loan funds are received twice a week by UMass Amherst.

*This is the day funds are credited to your Bursar account not the day you will receive your excess/refund.

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Excess Funds

If you are eligible for a refund you will receive it through the Excess Express process. For more information about Excess Express visit the Bursar's website at: Excess Express.

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