University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Educational Benefits and Financial Aid

Financial Aid:

All students are strongly encouraged to complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at Students are not obligated to accept any federal loans they are awarded, however there may be grants or other aid available that does not have to be repaid.
Please contact Financial Aid directly if you have additional questions. or 413-545-0801.

With the exception of the National Guard Tuition and Fee Waiver, Veteran or Military Education benefits do not change federal financial aid.

Payment Plan:
Students can sign up for an interest-free payment plan through their SPIRE account to pay any balance not covered by financial aid or military benefits.

Health Insurance:
If a student is already covered under a health insurance policy, they can waive the university’s health insurance at the beginning of the academic year until add-drop. If a student does not waive the health insurance, they will automatically be billed for it.
Please note Veteran Readiness & Employment and National Guard will not pay for health insurance.

The link to waive health insurance is found on the SPIRE login page at the bottom right of the page.


Veteran Educational Benefits:

Students apply for veteran education benefits through the VA at Please note, veteran dependents who are receiving transferred entitlement will also need to apply for their own benefit. Once the benefits are approved, a screenshot of the education benefits page or the Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) can be emailed to the certifying official or

In order to use Veteran Education Benefits towards a program, the program must be listed on WEAMS (Web Enabled Approval Management System) If the program is not listed, it has not been approved by the VA for education benefits.

Effective August 1, 2021, any student using Veteran Education Benefits is required to complete and submit a certification request form each semester they want to use their benefit.

Veteran education benefits include:

Chapter 30 – The Montgomery GI Bill®
Benefit: pays student directly based on the number of credits enrolled in. Student is responsible for payment of bursar bill.

Chapter 31 – Veteran Readiness and Employment
Benefit: pays monthly living stipend directly to student as well as book stipend each semester. Pays the university for tuition and mandatory fees. May also provide additional expenses based on approval by VRE counselor. Student is responsible for non-mandatory fees.

Chapter 33 (Veterans) – The Post 9/11 GI Bill®
Benefit: Pays monthly living stipend directly to student, provided student is enrolled at least 51% time and not active duty. Also pays book stipend directly to student each semester. Pays university for tuition and mandatory fees. If student is receiving less than 100% entitlement, all payments will be based on benefit percentage. Student is responsible for non-mandatory fees and any balance not covered benefit. Students will also have to certify their enrollment.

Chapter 33 (Dependents) – The Post 9/11 GI Bill®
Benefit:  You may be eligible to transfer your education benefits if you're on active duty or in the Selected Reserve and you meet all of the requirements. 

Chapter 35 – Survivors and Dependents Assistance
Benefit: Pays monthly stipend directly to student based on number of credits enrolled in. Student is responsible for payment of bursar bill.

Chapter 1606 - Montgomery GI Bill® Selected Reserve
Benefit: Pays monthly stipend directly to student based on number of credits enrolled in. Student is responsible for payment of bursar bill.

Yellow Ribbon Program

As of August 1, 2021, All chapter 33 students are billed as in-state provided they live in the state of MA while attending classes. Yellow Ribbon will no longer be used, unless student lives out-of-state and commutes to school.


Military Tuition Assistance

Military Tuition Assistance is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard.  Each service has its own criteria for eligibility, obligated service, application process, and restrictions. Student applies for tuition assistance through their unit or department Educational Services Officer (ESO) or military counselor. A copy of the Tuition Assistance Authorization form for the course, signed by an authorized military official is required prior to enrollment.  Please send authorization form to certifying official or
TA tuition and Fee return policy (refunded directly to the service, not the student)

Undergraduate Withdrawal Dates

  • Through registration day and first day of classes: 100% refund
  • First two weeks of the semester: 80%
  • During the third week: 60%
  • During the fourth week: 40%
  • During the fifth week: 20%
  • After the fifth week, 0%. No refund

Graduate Withdrawal Dates

  • Through first week of classes    100% refund
  • Third week of the semester: 60%
  • Fourth week of the semester: 40%
  • During the fifth week: 20%
  • After the fifth week, 0%. No refund


MA Resident Veteran Tuition Credit

Student completes this fillable PDF form and sends to certifying official or Value of the credit is $857.00 per semester for a full-time undergraduate student, pro-rated for less than full time.
Credit can only be used for on-campus classes. Proof of service such as DD-214 or copy of military ID is also required.
For more information refer to the following:
Office of Student Financial Assistance / Massachusetts Department of Higher Education


MA National Guard Tuition and Fee Waiver information effective Fall 2023

To utilize the National Guard Tuition and Fee Waiver, you must be an active member throughout the semester and be a member in good standing.
This waiver covers tuition and mandatory fees. National Guard will not pay for health insurance, materials fees, nor room and board.

You must apply for the waiver before the beginning of each semester and after you have registered for classes.
Please submit your National Guard Tuition and Fee Waiver by the end of the add/drop date each semester.
Go to to apply for your waiver.
Once the waiver is approved, please send a .pdf copy to the Veterans Benefits Office at

Please see below for instructions on the number of credits to request.

All on-line (UWW/ U+) courses only:

  • Please apply for the exact number of credits taken. On-line classes are charged separately regardless of the number of credits taken.

Hybrid on-campus (University) and online (UWW/ U+) courses:

  • Please apply for the exact number of credits taken. For example, if you are taking 9 credits on campus and 6 credits on-line, you would apply for 15 credits; your tuition charge is adjusted to 9 credits and the 6 on-line credits are charged separately.

All on-campus (University) courses only:

  • If you are a Full-Time student enrolled 12+ on-campus credits during the fall or spring semesters, you only need to apply for 12 credit hours. For example, if you are enrolled in 15 on-campus credits, you should apply for 12 credits instead of 15. The National Guard no longer requires each credit after 12 to be counted if the school does not charge for the additional credits.
  • If you are a Part-Time student enrolled in on-campus courses, please request the exact number of credits taken.


School Enrollment Certification is a two-step process:

1) Initial Credit submittal:

Provided a CoE (Certificate of Eligibility) and certification request is received by the School Certifying Official (SCO) Approximately 30 days before the beginning of the semester the SCO will submit the number and type of credits (on-campus or online) to the VA. This begins the monthly living and book stipend (if appropriate) process. The VA will send the student an email confirming credits have been received but not fees. Please note fees will be submitted by the SCO at a later date (or after the Add/Drop period).

BAH and living stipends are paid by the VA on the first of the month for the previous month’s enrollment and are pro-rated based on the dates of enrollment. For example; if the semester begins September 15, the student will receive payment on October 1 for the enrollment time beginning September 15 to September 30.

Pending awards are entered on students’ accounts for the amount the VA will be paying UMass directly. Please note: Bursar bills are still sent to students who have pending awards on their accounts which cover their balance in full however when the bill is viewed it should indicate a “0” balance.

2) Final Credit verification and Fee submittal (if applicable):

After the add-drop date each semester, the SCO will confirm the number and type of credits submitted to the VA and submit fees(if appliable) as well.


VA Enrollment verification:

CH33 Students are required to verify their enrollment monthly to receive their MHA: CH33 Enrollment Verification. Failure to verify enrollment two months in a row will result in MHA being withheld.

CH30/CH1606 Students are required to certify their enrollment in WAVEs each month: Failure to certify enrollment will result in non-payment of monthly stipend.


Please note: ‘‘GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at