As a public university, the UMass Amherst cost of attendance is lower for residents of Massachusetts and higher for nonresidents. This is typical at all state universities. The merit scholarship for nonresidents is designed to help academically qualified nonresidents meet the cost of attendance. If you change your residency status from nonresident to resident, the merit scholarship will be eliminated because your cost of attendance would be reduced with the residency change. It should be noted that this isn’t likely to be an issue since it is extremely rare for students to be able to change their residency status once they have been admitted.
UMass Amherst participates in the New England Board of Higher Education’s Tuition Break program, which is known as the New England Regional Student Program (RSP). Besides Massachusetts, the states that are part of the program are Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. This program enables New England residents to enroll at out‐of‐state New England public colleges and universities at a discount. Students from the aforementioned states are eligible for the RSP tuition break when they enroll in an approved major that is not offered by the public colleges and universities in their home state.
Students cannot obtain both the RSP discount and a merit scholarship, but in this unique situation will be assured of receiving the greater of the two, which is always the scholarship. For example, this year's RSP discount is $6,937 per academic year. If your merit scholarship is $10,000 you will be receiving an additional $3,063 per year by taking the scholarship.
More details on the RSP are available at: http://www.nebhe.org/programs-overview/rsp-tuition-break/overview