Financial Aid

Changes to the 2024-2025 FAFSA

UMass Financial Aid update - May 1

We realize that some of you who have filed a FAFSA have still not received your financial aid package from UMass Amherst. We ask that you please be patient. We are continuing to process the data as we receive it from the Department of Education. However, much of the FAFSA information that we have received still contains errors that make it impossible to process packages. We will continue to process FAFSA as quickly as we can, and will notify you as soon as your package is available.

When your package is available, you will receive an email telling you to log into your SPIRE account to view your package. This email will be sent to the email address provided on your admissions application. 

If you have not received a package notification email yet, we advise you to check the following to see if there are actions that you need to take:

  • Your FAFSA may not be in “processed” status.  Log in to studentaid.gov and check your FAFSA status (see How To Review and Correct Your FAFSA® Form | Federal Student Aid).  If you see an “In Progress” or “Action Required” status, please log in to your FAFSA, make any necessary edits, and resubmit your FAFSA (see How To Correct or Update Your FAFSA® Form | Federal Student Aid).
  • You may have recently corrected or updated your FAFSA, or the federal processor may have recently corrected or updated your FAFSA.  FAFSA corrections and updates typically take 7-10 days to process, but there have been a number of delays and issues with the federal processor that have complicated this process. Be sure to check your status often.
  • Make sure that we have a valid 2024-2025 FAFSA on file for you.  If you have not filed your FAFSA, it is not too late! To file a FAFSA, or to add UMass Amherst (federal school code 002221) to your existing FAFSA, go to FAFSA® Application | Federal Student Aid

We will continue to create financial aid award packages for fall 2024 entering students as new and corrected FAFSAs are received and vetted.  Remember, when your award is ready to view, you will receive a notification email from UMass Amherst Financial Aid Services.

If you have questions or need help, please review our FAQ page and then contact us if needed.

Please note that the information above is intended only for admitted students entering in fall 2024.  Currently enrolled / continuing students who meet financial aid eligibility criteria will be awarded beginning in late June, 2024. If you will be continuing in 2024-2025, be sure to complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA, and check your SPIRE To Dos and submit all required documents when requested.

Additional 2024-2025 FAFSA information

The U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid office continues to accept FAFSA applications at studentaid.gov. The FAFSA is the only application required at UMass Amherst to be awarded need-based aid. The UMass Amherst school code is 002221

What you can do now:

Why was the FAFSA application changed?

Congress passed the FAFSA Simplification Act to streamline the financial aid process for students and families.

While in some cases FAFSA simplification could increase students’ financial aid eligibility, others may see a decrease in aid. Several important changes that can impact the application process and resulting financial aid offers for students are outlined below.

Key changes:

  • A simplified FAFSA application process with a reduced number of questions.
  • The Federal Pell Grant expands to more students and will link eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level.
  • The Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) has been replaced by the Student Aid Index (SAI). The SAI is a different way to determine aid eligibility.
  • Schools will use the SAI to determine eligibility for federal financial aid programs. UMass Amherst will also use the SAI to determine financial need for need-based institutional funding such as the UMass Amherst Grant.
  • Unlike the EFC calculation, the SAI will not include the number of family members in college. This may reduce need-based aid eligibility for current students with siblings in college. 
  • The guidance on which parent income to report for students whose parents are separated or divorced has changed to the parent who provides the most financial support to the student, rather than the parent who lives at the student’s primary residence.
  • To speed up processing time, parents without a Social Security Number will be able to apply for an FSA ID and submit their FAFSA application online. They will no longer have to print, sign and mail the form.
  • Students who qualify for a dependency override due to homelessness, or not being able to access their parents’ financials, no longer need to recertify their dependency status each year (unless their situation changes).
  • Male students under the age of 26 are no longer required to register with the Selective Service System to receive federal financial aid.

Federal Student Aid Resources:

The U.S. Department of Education has provided resources to help students and families understand the FAFSA changes, and please stay informed about changes by opting in to SMS message alerts in your studentaid.gov account.