Spring at UMass Amherst
Financial Aid


Non-degree seeking students are generally not eligible for financial aid. You can apply for an alternative loan to finance your education.

View a list of alternative loan lenders.

There is one exception: If you are a graduate non-degree student enrolled at least half time (six credits per term), you may be eligible for a Federal Direct Loan. To be eligible, you must have applied for admission to a graduate degree program or will apply for admission at a later date. In addition, a graduate program director must verify your coursework as prerequisite for admission to a degree program. The graduate program director must send a letter (see below) to Financial Aid Services to verify this information before you may be awarded financial aid as a non-degree student. Please note that after two consecutive semesters of non-degree status you must be enrolled in a degree-granting program to be considered for financial aid.

Below is an example of the typical format that non-degree letters need to follow. Information you need to provide is in bold.

Sample Non-Degree Letter

Please be advised that [student name and SPIRE ID#] is taking [list course names/course numbers] as a non-degree student for the fall/spring [choose one] term. The courses in which [he/she] is enrolled are considered prerequisites for admission to our graduate program. [He/she] plans to apply for admission to the [program name] program in fall/spring [choose one] of [year].


Graduate Program Director

[Program Name]

[Direct contact phone number]

[Email address]

*If you meet the criteria above, there are still other eligibility requirements that must be met for you to be eligible for financial aid.