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Financial Aid

Apply for Aid

You must apply for aid every year. Filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step. Click on the sections below for more information.

At the University of Massachusetts Amherst, you only need one form to apply for financial aid during the academic year - the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly called the FAFSA. The FAFSA is used to determine your eligibility for federal, state and institutional aid programs.

We recommend you apply as soon as the FAFSA opens each year at In normal years, the University has a priority filing deadline of March 1, but this year, because of delays in FAFSA processing, you can still file to be considered for need-based financial aid. We encourage you to meet your state and scholarship agency deadlines.

For more information about this year's FAFSA, please see our page outlining Changes to the 2024-2025 FAFSA and check back for frequent updates.

Be sure to list the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Federal School Code, 002221, on the FAFSA.

The FAFSA form is available in English and Spanish.

There are different ways to file. Choose the one that is easiest for you:

  • You can apply online at
  • You can complete a PDF FAFSA, you need to print the PDF available at and mail the completed form.
  • Contact 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) to request a paper FAFSA and for assistance in filing.
  • Go to your financial aid office for assistance.

Don’t forget UMass Amherst’s Federal School Code: 002221.

Seven Easy Steps to the FAFSA: A student’s guide to successfully completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Everyone should file the FAFSA! All eligible students qualify for something.

Determining your need for financial aid: UMass Amherst believes that the primary responsibility for financing your college education rests with you and your family. However, financial aid is available to assist in your efforts to pay college costs. We primarily use two factors to determine the amount and types of aid you may receive: the Cost of Attendance and the Student Aid Index (SAI).

  • Estimated Cost of Attendance: includes tuition and fees as well as room and board, books and supplies, and personal and transportation expenses. Visit University Costs for a listing of tuition, fees, and expenses.
  • Student Aid Index: Your Student Aid Index (SAI) is a figure calculated by the U.S. Department of Education. They arrive at the SAI by combining information from your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with standardized financial analysis for federal student aid programs.

Financial Aid Services subtracts your Student Aid Index from your Estimated Cost of Attendance; the difference is your eligibility for need-based financial aid, including federal, state, and institutional funds. In addition, we consider your year in school and your enrollment status when determining your need.

Students who are not interested in financial aid, but receive a tuition credit such as the John and Abigail Adams tuition credit must file a FAFSA.

Veterans should file a FAFSA. Although veterans apply for military education benefits through the federal and state VA Offices, you should complete the FAFSA to be considered for other forms of financial aid.

  • The FAFSA will be processed and electronically sent to Financial Aid Services at UMass. Your financial aid award will be calculated based on your financial need (UMass Estimated Cost of Attendance – Student Aid Index from the FAFSA).
  • Check your To Do List on SPIRE frequently after submitting the FAFSA. This is where all requests will be posted. If there are any outstanding items on your To Do List, your award may be delayed and/or canceled. Be sure to complete all items on your To Do List. Contact Financial Aid Services with any questions or concerns regarding your To Do List.
  • We may be requesting verification of the following:
    • Citizenship documentation
    • High school completion status
    • Verification of identity
    • Number of people in the household and/or number in college
    • Government benefits received
    • Child support received or paid
    • Untaxed distributions, payments and interest
    • Adjusted gross income, taxes paid, credits and exclusions
    • Verification of Non-filing Letter obtained from the IRS, for non-tax filer
  • If your FAFSA is selected for verification, you will need to fill out the proper verification worksheet, and provide our office with IRS tax return transcripts or a copy of your signed IRS form 1040 including all schedules filed. And or a Verification of Non-filing. You can obtain an IRS tax return transcript at Click on “Get a Tax Transcript Online”, or  "Get Transcript by MAIL" and follow the instructions.
  • Each year the U. S. Department of Education selects certain applicants for verification. The verification process requires Financial Aid Services to confirm the data provided on the FAFSA by the student and/or parent. UMass may also select applicants for verification.
  • Adjusting the Student Aid Index: A number of factors may cause Financial Aid Services to adjust your Student Aid Index in ways that can either reduce or increase your eligibility for financial aid.
  • Factors that can reduce your eligibility include (but are not limited to) your having:
    • Underestimated income, savings, or investments
    • Over-reported taxes or tax exemptions
    • Reported business or real estate income or losses that do not decrease real income
  • Factors that can increase your eligibility include (but are not limited to) your having:
    • Over-reported income, savings, or investments
    • Under-reported taxes or tax exemptions
    • Lost income due to unemployment or underemployment
    • Unforeseen medical expenses due to the major illness of an immediate family member
    • Other additional direct or indirect educational expenses while enrolled at UMass Amherst
  • Incoming first-year and transfer students will be awarded financial aid even if you are selected for verification. Please note that your award is tentative and is only as accurate as the information on your FAFSA. Once the verification process is complete, your award will be reviewed and adjusted as necessary.
  • Upperclassmen with outstanding verification requests will not be awarded until verification is complete.
  • You have 30 days to submit all requested documentation. Failure to do so will result in the cancelation of any awarded financial aid or not receiving an award. If documents are submitted after you stop attending classes or the term has ended, you may not be eligible for consideration for financial aid.
  • Once you have been awarded, you will receive an email informing you that your award can be viewed on SPIRE.