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Financial Aid

Frequently Asked Questions

The video below demonstrates how to find your to-do list in SPIRE.

The video below demonstrates how to locate your SPIRE ID number.

The video below demonstrates how to check your financial aid award on SPIRE.

The video below demonstrates where to find financial aid forms on the UMass website.

The video below demonstrates how to add someone on FERPA so that they have permission to discuss your account with financial aid representatives. Please note, the page displayed in the video will only be available after you have matriculated.

The video below demonstrates where to search for scholarships on the UMass website.

The video below demonstrates how to report outside scholarships to the financial aid office.

The form to waive health insurance may not be available until July. The video below demonstrates where to find it on our website.

This video explains the various sections of the Dependent Student Verification form and how to fill them out:

The FAFSA is an acronym for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is a financial aid form used to determine your eligibility for financial aid from the Federal Government. This includes grants, loans and work-study. Also, the form is used by many states, colleges and universities to determine eligibility for their financial aid programs. The FAFSA is completed annually.

Go to file your FAFSA today.


IRS tax return transcripts are the official transcripts of your tax return.  We cannot accept a copy of your tax return because it does not prove that you have filed your taxes.

You can get your tax return transcripts at You may order them by mail or create an account to access them immediately.

UMass Amherst's priority deadline for filing the FAFSA is March 1.  The state deadline for Massachusetts is May 1.

If you have forgotten to file the FAFSA and it is past these dates, file it now!  You may still qualify for financial aid.

The FAFSA is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. This includes Federal Pell Grant, Federal student loans and work-study opportunities. In addition, the FAFSA is used to determine eligibility for nonfederal student aid and various scholarships offered by your state and the university, as well as many tuition credits. You should file a renewal FAFSA each year before the priority filing date. Get started at

The priority deadline to file your FAFSA is March 1.  You must submit a FAFSA every year to be considered for financial aid.

You will have the opportunity to request a review of the change to your financial situation. We refer to this as a special circumstance review.

Filing the FAFSA late may impact the amount of financial aid available. Some financial aid funding is limited, so the earlier you apply the more likely awards will be available if you qualify. But it is better to file it late than not at all.

The Admissions Office will use the information you provided through the application process to determine your eligibility for UMass Admissions scholarships, or merit aid. There are a few scholarships available to transfer students that will require a separate application. See our Scholarships page for information about other scholarship resources and how to apply.

Federal regulations require Financial Aid Services to apply a formula established by the U.S. Department of Education to determine the amount of federal financial aid a student has earned as of the date in the student last attended classes.

The amount of federal financial aid returned to federal aid programs is determined by the amount of time the student spent in academic attendance, but has no relationship to the institutional charges incurred by the student.

After 60% of the semester has passed, the student has earned 100% of the federal financial aid awarded to them. For students receiving state financial aid, a state refund calculation will be completed. The state refund calculation takes into consideration the amount the student owes and the amount of federal aid for which the student may remain eligible.