Apply for UWW 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 studentaid.gov. The University has a priority deadline of May 1, but you can still file after May 1 to be considered for 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' 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 studentaid.gov.
- You can complete a PDF FAFSA, you need to print the PDF available at studentaid.gov 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.
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 Estimated Cost of Attendance and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
- Estimated Cost of Attendance: includes tuition and fees as well as room and board, books and supplies, and personal and transportation expenses. See University Costs for a listing of tuition, fees, and expenses.
- Expected Family Contribution: Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a figure calculated by the U.S. Department of Education. They arrive at the EFC amount 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 EFC 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.
If you are in enrolled in the following programs and are eligible for financial aid, you will only qualify for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, regardless of your financial need:
- Second Bachelor Degree in Nursing
- Post-Baccalaureate Pre-clinical Program in Communication Disorders
- Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Licensure Program*
- Graduate Programs
*NOTE: Only students that are pursuing initial licensure programs are eligible for financial aid. Students who already hold a teaching license and are returning for an additional licensure or those who need additional coursework for renewal of their teaching license are not eligible for financial aid.
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. We will calculate your financial aid award based on your financial need (UMass Estimated Cost of Attendance – Expected Family Contribution from FAFSA).
- Check your “To Do List" on SPIRE frequently after submitting the FAFSA. This is where we will communicate all requests to you. If there are any outstanding items on your “To Do List", your financial aid award may be delayed and/or canceled. Be sure to complete all items on this 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 obtained from the IRS for non-tax filers
- 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 transcript or a signed copy of your IRS Form 1040 including all schedules filed. And/or a A Verification of Non-filing Letter. You can obtain an IRS tax return transcript, or Verification of Non-filing Letter at www.irs.gov. Click on “Get Transcript Online" or "Get Transcript by Mail", and follow the instructions.
- Adjusting the Expected Family Contribution: A number of factors may cause Financial Aid Services to adjust your Expected Family Contribution 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, tax exemptions, family size, or the number of family members attending college
- 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, tax exemptions, family size, or the number of family members attending college
- 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
- 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. UMass may also select applicants for verification.
- You have 60 days to submit all requested documentation. Failure to do so will result in the cancellation of any awarded financial aid or not receiving an award.
- Once you have been awarded, you will receive an email informing you that your award can be viewed on SPIRE.