Understanding the cost of college.
Do you know how much college costs? In addition to tuition and fees, there are other expenses such as housing, meals, parking, etc. Create a budget and consider on-campus employment or a paid internship to help you pay for these expenses.
Tuition & Fees – Tuition is the cost of your experience here at UMass Amherst. In addition to tuition, there are also fees related to enrolling in and attending college. Tuition and fee amounts are posted by the Bursar’s Office, the same office that issues your bill and collects your tuition payment. Take time to review the tuition cost and fees that apply to your educational experience.
Residence Life Housing Fees – Regardless of where you live, there are likely to be expenses associated with your cost of living. If you live on campus, review the housing room rates and fees to evaluate your cost of living.
Meal Plans – UMass Dining is award winning! Through a meal plan, you have access to top quality meals on campus. Are you maximizing your meal plan? Consider your regular routine and review the meal plans to ensure you’ve selected the plan that is right for you.
Parking – While some expenses associated with college are required, parking offers an opportunity for you to save money. If you want to park your car on campus regularly, you will need to buy a parking permit. If you are looking to save money, consider biking to campus or utilizing the PVTA, the local bus service that is free between the Five College campuses when classes are in session.
Entertainment & Social – How will you allocate your money for entertainment and social activities? Some clubs and organizations may charge membership fees or costs associated with activities. Consider defining the amount of money you wish to spend each month on these types of expenses and stick to it! Create a monthly budget to manage your personal finances.
The majority of student success services are free—the Learning Resource Center, Peer Wellness Coaching, library resources, CMASS, etc. For some of these services, your tuition and fees help alleviate the upfront costs. In other words, you are already paying for them. . . so get the most bang for your buck by using all of the resources available to you early and often! Also, don’t forget to ask for student discounts around town. While not everyone offers them, many vendors do, and it never hurts to ask.
Am I required to have health insurance?
Massachusetts requires college students to have comprehensive health insurance, thus UMass Amherst offers a Student Health Benefit Plan (SHBP). However, students with comparable coverage under another major medical insurance can apply for a waiver to the SHBP.
How much do textbooks cost?
Each textbook has a different price. However, the cost of textbooks generally ranges from $500 to $1000 per academic year, so that’s $250 to $500 per semester.
Are financial aid or scholarships available to help offset the expenses associated with college?
Yes. Talk with Financial Aid services to learn more about the types of aid and your eligibility! Also, make sure to complete the FAFSA each year.