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Step 1: Understand Your Expenses

Tuition and Fees 
Tuition is the cost of your experience at UMass. Fees are additional costs related to enrolling in and attending the University. The Office of the Bursar posts the amounts due along with billing and payment information. Be in touch with the Office of the Bursar with any billing questions.

Residence Life Housing Fees 
Review the housing room rates and fees to evaluate your cost of living on campus. Doing so will help you understand your options and how much you pay each semester.   

Meal Plans 
Your meal plan gives you access to top-quality food across campus. UMass offers a variety of different types. Learn more about the plans available and choose what’s best for you.

A parking permit allows you to park regularly for the year with one fee. Parking meters exist in various locations throughout campus. To eliminate parking fees, consider walking, biking, or utilizing PVTA, the local bus. 

Social Activities 
The amount you need to budget for spending time with friends is unique to you and your friend group. Spend a month keeping a detailed record of how much you spend socializing to get a clearer picture of how much you should set aside – and commit to that amount.

Other Miscellaneous Spending
Also, track how much you spend each month on haircuts, toiletries, gifts, bills, clothing, and other miscellaneous items. This may be different month-to-month, but it should give you a basic understanding of your expenses and show you some areas where you could pare down your spending.

Step 2: Manage Your Expenses

Learn About Your On-Campus Financial Team
…and get to know them. Ask them questions. Go to their events. Comb through their websites. Ensure you understand the billing details, loans, scholarships, etc. Your financial team is vital to your financial success at UMass and beyond.

Earn Income
You’ll likely want to get a job, whether it's on-campus or off. Finding a job that earns you incoming and builds valuable skills, you can use later down the line is a double win. For more information about how to get a job, visit the Student Employment Office.

Learn How to Budget
Keeping track of your spending is hugely important. You are more in control if you know exactly where your money goes. You can learn strategies for budgeting with Smart About Money (SAM). Visit the SAM website for information about budgeting guidance and resources, or schedule a free half-hour coaching session with a SAM Peer Financial Coach.

Frequently Asked Questions