The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Parent Checklist

Below is a checklist of important things to remember. We have built it into a basic timeline for you so you can always be prepared for what is to come.

January

  • Really, file the FAFSA for next year. Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to upload the tax information. Remember UMass Amherst's Federal School Code is 002221.
  • Spring bills for the current year are due (on or around the 10th of the month).
  • Have your student look for scholarships and apply to any that he or she may qualify for.
  • Get all requested documents in if you are submitting an appeal or are selected for verification for the current academic year. April 1 is the absolute deadline.

February

  • Have your student look for scholarships and apply to any that he or she may qualify for.
  • Get all requested documents in if you are submitting an appeal or are selected for verification for the current academic year. April 1 is the absolute deadline.

March

  • Seriously, file the FAFSA for next year. March 1 was the priority deadline. You may be missing out on state or institutional aid now. Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to upload all tax information. Remember UMass Amherst’s Federal School Code is 002221.
  • Have your student look for scholarships and apply to any that he or she may qualify for.
  • Get all requested documents in if you are submitting an appeal or are selected for verification for the current academic year. April 1 is the absolute deadline.
  • Check SPIRE To Do List. If there are any documents being requested, begin gathering and submitting these documents.

April

  • Incoming freshmen and transfer students should be getting an email award notification. Ask your student to log on to SPIRE and show you what the award is.
    • Submit a copy of your student’s John and Abigail Adams tuition credit if your student received one. We will add it to your student’s financial aid award.
  • Check SPIRE To Do List. If there are any documents being requested, begin gathering and submitting these documents.
  • If you submitted documents last month, make sure the “To Do Item" now says "Received". If it still says “Initiated,” you probably did not submit exactly what we are looking for. Contact our office if with questions.

May

  • May 1 is the deadline for incoming freshmen to submit their enrollment fee.
  • Incoming freshmen and transfer students should be getting an email award notification. Ask your student to log on to SPIRE and show you what the financial aid award is.
  • Check your SPIRE to do list. If there are any documents being requested, submit these documents.
  • If you submitted documents last month, make sure the “to do” list now says received. If it still says “initiated,” you probably did not submit exactly what we are looking for. Contact our office if you have questions.
  • The last day of classes is the absolute last day that we can adjust a student’s award for any reason. After the last day of classes, no adjustments will be made.
  • Have your student add you to the FERPA Privacy Waiver, if you haven’t done so already.

June

  • June 1 is the deadline for transfer students to submit their enrollment fee.
  • Apply for a Parent PLUS Loan on the Forms section of this site if you wish to have one next year. Submit the application to Financial Aid Services.
  • Upperclassmen will be awarded this month. If there are any outstanding requests on your student’s “To Do List", this may delay the award.
  • Have your student add you to the FERPA Privacy Waiver if you haven’t done so already.
  • Have your student make you an “authorized payer” on SPIRE.

July

  • Fall bills will be emailed to the student (and you, if you are an “authorized payer”).
  • Have your student add you to the FERPA Privacy Waiver if you haven’t done so already.
  • Have your student make you an “authorized payer” on SPIRE if you haven’t done so already.
  • Waive your student’s health insurance if he or she already has coverage.
  • Set up the UPay payment plan if you wish to use it.
  • Sign up for Excess Express (through the Bursar’s Office).

August

  • Bills are due (usually on or around the 10th of the month).
  • Students move into housing around the end of the month.
  • Have your student sign the Direct Loan Entrance Counseling Form and Master Promissory Note.
  • Sign the Parent PLUS Master Promissory Note if you have applied and been approved for a loan.

September

  • Bill needs to be paid (or you must be enrolled in the payment plan) so your student does not have a hold placed on his or her account.
  • Make sure there are no outstanding items on your student’s SPIRE “to do” list.

October

  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the next academic year. You can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to upload all tax information. Remember UMass Amherst Federal School Code is 002221. 
  • If verification documents have not been received and processed by Financial Aid Services, your student’s award will be canceled.

November

  • Your student should start looking for scholarships and fill out applications.

December

  • Spring bills will be emailed to the student (and you, if you are an “authorized payer”).
  • Your student should be looking and applying for scholarships.
  • Awards for fall graduates cannot be awarded or modified after the last day of classes.

In short you want to make sure each year that you:

  • File the FAFSA.
  • Be sure you are on your student’s FERPA Privacy Waiver.
  • Be sure you are an authorized payer.
  • Keep the SPIRE “To Do List" clear.
  • Apply for loans in advance.
  • Waive health insurance if your student is already covered.
  • Sign up for the UPay payment plan if you wish to.
  • Pay your bill.
  • Sign all required forms.