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UMass Amherst Scholarship Opportunities FAQs

What is Academic Works?

UMass Amherst has contracted with AcademicWorks, a third-party scholarship management system, to enhance and streamline the scholarship search and application process for all currently enrolled UMass Amherst students.  Students who complete the General Application through the new UMass Amherst Scholarship System will be automatically considered for several scholarships across campus based on qualifications such as academic merit, financial need, and service to the UMass community. 

Schools and Colleges will be adding their scholarships, and updating application information annually.  Please check with your individual school or college to determine how to apply for their scholarship opportunities.   

What are opportunities?

The UMass Amherst Scholarship System uses the term “opportunities” when referring to scholarships.

How do students receive scholarship consideration?

Currently enrolled students can complete the General Application in the UMass Amherst Scholarship System, as well as any supplemental applications for scholarship consideration. Students will need to complete the application each academic year, and will be notified via their umass.edu email account when the new application is open. By completing the General Application, students will automatically be considered for several scholarships awarded by Financial Aid.  In addition, many scholarships require a current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be filed each year.

Please check with your individual school or college to determine how to apply for departmental scholarship opportunities.

How do students log into the UMass Amherst Scholarship System?

Please visit umass.academicworks.com and login with your NetID.

What is the deadline to submit a scholarship application?

Specific scholarship deadlines will be indicated in the opportunity description (if applicable).  Each school or college may have a different application deadline. Please check with your individual school or college to determine how to apply for their scholarship opportunities. Most scholarships awarded by Financial Aid do not have a deadline, but are awarded until all funds are dispensed each year, unless a deadline is specified. Students are encouraged to review all scholarship dates and deadlines to ensure maximum scholarship consideration.  Check back frequently for new scholarship opportunities and deadlines. Note: If a scholarship does have a deadline, the application will close at 11:59pm on the listed deadline date.

Which questions should students complete?

In addition to completing the required fields (indicated with an *), students are encouraged to complete the application to the fullest extent to maximize scholarship consideration.

What are Supplemental Applications?

Supplemental applications appear to students who must answer additional questions to receive consideration for Departmental Scholarships, and are based on the student's major. However, students should only complete the questions that pertain to the academic major they are studying or planning to study. Currently enrolled UMass Amherst students are encouraged to complete all Supplemental Applications as well as the General Application.

What are recommended opportunities?

In some cases, individual scholarships require additional information that is not on the general or supplemental applications. Students are encouraged to review the suggested list of these Recommended Opportunities and provide any information requested to receive further consideration for those scholarships.

How do students receive confirmation of their application submission?

Currently enrolled UMass Amherst students who submit an application will see a “submitted” status on their My Applications tab within the scholarship system. Students who have an incomplete General Application will be directed there upon login until complete.

How do scholarship recipients receive notification of award offers?

If selected, students will be notified by email to their umass.edu account.

When are scholarship recipients notified they have been selected to receive an award?

Most scholarships awarded by Financial Aid are awarded until all funds are dispensed each year, beginning in the spring for the upcoming academic year. Each school or college will have a different awarding timeline.

How do scholarship recipients respond to their award offer?

Students who have been awarded a scholarship must accept their scholarship online through the UMass Amherst Scholarship System. Students should follow the instructions as prompted to review the scholarship offer and click “Accept” under the appropriate scholarship.

Are thank you notes required in order to receive a scholarship?

Most scholarships require that a thank you note be submitted before Financial Aid Services is notified of the award, and prior to any funds being disbursed to a student. The scholarship offer will include information about any requirements.

Is there a due date by which scholarship recipients must respond to their scholarship award offer?

If a response date is required for a specific opportunity, it will be indicated when you view your scholarship offer.

What happens to scholarships that are declined?

Scholarships are re-awarded to other students if declined.

How do scholarship recipients receive their scholarship funds?

Scholarships are awarded as part of a student’s financial aid package and applied as credits on the student’s UMass Bursar account for the semester of the award. In compliance with federal guidelines, financial aid and scholarships cannot disburse on the student's billing account prior to a maximum of 10 days before each semester begins. If at any time credits on the bill exceed university charges (i.e. tuition, fees, on-campus housing), a refund can be issued for the difference. Students must sign up for Excess Express, the University’s direct deposit for student refunds. To sign-up for Excess Express, students need to login to their SPIRE account.

What is required if a scholarship is a renewable award?

Many renewable scholarships require that the student maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA), and be enrolled in a specific major or school or college. Some may require a student also maintain financial need and require the filing of a FAFSA. Before the funds are disbursed each year, students will receive an email with required actions they must complete before the funds are released to their bursar’s account.

Will a scholarship affect my financial aid awards?

Financial Aid Services may adjust your financial aid package if you receive additional scholarship awards. According to federal regulations, a student’s total financial aid may not exceed the estimated cost of attendance or need. Please visit Financial Aid Services if you have a question about a pending scholarship offer and its impact on your financial aid.

How does participation in a study abroad program affect my scholarship award(s)?

Scholarship funds may be applied to study abroad program fees as long as a student is currently enrolled and participating in a University of Massachusetts approved program through the International Programs Office.

Can international students receive scholarships?

Currently enrolled UMass Amherst International students can receive scholarships and complete the General Application in the UMass Amherst Scholarship System. For more information about receiving financial aid as an International Student, see: http://www.umass.edu/umfa/international-students.

For what scholarships am I being considered?

UMass is fortunate to have hundreds of scholarships available to help students achieve their academic goals.  By completing the General Application, applicants will automatically be considered for several scholarships based on general application answers as well as SPIRE data. In addition, by completing supplemental (departmental) applications, applicants will be considered for department-specific scholarships within their school/college. Recommended opportunities require a scholarship-specific application.

Who reviews scholarships and how are recipients selected?

Each scholarship has its own eligibility and selection criteria.  Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria are considered by a scholarship review committee. Schools and colleges have their own scholarship review committees.

Why is the site down for maintenance and what does that mean for my application?

Each year, the AcademicWorks site must archive and refresh applications for the upcoming school year.  While we are working on that process, we cannot accept any new applications or changes to existing applications.  If you submitted your application during the last school year, you will need to resubmit your application in order to be considered for this upcoming school year. If you have any questions, please email acadworks@umass.edu.