University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Summer Aid

If you plan to take courses over the summer, you may be eligible to receive financial aid to offset the costs. The financial aid programs available for the summer are Federal Direct loans, Summer Work-Study and Federal Pell Grant (for eligible undergraduate students) and credit based alternative loans.

Click on the sections below for more information.

Summer Aid Requirements

If you want to be considered for summer financial aid, you must:

  • Be currently enrolled in a degree-granting program at UMass Amherst.
  • Be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). If you have a SAP issue, it must be resolved by the summer application deadline (July 13, 2018) before your summer financial aid application can be processed.
  • For more information on eligibility for financial aid, go to the Eligibility section of this site.
Applying for Summer Aid

To apply for summer financial aid, you must:

  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Complete the appropriate UMass Amherst Summer Financial Aid Application on the Forms section of this site.
  • All forms are interactive PDFs that you can complete online before printing.
    • Open form and type information
    • Print it
    • Sign it (cannot be a digital signature)
    • Fax it to 413-545-1700
    • or scan signed form and email to
      • Attachments must be a standard image file or in one of the following file formats: .doc, .docx, .pdf) Remember to include your SPIRE ID on all documents.
  • You may also submit your application materials in person or by mail to Financial Aid Services at 243 Whitmore Building.
  • If your FAFSA was selected for verification, check your To Do List on SPIRE and submit any requested documents promptly.
  • All required documents must be received by the deadline date or your request for summer aid cannot be processed.
Summer Abroad Programs

You may receive financial aid to attend a summer study abroad program, if it is an approved program with the International Programs Office (IPO). To receive aid, your program must be at least six credits.

 Submit the Summer 2018 Study Abroad Application available in the Forms section. You will also find the Financial Aid Information for Study Abroad Programs.

Internships and Independent Study

You may receive financial aid if you are enrolled in a summer internship or independent study. The internship or independent study must be credit-approved academic work and you must register with Continuing and Professional Education for at least six credits. Contact your sponsoring professor or program director for assistance.

Enrollment Requirements

If you are applying for Federal Direct loans, you are required to take at least six credits during the summer session.

If you are applying for Summer Work-Study only, you are not required to enroll in classes for the summer session.

Pell Grant eligible undergraduate students will be awarded a Federal Pell Grant based on the number of credits enrolled.

If you are a graduate student working on a dissertation or field research that is considered at least half time by your program director, you may be eligible for summer financial aid.

If you are applying for an Alternative loan you must comply with the lender’s criteria regarding credits and enrollment status. We recommend you apply for Federal financial aid first. Visit the lender’s website to get information about the application process.

Dropping Credits

If you do not enroll for the minimum number of credits during the summer we cannot award you loans.

Additionally, if at any time during the summer session you fall below the required six credit minimum, your loans will be canceled.

Registering for Classes or Summer Abroad Program

Students taking summer classes: All UMass Amherst matriculated students will be able to register for summer classes in SPIRE, prior to financial aid being finalized. Please note the ability to register does not ensure receipt of summer financial aid.

Students going on exchange: After you complete a Summer Study Abroad Financial Aid Application and submit it to Financial Aid Services, the International Programs Office (IPO) will be notified via e-mail of your eligibility for summer enrollment.

If the cost of your courses exceeds the financial aid award you receive, you are responsible for paying the difference.

Summer Financial Aid Amounts

Federal Pell Grants: Eligible students will be awarded a Federal Pell Grant based on the number of credits enrolled. Students should be aware that there are lifetime limits for Federal Pell Grants and that any Pell Grants awarded in summer will count toward those limits.

Federal Direct loans: During the summer session you may receive half of an academic year annual eligibility in Federal Direct Loans. For award amounts review the Summer Financial Aid Application & Eligibility Information on the Forms section of this site.

Summer Work-Study: During the summer you may earn up to $3,900 in work-study, unless you graduate in May (e.g. students graduating in May 2018 are not eligible for work-study during the summer of 2018).

Federal PLUS loans and Alternative loans: You may receive up to the cost of attendance minus any financial aid received. We encourage you to apply for federal financial aid first. Remember to borrow responsibly. Loans are a debt that must be repaid with interest.

To apply for a Parent PLUS or Graduate PLUS loan you must complete a Summer PLUS Loan Application Form available on the Forms section of this site.

Living Expenses

Your cost of attendance for the summer includes a room and board allowance. However, the financial aid you may be eligible for may not cover these costs. You may want to consider applying for an alternative loan to pay for these expenses. You may also earn work-study to help pay for living expenses.

Disbursement of Funds

The disbursement* of summer federal financial aid will occur on a nightly basis on or after July 1, once your enrollment of six or more credits is verified.

The disbursement of summer alternative loans will occur at the time the funds are received, as long as you meet the eligibility/lender criteria for the loan and the lender has sent the funds to UMass Amherst. Alternative loan funds are received twice a week by UMass Amherst.

*This is the day funds are credited to your University bill, not the day you will receive your excess/refund.

Refunds and Excess Express

If you are eligible for a refund you will receive it through the Excess Express process.

For more information about Excess Express visit the Bursar's Office website.

Your Rights and Responsibilities

Review your Rights and Responsibilities for applying and receiving financial aid.