Admissions & Financial Aid

Apply for Financial Aid


  • We accept financial aid applications year-round; however, the earlier you apply the better.
  • Use IRS Data Retrieval, a tool to save you time.

Federal and State Aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in the financial aid process. Use the FAFSA to apply for federal student aid. In addition to a reduced tuition rate, Massachusetts residents may also qualify for state financial aid funds. We use information from the FAFSA to award aid from The Commonwealth of Massachusetts too.

The FAFSA requires detailed financial information to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC measures your family’s financial strength and is used to determine your eligibility for financial aid.  

Cost of Attendance

Cost of Attendance changes each year and is based on direct educational costs such as tuition, fees and indirect allowances for costs such as personal expenses, transportation, and books/supplies.

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is determined by the data supplied on the FAFSA, and is calculated by a federal formula.  The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is subtracted from the Cost of Attendance. The difference between the two amounts is “financial need” and represents a student’s maximum eligibility for need-based aid.

IRS Data Retrieval
Use a tool called IRS Data Retrieval to pull your tax information directly into your FAFSA. It will increase the accuracy of your FAFSA information and streamline the application, review and award process. The earlier you apply and the more accurate your application is, the sooner you'll be awarded the financial aid for which you are eligible.

Not using IRS Data Retrieval will increase your chances of being selected for verification and slow down the process. 

Apply Online

Access FAFSA online This is the fastest and easiest way to see if you qualify for financial aid. When you file electronically, your information pre-populates next year's FAFSA which saves you time. In subsequent years, all you have to do is update FAFSA with new information.

Apply for an FSA ID today by clicking on the "Create An FSA ID" tab. 

Estimate your cost to attend UMass Boston with our Net Price Calculator.

Apply by March 1

To be considered for all types of financial aid, submit your FAFSA by March 1. Allow at least one hour to fill out the FAFSA because the application is fairly lengthy. It is a bit like filling out a tax return. Don’t worry. We are here to help.  

You can print FAFSA. It may help to preview the questions before you apply online.

Who Can Use IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

The tool works for about 80% of all filers.  If you meet the criteria below, we encourage you to  use this tool. It is to your advantage to shave several weeks off the financial aid qualification process using this tool. Awards are issued on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Filers need:

Who should not use this tool?

Link to the IRS Data Retrieval tool within your FAFSA.

You will need to know the following 

Dependent Student

An undergraduate student who is

Parental information on the FAFSA is required for all dependents students. Your parent(s) will need their own PIN numbers.

Independent Student

A student who is

Summer Aid

Registered summer students will be reviewed for Pell grant eligibility as well as Federal Direct loans. You will be considered for Federal Direct Loans if you did not borrow the annual maximum limit of Federal Direct Student Loan funds. A student must be enrolled for a minimum of six (6) summer credits to be considered for student loans.

Summer awarding will begin the 2nd week in May and will be based on enrollment at the time of packaging. Changes to your summer enrollment may result in reductions/increases to your financial aid awards.  Please continue to check WISER throughout the summer to receive the most up-to-date award information.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students enrolled for summer are also reminded of a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) regulation.  The SAP regulation states that all students enrolled in an eligible certificate program, as well as students not achieving SAP standards, must be re-evaluated at the end of each semester.  Thus, if you are a student in either category - a certificate program or a student who was not meeting the Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines at the end of fall term and was put into a financial aid “probationary” status for spring term, please know that your financial aid award for the summer will be pending your successful completion of spring semester courses.  We remind you that grades of W, F, INC, PRG and NA in the spring semester will negatively affect your financial aid statistics and may jeopardize your summer financial aid eligibility regardless of whether or not you have remaining Pell Grant or Direct Loan eligibility.  If you are not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards at the end of spring semester, you will not be eligible for summer financial aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

You must stay in good academic standing to receive financial aid.
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You must create an FSA ID prior to applying online.
Your FSA ID protects your privacy and acts as an electronic signature.
Write it down. You will need it every year to access your account.
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