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.
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 such as grants, loans and federal work-study.
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.
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.
IRS Data Retrieval
Use a tool called IRS Data Retrieval. 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.
File Your Taxes, then Your FAFSA
Financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. We recommend that you file your taxes online in early February, if possible, before you file your FAFSA. That way, you won’t need to estimate your income on FAFSA. You can pull your IRS Data directly into your FAFSA.
FAFSA filers who opt out of using IRS Data Retrieval will have a greater chance of being selected for verification. Four reasons for being selected for verification are:
- The FAFSA application has estimated information on it.
- The data on the FAFSA application appears to contradict itself.
- The submitted FAFSA application has incomplete data.
- You were selected randomly.
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.
Estimate your cost to attend UMass Boston with our Net Price Calculator.
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.
Please allow approximately two weeks from the date you file your tax return electronically to use IRS Data Retrieval. If you chose to file a paper tax return, please allow 6-8 weeks for processing by the IRS. Using this paper method may mean you miss the March 1 (new student) or May 1 (returning student) Priority Financial Aid Deadlines.
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.
- A valid Social Security Number
- To have submitted your tax returns to the IRS and wait 2 weeks before you can retrieve them
- An unchanged marital status as of December 31 of the prior year
Who should not use this tool?
- Students and parents who did/will not file taxes
- Students and parents who filed an amended tax return
- Those with a tax status of Married, Filing Separately
- Those with a tax status of Married, Filing Head of Household
- Those who filed using a Tax ID Number (TIN)
- Those who applied for a Federal IRS Tax Filing Extension
- Those whose Tax Transcript is not obtainable due to Victim of IRS Identity Theft
- Those who filed taxes outside of the U.S.
Link to the IRS Data Retrieval tool within your FAFSA.
You will need to know the following
- your FSA ID
- the correct academic year
- your social security number
- your income tax return
- the value of your investments
- your marital status, citizenship and military status
- your state of residency
- our six-digit federal school code (002222)
- your status as dependent or independent of your parents
- your parent's tax return(s) if you are a dependent
An undergraduate student who is
- under 24 years of age
- has no legal dependents and is
- not an orphan or ward of the court
- not an emancipated minor, not in legal guardianship
- not an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or at risk of being homeless
- nor a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
Parental information on the FAFSA is required for all dependents students. Your parent(s) will need their own PIN numbers.
A student who is
- either married or 24 years of age or older
- enrolled in a graduate or professional education program
- an orphan or ward of the court
- an emancipated minor
- in legal guardianship
- an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or at risk of being homeless
- a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
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.