Admissions & Financial Aid


Frequently Asked Questions


1. Does this office offer information on all scholarship opportunities?

The Office for Merit-Based Scholarships manages only scholarships offered by or through UMass Boston. We do not manage outside scholarships. If you are already receiving an outside scholarship, you should address all inquiries and concerns to the entity funding the scholarship (a scholarship from your high school or a local business would be an example). Checks for outside scholarships are paid directly to the Bursar's Office. Inquiries about the receipt of checks should be addressed with the Bursar's Office.

2. How much are scholarships worth?

Amounts vary for all scholarships. For new students, some scholarships provide for full tuition and fees, others for smaller, fixed amounts. Some are renewable; others are one-time awards.  Scholarships for continuing students (those who have more than 24 credits at the university and apply through the process for continuing students) range from as little as $250 to as much as $5,000.

3. Why do I have to be a MA state resident to qualify for scholarships?

As a state institution, benefiting from state tax dollars, residents of the state are entitled to certain privileges at the university. One is paying a reduced tuition rate. The potential to qualify for merit-based scholarships is another benefit limited to in-state residents.

4. Are there any scholarships available to students who are not MA state residents?

The one scholarship open to students who are not Massachusetts residents is the Out-of-State Merit Scholarship. It is for incoming freshmen who have applied for early admission by the December 1 deadline and meet the criteria.

5. Why are there so few scholarships for graduate students?

The word "scholarship" implies undergraduate study. Fellowship, assistantships, and stipends, which require something of the student in exchange for funding, are more common for graduate study. The Office for Merit-Based Scholarships works almost exclusively with undergraduates. Graduate students should check directly with their college or program director for information regarding these opportunities.

6. I am a continuing student. Why can I not apply for scholarships until I have earned 24 credits here?

Once you enroll at a new school, you start fresh academically. Your academic record does not come with you, even if you are transferring from another college (credits are transferrable, grades are not). Before we can determine if you are a candidate for a monetary award based on your grades, you need to establish an academic record. We have determined that two semesters of full-time work is usually the minimum threshold on which we will measure eligibility.

7. I have a very high GPA. Will I automatically receive a scholarship?

We automatically review students for merit scholarships. A high GPA will certainly help you, but it is not a guarantee of an award. We strongly encourage students interested in receiving merit scholarships to complete an admissions application by the early action deadline of December 1.

8. Will a merit-scholarship awarded through this office impact my need-based financial aid?

Yes, it can. This office is required to notify the Office of Financial Aid Services of all awards made. Frequently, financial aid packages include loans which require repayment. If you also qualify for a scholarship, we can often replace the loan with a scholarship that requires no repayment. This reduces your overall indebtedness. In rare cases, if you are receiving full financial aid, you may not be eligible to receive scholarship funding. This is an unlikely, though possible, scenario.