UMass Boston

Loans for Graduates

The Biden-Harris Administration announced the One-Time Student Loan Debt Relief Plan on August 24, 2022. Information on what students need to know, how to check eligibility, and how to sign up for updates for this debt relief plan can be found on the Federal Student Aid website

The Department of Education also cautions students to beware of scams related to the debt relief plan. Students never have to pay for help with their federal student aid.

Most graduate students are heavily dependent on loans. You must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits or more) to be considered for student loans. Be cautious of your total loan liability and your repayment obligations.  Our mission at UMass Boston is to help you locate financing for your education with the best combination of cost, convenience, and service.

Graduate students working full-time on their dissertation or thesis are eligible to receive financial aid if they are meeting satisfactory academic progress and are making progress in completing their final degree requirement. Students must submit the dissertation thesis form to the Financial Aid Services office or the One Stop. This form must be completed by the student and their Graduate Program Director. If a graduate student does not register for any credits during any semester, the student must pay a program fee to remain active in their program. 

Borrow Smart - Only borrow what you need.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are federally guaranteed loans; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need.
  • Your school determines the amount you can borrow based on your cost of attendance and other financial aid you receive.
  • You are responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods.
  • Interest accrues from the time the loan is disbursed to the school
  • You are not required to make interest or principal payments until six months after graduation, or six months after you drop below half-time enrollment. If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue and be will be added to the principal amount of your loan.
  • Graduate students working full-time on their dissertation or thesis are eligible to defer repayment. A Graduate Program Director will need to send notification to the Registrar’s office for every term a student is working full-time on their final degree requirement in order to be eligible for in-school deferment. If a graduate student does not register for any credits during any semester, the student must pay a program fee to remain active in their program.

The Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate or Professional Students

IMPORTANT: All wishing to borrow a Federal Direct PLUS Loan MUST have completed a FAFSA.

  • To apply, you must go to and sign in using your U.S. Department of Education FSA ID. If you do not already have an FSA ID, you will need to apply for one.
  • When the next page opens, select APPLY FOR AID and then select Apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan as the loan type. Select START to begin the application. 
  • Select an Award Year. 
  • Complete the Student Information section. 
  • Complete the School and Loan Information section. In the School Name section, be sure to select the University of Massachusetts Boston. 
  • In the Loan Period section, select the appropriate loan period start and end dates.  After the last day of enrollment for the period requested, our office cannot certify a PLUS Loan Request.  
  • Follow the steps to complete the remaining portions of the application.  Be sure to complete all questions and use your legal name as it appears on your Social Security card. 
  • Complete the credit check. The results of your credit check will be available immediately. 
  • If your credit is approved, you will be given two options: 
    • Not continue with the application, or 
    • Continue and complete a PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note, if you have not already completed one. 
  • If your credit is not approved, you will be given the following options: 
    • Not pursue the loan, 
    • Obtain an endorser, or 
    • Appeal the credit decision 

Contact The One Stop if you need help applying or deciding how much to borrow for your PLUS Loan.

Private Loan Options

Private education loans are credit-based consumer loans that can be used to pay any post-secondary education-related expenses, including tuition and fees, books, and transportation.  Before considering private loan options, we recommend that you apply for federal, state and institutional financial aid, including federal student loans. UMass Boston strongly encourages all students to apply for financial aid each year by completing a FAFSA. After exhausting loan opportunities available from the federal aid programs, students may consider private loan programs as an additional source of funding. 

Eligibility for private loans is based on credit-worthiness and ability to repay, not on financial need. Private loans may be borrowed by the student or parent/sponsor. Most private loans borrowed by the student require a credit-worthy co-signer and offer deferment of principal and interest payments while the student is enrolled. Please be aware that interest rates for some lenders may differ based on what repayment option you choose.

Financial Aid Services utilizes ELM Select, a loan comparison tool, where you can compare lenders, their terms and conditions, and apply for loans directly from the ELM Select website.  

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UMass Boston Payment Plan

Not interested in a loan? There is an interest-free way to pay your semester bill in equal, scheduled monthly payments. Check out the monthly payment plan option. There is a one-time charge of a non-refundable enrollment fee per semester. Questions? Contact the Bursar's Office by email.

Financial Aid

UMass Boston
Campus Center, 4th Floor
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125

Phone: 617.287.6300
Fax: 617.287.6323
Merit-Based Scholarship