UMass Boston

Loans for Undergraduates

Navigating loans and FAFSA can be overwhelming, but we're here to help!

Learn about the different types of loans available and how to complete the FAFSA to access financial aid opportunities that can support your educational journey at UMass Boston. We're committed to making the process as clear and straightforward as possible, so you can focus on your studies and future success.

By completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), you will be considered for Federal Direct Loan funds. The FAFSA form is available on October 1. The submission deadline for Early Action is November 1. The general priority deadline for FAFSA submission is March 15. A loan is money that requires repayment.

Types of Available Loans

Not interested in a loan? UMass Boston offers a Payment Plan.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loans

  • Must complete FAFSA (no separate application required)
  • Federally-funded loan program
  • Eligibility determined by demonstrated financial need
  • Enrolled at least half time (6 credits) in a degree granting program or an eligible certificate program
  • Must complete an online Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note
  • Awards are based on student's grade level.
Grade Level Annual Loan Amount
First-Year $3,500
Sophomore $4,500
Junior/Senior $5,500
  • May not exceed the lifetime aggregate loan limit of $23,000 and as a first time borrower.
  • Interest rates and Origination fees
  • The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan:
    • while you’re in school at least half-time
    • for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period) withdraw, or when your course load drops below half-time (6 credits)
    • during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments)
  • Must complete an online Exit Counseling at the point of graduation, withdrawal from school, or if enrollment status drops below half time (6 credits) status
  • Repayment starts six months after graduation, withdrawal, or when your course load drops below half time status (6 credits).
  • This is a loan that must be repaid

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

  • Must complete FAFSA (no separate application required)
  • Federally-funded loan program
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) in a degree granting program or an eligible certificate program
  • There is no requirement to demonstrate financial need
  • Must complete an online Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note
  • The school determines the amount you can borrow based on your cost of attendance and other financial aid you receive
  • Borrowers may receive both Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans for the same loan periods. Awards are based on grade level and dependency status and the combination of both cannot exceed the following loan limits:
    • Year Dependent Independent
      First-Year $5,500 $9,500
      Sophomore $6,500 $10,500
      Junior/Senior $7,500 $12,500
  • Dependent student whose parent/stepparent has been denied a Federal Direct Parent Plus loan will be offered an additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan up to $4,000 for First-Year and Sophomore, and up to $5,000 for Juniors and Seniors.
  • Aggregate loan limit for dependent undergraduates cannot exceed $31,000 ($23,000 maximum in Federal Direct Subsidized Loan)
  • Aggregate loan limit for independent undergraduates cannot exceed $57,500 ($23,000 maximum in Federal Direct Subsidized Loan)
  • Interest is charged from the time the loan is distributed until it is paid in full. 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.
  • Interest rates and Origination fees
  • Repayment starts six months after graduation, withdrawal or if enrollment status is less than half time (6 credits)
  • Must complete Exit Counseling at the point of graduation, withdrawal from school or if enrollment status is less than half time (6 credits)
  • This is a loan that must be repaid

The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

  • Federally funded loan program available to parents/stepparents of undergraduate dependent students enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) in a degree granting program or an eligible certificate program
  • A FAFSA form is required
  • Borrower must be the biological or adoptive parent or, in some cases, the stepparent of the student
  • A low interest, credit based loan
  • Borrower may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus financial aid per academic year
  • Interest rate and Origination fees
  • Various repayment plans are available

IMPORTANT: The dependent student MUST have completed a FAFSA in order for the parent to apply for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan.

  • To apply, the parent borrower must go to studentaid.gov and sign in using their U.S. Department of Education FSA ID.  A parent who does not already have an FSA ID will need to apply for one at fsaid.ed.gov.  
  • After the parent signs in, select APPLY FOR AID, Apply for a Parent PLUS Loan and then START to begin the application. 
  • Select an Award Year. 
  • Parent borrower completes the requested Student Information section followed by the School and Loan Information section. In the School Name section, select the University of Massachusetts Boston
  • In the Loan Period section, the parent selects the appropriate loan period start and end dates.  After the last day of enrollment for the period requested, our office is unable to certify a PLUS Loan request.  
  • The parent borrower must use their legal name, as it appears on their Social Security card, while following the steps to complete the remaining portions of the application. 
  • Once the parent borrower completes the credit check, the results will be available immediately. 
  • If the credit is approved, the parent borrower will be given two options: 
    • Not continue with the application, or 
    • Continue and complete a PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note, if the parent has not already completed one. 
  • If the credit is not approved, the parent borrower you will be given the following options: 
    • Not pursue the loan, 
    • Obtain an endorser, or 
    • Appeal the credit decision.

NOTE: If the parent’s credit is not approved and the parent chooses not to pursue the Federal Direct Parent Plus loan application further, the student will be considered for additional Unsubsidized Direct Loan eligibility. 

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.  

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.

Public Disclosure

Fifty-four percent of students who start at and graduate from UMass Boston borrow student loans to help with their educational costs. The average federal student loan debt at graduation is $23,000. Our institutions cohort default rate is 5.5%.

One Stop

Visit the One Stop for personalized assistance with all your financial aid and registration needs. Our friendly staff is ready to guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have, ensuring a smooth and successful journey at UMass Boston.

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.

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