Navigating the Aid Process

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. This website will be updated as additional information becomes available.

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.

What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the application that helps the Financial Aid Office determine your eligibility. You must complete a FAFSA each year and meet eligibility requirements to be considered for financial aid.

All qualified students should complete the FAFSA to be considered for federal, state, and institutional aid at UMass Boston. The FAFSA is available beginning October 1st of any given year for the upcoming academic year. We encourage students to apply early.

FAFSA Priority Application Dates

  • Returning Students: Priority financial aid is available to students who file a FAFSA by May 1st and complete all requirements by June 1st.
  • New Students: Priority financial aid is available to students who file a FAFSA by March 1st and complete all requirements by May 1st.

Three Easy Steps:

  1. Create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID on 
  2. Apply for aid by completing your FAFSA. UMass Boston's school code is 002222
    • Watch this video for guidance on how to complete the FAFSA via Mobile app.
  3. Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to transfer federal tax data to your FAFSA application.  


How the FAFSA Works

The FAFSA generates an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is used to determine the amount of financial aid you are eligible for from the federal government, state agencies, and UMass Boston. 

Financial need is defined as the difference between the estimated Cost of Attendance and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the data supplied on the FAFSA and calculated by a federal formula. Cost of Attendance changes each year and is based on direct educational costs such as tuition, fees, and direct allowances for costs such as personal expenses, transportation, and books/supplies.