As a state institution, UMass Lowell sets tuition and fees for undergraduate and graduate students, in day programs, based on residency classification regulations from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and the New England Board of Higher Education, as well as the Tuition Equity Law.

Classification of Residency

Incoming students do not need to file for reclassification unless otherwise directed to do so by Undergraduate/Graduate Admissions or the Residency Officer.

Residency for undergraduate first-year and transfer students and graduate students is determined by admissions staff, with information provided on your application. Questions regarding your residency should be directed to Undergraduate Admission 978-934-3931 or or Graduate Admissions 978-934-2390 or New applicants may be contacted if conflicting or missing information/documentation makes determining the correct residency status difficult.

Once your residency status is set, it typically does not change for the duration of your studies.  If a person relocates to Massachusetts to attend a college or university, this action supports the intent to pursue an education, but it is not considered intent to establish residency for tuition and fees purposes. The regulations state "residency is not acquired by mere physical presence in Massachusetts while the person is enrolled in an institution of higher education." 

To be reclassified as a resident, an enrolled student must live in Massachusetts as a "traditional resident" (not a student – in-person or online) for 12 months immediately preceding their enrollment or re-enrollment to attend an institution of higher education. However, there are some circumstances where a student may apply for a change in residency and, with appropriate documentation, be approved for a change in residency status. 

Residency Reclassification

Current or returning students that believe they may qualify for a change in residency status should review the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education policy and the Massachusetts Tuition Equity policy to see if you may qualify for either.  

Students must submit either the three forms of the Residency Reclassification application orTuition Equity Law Affidavit. Applicants are responsible for submitting all documentation to support a claim. The final decision will be based solely on the submitted documentation with qualitative rather than quantitative emphasis. A number of factors are taken into consideration to determine residency. No single document is decisive. The burden of proof rests on the student seeking a change in status. Exceptions for reclassification are outlined in the three forms of the Residency Reclassification Application.

The most common circumstances that qualify for residency reclassification are:

  • The student qualifies based on their relationship to a third party, a parent/legal guardian or spouse, who meets the residency requirements, or
  • The student takes a break in enrollment of 12 months and remains in Massachusetts as a traditional resident (not a student – in-person or online), supporting themselves independently during that time, and can provide appropriate confirming documentation.

Questions should be directed to the Residency Officer at 978-934-3700 or 

Residency reclassification applications from currently enrolled students, or students reenrolling after a period away from the university, are reviewed by the Residency Officer and as needed, the Residency Appeals Committee.

The University of Massachusetts Lowell uses four residency classifications:

  • In-State (Massachusetts Resident)
  • Out-of-State (Non-Massachusetts Resident)
  • International
  • Regional Exchange (New England Regional Student Program) 

Additional Categories

  • Active Duty/Recently Discharged Military, Reservists, Massachusetts National Guard Members, and Veterans
  • Division of Graduate, Online & Professional Studies
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  • Approval/Denial

In-State Classification

The initial determination of a student’s eligibility for classification/reclassification as a Massachusetts resident, and therefore qualification for in-state tuition, is based on the following:

  • Residency/Citizenship Status – The applicant has to be a U.S. citizen, have valid documentation through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or are able to provide valid documentation from the Illustrative List.
  • Financial Support Determination - For most emancipated persons (18 years of age and financially independent, or without parents/legal guardians, or legally married), our determination is based on the legal and financial situation of the applicant and/or their spouse. For most unemancipated persons (financially dependent on parent(s)/custodial parent/legal guardian(s)), our determination is based on the legal residency of the parent(s)/custodial parent/legal guardian(s). Federal Income tax returns are primary indicators of financial support, but not exclusive, and exceptions may apply.

Upon determination of an applicant’s residency/citizenship and financial support status, a person would generally be eligible for classification as a Massachusetts resident:

  • If the applicant is a dependent student, and at least one parent(s)/custodial parent/legal guardian(s) has resided in Massachusetts for approximately 12 months prior to the beginning of the student's first semester.
  • If the applicant is financially independent and has lived in Massachusetts as a "traditional resident" (not a student – in-person or online) for 12 months immediately preceding their enrollment or re-enrollment at an institution of higher education.

Out-of-State Classification

A student not classified as in-state, New England Regional Student Program (NERSP) or international will be considered out-of-state.

International Classification

Students on certain visas may be classified as in-state. A student must be able to provide valid documentation from the Illustrative List and meet duration and residency requirements. 

Note:  Students with J1, J2, F1 or F2, or with a visa category listed in Step 3 of the Illustrative List, are not eligible to be considered for in-state residency for the purpose of tuition.

New England Regional Student Program (NERSP) Classification

The New England Regional Student Program (NERSP) is a tuition program for out-of-state students who permanently reside in New England. It is administered by the New England Board of Higher Education and lowers the overall cost of out-of-state tuition by approximately $6,500.

Beginning Fall of 2019, the NERSP tuition break is offered to all New England residents enrolled in any full-time UMass Lowell undergraduate day degree program.

  • Students with a permanent residence in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont qualify for the NERSP discount.
  • No additional application is required.
  • You will still be eligible to apply for financial aid through other sources if you are accepted into NERSP.

For graduate applicants, Graduate Admissions determines the initial residency classification, including eligibility for the New England Regional Student Program. Please forward questions about NERSP eligibility for graduate students to

Online and professional studies students do not qualify for the NERSP program.

Additional Categories


We proudly welcome active-duty members and veterans of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, National Guard and Reserves to UMass Lowell. We are here to assist you.

The following are the most common instances where active-duty military and national guard members are eligible for In-State classification:

  • A member of the U.S. Armed Forces who is stationed in Massachusetts on active duty, pursuant to military orders, their spouse and dependent children, are eligible for in-state classification.
  • Eligible participants in the Massachusetts National Guard 100% Tuition and Fee Waiver program and the Welcome Home Bonus are considered Massachusetts residents for tuition purposes (even if their home residence is in another state). However, this may not be the case for Financial Aid purposes; please contact The Solution Center at 978-934-2000 or for more information. 
  • In accordance with the Veterans Access Choice & Accountability Act of 2014:
    • All veterans, their spouses and dependents are eligible for in-state tuition, so long as they reside in the state in which they are attending school.  There is no durational requirement to establish residency. 
    • If the student resides in the Proximity Program area or out-of-state, they will be charged accordingly.
    • The requirements to receive the above benefits is that the student must begin classes within three years after the veteran has been discharged from active duty, with more than 90 days of service. A copy of the veteran's DD214 will be required as well as valid proof of Massachusetts residence (bill with a Massachusetts address, license, voter registration, other documents as permitted by the University of Massachusetts Lowell Admissions staff or Residency Officer).

The Residency Classification Worksheet (pdf) provides details on the documentation required. Please forward residency classification questions to

For assistance with military & veteran benefits or general questions, visit the Military & Veterans Services  pages, or call 978-934-2461 or email

Online & Professional Studies

For the online and professional studies students, tuition and fees are based on listed credit hour and/or contact hour and not on residency classification. However, a residency classification determination may be required if the student applies for financial aid or takes a day course.

All summer courses are offered through the Division of Graduate, Online & Professional Studies. Tuition and fee charges are generally based on credit-hour.

Please note: Residency requirements for the online and professional studies programs refer to the completion of credits as an online and professional studies student at UMass Lowell. More information is found on the Division of Graduate, Online & Professional Studies Academic Policies - Degree Requirements page. You may also contact the Student Support Center at 978-934-2474 or visit the GPS website.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

In accordance with the change in federal policy, DACA beneficiaries are eligible to file an application to be considered for in-state tuition and fees at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Please see the Residency Classification Worksheet (pdf) for a list of supporting documents to be submitted along with the application.

Submission and Review of Applications

Any student who, after reviewing all the details regarding Massachusetts residency for this purpose, feels that they have a basis to request a residency reclassification should submit that request by the deadline date for that semester (the first day of classes). A request for reclassification consists of the three forms of the Residency Reclassification Application and all requested supporting documentation that is attached to it.

Applications received after the first day of classes will be processed but will not take effect until the following semester. Exceptions due to extraordinary circumstances are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Residency Officer.

All questions regarding residency reclassification should be sent to

Note: The applicant is responsible for the payment of tuition, fees and other financial obligations to the institution within the prescribed deadlines while the review of a residency request is underway.


If your application is approved, notification will be sent to you via email. Your status will be updated in SIS within five business days. Financial Aid and Student Financial Services will be notified, and the appropriate changes will be made to reflect your new residency status.

If your application is denied, notification will be sent to you via email. You may appeal the decision, in writing, within 30 calendar days of the date the decision is emailed. You may submit additional documentation along with the written appeal. The appeal will be given to the Residency Reclassification Appeal Committee for review, along with the original application, supporting documentation and decision. The appeal committee's decision will be based solely on submitted documentation. You will be notified, by email, of the appeal committee's decision. This decision is final and cannot be appealed further.

Please send your appeal to: 

Enrollment Management
University of Massachusetts Lowell
220 Pawtucket St., Suite 420
Lowell, MA  01854