As a state institution, the University of Massachusetts Lowell sets tuition and fees for undergraduate students in daytime, on-campus programs based on residency classification regulations from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and the New England Board of Higher Education.

Initial Classification of Residency

Initial determination of the residency status for tuition classification, as part of the admissions process for first-year and transfer students in a daytime, on-campus undergraduate program, is performed by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. New applicants may be contacted for additional information or documentation for a residency classification. Residency information requested by the Undergraduate Admissions Office will not hold up a student’s admission decision.

A student’s residency is determined by where the student is living 12 months prior to entering any institution of higher education in Massachusetts, and six months if they first attend a community college. The policy was set by legislation and is governed by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education.

The University of Massachusetts Lowell uses four residency classifications:

  1. In-State (Massachusetts Resident)
  2. New England Regional Student Program
  3. Out-of-State (Non-Massachusetts Resident)
  4. International

You can also see information for active duty, recently discharged military, Reservists, Massachusetts National Guard Members and Veterans below.

In-State Classification Under the 2007 Residency Status Policy

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/custodial parent/legal guardian has resided in Massachusetts for 12 months prior to the student's entry as a student.
  • the applicant is financially independent, and has lived in Massachusetts as a "traditional resident" (not a student) for 12 months immediately preceding their entry as a student at an institution of higher education.

Financial Support Determination

  • Emancipated persons: (18+ and financially independent or without parents/legal guardians, or legally married): Generally, determination of emancipation is based on the legal and financial situation of the applicant and/or their spouse.
  • Unemancipated persons: (financially dependent on parents/custodial parents/legal guardians): Generally, determination of in-state residency classification is based on the legal residency of the parents/custodial parents/legal guardians. Income tax returns are primary indicators of financial support, but not exclusive, and exceptions may apply.

Lawful Immigrant

Students on certain immigrant, non-immigrant and humanitarian classifications who meet other in-state residency requirements may be classified as in-state. A student must demonstrate that they are a “lawful immigrant” as defined by the 2007 Residency Status Policy by providing valid documentation from the illustrative list.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): Persons who hold DACA classification are eligible to file an application to be considered for in-state tuition and fees at the University of Massachusetts Lowell if they can present a document that meets the requirements detailed in the illustrative list of accepted documents for non-U.S. citizens.

For DACA holders, this document will typically be an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) with the classification code (c)(33).

Students who are lawful immigrants, including DACA holders, must also meet duration and residency requirements. Students can submit residency documentation on their UMass Lowell applicant portal.

In-State Classification Under the 2023 Tuition Equity Law

Through the Tuition Equity Law, Massachusetts has expanded access to in-state tuition rates and to state financial aid programming for students who have attended high school in the Commonwealth for at least three years, obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent in Massachusetts, and met certain other documentation requirements. This expansion includes students without lawful immigrant status or who may be considered undocumented.

Students may qualify for a residency reclassification if they meet the following criteria:

  • Not in an ineligible non-immigrant classification (pdf).
  • Attended a high school in Massachusetts for three or more years.
  • Graduated from a Massachusetts high school or attained the equivalent in Massachusetts (GED/HiSet). (Eligibility for in-state tuition is conditional upon the student’s graduation/receipt of a HS diploma). 
  • Demonstrate proof of Selective Service Registration (applies to all individuals assigned male at birth aged 18-25).

Students who qualify for in-state residency classification under the Tuition Equity Law must submit the required affidavit and required documentation.

Massachusetts Application for State Financial Aid (MASFA)

In January 2024, the Department of Higher Education launched the Massachusetts Application for State Financial Aid (MASFA). This form allows students who are not able to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) due to their immigration status a way to apply for need-based state financial aid. Learn more about Massachusetts need-based state financial aid and tuition equity.

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’s administered by the New England Board of Higher Education and lowers the overall cost of out-of-state tuition.

Students with a permanent residence in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont qualify for the NERSP tuition rate. No additional application is required for NERSP residency classification. Students who qualify for NERSP are eligible to apply for federal financial aid.

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

Non-U.S. citizens who do not have valid documentation from the illustrative list, and do not meet a residency exception are considered international.

Note: Students with J or F visa 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. Persons who are in valid B-1 or B-2 status are not eligible to study in the United States and may only engage in study that is avocational or recreational in nature.

Additional Category


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, his or her 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 email: 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 New England Regional area or out-of-state, they will be charged accordingly.

The requirements to receive the above benefits are 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).

For assistance with military & veteran benefits or general questions, visit the Veterans Services page and Military Benefits page, call them at 978-934-2461 or email:

Please review the Residency Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page or contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.