What is a Student Financial Responsibility Agreement (FRA)?

Financial institutions, including the financial departments of colleges and universities, are required by federal debt collection and consumer protection laws to be transparent with their policies/procedures and requirements. These institutions also want to ensure that the student is aware of the institution’s policies and responsibilities. For this reason, the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell) requires that all students, once every academic year, sign a Student Financial Responsibility Agreement (FRA) before enrolling in classes.

What is an FRA?

An FRA outlines and informs students of the financial obligations and responsibilities associated with enrolling for classes at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and explains the potential consequences that may be taken if a student does not meet those obligations.

Why do I have to complete the FRA?

The FRA is a mandatory agreement that outlines financial obligations and responsibilities for enrolling in courses at UMass Lowell. 

Our goal is to help students understand the cost of their education and the financial policies associated with their enrollment at UMass Lowell. The FRA, in conjunction with our website, e-statement account information, letters and other documentation, helps explain the university’s expectations for payment, and allows us to clearly inform students of our policies related to billing, late payment, contact methods, etc.

How often do I have to complete the FRA?

The FRA must be completed once per academic year, or if changes to the current agreement are mandated. An email notification will be sent to your UML student email address indicating that the Financial Responsibility Agreement has been assigned to your account. Students who wish to register will be presented with the FRA immediately upon logging into SIS.

What if I do not complete the agreement?

Students who do not complete the Financial Responsibility Agreement will not be permitted to register.

What is an FRA Hold and how do I get it removed?

An FRA hold will be applied to all student accounts once per academic year prior to registration. Once the agreement is completed, the FRA Hold will automatically be removed, and students will be able to proceed with registration, provided all other holds/requirements are fulfilled.

Why must I complete the FRA if my tuition and applicable fees are being covered by financial aid, scholarships, or outside funding sources?

It is common for students to have charges on their student account which are not covered by financial aid and/or outside sources of aid. In these instances, students are financially responsible for any remaining balance and, as such, must accept the FRA. Additionally, in the event an account balance results from a change of circumstance in a funding source, students are responsible for the amount due.

What if someone else is responsible for paying my account (i.e., military benefits, sponsorship, employer); why do I have to sign the agreement?

All students are ultimately responsible for their student account, including any unpaid balances should the third-party payer fail to make payments. In addition, students may accrue charges on their student account which may not be covered by university aid or a third-party payer. Therefore, completing the FRA is an acknowledgment of a student’s responsibility of their student account.

If someone in my family pays my tuition, can they complete the Student Financial Responsibility Agreement for me?

No. While payment by a third-party is acceptable, it is the enrolled student who is ultimately responsible for agreeing to the terms and conditions of the FRA. Families are welcome to view the FRA below.

How can I access a copy of my completed FRA?

You can only access a completed copy of your FRA during the signing process. There will be a step where you can print the form. However, a copy of the FRA is available on the Student Financial Responsibility Agreement webpage for all to access.

Do other colleges and universities do this?

Yes. It is a common practice among higher education institutions across the United States, and it is consistent with the national movement to increase financial literacy among college students.

How can I view a copy of the FRA?

A copy of the FRA is available on the Student Financial Responsibility Agreement webpage.