Your financial aid award may consist of some or all of the following types of aid depending on your financial need.

Please note: all financial aid awards are contingent on funding.

Categories of Financial Aid

  • Need-Based Aid is awarded when you have demonstrated financial need, (i.e., your Estimated Family Contribution EFC is less than the Cost of Attendance COA). Need-based aid includes federal, state and institutional grants, scholarships, student employment and federal direct subsidized student loans.

  • Non-Need Based Aid does not require you to have demonstrated financial need, (i.e. your EFC is greater than the COA.) Non-need-based aid includes most merit scholarships and federal direct unsubsidized student loans.

Types of Financial Aid

View full descriptions, eligibility requirements and award amounts of each type of financial aid program.

Grants & Scholarships

Grants and scholarships are called “gift aid” because they are funds that do not have to be repaid. Grants and scholarships come from a variety of sources including the federal government, state government, university and private organizations.

Examples of Grants and Scholarships include:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant
  • Massachusetts State Grant
  • MassGrant Plus
  • DHE Cash Grant
  • UMass Lowell Need-Based Grant
  • UMass Lowell Scholarship
  • Merit Scholarship*

* UMass Lowell offers a variety of merit scholarships for which incoming students are automatically considered when you apply to the university. Most awards are renewable annually if the scholarship standards are met. See a complete list of merit scholarships.

Other Scholarship Opportunities

Visit UMass Lowell’s River Hawk Scholarship Portal for information on endowed and departmental scholarships available to students at UMass Lowell.

Beginning February 8, you can complete the general application and find out if you qualify for one of the many endowed/departmental scholarship opportunities.

See a listing of private scholarship opportunities.

Student Employment: Federal Work Study & the UMass Lowell Student Employment Programs provide part-time, on-campus jobs to eligible students with financial need. This allows you to earn money to help pay for your education. The programs encourage community service work and work related to your course of study. UMass Lowell offers other employment opportunities, such as the Departmental Employment program and The Job Location and Development (JLD) program. Find out more and begin your job search with Student Employment.

Summer Financial Aid: If you plan to take courses over the summer, you may be eligible to receive financial aid to offset the costs. A separate application process is required to apply for summer financial aid and eligibility requirements must be met. Find more detailed information and summer aid frequently asked questions (FAQ).

Federal Student Loans: A loan is money that is borrowed and must be paid back with interest. Repayment of student loans usually begins after you have completed your education or if your enrollment drops below half-time (6 credits). Student loans made by the federal government usually offer borrowers lower interest rates and have more flexible repayment options than loans from banks or other private sources. Remember, you can borrow less than what is offered to you. You should only borrow what you need! Once offered, you can reduce or decline your federal student loans on your SiS student center.

Federal Student Loan Programs Include:

Federal Student Loan Program
Loan TypesInterest RateOrigination FeesTerms
Direct Subsidized Loan5.50% fixed interest rate (Effective July 1, 2023. Rates change each July 1.)1.057% origination fee (Effective Oct. 1, 2022. Fees change in the fall.)Government pays interest while you are in school.
Repayment begins six months after you leave school or drop below six credits.
Direct Unsubsidized Loan5.50% fixed interest rate for undergraduate students. (Effective July 1, 2023. Rates change each July 1.)
6.54% fixed interest rate for graduate students. (Effective July 1, 2022. Rates change each July 1.)
1.057% origination fee (Effective Oct. 1, 2022. Fees change in the fall.)You pay the interest while you are in school.
Repayment begins six months after you leave school or drop below six credits.

View full descriptions, eligibility requirements and current interest rates for each available loan program.

Additional Loan Requirement

Federal Student Loan Limits

Loan Borrowing Limits Per Academic Year
DependentMax SubsidizedAdditional UnsubsidizedCombined Subsidized and Unsubsidized

IndependentMax SubsidizedAdditional UnsubsidizedCombined Subsidized and Unsubsidized

Total Lifetime Aggregate Limits
Academic CareerMax SubsidizedAdditional UnsubsidizedCombined Subsidized and Unsubsidized
Graduate (includes undergraduate amounts)$138,500

Several flexible repayment options are available. For more information regarding loan repayment or consolidation, review the student loan information on the federal student aid website.

Smart Borrowing Tips

  1. Borrow as little as possible to cover what is needed for education-related expenses.
  2. Consider your estimated monthly payments. Don’t borrow more than you can reasonably afford to pay each month.
  3. Taking out a loan is agreeing to a binding contract. Taking out a loan is an important financial decision that can affect you for years to come. It is critical you understand your loan options in order to make good borrowing decisions.

Learn more smart borrowing and other financial wellness tips.