The University of Massachusetts offers a vibrant learning environment which embraces diverse people, ideas, and perspectives. Our innovative scholarship, teaching, policy development, student leadership, programs and services have made us known as a forward-thinking and socially conscious university. We encourage the application and enrollment of undocumented students and students granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are undocumented students?

Undocumented students are students who are not U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or “eligible noncitizens.” Each year we consider application for admission from students living in the United States without documentation of U.S. citizenship or legal permanent residency. Undocumented students are not eligible for federal or state financial aid. Within the larger group of undocumented students, there is a subgroup of students who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

I am an undocumented student with DACA status. Can I submit a FAFSA?

The FAFSA is not required for undocumented students applying to UML. However, the FAFSA is required for students with DACA status in order to be receive the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship. A Social Security Number (SSN) is needed to complete the FAFSA. DACA recipients should select “No, I am not a citizen or eligible non-citizen” as a response to the “Are you a citizen?” question on the FAFSA.

The FAFSA is free to complete – be careful of any site that requires you to pay to complete this form.

Are undocumented students eligible for Massachusetts state or federal financial aid?

At this time, undocumented students are not eligible for federal student aid as it requires recipients to be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. We encourage Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and undocumented students to also look for private scholarship opportunities and/or loans.

DACA status and undocumented students in Massachusetts may qualify for some state financial aid benefits, including:

  • In-state Tuition Benefit: In November 2012, the governor of Massachusetts announced that Massachusetts students who have been granted DACA Status after August 2012 would be eligible for in-state tuition and fees. In order to be eligible for in-state tuition, applicants must submit a copy of the C-33/DACA card or a copy of the I-797 Notice of Action to the online application. Please be advised that this legislation may change.

  • Tuition Equity: 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. Information on qualification requirements and how to apply can be found through Admissions' Residency page.

  • 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 through the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance.

  • The John and Abigail Adams Scholarship: DACA students who are Massachusetts residents are eligible for the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship.
Are there any other scholarships I can apply to?

UMass Lowell has two campus opportunities for you to search / apply for scholarships.

  1. UMass Lowell Riverhawk Scholarship Portal: Through the generosity of alumni, friends and supporters the University has over $1million in endowed scholarship funds for students to apply for. You must be a currently enrolled student to apply for these scholarships. The scholarships each have specific criteria. View the web link for more details.
  2. Private Scholarships: We understand students need additional financial support that is why we compile a list of outside scholarship opportunities. These are scholarships from private companies and not affiliated with UMass Lowell. Check this website often for updates.