Financial aid awarding

In an effort to distribute limited funds in a fair and equitable manner, UMass Dartmouth awards grant aid based on equity. Your Financial Aid award may consist of some or all of the following types of aid depending on your financial need:

  • grants
  • scholarships
  • waivers
  • work study
  • student loans

Initial financial aid award packages for undergraduate students are based on the cost of 12 state supported credits each semester. Graduate student financial aid packages are based on the cost of 9 state supported credits each semester.

Please note: all financial aid awards are contingent upon funding available.

Federal regulations require the financial aid office to coordinate internal and external awards with other financial aid awards received. Students receiving internal or external scholarships, stipends, assistantships or other payments toward education expenses must notify Financial Aid Services. 

In situations when student financial need has been met with financial aid funds, it is the university’s policy to reduce aid in the following sequence: student loans, work study, and, finally, grant/scholarship aid. 

Award review

At the end of the add/drop period, Financial Aid Services will place a service indicator on students whose actual enrollment is different from the enrollment for which the award was based. Financial Aid staff will review award and adjust aid as appropriate based on actual enrollment and remove the service indicator.

Students whose enrollment is less than the anticipated enrollment, as well as those enrolled in continuing education courses, may see an adjustment in financial aid awards as the costs for these enrollment changes is different than the costs upon which the original award was based. Financial Aid Services will email students regarding award changes; however students are encouraged to check COIN often to keep abreast of award amounts and changes.

In addition to enrollment changes, a service indicator may be placed on student records while the following is being reviewed:

  • Change in state of residency
  • Change in housing status
  • Change in grade level
  • Change in degree status
  • Change in graduation term

Disbursement and refund checks

Disbursements of financial aid are directly made to the student account after the add/drop period of each semester after enrollment, residency, grade level, program status, and housing are confirmed and all necessary requirements have been met (i.e. loan entrance counseling and/or promissory notes, etc.). 

Students whose financial aid awards exceed their charges will receive an email notification from the Bursar Office when refund checks are available. Checks are distributed through the University Enrollment Center (UEC). No refund checks will be distributed prior to the end of the add/drop period.

If you have questions about your student account or the processing of a refund, you may contact the University Enrollment Center, 1st floor lobby, Foster Administration Building, 508.999.8857 or 508.999.8866.

Maintaining eligibility

Financial aid awards are offered based on the information available at the time of the award. Students are expected to maintain eligibility throughout the year. If you fail to meet federal, state, or institutional eligibility criteria, your award may be adjusted or cancelled. 

Common eligibility issues include:

  • student loan default
  • non-degree status
  • change in program/plan
  • change in career
  • course load requirements:
    • students cannot receive financial aid for courses that do not count toward their degree or certificate program
    • some financial aid programs require full-time enrollment (12 or more credits) while others require half-time enrollment (6 or more credits)
    • audited courses are not eligible for financial aid

More information

Maintaining aid