Applying for Financial Aid

Eligibility Guidelines


To be eligible for any federal or state financial aid, as well as most institutional aid, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Not be in default on any prior educational loans and not owe a refund on an overpayment of any federal grant
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Have received an official, written offer of admission into a degree granting program by the MMA Admissions Office
  • Re-apply for aid each year by filing a FAFSA
  • Returning students must be meeting the standards of the Maritime Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy 

The Office of Student Financial Services must have the student’s permission to discuss their aid as well as their billing information with anyone other than the student.  If you wish to allow MMA to discuss your financial aid and/or bill with your parent(s), or any other individual, you must complete and submit a FERPA Privacy Information Release Form.  These permissions will remain in place until you are no longer enrolled at MMA.

FERPA Privacy Information Release Form

Students that are recipients of any type of financial aid, are encouraged to complete this form. It is called a Title IV Authorization Form because all Federal Aid is referred to as Title IV aid. Title IV aid includes Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, and Federal Direct Stafford Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized). The federal government requires that we collect this form. We have included all state, institutional and outside aid as well to make the process more seamless.

Title IV Form

Special Circumstance Appeals

If your family is experiencing any special circumstances or hardships, you may submit a written appeal, indicating your hardship and providing documentation when applicable.

We encourage you to submit an appeal with our office if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • Unemployment
  • Disability – Permanent or Long Term
  • Significant decrease in Adjusted Gross Income from 2022 to 2023
    • Changes to income in 2024 will not come into play until the 25-26 academic year)
  • Separation/Divorce not reported on 24-25 FAFSA
  • Death of Parent
  • High Medical Expenses (not covered by insurance)
  • Other unusual circumstance

The following conditions do not merit reconsideration of a financial aid offer:

  • Personal choices and consumer debt
  • Expenses that have not yet been incurred
  • Voluntary or involuntary reductions in overtime pay
  • Business Losses or shifts in commission sales
  • One-time bonus income (gambling winnings, legal settlements, severance pay, etc.)
  • Stock market loss, foreclosure, bankruptcy, scheduled retirement payouts
  • College expenses for siblings attending graduate school or second bachelor’s degree
It is important to note:
  • Filing an appeal does not guarantee that additional aid will be offered. Award increases are contingent on the outcome of your appeal as well as funding levels and fund availability.
  • A response to your appeal may take 2 – 4 weeks from receipt of all required documentation.
  • Financial obligations to the Academy should be met during the appeal process, or payment arrangements should be made. If the appeal results in additional funds being offered, excess payments will be refunded or established payment plans will be adjusted.
  • Appeals should be submitted only after the student has received their 24-25 financial aid offer
  • If we require additional information, the student will receive an email at their MMA email address.
  • All decisions made by the MMA Office of Student Financial Services are final.  There is no appeal processes within the Academy, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or the US Department of Education.


You must include the student’s full name and MMA student ID on all of your documentation.  Appeals can be emailed to or mailed to Student Financial Services, MMA, 101 Academy Drive, Buzzards Bay, MA 02532.

Income Loss

  • Written statement explaining circumstances.
  • Separation letter from employer/unemployment office if applicable.
  • Signed copy of 2022 Federal Income Tax Return
  • Signed copy of 2023 Federal Income Tax Return
  • Itemization of how money was used if one time payout
  • Any other documentation you feel would be helpful

Change in Marital Status

  • Written statement explaining current marital/living situation
  • Proof of separate residences (copies of utility bills or lease agreement for each parent showing different addresses)
  • Copy of Separation Agreement or Divorce Decree
  • Any other documentation you feel would be helpful

Death of Parent

  • Written statement explaining current situation
  • Copy of Death Certificate
  • Documentation of any benefits, pensions, life insurance payments, etc. made to the family.
  • Any other documentation you feel would be helpful

High Medical and/or Dental expenses

  • Written statement explaining current financial situation
  • Documentation of all out of pocket medical expenses paid in the most recent calendar year.
  • Any other documentation you feel would be helpful

Other Unusual Circumstances

  • Written statement, explaining special circumstances
  • Documentation to support the appeal
Apply For Aid

Financial aid must be applied for each year. The closer a student completes their file to the bill due date, the less likely they will have aid in time to use toward their billed expenses.  

Be sure to include Massachusetts Maritime Academy's federal school code # 002181 so the results will be sent to us.

Complete the FAFSA

Other Application Information

Undergraduate students living in on campus housing are considered for all types of aid (federal, state and institutional funding). Commuters typically receive federal and state aid only, as their costs are lower than those of dorm students.

Consideration for most 'gift aid' (grants and waivers) is given to those students with the lowest Student Aid Index, which is calculated using the income and asset information provided on the FAFSA.

Families can file their FAFSA as early as October 1 for the following academic year. This FAFSA will be based on the student and parent prior, prior income (taxes filed the previous spring). Since the majority of tax filers have already filed their tax returns, the FAFSA application process should be quick and easy.

Be sure to list MMA’s school code, 002181, to ensure the results will be shared with the Academy. Don't forget to provide your social security number on your Admissions application, otherwise, we won't receive your FAFSA results.

Our policy is to email the student, using their MMA email address, if anything is missing from their financial aid application, once the student initiates the process. We will send at least 4 emails to the student. If after the final notice we still do not receive a response, we will assume at that point that the student is no longer interested in applying for financial aid and will stop sending notifications. Students can always check their application status in the Self Service Portal to see what we have received and if anything is still missing.

Once a FAFSA is filed, some students will be selected for a process called ‘verification.’ If selected, you may be required to submit additional information to the Office of Student Financial Services to verify the accuracy of the information you reported on the FAFSA. Requests for additional information will be sent to the student via their MMA email account. These documents must also be received by our office by the priority deadline. For this reason, we highly encourage you not to wait until the last minute to file your FAFSA, just in case we need additional info.

Delays in submitting requested documentation could result in a loss of certain financial aid. Families are encouraged to respond to our requests immediately upon receipt of our first email request.

Once all paperwork is received we will determine the students eligibility for financial aid. The formula used to determine aid eligibility takes the Estimated Cost of Attendance and subtracts the Student Aid Index from the FAFSA. The difference is the amount of ‘financial need’ that the student has.  A financial aid ‘package’ is then created for the student, made up of federal, state and institutional funding for which the student qualifies.  The higher the financial need, the greater the financial aid package.  The package may contain gift aid/free money (grants, scholarships, waivers) as well as self-help aid (work study and student loans).  For more details, see the Types of Aid section of our website.

Students will receive an email informing them when their aid offer is ready to be viewed and accepted on the Self Service Portal. An actual paper aid offer letter will be mailed to any incoming undergraduate student and any returning student that has opted in to receive a paper letter via Self Service. Notifications will be sent to incoming undergraduate students beginning in late January/early February and returning undergraduate students and graduate students will be notified in late June/early July.

Financial Aid is offered for specific semesters. If a student does not enroll in a given semester, the financial aid offered for that semester is automatically canceled.