Understanding Your Award

 
Most types of financial aid offered by MMA are need-based. A student’s need is the difference between your estimated cost of attendance (COA) and your expected family contribution (EFC), which is based on the information that you and your family provided on the FAFSA. The EFC is the minimum amount that you and your family are expected to contribute toward your educational expenses. The EFC is not necessarily the amount that you will be expected to pay.
 
The Office of Student Financial Services will make every attempt to offer you as much financial aid as we can, but it is very rare that all of your need will be met entirely through the aid that is offered. 
 
Most financial aid is generally awarded for the fall and spring semesters only.  If a student does not enroll in a given semester, the financial aid awarded for that semester is automatically canceled.  Although we take into consideration the cost of uniforms (seabag) and winter courses when determining your estimated cost of attendance, financial aid is usually not specifically earmarked for these expenses (unless noted on the award letter).  Seabags must always be purchased prior to enrolling.  If a student has excess financial aid in the fall semester after all fall costs have been covered, the student will receive a refund from our office after the add/drop period.  This refund can be used to reimburse the student for payments made out of pocket for the purchase of the seabag.  Students may also leave any excess fall financial aid on their account to be applied toward winter expenses by submitting a Title IV Authorization Form and indicating your preference that MMA hold your excess funds.  All students who will be participating in winter activities (training cruise, commercial shipping, coop or winter experiential learning programs) are encouraged to apply for winter scholarships in the fall to assist with their expenses. An email will be sent to all student in September announcing this opportunity.
 
Occasionally, we are required to make adjustments to awards that have been offered. Any time an adjustment is made to a student’s award, the student will be notified via email by our office. Adjustments can occur at any time during the academic year. The following are examples of why an award may require adjustments:
 
  • Corrections being made to your FAFSA (either by the student or the MMA Financial Aid Office)
  • Not enrolling full time
  • Becoming a commuter
  • Changing major
  • Not participating in winter training cruise/co-op/commercial shipping/experiential learning
  • Receipt of merit or outside scholarships (from MMA and from outside sources)
    • if a student is receiving the maximum financial aid allowed and we must adjust the aid due to an additional scholarship, we may have to reduce grant aid.
  • Receipt of outside resources such as National Guard benefits, Navy SIP, ROTC, MARTP, USMC Platoon Leaders, etc.
  • Withdrawal from courses or withdrawal from the Academy
  • Receipt of National Guard, Veteran Benefits or other outside financial assistance
  • Changes to anticipated housing status (ie: moving out of dorms)
 
When possible, students are encouraged to meet with the Director of Student Financial Services to discuss potential changes to their aid prior to making any final decisions.
 

Most aid listed on your award notification letter, except work-study, may be used as credit toward the student bill. You do not have to wait for federal student loans to be fully processed or for grants and waivers to be paid, however Promissory Notes and Entrance Counseling must be completed for loans to be credited to a student’s account. Most aid is paid half towards the fall semester and half reserved for the spring semester, unless specfically showing otherwise on the award letter.

 

Need-Based Grants

Federal Pell Grants - designed to assist students demonstrating exceptional financial need; award amounts are promulgated by the Department of Education and based upon results of the FAFSA. This award does not have to be paid back. Students enrolled in a 4 year degree program, who take longer than 4 years to achieve their undergraduate degree may receive the Pell Grant for up to the equivalent of 6 years.  During the 2018-2019 academic year, 17% of enrolled MMA students were Pell Grant recipients.
 
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) – designed to assist students demonstrating exceptional financial need and does not have to be repaid. Award amounts vary depending upon school funding, your level of need and when you apply.   Meeting our financial aid priority deadline is highly encouraged, as these funds tend to run out quickly.
 
MMA Cash Grant– funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for needy Massachusetts residents. This award does not have to be paid back.  Meeting our financial aid priority deadline is highly encouraged, as these funds tend to run out quickly.

MMA Tuition Waiver - funded by the Massachusetts Maritime Academy for needy Massachusetts residents.  This award does not have to be paid back. Meeting our financial aid priority deadline is highly encouraged, as these funds tend to run out quickly

MMA Fee Grant - funded by the Massachusetts Maritime Academy for needy students.  This award does not have to be paid back. Meeting our financial aid priority deadline is highly encouraged, as these funds tend to run out quickly.

MMA Grant- funded by the Massachusetts Maritime Academy for needy students.  This award does not have to be paid back.  This is a renewable grant (although the amount may be different from year to year) provided the student continues to have financial need and maintains at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average, checked at the end of each spring semester. If the student loses the grant due to low GPA,any future receipt of the award is forfeited.  Meeting our financial aid priority deadline is highly encouraged, as these funds tend to run out quickly.
 
Mass Grant or Other State Grant/Scholarship Programs – funded by the student’s state of residency; awarding done by state educational office based upon on-time completion of a FAFSA. Award monies are sent to first school listed on FAFSA unless student notifies agency of transfer to appropriate school. 
Dorm Authority Housing Grant – funded by the Massachusetts State College Building Authority to benefit students living in residence halls who demonstrate financial need. This award does not have to be paid back.  Meeting our financial aid priority deadline is highly encouraged, as these funds tend to run out quickly.

AHANA Leadership Scholarship - funded by MMA, this award was established to enhance the educational opportunities of African-American and Hispanic students.  This scholarship is renewable (although the amount may be different from year to year) provided the student continues to have financial need and maintains at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average, which is verified at the end of each spring semester.  If the student loses the scholarship due to low GPA, any future receipt of the award is forfeited.  Meeting our financial aid priority deadline is highly encouraged, as these funds tend to run out quickly.

Gateway City Scholarship - This scholarship is a renewable, 8 semester (fall and spring) award in an amount up to the value of in-state tuition, room and board.  This scholarship is awarded each year to incoming students from underrepresented populations, defined by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education as students currently residing in Boston or any Gateway City who identify as African American and/or Latino/a. This award is renewable provided the student is making satisfactory academic progress, to be verified at the end of each spring semester, and remains in good conduct standing within the Regiment of Cadets.  Once lost, any future receipt of this award is forfeited.

 

Non Need-Based Grants 

Admiral Maurice J Bresnahan Scholarship - This scholarship is a renewable, 8 semester award in the amount of in-state tuition, room and board.  Eligibility criteria can be obtained through the Admissions Office. This award is renewable provided the student maintains at least a 3.3 cumulative grade point average, to be verified at the end of each spring semester. If the student does not maintain at least a 3.3 cumulative GPA, the student is given one semester of probation to regain eligibility.  If, after the semester the cumulative GPA is still below the required minimum of 3.3, any future receipt of the award is forfeited.

Captain Emery E Rice Scholarship- This scholarship is a renewable, multi-recipient, 8 semester award in the amount of in-state tuition, room and board.  Eligibility criteria can be obtained through the Admissions Office. This award is renewable provided the student maintains at least a 3.3 cumulative grade point average, to be verified at the end of each spring semester.  If the student does not maintain at least a 3.3 cumulative GPA, the student is given one semester of probation to regain eligibility.  If, after the semester, the cumulative GPA is still below the required minimum of 3.3, any future receipt of the award is forfeited.

Paul E Tsongas Scholarship - This scholarship is a renewable, multi-recipient, 8 semester award offered to qualified Massachusetts residents in the amount of tuition and fees.  This 4 year award is renewable provided the student maintains at least a 3.3 cumulative grade point average to be verified at the end of each spring semester.  If the student loses the scholarship due to low GPA, any future receipt of the award is forfeited.

Dr. Jacqueline P. Fields Scholarship - This scholarship is a renewable, 8 semester award in the amount of in-state tuition, room and board.  This scholarship is awarded each year to incoming students from under represented populations, defined by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education as students who identify as African American and/or Latino/a.  The recipients of this scholarship will be selected by the Admissions Office from the top students in the applicant pool. This award is renewable provided the student maintains at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average, to be verified at the end of each spring semester and remains in good conduct standing within the Regiment of Cadets. If the student does not maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA, the student is given one semester of probation to regain eligibility.  If, after the semester the cumulative GPA is still below the required minimum of 2.5, any future receipt of the award is forfeited.

Admiral's Scholarship - This scholarship is a renewable, multi-recipient, 8 semester award offered to incoming students based on high school GPA and SAT/ACT scores.  Amounts vary from $3500 - $5000 depending upon your residency. This 4 year award is renewable provided the student maintains at least a 3.3 cumulative grade point average to be verified at the end of each spring semester.  If the student loses the scholarship due to low GPA, any future receipt of the award is forfeited.

Commodore's Scholarship - This scholarship is a renewable, multi-recipient, 8 semester award offered to incoming students based on high school GPA and SAT/ACT scores.  Amounts vary from $3000 - $4500 depending upon your residency. This 4 year award is renewable provided the student maintains at least a 3.3 cumulative grade point average to be verified at the end of each spring semester.  If the student loses the scholarship due to low GPA, any future receipt of the award is forfeited.

Captain's Scholarship - This scholarship is a renewable, multi-recipient, 8 semester award offered to incoming students based on high school GPA and SAT/ACT scores.  Amounts vary from $2500 - $4000 depending upon your residency. This 4 year award is renewable provided the student maintains at least a 3.3 cumulative grade point average to be verified at the end of each spring semester.  If the student loses the scholarship due to low GPA, any future receipt of the award is forfeited.

Commander's Scholarship - This scholarship is a renewable, multi-recipient, 8 semester award offered to incoming students based on high school GPA and SAT/ACT scores.  Amounts vary from $2000 - $5000 depending upon your residency. This 4 year award is renewable provided the student maintains at least a 3.3 cumulative grade point average to be verified at the end of each spring semester.  If the student loses the scholarship due to low GPA, any future receipt of the award is forfeited.

MMA Scholarship - This scholarship is a renewable, multi-recipient, 8 semester award offered to incoming students based on high school GPA and SAT/ACT scores.  Amounts vary from $2000 - $5000 depending upon your residency. This 4 year award is renewable provided the student maintains at least a 3.3 cumulative grade point average to be verified at the end of each spring semester.  If the student loses the scholarship due to low GPA, any future receipt of the award is forfeited.

Tuition and Fee Waivers

John and Abigail Adams Tuition Waiver - funded by MMA, this program is awarded by the Masschusetts Department of Education based on the student's MCAS score from his/her sophomore year in high school.  Students must provide a copy of their award letter from the state to the Office of Student Financial Services, along with filing the FAFSA each year (www.fafsa.gov).  This 8 semester award is renewable, provided the student maintains at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average, which is confirmed at the end of each spring semester.  If the student loses the waiver due to low GPA, any future receipt of the award is forfeited.

Stanley Koplick Certificate of Mastery Tuition Waiver - funded by MMA, this program is awarded by the Massachusetts Department of Education.  Students must provide a copy of their Certificate of Mastery as well as file the FAFSA each year (www.fafsa.gov).  This 8 semester award is renewable, provided the student maintains at least a 3.3 cumulative grade point average, which is confirmed at the end of each spring semester.  If the student loses the waiver due to low GPA, any future receipt of the award is forfeited.

Massachusetts Higher Education Employee Tuition Waiver - funded by MMA, this program is available to employees of any MA public higher education institution and/or his/her dependents.  The employee must submit an employee tuition waiver form each semester, obtained through the Human Resources Office of the employee.

National Guard Tuition and Fee Waiver - funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, this tuition and fee waiver program is available to members of the Massachusetts National Guard.  Eligible students should contact their National Guard unit to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility prior to the start of each semester and submit it to the Office of Student Financial Services.  Undergrads should request a certificate for no more than 12 credits per semester to ensure that the benefits lasts as long as possible.  There is a limit to the total number of credits that the National Guard will pay.

DCF Tuition and Fee Waiver - funded by MMA (100% of tuition) and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (fees), this program is available to foster children under the care of the MA Department of Children and Families as well as students who have been adopted through DCF.  The amount of fees that will be waived is dependent upon funding by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and can change each semester.  The amounts that appear on a student's financial aid award letter are estimated until such time as the actual payment arrives on campus after the start of each semester.

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Tuition Waiver - funded by MMA, this tuition waiver program is available to clients of Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.  Students must submit letter of eligibility from the Mass. Rehab. Commission to the MMA Office of Student Financial Services.  Mass. Rehab. also provides some fee assistance for some students.  Amounts vary and are estimated until such time as the actual payment arrives on campus after the start of each semester. 

Native American Tuition Waiver - funded by MMA, this tuition waiver is available to Native American students.  Students must provide a letter to the MMA Office of Student Financial Services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, certifying their eligibility. Questions regarding eligibility can be directed to the MA Burea of Indian Affairs at 617-573-1291.

 

 
Work Study

Federal Work Study Program – provides jobs to students with financial need, allowing them to earn between $11.00 and $13.00 per hour up to their award amount, to help pay out of pocket, educational expenses. This is the only financial aid that can not be applied to the student's bill.  The student will receive payment for hours worked, like any part time job.  Most positions are on campus, with some other positions within close proximity to the Academy.  Students work, on average, approximately 5 hours per week.  Meeting our priority deadline is highly encouraged, as these funds tend to run out quickly.

 

Loans (repayment required)

Approximately 80% of MMA Graduates in the class of 2018 used federal and private loans to help meet their college expenses. Students from the class of 2018 borrowed, on average $18,459 in Federal Direct Stafford Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized). Combined with private, non-federal education loans, the total average loan debt for the class of 2018 was $38,531. This loan debt includes all loans with the exception of the Federal Parent PLUS Loan, as this is a loan strictly in the parent's name. Students are encouraged to borrow through the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program before seeking additional funding through any private, non-federal education loan program.

Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan – a loan that must be repaid and is awarded on the basis of financial need. You are not charged interest on this loan while you are in school at least half-time as the government “subsidizes” the interest. The interest rate is variable-fixed and is based on the 10 year Treasury bill.  This means that the interest rate can change every July 1st for the upcoming academic year.  The loan that a student receives for that year is fixed at that year's rate for the life of the loan.  The rate is capped at 8.25%.  For the 2019-2020 year, the rate is 4.53%.  There is also a fee of up to 4% of the loan, deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement. Repayment begins six months after the student graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment, whichever happens first. The government pays the interest for the student while the student is enrolled at least half time and during the 6 month grace period.  The only exception to this:  loans borrowed for the 2012-2013 year and the 2013-2014 year lose the government subsidy upon ending at least half time enrollment. The subsidy does not take place during the 6 month grace period for loans borrowed during these two academic periods.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan – a loan that must be repaid and is not awarded on the basis of need.  The interest rate is variable-fixed and is based on the 10 year Treasury bill.  This means that the interest rate can change every July 1st for the upcoming academic year.  The loan that a student receives for that year is fixed at that year's rate for the life of the loan.  For Undergraduate students, the rate is capped at 8.25%.  For the 2019-2020 year, the rate is 4.53%.  For Graduate students, the rate is capped at 9/5%.  For the 2019-2020 year the rate is 6.08%. If you allow the interest to accrue while you’re in school, it will be capitalized and be added to the principal amount of your loan. The fees and repayment conditions are the same as the above listed subsidized loan.  

If, after your financial aid is considered, you anticipate needing additional funds, please visit the Other Funding Options link on this site.

Disbursement of Funds - Most financial aid funds will be applied to your student account following the close of the add/drop period, approximately 4 weeks after the start of each semester. Students receiving federal loans must have a signed Master Promissory Note and Loan Entrance Counseling on file before your loans will be applied to your student account. If, after your aid is applied to your student account, you have any excess aid, you will receive a refund. Students with excess aid may also use those funds to purchase books at the beginning of each semester.  If you sign a Title IV Authorization Form, giving MMA permission to hold any excess aid on your student account, any credit will remain on your student account and will not be refunded to you.  You can, however, request a refund at any time during the academic year.  Federal law requires that MMA refund all excess aid to a student at the end of the academic year.
 
Since loan disbursments (including Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Parent PLUS Loan and all private, credit-based alternative loans) don't disburse until after the end of the add/drop period, interest does not begin to accrue on those loans until they are actually disbursed.  MMA will allow a student to use pending loans against their billed charges, and not have to pay out of pocket, as long as those loans are in place and finalized by the due date on the student's bill.

 

Using Your Financial Aid

Students will not receive a printed bill in the mail.  All billing is done on-line.  Students will receive an email at their MMA email account when their e-bill is available for viewing through Webadvisor.  This usually happens in early July for the fall semester, early November for the winter semester and early January for the spring semester. 

 New students are encouraged to enroll in the e-billing process in July, after the first semester e-bills post.  It is also recommended that you add an 'authorized user' to the account so that the authorized user (often times a parent) will also receive an email notification when the e-bill is posted.  It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the bill is reviewed and settled by the due date.  Late fees are often added to a students bill if it is not settled by the billing due date (which is always at least 30 days prior to the start of the semester).  Students who do not pay their bill on time also face loss of dorm assignment and loss of classes.  In some cases students will be required to take a semester off if the bill is not settled prior to the start of the semester.

 All anticipated grants and loans will be deducted from each semester bill.  Federal Work Study is the only type of aid that is not deducted from the bill, as this is intended to assist the student with out of pocket expenses (and if the student doesn’t work, s/he does not receive any work study payment).  Families are encouraged to use the ‘Budget Worksheet’ to assist in determining the amount of the bill not covered by financial aid. 

Winter Term

 Because of the short length of the winter term, many financial aid programs are not available specifically for the winter bill.  All federal and state grants and scholarships as well as all loans are divided equally between the fall and spring semesters. Students may leave any excess fall financial aid on their account to be applied toward winter expenses, by signing a Title IV Authorization Form.  All students who will be particpating in winter activities are encouraged to apply for winter scholarships in the fall to assist with their expenses associated with their winter activities.  Students will receive email notifications when the scholarship application process opens in September.

 Books

 Students with excess fall or spring anticipated financial aid can use their anticipated excess aid to purchase books.  Students should let the bookstore know that they will be using financial aid to purchase their books and follow the instructions given by bookstore staff.   Students should make sure the excess was intended for books/supplies and not meant to be left on their account to help pay for the winter term.  If a student accesses their financial aid for books in the fall, using funds that were meant to cover winter charges, the student may come up short when the winter bill is due. The full policy describes the amounts that a student may access.

 Uniforms (sea-bags)

 Although we take into consideration the cost of uniforms (sea-bag) when determining your estimated cost of attendance, financial aid is not specifically earmarked for these expenses, unless the student has been awarded a sea-bag scholarship. This is due to the fact that the student’s fall financial aid won’t be finalized until after the add/drop period during the start of the fall semester.  If, after purchasing the sea-bag, the student does not remain enrolled at MMA for the fall semester the student’s financial aid is canceled.  In this case it is no longer available to pay for the sea-bag. Uniforms must always be purchased prior to attending orientation. 

If a student has excess financial aid in the fall semester after all fall costs have been covered, the student may request a refund after the add/drop period.  This refund can be used to reimburse the student for payments made out of pocket for the purchase of the sea-bag.