Office of Student Financial Services

Student accounts FAQ

Below are some of the most common questions Student Financial Services receives about billing and student accounts. If you have questions not listed here, call 413.662.5230 or email StudentAccounts@mcla.edu.

This FAQ section is specifically geared toward general billing questions. We also offer a general financial aid FAQ and a student loan FAQ.

Our Explanation of Fees page details what all of our fees are, including the Campus Support Fee.

We bill by semester. Fall semester bills are mailed in early July and are due in early August.  Spring semester bills are mailed in mid-November and will be due in mid-December. Payment arrangements must be in place by the due date for students to remain registered for their coursework and to check into housing (if applicable.)

We accept cash (in-office), personal checks, and money orders. Students and authorized users may pay online with ACH, a credit card, or debit card. MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express are accepted. No processing fees apply for online payments.

Bills may also be satisfied by financial aid, alternative student loans, and the monthly payment plan.
Bills can get misplaced sometimes. You can always view your account online in real-time, but if needed, you may request a new bill/eBill by contacting the Student Accounts Office.

If you have accepted your financial aid award, it will show your accepted aid on your statement. However, if you accepted federal student loans and you are a first time borrower, you will need to complete online Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note before those loans will show as a credit. You will receive instructions from Financial Aid if you have this requirement.

If you believe you have accepted aid but it is not listed on your bill, contact Financial Aid at 413-662-5219 or FinAid@mcla.edu.

You can enroll in an interest-free monthly payment plan through Nelnet. For costs, schedules, or to enroll, visit MyCollegePaymentPlan.com/MCLA. There is an enrollment fee of $40 per semester. You can pay in 5, 4, or 3 installments in the fall semester and 4 or 3 installments for spring semester.

There is no monthly payment plan for the summer semester.

You may be eligible for a book advance if your financial aid exceeds the amount of your charges and you have a credit on your account. If you have a credit, you read more about the book advance process and how to request one here. Book advance requests are fulfilled during the add/drop period by appointment only.

If your financial aid does not exceed the amount of your bill, you would not be eligible for a book advance.

For the 2021-2022 academic year, if you are a new student and will be residing on campus, you will have the Unlimited Meal Plan. This plan includes unlimited access to the Centennial Room with all-you-care-to-eat meals, $100.00 Declining Balance, and $25.00 Blazer Bucks. Sophomores and juniors who live on campus will also have this meal plan.

Seniors on campus will have the Senior Plan, which includes 75 meals per semester and $100.00 Declining Balance. 

No. Your meal plan will automatically be put on your student ID card and will be ready when you move on campus. However, if you are having issues with your card, bring your card to Student Accounts and we will troubleshoot.

Usually, students are allowed to change their meal plans based on their status of their residency requirement. However, due to COVID-19, the meal plans are structured in a different way than they are during a typical academic year. Meal plans for the 2021-2022 academic year are not yet set, so we do not have the structure for these plans at this time.

If you have a dietary restriction or medical reason for not being able to utilize the dining facilities on campus, please email StudentAccounts@mcla.edu for information about the Medical Meal Plan process.
Visit the University Health Plans website and click "Waiver Form" to submit your policy information. You will need to complete a waiver each academic year, even if your insurance information does not change.
We do not send a revised statement when we receive your health insurance waiver. You can deduct if off of the bottom line balance. The health insurance waiver usually shows on your online account within 48 business hours. However, if you need a revised statement, you can call or email StudentAccounts@mcla.edu to request one.

If you try to waive the insurance but the website is telling you that you're ineligible to waive, it's probably how you're answering the questions. Go back to the waiver and carefully read the questions. Feel free to contact Student Accounts if you need clarification on some of the questions, but we recommend reaching out to your health insurance provider if you aren't sure how to answer them.

If it won't let you waive based on your responses after speaking with your health insurance provider, your health insurance does not meet the requirements of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In this case, you will have to enroll in the student health insurance program.

If you aren't sure what the questions are asking, you can contact Student Accounts for clarification. However, if you aren't sure what your health insurance plan covers, you should contact your insurance company and go over the questions together when completing the waiver.

If your coverage through MassHealth is in good standing and not a limited MassHealth plan, you can waive the insurance charge. Visit the University Health Plans website and click "Waiver Form" to submit your policy information.

If you don't have health insurance or health insurance that meets the waiver guidelines, you will need to enroll in the student health insurance program. This is a requirement of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Visit the University Health Plans website and click "Enrollment Form" and then complete the enrollment form.

Once you enroll and your enrollment is processed, you will be covered by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Student Blue Plan from August 1, 2020 through July 31, 2021. Completing the enrollment in a timely manner ensures that your coverage is activated and a card is sent out to you.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Student Blue Plan is a comprehensive health insurance plan. You can review the summary of coverage and benefits here or on the University Health Plans website.
If you are an undergraduate who is taking 9+ credit hours or a graduate student taking 7+ credit hours, the charge for insurance will show on your bill. If you are taking less than those credit hours, you are not eligible for the student health insurance program and not required to make a decision. In this case, the charge does not show up on your bill.
If you were just registered for coursework less than a day ago, it can sometimes take up to 48 business hours before you can go online to waive or enroll in the student health insurance. You might get an error saying that you're not in the system - just try again the next business day. If you still can't waive at that point, contact Student Financial Services.
If you aren't sure what the questions are asking, you can contact Student Accounts for clarification. However, if you aren't sure what your health insurance plan covers, you should contact your insurance company and go over the questions together when completing the waiver.
The Health Services Office requires certain medical records and documentation from new students, such an immunization records. This documentation is separate from the health insurance decision required by Student Accounts.
Even if your insurance coverage has not changed from last year, every student who meets the credit threshold for insurance is required to waive/enroll every year. This is a requirement of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Our bank will automatically redeposit your payment and if it is returned a second time, a $25 returned check fee will be added to the student's account. Your replacement check must be in the form of a bank check or money order.
Students are responsible for maintaining their permanent address on record with MCLA through the Student Records Office. You should contact them in writing with your change of address or visit the Student Records office to have the change made.
If your permanent/mailing address on your student record is accurate, but the billing statement needs to go to a different address, you may send an email to StudentAccounts@mcla.edu and request that a billing address be added to your record. You will need to send this email from your MCLA email address. Once you add a billing address, all of your future bills will be mailed to that address until you rescind it.

We take privacy very seriously in Student Financial Services. Due to Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations, we must have written permission from you if you want us to release information on your record to anyone besides you. We need written permission even if your family will be calling on your behalf.

You may fill out a FERPA release of information form electronically, or visit Student Accounts/Financial Aid to request a paper form. Only those you list on the FERPA form will be allowed to request information and you may rescind that authorization at any time. This FERPA release of information only extends to Student Financial Services.

Your tuition rate is determined by your residency at the time of admission.

  • If you are accepted as a Massachusetts resident, you will be charged in-state tuition.
  • If you are accepted as an out-of-state student, you will be charged out-of-state tuition.
  • If you are accepted as a New York or New England student, you will be charged out-of-state tuition but receive a discount that is reflected as a credit on your bill.

In-State Residency Appeals: Students who are deemed out-of-state but have become permanent Massachusetts residents for at least twelve consecutive months prior to the first day of classes are eligible to appeal their tuition rate. Documentation showing Massachusetts residency from twelve months prior is required, as well as a copy of your (and your parent's if dependent) federal and Massachusetts tax returns. For dependent students, residency is based off of their parent's residency. Living on-campus in the dorms does not count towards permanent residency. For more information or the form, contact Student Financial Services at 413-662-5230.

The Student Accounts Office is located in Eldridge Hall and staffed Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. The office may be reached at 413-662-5230 and our fax number is 413-662-5105. You may email the office at studentaccounts@mcla.edu.