Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 77.56
Liaison Ruairi O'Mahony
Submission Date Feb. 15, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Massachusetts Lowell
PA-7: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.75 / 4.00 Kerri Johnston
Dean of Enrollment Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:

A brief description of any policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students:

UMass Lowell provides need-based student employment for qualifying students with financial aid work awards.

A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

UMass Lowell's Office of Multicultural Affairs core service is providing holistic support and advocacy to students utilizing a cross-cultural competency framework. We have a commitment towards advancing social justice and community empowerment, as well as assisting in the development of a campus inclusive of all students, staff, and faculty.

We focus on:

Support/advising/coaching/advocacy on a variety of student topics, needs and concerns from personal, financial, academic, career, cultural, etc.
Student development related topics
Campus connections for students, faculty, staff, and organizations
Community building and partnerships across campus to facilitate an inclusive campus culture


Office of Multicultural Affairs programs are designed to foster inquiry, enhance critical thinking and experiential learning, build community and strengthen leadership skills. We welcome you to get involved with any of our programs. Click to learn more about:

Ally Space
Diversity Peer Educator Program
Faculty and Staff of Color Network
Invisible Identity Series
MLK Week
Multicultural Programming Committee
Student Committee on Fostering Inclusive Communities
Training and Workshops

A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide and prepare students and families from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

• College Access Challenge Grant First Year Transition Program - The grant is housed and working under the Centers for Learning and Academic Support Services. The grant provides ongoing case management and support to students who are first generation, economically disadvantaged or otherwise in need of help, over their first year in college. The services will include case management, one-on-one meetings, ongoing contact through email, social media (texting, Facebook and twitter), facilitation of access to support services such as tutoring or counseling. These services are offered as resources to be sure students are submitting required information, registering for classes on time, completing FAFSA and other financial aid or scholarship forms, and integrating into the college through participation in activities.
• Bottom Line – UMass Lowell partners with Bottom Line which works to address the low college graduation rates of at-risk urban youth. Bottom Line offers an Access Program which begins during a student’s junior/senior year of high school and provides them with a Bottom Line Counselor that helps them prepare a list of potential schools, write essays, complete applications, apply for financial aid, search for scholarships and select a suitable college. This is followed by the Success Program which provides guidance to students who enroll in commonly attended regional colleges. Transitional programming includes group workshops of college academics and culture, assistance with enrollment, housing, class registration, financial aid advising and general problem solving.
• Let’s Get Ready – UMass Lowell partners with Let’s Get Ready which works to address the inequalities and obstacles low-income students face in attaining a college education, empowering them to reach opportunity and success. Let’s Get Ready offers a 9-week SAT and College Preparation program as well as on-going workshops and other support services focusing on such topics as career exploration, completion of financial aid forms, application essays, successful transitions to college life and more are offered throughout the year.

A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

A variety of need-based scholarships are offered to low-income students, as demonstrated by this website: http://www.uml.edu/FinancialAid/scholarships/default.aspx

A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

Recognizing time and cost barriers that low-income college students face, UMass Lowell is designing a three-year pathway to a bachelor’s degree and since 2007, has expanded its efforts to increase access to higher education for underrepresented populations, which research shows face the greatest challenges in attaining a college degree, by raising millions of dollars for scholarships. During that timeframe, the university has seen the enrollment by students who identify themselves as being from diverse backgrounds more than double.

A brief description of the institution’s other policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) is uniquely positioned as a hub and a resource that services students, staff, and faculty from underrepresented backgrounds while leading diversity related efforts for the campus community. OMA's three-tiered model is grounded in:

Support & Advocacy: individualized support on personal, academic, and professional goals & advocacy in culturally affirming ways.

Education & Awareness: safe spaces and opportunities for dialogue, education, and awareness building that gives voice to all our identities and challenges our traditional ways of thinking and knowing

Community Building: meaningful partnerships and collaborations that build upon and nurture a caring and inclusive community through service learning initiatives, leadership, knowledge-sharing and dialogue opportunities


The Mission of the Office of Multicultural Affairs is to create an inclusive campus community that promotes social justice and diversity. We serve and support all members of our community, particularly individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. Using a student-centered approach, our office strives to create change and transformation through programming, initiatives and support.


Become change agents who strive for creating and equitable and inclusive environment
Engage in programs, services and initiatives that offer social justice and diversity learning opportunities
Develop multicultural awareness in preparation to be global thinkers
Participate in social entrepreneurship and civic engagement to be leaders in their community
Experience support, mentorship and resources from our office
Receive academic, professional and personal support

Does the institution have policies and programs to support non-traditional students?:

A brief description of the institution’s scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:

The following is a list of scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:

Continuing Education Deans Scholarship
Leo F. King Scholarship
Professor Bernard and Diana Shapiro Scholarship
ASL Adult Education Scholarships
Veterans Online and Off-Campus Scholarship

The majority of non-traditional students at UMass Lowell are transfer students. UMass Lowell recently increased its financial aid targeted toward transfer students by over $1 million in 2014 with a goal to meet a minimum of 85% need of all transfer students.

A brief description of the institution’s on-site child care facility, partnership with a local facility, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:


A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:

The Office of Residence Life worked with several faculty and staff including the advisor to the Navigators student group to create a 12-month housing option. For non-traditional students, students without families, or students who prefer not to go home for breaks, this option allows them to select an apartment-style suite for a full calendar year. Students who select a 12-month option do not have the stress of figuring out where they will live for winter break, summer break, etc. Also, the 12-month option does not require students to have a meal plan – giving them the flexibility and money to plan their own meals.

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (tracking accessibility and affordability)? (If data is not available, select 'No'):

The percentage of entering students that are low-income (0-100):

The graduation/success rate for low-income students (0-100):

On average, the percentage of need that was met for students who were awarded any need-based aid (e.g. as reported to the U.S. Common Data Set initiative, item H2) (0-100):

The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt or for whom no out-of-pocket tuition is required (i.e. the percentage of graduates who have not taken out interest-bearing loans) (0-100):

Estimated percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students (0-100):

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.