Office of Student Financial Services

billing and payment 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

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

Please refer to our Explanation of Fees. It describes all of our fees, including the Campus Support Fee.

We bill by semester. Fall semester bills are emailed in early July and are due in early August.  Spring semester bills are emailed 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).

Students will receive their bill via email directly to their MCLA email address. It is the responsibility of the student to provide a copy of this email to the payer of tuition. Paper bills are not mailed.

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.

Debit/credit card payments have a non-refundable 2.95% service charge, with a minimum fee of $3.00. Cash, personal checks, money orders, and online ACH payments are fee free.

Bills may also be satisfied by financial aid, alternative student loans, and the monthly payment plan.

Students can access the online payment page in three ways:

  • Going to the MCLA Portal, clicking the "Student Academics" drop down menu, then clicking "Pay Your Bill."
  • Visiting the Student Accounts website and clicking "Student: Pay Bill Online."
  • Clicking this link. (You must be signed into the MCLA Portal to have access.)

Online payments can be in the form of a debit/credit card or via ACH. If you elect to pay by credit card, a non-refundable PayPath service charge will be added to your card payment. This charge is 2.95% for domestic transactions and 4.25% for international transactions, both with a minimum amount of $3.00.

ACH payments are fee free.

MCLA does not accept any payments over the phone. However, if you are having trouble paying online, please contact Student Financial Services for help!

Please refer to Adding an Authorized User for detailed instructions.

You may always view your account online in real-time by accessing the Online Bill Payment page, but you may request to have a new eBill be sent to your MCLA email by contacting Student Financial Services.

If you accepted your financial aid offer, it will show your accepted aid as a credit 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 your aid will be credited. (You will receive instructions if you have this requirement!)

If you believe you have accepted aid but it is not listed on your bill, contact Student Financial Services at 413-662-5230 or

You may enroll in an interest-free monthly payment plan through Nelnet. For costs, schedules, or to enroll, visit There is non-refundable enrollment fee of $50.00 per semester to enroll. You may pay in 5, 4, or 3 installments in the fall semester and 4 or 3 installments for spring semester.

Students enrolled in the payment plan have scheduled, automatic payments with fixed dates. All payments are processed directly through Nelnet.

MCLA does not offer a monthly payment plan for the summer term.

If you received your bill and it has a negative balance, it means your financial aid exceeds your charges and you will be receiving a refund. Student refunds are issued after all the funds have been applied to the account. This typically occurs mid-semester.

If you have a negative balance and you are enrolled in the monthly payment plan, your payment plan will be adjusted.

If you are financial aid recipient who is not fully registered for the coursework you indicated you would be enrolled in on the FAFSA, your Banner Self Service account may incorrectly show a negative balance. (e.g. You indicated you would be full-time on the FAFSA, but are only registered for 10 credit hours.) In such instances, the eBill that you received should have the correct balance. If you will be staying at the number of credits you are registered for, you must notify Student Financial Services as your financial aid package will need to be recalculated. An adjusted bill will be sent out.

There are a few reasons why your Banner Self Service account may not match your eBill. Generally, Banner Self Service is live, while the eBill is a .pdf generated on a certain date.

In the upper left-hand corner of the eBill, you will see the bill date and due date. If you are looking at Banner after this date, you could have incurred an additional charge, such as a room change or a fine, that increased your balance. You may have also recently accepted financial aid that was not listed on your previous paper bill.

If you are a financial aid recipient who indicated that you would be registered full-time (12+ credit hours) and are not registered full-time, your Banner Self Service account may be incorrect. If you believe this applies to you, please contact Student Financial Services to discuss your account. In these cases, the eBill is manually created and reflects the number of credits your financial aid is based on. This also applies to students who indicate that they will be 3/4 or 1/2 time, but are not registered for their indicated coursework.

As a general rule, if you're unsure why your account has a mismatch, you should contact Student Financial Services. We will gladly go over the account with you!

MCLA has partnered with BankMobile (BMTX) to offer student e-refunds. New students are sent an activation code from BankMobile to set up an account at Students can choose to have their refund deposited into an existing bank account or may elect to open a BankMobile Vibe Checking account.

Please refer to our Student Refund page if you would like to learn more.

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. Book advance requests are fulfilled during the add/drop period by appointment only. Please refer to our Book Advance page for information on the process and how to request one. 

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

Upon admission to the College, students living on campus enter a three-year residency requirement. This residency requirement determines the meal plan eligibility, but generally, students living on campus are required to have a food plan. 

Details for the 2024-2025 meal plans are not yet available. Please check back soon for more information!

No. Your food 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, come to Student Financial Services with your ID card!

Food plans are required for all on-campus students, regardless of their choice of residence hall. The availability of plan options is based on their residency requirement.

If there is a medical need/concern and you would like to inquire about the process of a medical meal plan, please email for more information. Medical meal plans must be renewed each academic year.

If you have a dietary restriction or medical reason for not being able to utilize the dining facilities on campus, please email 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 you a revised statement when we receive your health insurance waiver. You may 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 may call or email to request one.

If you attempt to waive the insurance, but the website is telling you that you're ineligible to waive, it's could be related to how you're answering the questions. Go back to the waiver and carefully read the questions. You may contact Student Financial Services 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 must enroll in the student health insurance program.

If you aren't sure what the questions are asking, you may contact Student Financial Services 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.

Student Financial Services cannot advise you how to answer the questions.

If your coverage through MassHealth is in good standing and not a limited MassHealth plan, you may 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 must 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.

2024-2025 Academic Year: Once you enroll and your enrollment is processed, you will be covered by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Student Blue Plan from August 1, 2024 through July 31, 2025. 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.


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 Financial Services.

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 $25.00 returned check fee will be added to the student's account.

In instances of multiple returned payments, your replacement payment may be required to be in the form of a bank check or money order.

We take privacy very seriously at MCLA. Due to the 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 Information Release online, or visit Student Financial Services to request a paper form. Only those you list on the FERPA Information Release will be allowed to request information and you may rescind that authorization at any time. This documents only extends to Student Financial Services, and those listed on this form will not be permitted access to information from other departments.

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.

Student Financial Services 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