Tuition and Financial Aid
Learn more about Merrimack’s tuition and fees and what the College is doing to assist students and families.
Merrimack College Tuition and Fees 2020 - 2021
Merrimack College tuition and fees for the academic year can be found here.
During the 2020–2021 academic year Merrimack College has invested an additional $7 million to assist students and their families who are struggling financially as a result of COVID-19. This further assistance has come through additional financial aid and student emergency funds for tuition assistance. In total Merrimack College has contributed approximately $88 million in institutional aid to help students and their families invest in their education.
Institutional aid is any type of aid provided by Merrimack College funding to help students finance their education. The allocation of financial assistance in the form of various student awards is determined as part of the overall review of the individual student’s total cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room and board) as well as the expected family contribution.
If a student decides to make a change in their residency status (i.e. living on campus, living off campus, living at home with family) this change may impact financial aid which includes merit based scholarships, institutional grants or federal/state funding. Students are encouraged to reach out to the Office of Financial Aid to understand how residency changes may impact their financial aid awards. Merrimack College reserves the right to make any changes to financial aid awards should student eligibility or cost of attendance change at any point during the 2020–2021 academic year.
Acceptable payment arrangements include an up-to-date payment plan or a certified loan through an outside alternative loan option. Payment plans can be set up with our partner Cashnet powered by Transcact by logging into the Student Account Center (SAC). Please contact the Bursar’s Office with any questions regarding acceptable payment arrangements at firstname.lastname@example.org or (978)-837-5105.
Merrimack understands that COVID-19 has both health and economic impacts on our community. In an effort to help students, the College has created two ways to identify those in need of assistance and is providing financial assistance where possible:
- If students’ financial situations have changed as a result of COVID-19, students are encouraged to contact the financial aid office in writing with an explanation of their situation.
- Additionally, the College has implemented a COVID-19 emergency fund that students are encouraged to apply for should their financial situations change during the 2020-2021 academic year.
To alleviate the extraordinary expenses of COVID-19, the College has reduced expenses, eliminated positions and reallocated more than $20 million dollars in its FY 2021 budget to mitigate against the spread of this disease and safely open the campus to ensure our students can successfully continue their education. We have also taken considerable operational steps to configure the campus to meet the challenges created by COVID-19. In addition to new expenses and reconfigured spaces, the extraordinary costs of safety measures, such as weekly testing and testing supplies, even with the budget cuts, are difficult to absorb. Therefore, the costs of testing need to be shared with students and a new temporary COVID-19 fee has been assessed to cover testing costs.
Mandatory COVID-19 Mitigation Fee
All undergraduate and graduate students taking in-person classes or participating in an on-campus fellowship or athletics will need to participate in the College’s COVID-19 testing program. All students who come to campus are required to have two COVID-19 tests per week. The College is not increasing the testing fee for the additional test – further subsidizing the costs associated with testing – each student will be required to pay a mitigation fee each semester. At the time of publication, the federal government is still considering some funding to colleges for testing. Should Merrimack receive funding for testing, it will share a portion of these funds with students by crediting student accounts. Having a separate and transparent mitigation fee will make any credits easier to identify should funding become available.
The COVID-19 fee is created to offset the cost of all aspects of testing for which the community as a whole benefits, including those who are temporarily not testing because they have tested positive. As a result all students, including those who have tested positive or vaccinated, are charged the COVID-19 testing fee.
At this time the Commonwealth is recommending that all vaccinated individuals continue to follow COVID-19 protocols regarding face coverings, social distancing, continue surveillance testing and follow existing quarantine rules should they be identified as a close contact of a positive case. As a result, at this time the College will not alter its current policies for those members of the community who have been vaccinated.
Full-Time Tuition and Comprehensive Fee
The full-time tuition and comprehensive fees are set for students, whether they are taking courses as part of the on-campus experience or engaging in fully remote learning. Please note that the full time tuition, comprehensive fee and mandatory COVID-19 mitigation fee will not be reduced should the College shutdown at any point or for any period of time during the academic year. With the cost associated with running the College being both higher and fixed as a result of COVID-19, and the continued delivery of academic course credits and degrees, Merrimack College will not be reducing these costs. The Fall 2020 semester had 14 residential weeks, and the Spring 2021 semester will have 15 residential weeks (both have 15 academic weeks).
Room and Board
Merrimack has simplified housing options for the 2020–2021 academic year. Dormitory Style Housing offers housing in Ash, Monican, and Deegans East and West. Apartment and Suite Style include St. Thomas and St. Ann, O’Brien, the Townhouses, North and South Residential Villages options and Royal Crest. All bedrooms have a maximum of two beds per bedroom. Single-bed bedrooms have a premium price assigned that is unique per bedroom. All students living in Merrimack housing (on campus or at Royal Crest) must purchase a meal plan. Starting in the academic year 2020–2021, all meal plans are priced the same, though students can determine the amount of meals versus Mack Bucks. Students living in units with kitchens must purchase a full meal plan, though the College now offers GrocersPod, that can be purchased with Mack Bucks. With the costs associated with running the College being both higher and fixed as a result of COVID-19, Merrimack College will not be reducing these costs in the event of a shutdown.
Student Health Insurance
Per state law, all students must have health insurance. The College provides the opportunity for students to purchase insurance if they so desire, or if they have no other alternative.
Cost Reductions for Students
Merrimack College’s refund schedule for the 2020–2021 Academic Year is as follows:
Spring semester refunds of tuition, room or board are made according to the following schedule:
- Within the first 15 days of the term - full refund - February 15, 2021
- After the 15th day of the term - no refund
Please note that there are no refunds for tuition or any fees (comprehensive fee, COVID-19 mitigation fee) nor a refund on room and board in the event that Merrimack College determines, at its sole discretion, that it must shut down and transition to remote learning. Further, students acknowledge that in the event of any changes the College deems necessary, tuition and fees and room and board are set for the year and will not be adjusted or refunded.
More information on refunds.
By registering for classes, students acknowledge and agree that Merrimack College reserves the right to modify all aspects of its programming (educational, both in-person and remote; extracurricular; and any other programs currently available, or created over the course of the 2020-2021 academic year) at its sole discretion, and in response to orders of civil authority or as a result of COVID-19 or other causes outside of its control. Further, students acknowledge that in the event of any changes the College deems necessary, tuition and fees and room and board are set for the year and will not be adjusted or refunded.
Addressing Financial Hardships
We recognize that some of our students and their families may be facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. Merrimack College is committed to working with students and families to provide additional financial assistance. Merrimack College has established a Student Emergency Fund for students seeking assistance during this trying time. Please visit the Student Emergency Fund website for more information. To date, more than $1.9 million has been granted to students in need.
Merrimack College was awarded $2.6 million in federal funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The amount of funds is determined by a combination of those students eligible for Pell Grants and the remainder of the student population (the U.S. Department of Education allocated 75 percent of the funds available in the act based on the full-time equivalent enrollment of Pell Grant recipients and the remaining 25 percent based on the full-time equivalent enrollment of students who did not receive a Pell Grant). The funds are split into two equal parts. One part, $1.3 million, is dedicated to institutional use to offset additional operational the costs associated with the pandemic. The College has elected to utilize these funds to offset expenses otherwise paid by students. While helpful, the CARES Act funds are significantly less than the costs associated with the institution’s response to the pandemic.
The second $1.3 million is funding for students to help defer costs directly related to COVID-19 expenses. The College will use these funds to establish a student emergency fund to assist students with COVID-19-related expenses. More information can be found on our website.
Congress recently passed, and the President has signed, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021. This act provides additional assistance to the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to provide funds to both students and institutions. At publication of this Handbook, the allocation to Merrimack College and its students is being determined. In the meantime, Merrimack encourages those students who have costs directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic to continue to apply to the College’s Student Emergency Fund.