Massachusetts Financial Aid
Massachusetts is the oldest college town in the United States. Harvard University, the most prestigious college in the country, is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Regardless of whether a student attends Harvard or any other college in Massachusetts, he should be able to find financial aid to help pay for the costs of college tuition and fees.
Massachusetts Scholarships and Grants
The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) administers the state scholarship, grant and other financial aid packages. Here is a list of scholarships offered by the OSFA:
- Foster Child Grant Program: This $6,000 award is offered to students under the age of 24 who are or were in the state’s foster care program.
- MASSGrant Program: Undergraduate students pursuing a certificate or degree are eligible to apply for this program. Students must have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of between $0 and $5273.
- Cash Grant Program: Students pursuing their first bachelors degree in need of additional financial aid may receive additional funding from this program. The grant is designed to cover mandatory fees and non-state-supported tuition.
- Part-Time Grant Program: This scholarship was established to address the growing number of part-time students in the state. In order to be completely eligible for this program, you must demonstrate financial need and not have already earned a bachelors degree or professional degree.
- Public Service Grant Program: Students must be the child or spouse of a public service officer who was killed or missing in the line of duty.
- Paraprofessional Teacher Preparation Grant Program: In order to be eligible for this grant program, students must currently be working in a Massachusetts public school as a paraprofessional teacher, and have the desire to return to school to get their full teachers license. This is not based on financial need.
- Massachusetts Educational Rewards Grant Program: This is a last resort grant program for students who exhibit great financial need. Specifically, the student must be either be unemployed, or employed and be below 200% of the federal poverty level.
- Agnes M. Lindsay Scholarship Program: Students from rural areas of Massachusetts who demonstrate financial need and enroll in a Massachusetts college or university are eligible to apply for this scholarship.
- Christian A. Herter Scholarship Program: Students at risk of not having the finances to fund their education, and who have overcome strong adversity in their lives are encouraged to apply. Although this is a need-based grant, the student must have at least a 2.5 GPA.
- John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Program: The student must receive an advanced score in either the Mathematics or the English language arts section of the grade 10 Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test and have a combined MCAS score that ranks in the top 25% of their school district.
- Paul Tsongas Scholarship Program: This is a merit-based scholarship determined by GPA, SAT or ACT scores.
- Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Program: This scholarship is designed to help current early childhood teachers return to school in order to earn a degree in early childhood education, or a related field such as elementary education, sociology, or psychology.
- One Family Scholars Program: Established to help end the cycle of poverty and homelessness for single mothers and their children. This unique program provides funding for tuition and living expenses in addition to providing therapy and workshops on careers and finances in order to ensure complete success of the students.
- DSS Tuition Waiver for Foster Care Children: Foster children who were not adopted or returned to their homes are eligible for this program that waives the total tuition for students under the age of 24 who have not yet received a bachelors degree.
- Adopted Children Tuition Waiver: Students under the age of 24 who were adopted through the Department of Social Services are eligible for this tuition waiver program.
- Graduate Tuition Waiver: Established to encourage graduate students to attend a Massachusetts public college or university.
- Incentive Program for Aspiring Teachers Program: This tuition waiver program is designed for students who are enrolled in college with a 3.0 GPA and have decided to gain certification in a field where there is a demonstrated teacher shortage in Massachusetts. The student must agree to teach for two years in the state.
- Valedictorial Tuition Waiver Program: Recent high school graduates who were designated valedictorian are eligible for this tuition waiver program if they attend a public college or university in Massachusetts.
- Gilbert Matching Student Grant Program (GMSGP): The student must be enrolled at a participating Massachusetts college and demonstrate financial need in order to be eligible.
- Performance Bonus Grant Program: MASSGrant recipients who are still in need of financial assistance may be eligible for this grant program. This is designed specifically to help the most needy students in Massachusetts.
- Match and Science Teachers Scholarship Program: Math and science teachers who are working at a Massachusetts public school under a preliminary license, waiver or are outside their licensed area and are interested in returning to school to get a Massachusetts license are eligible for this scholarship.
- Career Advancement Program Tuition Waiver: After a teacher has working in the Massachusetts public school system for three years and passed all components of the Massachusetts Teacher Test are eligible to receive this tuition waiver that provides the student with the opportunity to receive three tuition-free state-supported graduate courses.
- Collaborative Teachers Tuition Waiver: Under this program, if a teacher becomes a mentor for a full-time student teacher, they receive one graduate-level. The more people they mentor, the greater number of courses they can take.
- Hurricane Katrina Emergency Tuition Waiver: Students displaced from their homes due to the Hurricane Katrina disaster are eligible to receive this tuition waiver if they are attending an undergraduate program at a public college or university in Massachusetts.
- High Technology Scholar/Intern Tuition Waiver: This is designed to encourage colleges to seek funding from business and industry in order to fund scholarships for computer and information science, technology and engineering. To be eligible for funding the college receives, a student must enroll in an eligible program at a participating school.
- Joint Admissions Tuition Advantages Waiver Program: The student must be a graduate of a Massachusetts public community college , participated in the Joint Admissions Program and who is now enrolled at a state college or University of Massachusetts campus. This award covers 33% of the student’s resident tuition.
- Need Based Tuition Waiver Program: This is a program based on financial need established to help students who may otherwise not be able to attend college.
- Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery Tuition Waiver Program: In order to receive the Stanley S. Koplik Certificate of Mastery, the student must have high MCAS scores and be recognized in other areas of academic achievement.
- September 11, 2001 Tragedy Tuition Waiver Program: Children or spouses of victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks are eligible to receive this 100% tuition waiver.
- UMASS Exchange Tuition Waiver Program: This program allows students to attend a participating college at no cost, while a student from that school will attend the University of Massachusetts with a tuition waiver, or at the cost of in-state rates to their home college.
- Categorical Tuition Waiver: In order to receive this tuition waiver, the student must be one of the following:
- Native American
- Senior Citizen
- Armed Forces
- Clients of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission or Commission for the Blind
Scholarships from Massachusetts Colleges and Universities
The next place for Massachusetts students to look for scholarships is at the school they are attending. Massachusetts colleges and universities offer scholarships to enrolled students based on a number of criteria including financial need, merit, special talents, ethnic background, department a combination of these items and more. The following colleges and universities offer exclusive scholarship opportunities:
To see a list of scholarships offered by your school, visit its financial aid department. Often colleges will post their scholarship opportunities online, and may even have applications on the site as well.
Determining what city in Massachusetts you attend college will help you narrow down which scholarships and grants you qualify to apply to. The top five cities in Massachusetts with the greatest number of colleges are Boston, Cambridge, Worcester, Brockton and Lowell.
Other Scholarships in Massachusetts
Students may also look for scholarships in Massachusetts in order to
- Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts Scholarships: A database with over 100 scholarships and grants offered to students from the area.
- PHCC Auxiliary of Massachusetts Scholarship: A $1,500 scholarship offered to high school seniors who are residents of the state and are enrolled in a full-time undergraduate degree.
- The Carol DiMaiti Scholarship: Students in their second or third year of law school and demonstrate financial need in combination with academic achievements are eligible for this scholarship.
- Massachusetts AFL-CIO Scholarship: In order to receive this scholarship, students must pass the Labor History Exam, which is administered once a year.
- Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts: A list of scholarships offered to residents of the area.
- Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts: A small database of scholarships and grants offered to students in the region.
Massachusetts Student Loans
The Massachusetts No Interest Loan is designed for full-time undergraduate students demonstrate significant financial need and have exhausted all other financial aid options. This loan is unique because, as the name suggests, it does not accrue interest, so the student only repays the amount that they receive.