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Massachusetts Scholarships and Financial Aid

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

A high school senior’s last year is usually filled with search for money to continue his or her post-secondary education. Whether you decide that you want to attend UMassOnline, the online schools of the University of Massachusetts, or that you want to attend the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, you may be able to get financial assistance.

Massachusetts Scholarships and Financial Aid: Your Best Options

There are Massachusetts scholarships and financial aid programs that fit students of all backgrounds and interests. Here are the main types of scholarships and financial aid offered by Massachusetts:

  • Federal grants and loans
  • Massachusetts state grants and scholarships
  • Massachusetts university- and college-supported financial aid
  • Other scholarships offered by Massachusetts organizations, corporations, and foundations

Federal Financial Aid for Massachusetts Students

Massachusetts students are eligible to receive federal financial aid. The U.S. Government provides grants and loans to students with financial need. To see if you qualify, submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is available January 1, the year before the year in which you need aid. Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible because federal aid programs are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

The national deadline for the FAFSA is usually June 30, the year you are receiving the aid. The Massachusetts state deadline is May 1, by midnight Central Daylight Time. Your school may also have a FAFSA deadline. Check with your financial aid/scholarship office to make sure you meet all your deadlines.

Your financial aid/scholarship office will decide how much financial assistance you need by looking at your expected family contribution calculated from your FAFSA. If you qualify, you may be offered a financial aid package with grants, which you do not need to be paid back, and low-interest loans, which do need to be paid back.

Massachusetts State Financial Aid Programs

Massachusetts offers many financial aid programs to help their students. Massachusetts financial aid programs include grants, scholarships, and tuition waivers. Most of these programs require students to file the FAFSA. Here are the available programs:

Foster Child Grant
This $6,000 annual grant is for foster children who are Massachusetts residents under the age of 24. To apply, talk to your financial aid office or your social work department.

Residents of Massachusetts attending an accredited post-secondary institution are eligible for this need-based grant.

Massachusetts Cash Grant
This supplemental grant program was designed to assist students with financial need.

Massachusetts Part-Time Grant
To be eligible for this part-time grant, you must have been a resident of Massachusetts for one year before the start of the school year.

Massachusetts Public Service Grant
This grant is offered to help the families of those who died or went missing in public service. To be eligible, students must have been a resident of Massachusetts for one year before the start of the school year. Download an application here. The deadline is May 1.

Paraprofessional Teacher Preparation Grant
Paraprofessionals in the Massachusetts school system who want to pursue their teaching credentials are eligible for this grant. Applicants must be Massachusetts residents. File a FAFSA and download an application here*

Educational Rewards Grant
This grant supports low-income workers who want to pursue a post-secondary education in order to find better work. File a FAFSA and download an application here.

Agnes M. Lindsay Scholarship
Students from rural areas of Massachusetts who are attending post-secondary institutions in Massachusetts are eligible for this scholarship. Applicants must be legal residents of Massachusetts for at least one year to qualify.

Christian A. Herter Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship is available to students who have financial need and show academic promise. Applicants must be legal residents of Massachusetts. Download an application here.

John and Abigail Adams Scholarship
Residents of Massachusetts are eligible for this non-need-based scholarship. Please see website for specific requirements on state test scores. Students will be notified if they qualify.

Paul Tsongas Scholarship
Students who graduated from high school in three years with a 3.75 GPA are qualified for this scholarship. Applicants must have been a Massachusetts resident for one year prior to the start of the current school year. See your financial aid office for application.

Early Childhood Educators Scholarship
Massachusetts residents who are early childhood educators who wish to pursue a post-secondary degree in a related program qualify for this scholarship. File a FAFSA and apply here.

One Family Inc. Scholarship Program
This Massachusetts scholarship is available to low-income women who are working and attending a post-secondary institution. For more information, please refer to the website. Applications for the 2009/2010 school year starts in December.

Math and Science Teachers Scholarship
Residents of Massachusetts who are teachers teaching math or science out of their field of expertise or are teaching math or science under certification other than teaching certification are eligible for this scholarship. This Massachusetts scholarship was designed to support future certified math and science teachers.

Massachusetts has a large number of waivers for students from all different backgrounds. Tuition waivers waive part or all of your tuition so you do not have to pay for it. Listed here are just a few of the ones students may qualify for:

DSS Foster Child Tuition Waiver
Foster children under state custody are eligible for this waiver. See your financial aid office for application procedures.

DSS Adopted Children Tuition Waiver
Students who were adopted through the Massachusetts Department of Social Services are eligible for this waiver. Talk to your financial aid office for application procedures.

Graduate Tuition Waiver
Students who are enrolled in a graduate program at a Massachusetts post-secondary institution. To apply, see your financial aid office.

Incentive Program For Aspiring Teachers Tuition Waiver
This waiver is offered to students who wish to pursue teaching certification in Massachusetts. Students participating in the program are required to give two years of service to a Massachusetts school after certification. Talk to your financial aid office for application procedures.

Valedictorian Program Tuition Waiver
Students who are valedictorians in their high schools are eligible for this scholarship. To apply, talk to your financial aid office.

Massachusetts University and College Scholarships

Massachusetts financial aid also comes in the form of individual university and college scholarships. Universities and colleges offer scholarships to students attending their campuses on the basis of need, merit, leadership/community service, major, ethnic background, and special ability. Most universities and colleges offer merit-based scholarships through the admissions office, which means you do not have submit applications other than your application for admission into the school. Other scholarships, such as department-sponsored scholarships, scholarships for continuing students, and scholarships given to students with talents, usually require applications from the department, financial aid office, or an outside source. Check with your financial aid/scholarship office for possible scholarships and application procedures.

Other Scholarships for Massachusetts Students

Organizations, businesses, and foundations in Massachusetts offer scholarships to support students. Here is a list of some of the scholarships out there:

Massachusetts Association of Women Lawyers
Award: The Carol DiMaiti Scholarship Award (at least $1,000 per year)
Requirements: Second or third year law student attending a law school in Massachusetts
Deadline: Around April

Massachusetts Police Association
Award: $1,000
Requirements: Children of Massachusetts Police Association members who are active, retired, or passed away are qualified.
Deadline: March 31
Application: Download an application here

Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, Inc.
Award: 11 scholarships available to high school seniors, undergraduates, and graduates
Requirements: Applicants must be Massachusetts residents and majoring in a related field.
Deadline: March 31
Application: Download an application here.

Massachusetts AFL-CIO
Award: 15 AFL-CIO scholarships and many labor union scholarships.
Requirements: Applicants must be Massachusetts resident to qualify for the AFL-CIO scholarships and children of union members to qualify for union scholarships. Students must take the Labor History Exam in February.
Deadline: December (check website for current deadline)
Application: Download an application for the Labor History Exam here.

Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association Educational Foundation
Award: One $1,500 scholarship
Requirement: Student must a high school senior who will be attending an accredited four-year post-secondary institution full-time.
Deadline: May 1
Application: Download an application here or call (800) 533-7694 to request one.

Three Things to Remember About Massachusetts Financial Aid and Scholarships

  • The state of Massachusetts offers a large number of grants and scholarships to residents of Massachusetts. Make sure you are aware of which ones you may qualify for.
  • Tuition waivers are another form of financial aid offered by the state of Massachusetts. Check to see if you qualify for any.
  • Local scholarships may be easier to win than national or state-wide scholarships. Check in your area for organizations, businesses, and foundations that offer scholarships.

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