Financial Aid Resources
Photo courtesy of Holyoke Community College
Below is a brief overview of a few of the many financial assistance programs that are available to eligible community college students. Aid is based on need, educational background, area of study and a host of other variables. For more details contact the institution you attend or plan on attending.
TAP- Tuition Advantage Program was designed to help community college graduates with a GPA of 3.0 or better save money when they transfer to a Massachusetts four year university. Students participating in the TAP program receive a tuition reduction of 33 percent during their first year of transfer and can maintain that discount for an extra year if their first-year GPA is 3.0 or better. Only students enrolled in the Joint Admission Program can take advantage of the Tuition Advantage Program. Click here for more information.
Access Grant Program- The Massachusetts Community College Access Grant Program significantly reduces the tuition and fees at community colleges for students enrolled in an associate degree program. Individuals with a household income of $36,000 or less can receive financial assistance sufficient to meet the full cost of tuition and fees. Students with a household income of more than $36,000 can also qualify for financial assistance.
Federal & State Grants- Grant monies awarded to students are preferable to loans because there is no obligation to repay. Grants range from awards of $100-$4000 per academic year. Typically, these grants are combined with other forms of financial aid. Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Massachusetts State Scholarships, Massachusetts Tuition Cash Waiver Program, and Massachusetts Tuition Grants are available to students. For the most up-to-date information regarding these programs, call the financial aid office at your community college.
Loan Programs- Loans allow students to borrow money in order to pay for the cost of tuition. There are long-term, low-interest, variable-interest and no-interest loans available. Contact your college's financial aid office for more information.
Work Programs & Scholarships- A federal work-study program administered by the colleges is available to students wishing to earn extra money by working part time to meet the cost of college expenses. Typically, students may work 10-15 hours per week during the spring and fall semesters and up to 20 hours per week in the summer. More information regarding these programs can be obtained through the financial aid office at the institution that you decide to attend.
Scholarship programs vary from one college to another. We suggest you meet with a financial aid counselor at your college or contact the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Aid to discuss the types of scholarships available and your eligibility.