Massachusetts Student Loans And Financial Aid Programs
Massachusetts has several private student loan and financial aid programs that can help you pay for college. If you're going to be attending college in Massachusetts, you need to be looking to take advantage of these programs.
These programs are designed to help make college more affordable - so that you can get the education you need. These programs can include scholarships, grants, and student loans.
Don't forget that there are Federal student loan programs available as well. You can find out more on how to get a Federal student loan here.
There is also a specific order of operations to pay for college that we recommend students follow. These programs specific to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts can help you to avoid borrowing more money than you need to.
Massachusetts Student Loan Programs
Massachusetts has a No Interest Student Loan Program to provide needy Massachusetts residents attending post-secondary educational institutions in Massachusetts with a state-funded loan. The NIL program offers zero interest loans to assist students in meeting educational costs. Students have a period of 10 years to repay their NIL loans.
There is a lifetime borrowing limit of $20,000 for this loan program.
You can learn more about the Massachusetts No Interest Loan Program here.
Massachusetts also has a lender - MEFA - the Massachusetts Education Financing Authority. Learn more about what MEFA offers here.
If you're just looking for private student loan options, we recommend:
- Credible - Like the Kayak of student loans, they help you shop around and compare options. Try Credible here.
- Commonbond - One of the best private student loan lenders. Try Commonbond here.
For more private student loan options, check out our list of the best private student loans.
Massachusetts Scholarship Programs
Massachusetts has several scholarships available to students who want to attend college in the state.
Agnes M. Lindsay Scholarship
The Agnes M. Lindsay Scholarship provides scholarships for students with demonstrated financial need who are from rural areas of Massachusetts and attend public institutions of higher education within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Individual award amounts may vary.
Learn more about the Agnes M. Lindsay Scholarship.
Christian A. Herter Memorial Scholarship Program
The Christian A. Herter Memorial Scholarship Program was established in 1972 by the Massachusetts State Legislature to recruit students in the 10th and 11th grades whose socio-economic backgrounds and environmental conditions may inhibit their ability to attain educational goals. The students that are selected for this program must have overcome major adversity in their lives (i.e. physical or mental abuse, catastrophic illness, etc.). Obstacles may be mental, physical, geographic or societal.
Massachusetts students who demonstrate academic promise and desire to attend post-secondary institutions may receive up to 50% of their calculated need at the college of their choice within the continental United States.
Scholarship awards vary and are based on educational cost, including tuition, room, board, required fees, books and transportation.
Learn more about the Christian A. Herter Memorial Scholarship.
Early Childhood Educators Scholarship
The Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Program was funded as a pilot initiative by the Legislature for the purpose of increasing the quality and availability of teachers and care providers to work with young children and youth in inclusive settings including infant/toddler, preschool and school age programs. The scholarship is designed to provide financial assistance for currently employed early childhood and out of school time educators and providers who enroll in an associate's, bachelor's or master's degree program in Early Childhood Education or related programs.
This awards a maximum of $4,500 per semester.
Learn more about the Early Childhood Educators Scholarship.
Massachusetts High Demand Scholarship Program
The Massachusetts High Demand Scholarship Program was created by the Massachusetts Legislature to support economic growth and development. The purpose is to encourage degree completion in high demand disciplines that will help address the workforce needs of the Commonwealth by providing scholarship assistance to support the educational costs of students pursuing such programs of study.
This awards up to $4,000 per year.
Learn more about the Massachusetts High Demand Scholarship Program.
John and Abigail Adams Scholarship
The John and Abigail Adams Scholarship is a merit-based program that provides a tuition waiver for up to eight semesters of undergraduate education at a Massachusetts state college or university. For this scholarship, merit is based on student scores on the 10th grade Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test.
The current award maximum is $1,700.
Learn more about the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship.
One Family Scholarship Program
The One Family Scholarship Program was established by the Massachusetts Legislature to assist heads of households in achieving their academic goals. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide the opportunity for a permanent path out of poverty through the pursuit of higher education. Recipients of this scholarship receive an integrated network of services through the non-profit organization, One Family, Inc., whose mission is to serve residents of the Commonwealth who are low-income and homeless, or have experienced homelessness within the prior year.
Scholarships may be awarded to cover tuition and fees and related living expenses during the period of enrollment.
Learn about the One Family Scholarship.
Paul Tsongas Scholarship
The Paul Tsongas Scholarship is a merit-based program that rewards Massachusetts students with a grade point average (G.P.A.) of 3.75 and highly competitive Scholastic Aptitude Test (S.A.T.) scores of at least 1200 (or the American College Testing [A.C.T.] equivalent).
Eligible students receive a waiver of tuition and mandatory fees at a Massachusetts state university.
Learn about the Paul Tsongas Scholarship.
Massachusetts Grant Programs
Massachusetts also has a grant program to provide need based financial aid to Massachusetts residents.
Grants are one of the best forms of financial aid because, in most circumstances, you don't have to pay the money back.
The MASSGrant program is funded by the state Legislature and provides need-based financial assistance to undergraduate students who reside in Massachusetts. Students must be enrolled in and pursuing a program of higher education in any approved public or independent college, university, school of nursing or any other approved institution.
The award amounts vary based on Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
You can learn more about the MASSGrant.
Foster Child Grant
The Foster Child Grant Program was funded by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2001. It provides grants of up to $6000 annually for foster children to help pay for an education beyond high school at any college or university throughout the continental United States. The grant recipient must have signed an agreement with the Department of Children and Families for care and services beyond age 18.
Learn about the Foster Child Grant.
Massachusetts Public Service Grant
The Massachusetts Public Service Grant was established for students who have experienced the loss of a parent and/or spouse who is killed or missing in the line of public service duty in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Public Service Grant Program is the only scholarship program not based on demonstrated financial need, but rather entitlement.
For a student attending a Massachusetts public college or university, the award shall be equal to the cost of the institution's full time annual tuition charges.
For a student attending a Massachusetts Independent College or University, the award shall be equal to the full time annual tuition charge at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Learn about the Massachusetts Public Service Grant.
If you already have student loans and are looking for options as a Massachusetts resident, check out our Massachusetts Student Loan Forgiveness Program page. That page has all the different options available to Massachusetts residents to potentially get some of your student loan debt forgiven.
You might also look at refinancing your student loans and saving money in interest while also potentially lowering your payment. Check out our guide on the Best Places To Refinance Your Student Loans.
If you're looking for ways to save for college in Massachusetts, check out the Massachusetts 529 Plan and College Savings Guide.
Finally, check out the other student loan and financial aid programs by state.