Department of Children and Families (DCF) Adopted Child Tuition Waiver and Fee Assistance Program

The following is a brief description for students. Institutions should refer to the most recent guidelines for information.

Table of Contents

Overview

The DCF Adopted Child Tuition Waiver and Fee Assistance Program is designed to lessen the financial burden on adopting parents in the Commonwealth. This waiver extends eligibility to all children and young adults, age twenty-four or under, adopted through DCF by state employees or eligible Massachusetts residents, regardless of the date of adoption. The tuition and fee waiver encompasses 100% of tuition and fees for state-supported courses, subject to budgetary appropriation, at all of the Massachusetts public institutions of higher education, excluding graduate courses and courses in the MD program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

Additional Resources

Who Is Eligible?

To be eligible for the DCF Adopted Child Tuition Waiver and Fee Assistance Program, a student must:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen or non-citizen eligible under Title IV regulations.
  • Have applied for financial aid, using the standard Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Not be in default of any federal or state Student Loans for attendance at any institution or owe a refund for any previous financial aid received.
  • Be enrolled full time, half time, or part time in an eligible program or is taking an eligible course as defined.
  • Not have received a prior bachelor's degree or its equivalent.
  • Be maintaining satisfactory academic progress in accordance with institutional and federal standards.
  • Be twenty-four years of age or under at the start of the academic year.
  • Be in the custody of the DCF and have been adopted by an eligible Massachusetts state employee or by an eligible Massachusetts resident through the DCF.
    • Eligible state employees shall include all full- and part-time Massachusetts state government employees employed by the state, for at least six months at the time of the adoption. Employees must be working for the state at the time of the adoption and continued to be employed by the state for at least six months after the adoption.
    • Eligible Massachusetts residents shall include all individuals determined to be Massachusetts state residents at the time of adoption of the eligible student.

Please refer to the DCF Student Eligibility Checklist

Eligible Institutions

An eligible institution is within the system of public higher education under Section 5 Chapter 15A of the General Laws.

* An eligible course is any state-supported course offered by an institution at a public college or university, excluding all graduate courses and courses in the MD program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Eligible courses include those toward an undergraduate degree program, certificate program, short-term certificate program, and non-credit courses. Institutions are encouraged to develop waiver programs for eligible students that would provide a 50% tuition waiver for any non-state-supported course and/or certificate programs.

Award Amounts

Students eligible for the DCF Adopted Child Tuition Waiver and Fee Assistance program will be entitled to a tuition waiver and fee assistance equal to 100% of the resident rate, subject to budgetary appropriation, for eligible state-supported courses offered at the participating public higher education institutions.

View the full value of tuition waivers, by school, for a full-time student in the current academic year.

How to Apply

You must obtain eligibility documentation from the Department of Children and Families and present it to your campus financial aid office for consideration. Contact the DHE’s Office of Student Financial Assistance at (617) 391-6070 to obtain more information and to inquire about application requirements or deadlines.

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