The Massachusetts No Interest Loan (NIL) program was created 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.
Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for a Massachusetts No Interest Loan, a student must:
- Be a permanent legal resident of Massachusetts for one year prior to the start of the academic year for which the loan is awarded.
- 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).
- Be in compliance with Selective Service Registration.
- 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 (at least 12 credits or its equivalent) in a certificate, associate’s or bachelor’s degree program at an eligible institution.
- Not have received a prior bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
- Be maintaining satisfactory academic progress in accordance with institutional and federal standards.
- Demonstrate financial aid need as determined by the federal methodology need analysis criteria.
An eligible institution is defined as a state approved public, private, independent, for profit or non-profit, issuing associate’s and/or bachelor’s degrees or certificate programs. The institution must be located in Massachusetts, and have signed a Participation Agreement with the DHE’s Office of Student Financial Assistance. The institution must also be eligible to participate in federal Title IV programs and fully accredited.
The minimum initial NIL award a student can receive is $1,000, with a maximum award amount of $4,000 per academic year. NIL award amounts are determined according to financial need. A NIL eligible student has a lifetime borrowing limit of $20,000.
How to Apply
Visit the Federal Student Aid website to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Contact your financial aid office for additional application requirements and deadlines.
Students who are awarded a NIL loan are ultimately required to sign a promissory note agreeing to all NIL terms and conditions, prior to disbursement of funds. For more information, contact the DHE’s Office of Student Financial Assistance at 617-391-6070.