MASSGrant and MASSGrant Plus
The Massachusetts Assistance for Student Success Program (MASSGrant) is a grant assistance program that provides need-based financial aid to undergraduate students who reside in Massachusetts and are enrolled in a Massachusetts college or university.
Students who receive a MASSGrant could also be eligible for a MASSGrant Plus scholarship to cover any remaining unmet financial need for tuition and mandatory fees related to instruction.
MASSGrant Plus is available to income-eligible students who are enrolled full- or part-time at one of the Commonwealth’s community colleges or full-time at a four-year public college or university, including the University of Massachusetts. Students receive scholarships to cover any remaining tuition and mandatory fees related to instruction (not including room and board), after taking into account expected family contribution (EFC) and any other financial aid grant provided either by the state or the student’s institution.
A student’s eligibility for MASSGrant and MASSGrant Plus is based on financial need determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The programs do not require a separate application.
MASSGrant and MASSGrant Plus are awarded for one academic year. Students must apply each year to receive consideration for grant assistance.
First established in 2018 for community college students, MASSGrant Plus now includes all income eligible full-time students at any of the state’s 9 state universities or 4 University of Massachusetts undergraduate campuses.
Massachusetts is one of 32 other states that have committed to covering the costs of college tuition and fees for income-eligible students, known as “Promise Programs.” MASSGrant Plus makes college attainable and affordable without the need for personal loans to cover tuition and mandatory fees related to instruction.
Student Eligibility Criteria for MASSGrant Plus
To be eligible for MASSGrant Plus award, a student must:
- Not have received a prior Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent.
- Be a Massachusetts resident for other than educational purposes, for at least twelve months prior to the start of the academic year for which aid is awarded (recipient and/or parents must remain residents throughout the entire academic year).
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress in accordance with the standards of the school the student attends.
- Comply with Selective Service Registration requirements.
- Be eligible for Title IV funds and not in default of any educational loan, or owe a refund.
- Be enrolled part-time in a community college (at least 6 semester credits or equivalent) or full-time at any four-year public institution (at least 12 semester credits or equivalent).
How to Apply
Students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the Federal Central Processor by the appropriate deadline. You can obtain a FAFSA from a high school guidance office, the local library, your college's Financial Aid Office or you can call the DHE’s Office of Student Financial Assistance at (617) 391-6070 to request a copy. You may also visit the Federal Student Aid web site to file your FAFSA electronically.
As a recipient of the MASSGrant, you are responsible for:
- Notifying the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance of any changes in your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that could affect your award
- Notifying the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance (in writing) of any change in your name, address or social security number. Social security changes must be accompanied by a copy of your social security card
- Repaying any portion of a grant received by you as a result of misinformation or improper certification or verification
- Providing true and accurate information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). False statements or misrepresentations on the financial aid application may subject you to a fine or imprisonment or both under the provisions of the U.S. criminal code.
Verification is a federally mandated process to confirm the information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If selected for verification, you must provide the requested information to the financial aid office at your institution in a timely manner.
- Grant funds will not be forwarded to your school until the verification process is completed.
- As a result of verification, your award may be revised or canceled at any time.
- Failure to complete the verification process in a timely manner at your school will result in the cancellation of your MASSGrant award.
Your MASSGrant award will automatically be sent to the school listed in the e-mail notification of eligibility unless the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance is otherwise notified by you. You do not need to notify our office if you accept this grant as it appears in the e-mail that you received. Below is information that you need, if you wish to perform the following:
Change of Institution
Students may also transfer their MASSGrant award from one eligible institution to another, on-line at OSFA. When you access the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance’s website, select the “For Students” and “MASSAid Student Portal” options to navigate to the Student Web Portal login page. If you do not already have a MASSAid student user account, you will need to create one.
Since the amount of a MASSGrant depends on the type of institution you attend, your award may be revised when a change of institution occurs. If you are transferring to an eligible out-of-state school, it is likely that your award will change. Eligible schools include most accredited post-secondary institutions in Massachusetts as well as approved Bachelor’s and Associate degree granting schools in the states that have reciprocity agreements with Massachusetts. Those states are PENNSYLVANIA, VERMONT and the DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
When a student reports changes to school enrollment information on-line, our system automatically re-calculates the MASSGrant award based on the new school information and the student can subsequently print a revised letter of eligibility via the student web portal, if needed.
A student can access his/her MASSGrant award infomation on-line and decline one or both semester awards via the Student Web Portal. When the student declines one or both semester awards on-line, our system automatically processes the change and the student can subsequently print a revised letter of eligibility, if needed.
Amount / Terms of Award
MASSGrant awards vary each academic year and cannot exceed a student’s calculated financial need, when combined with all other financial assistance received at the institution. Eligibility is restricted to 8 semesters for a four-year program; 6 semesters for a three-year program; 4 semesters for a two-year program and 2 semesters for a one-year program. Any previous number of MASSGrant awards received counts against a student’s remaining eligibility.
Right of Appeal
If extenuating circumstances (i.e. death of a parent or spouse, unemployment, etc.) have occurred since the filing of the 2021-2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid, an appeal may be submitted to the financial aid office of the school the student is attending. An appeal may result in an adjustment to a student’s MASSGrant eligibility and/or award.