Financial Aid

MASSGrant Plus Expansion

Learn about who is eligible, how to apply, and how to receive it.
A MA student applying for financial aid

We have some good news to share: state financial aid for Massachusetts students has risen to the highest amount it's been in three decades. If you're a student in Massachusetts thinking about your next steps for after high school, college may be more affordable than you think.

Introducing MASSGrant Plus Expansion

On November 15, 2023, Governor Healey announced MASSGrant Plus Expansion, a new financial aid program for students who attend Massachusetts public colleges, including public community colleges, state universities, and the University of Massachusetts. The program increases the available funds to students who are currently eligible for MASSGrant Plus funds and offers additional financial aid to students who do not currently qualify for MASSGrant Plus. The program is retroactive to September 2023.

MASSGrant Plus

MASSGrant Plus is given to students at Massachusetts public colleges who have a remaining balance owed for tuition, fees, books, and supplies after taking into account the student's Student Aid Index (SAI) and scholarship and grant aid already received. Priority is given first to Pell Grant-eligible students, and then to other low-income students after that.

Additional Funds

With MASSGrant Plus Expansion, Pell-eligible students who receive MASSGrant Plus will now receive additional funds that cover their SAI. In practice, this means all Pell-eligible students will have tuition and mandatory fees covered with MA grant aid (money they don't need to pay back). They will also receive an allowance for books and supplies of up to $1,200. In addition, part-time Pell-eligible students are now eligible for MASSGrant Plus.

It is important to note that the cost of housing and food will not be covered under the MASSGrant Plus Expansion program.

Middle-Income Families

Middle-income students, defined as those whose families have an annual Adjusted Gross Income between $73,000 and $100,000, will now be eligible for MASSGrant Plus aid as long as they are enrolled in at least 12 credits. MASSGrant Plus Expansion will reduce out-of-pocket costs for these students by up to 50 percent of tuition and fees.

Eligibility

To become eligible for MASSGrant Plus Expansion, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or, for undocumented students who qualify through the new Massachusetts tuition equity guidelines, the Massachusetts Application for State Financial Aid (MASFA). See our post, How Massachusetts' Tuition Equity Law is Opening Doors for More Students in the Commonwealth, for more details on that new program.

Current Students

Students currently receiving MASSGrant Plus aid do not need to take any further steps to receive the additional expansion funds for the 2023-24 academic year. Colleges will automatically award them to current MASSGrant Plus students if they qualify.

Students who did not previously qualify for MASSGrant Plus and now do, including part-time Pell Grant-eligible students and middle-income students, should submit the 2023-24 FAFSA immediately if they haven't already. Colleges will then award funds to those eligible students.

2024-25

Looking ahead for the 2024-25 academic year, students who could be eligible for MASSGrant Plus Expansion should submit the 2024-25 FAFSA or, for undocumented students, the MASFA.

To learn more about Massachusetts state financial aid programs, visit the website for the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance or contact MEFA at collegeplanning@mefa.org.