Financial Aid

What is the Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery Award?

Learn about the Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery Award, a tuition credit awarded to Massachusetts students who receive high scores on the MCAS, what students must do to qualify, how students can maintain the award, and where students can find more information.
Student taking MCAS to qualify for the the Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery Award

When speaking of financial aid, typically the conversation steers towards federal aid, provided by the Department of Education, or institutional aid, offered by individual colleges and universities. In Massachusetts, there is also state aid. For Massachusetts state aid, most people think of the MASSGrant or the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship, which students can receive by scoring in the advanced category in at least one subject on the MCAS, scoring in the proficient or advanced category in the remaining two subjects, and having a combined MCAS score that ranks in the top 25% of their school district.

There is, however, another reward for high scores on the MCAS: the Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery Award. To be eligible for this award, students must achieve a minimum of a 501 on the English test and a minimum of a 486 on the Math test, or a minimum of a 472 on the English test and a minimum of a 504 on the Math test. These students must also demonstrate achievements in AP classes by scoring a 3 or higher on at least one test, or receiving another academic award or achievement as specified on pages 3-7 of the application.

Each Massachusetts public high school has a Koplik coordinator who recognizes eligible applicants in their junior year. Those coordinators will also review the applications and inform the Department of Secondary Education which students successfully complete the requirements.

Here are the initial requirements that students must meet as specified by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education:

  • Be a permanent legal resident of Massachusetts for at least one year prior to entering college as a freshman
  • Be a United States citizen or a non-citizen authorized by the federal government to live and work in the United States on a temporary or permanent basis
  • Complete and submit the Koplik Certificate of Mastery application by the deadline
  • Be a graduate of a Massachusetts public high school
  • Be accepted at a Massachusetts public college or university
  • Complete the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Enroll as a full-time student at an eligible public higher education institution
  • Submit the Stanley Z. Koplik award letter and Certificate of Mastery to the financial aid office

If the student is able to maintain at least a 3.3 GPA throughout their academic career at a Massachusetts state college or university (with the exception of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design), they will receive a tuition credit for the next seven (for a total of eight) consecutive semesters. In addition, the student must file a FAFSA each year.

The Massachusetts Department of Secondary Education does also state: "While a student may receive both the Adams Scholarship and the Koplik Certificate, only one may be used to waive tuition. The other will be considered recognition of outstanding achievement."

For more information on the Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery you can visit the designated webpage where all of the requirements are listed and the application itself is posted. You can also find the application here and ask your school's coordinator if you qualify. 

Learn more about paying for college in Massachusetts