College is a significant investment, and it takes a lot of planning to find affordable ways to pay for it. Saving early and often will always help prepare you for these costs, but did you know that in Massachusetts there are additional opportunities to reduce college costs as you earn your degree? The following programs have been designed to help make higher education a reality for students and families across the Commonwealth.

MassTransfer A2B + Commonwealth Commitment

If you plan to start your higher education journey at a community college, and then intend a transfer to a 4-year public Massachusetts school, take advantage of the new Commonwealth Commitment. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education recently created the Commonwealth Commitment to provide students a cost-effective pathway to earn both an associate and bachelor’s degree in Massachusetts.

Requirements

  • Earn an associate degree at a Massachusetts community college within 2.5 years
  • Transfer to a MA state university or UMass campus and complete your bachelor’s within 2 years

Benefits

  • Guaranteed transfer of 60 credits to any Massachusetts public college or university
  • No application fee
  • No application essay
  • Guaranteed admission to 4-year Massachusetts school if transferring with a 2.5 or higher GPA
  • MassTransfer Tuition Credit if transferring with a 3.0 or higher GPA
  • Freeze on tuition and mandatory fees upon program entry if attending full time and transferring with a 3.0 or higher GPA
  • 10% rebate off tuition and mandatory fees (payable at the end of every semester) if attending full time and maintaining a 3.0 or higher GPA

MA State Financial Aid

And finally, whether you apply for college admission at a two or four-year school, know that Massachusetts offers several types of financial aid to help with college costs. Colleges and universities will automatically consider you for most types of aid available, though there are certain opportunities that require additional steps.

Requirements

Benefits

  • Grants, scholarships, tuition waivers, no-interest loans, and tuition reimbursement

MassTransfer A2B Degree

After earning your associate degree at a Massachusetts community college, easily transfer 60 credits to a Massachusetts 4-year college or university, and save money during the application process and on tuition charges based on your GPA. Hundreds of majors are offered in the A2B program.

Requirements

  • Complete an approved program at a Massachusetts community college
  • Earn at least a 2.0 GPA in that program

Benefits

  • Guaranteed transfer of 60 credits to any Massachusetts public college or university
  • No application fee
  • No application essay
  • Guaranteed admission to 4-year Massachusetts school if transferring with a 2.5 or higher GPA
  • MassTransfer Tuition Credit if transferring with a 3.0 or higher GPA

MassTransfer Gen Ed Foundation

Starting your bachelor’s degree at a community college can likely save you money. And through the MassTransfer Gen Ed Foundation, you’ll receive a guaranteed transfer of 34 community college credits, helping you to save time and money once you transfer to a 4-year school.

Requirements

  • Complete 34 credits at a Massachusetts community college
  • Earn at least a 2.0 GPA on those credits

Benefits

  • Guaranteed transfer of 34 credits to any Massachusetts public college or university

Tuition Break

As you begin the admissions process and start your search for affordable college options, make sure to explore Tuition Break. Created by the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE), Tuition Break provides Massachusetts students a reduction on tuition prices when enrolling in eligible out-of-state academic programs not offered at an in-state school. As you consider potential majors and colleges, make sure you make Tuition Break part of your planning

Requirements

  • Be a resident of a New England state
  • Enroll at a New England college or university in an eligible major not offered at a public college or university in your home state
  • Work with the college or university to ensure approved participation in Tuition Break

Benefits

  • Discount on your college tuition bill

As you plan for college, make sure to consider all of the opportunities available to help you save money on college costs. If you have questions or need assistance with your academic planning, contact us here at MEFA. We have college planning experts ready to help you make higher education more affordable and accessible for your family.