The State of Massachusetts offers a variety of scholarships and grant programs for residents. These programs can help cover the cost of tuition, fees, and other expenses associated with attending college. Some of the programs are need-based, while others are merit-based. There may also be other eligibility requirements, such as being a high school senior, certain age, or belonging to a certain group.

If you plan to attend college in Massachusetts, the scholarship opportunities below may be great options for you. The scholarship funds are administered by the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance. This means that, like most state-level scholarships, you’ll have to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

In addition to government scholarships, there are private Massachusetts scholarships that you may also qualify for. You can find these by having a conversation with your high school counselor or college financial aid office. There are also scholarship databases like the BridgesEDU Scholarship Finder, which connects you to college scholarships that fit your profile.

So without further delay, let’s get to various scholarships for Massachusetts students.

Massachusetts Scholarship Programs

Agnes M. Lindsay Scholarship Program

The Agnes M. Lindsay Scholarship provides scholarships for students with demonstrated financial need. Applicants must be from rural areas of the state and attend public institutions of higher education within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Individual student awards for an award period may vary.

Christian A. Herter Memorial Scholarship Program

The Christian A. Herter Memorial Scholarship Program was established in 1972 by the Massachusetts State Legislature to recruit students in the 10th and 11th grades whose socio-economic backgrounds and environmental conditions may inhibit their ability to attain educational goals. The students that are selected for this program must have overcome major adversity in their lives (i.e. physical or mental abuse, catastrophic illness, etc.). Obstacles may be mental, physical, geographic or societal.

Massachusetts students who demonstrate academic promise and desire to attend post-secondary institutions may receive up to 50% of their calculated need at the college of their choice. Eligible students must be nominated by their school or a qualified community foundation.

Scholarship awards vary and are based on educational cost, including tuition, room, board, required fees, books and transportation.

Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Program

The Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Program was funded as a pilot initiative by the Legislature for the purpose of increasing the quality and availability of teachers and care providers to work with young children and youth in inclusive settings including infant/toddler, preschool and school age programs.

The scholarship is designed to provide financial assistance for currently employed early childhood and out of school time educators and providers who enroll in a certificate, associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree program in Early Childhood Education, Child Development, Family Studies, Child Care Administration, or fields that directly name early child development and its specific areas of inquiry.

The scholarship awards up to $4,500 per semester.

GEAR UP Scholarship

GEAR UP is a national effort to encourage more young people to have high expectations, stay in school, study hard and go to college. Through the Board of Higher Education, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts received a GEAR UP State Grant to provide early college awareness activities, improved academic support, information on paying for college and the GEAR UP Scholarship for students who participated in a component of the GEAR UP Massachusetts Early Intervention initiative.

The award amount varies from year to year.

Massachusetts High Demand Scholarship Program

The Massachusetts High Demand Scholarship Program was created by the Massachusetts Legislature to support economic growth and development. The purpose is to encourage degree completion in high demand disciplines that will help address the workforce needs of the Commonwealth by providing scholarship assistance to support the educational costs of students pursuing such programs of study.

Current applications for the Massachusetts High Demand Scholarship will be open to students at Massachusetts public institutions who are pursuing a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) or Health Professions degree.

The award offers up to $6,500 per year.

John and Abigail Adams Scholarship

The John and Abigail Adams Scholarship is a merit-based program that provides a credit toward tuition for up to eight semesters of undergraduate education at a Massachusetts state college or university. For this scholarship, merit is based on student scores on the 10th grade Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test.

Recipients of the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship are eligible for an award of a merit-based credit toward tuition. Individual student awards at State Universities and Community Colleges shall be no more than the resident undergraduate tuition rate at the participating institutions. Individual student awards at the University of Massachusetts shall be valued at $1,714 at Amherst, $1,714 at Boston, $1,417 at Dartmouth, and $1,454 at Lowell.

LEADA@Liberty Scholarship

Liberty Mutual Insurance is proud to offer the Liberty Mutual Insurance LEADA@Liberty Scholarship for students enrolled in Massachusetts’ Commonwealth Commitment program. LEADA@Liberty + Allies — Liberty Employees of African Descent and Allies fosters building, growing and learning together with ongoing support and professional development for employees of African descent and their allies.

The scholarship will be awarded annually to four eligible students, each receiving $2,500 per year for the four years of his or her college career.

One Family Scholarship Program

The One Family Scholarship Program was established by the Massachusetts Legislature to assist heads of households in achieving their academic goals. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide the opportunity for a permanent path out of poverty through the pursuit of higher education. Recipients of this scholarship receive an integrated network of services through the non-profit organization, One Family, Inc., whose mission is to serve residents of the Commonwealth who are low-income and homeless, or have experienced homelessness within the prior year.

Scholarships may be awarded to cover tuition and fees and related living expenses during the period of enrollment. 

Paul Tsongas Scholarship

The Paul Tsongas Scholarship is a merit-based program that rewards Massachusetts students with a grade point average (G.P.A.) of 3.75 and highly competitive Scholastic Aptitude Test (S.A.T.) scores of at least 1200 (or the American College Testing [A.C.T.] equivalent). Eligible students receive a waiver of tuition and mandatory fees at a Massachusetts state university.

Each state college may provide five new Paul Tsongas Scholarship Program Tuition Waivers per academic year.

Massachusetts Grant Programs

Foster Child Grant

The Foster Child Grant Program provides grants of up to $6000 annually for foster children to help pay for an education beyond high school at any college or university throughout the continental United States. The grant recipient must have signed an agreement with the Department of Children and Families for care and services beyond age 18.

MASSGrant & MASSGrant Plus

The MASSGrantand MASSGrant Plus programs provide need-based financial assistance to undergraduate students who reside in Massachusetts. Students must be enrolled in and pursuing a program of higher education in any approved public or independent college, university, school of nursing or any other approved institution.

Under the MASSGrant Plus program, full time students attending Massachusetts four-year public colleges and universities, and full-time and part-time students attending Massachusetts public community colleges may be eligible for additional funding to help with the cost of tuition, fees and books. R

Gilbert Matching Student Grant Program

The Massachusetts Gilbert Matching Student Grant Program (GMSGP) provides funds for participating Massachusetts’ institutions of higher education and schools of nursing. At least 100 percent of the funds must be used for direct financial assistance to undergraduate students from Massachusetts so they may attend or continue to attend such institutions.

Massachusetts Gilbert Grant awards range from $200 to $2500 per academic year.

Cash Grant Program

The Cash Grant Program is a complementary program to the Need-Based Tuition Waiver Program. It helps needy students by awarding grant money to cover additional charges such as mandatory fees and non-state-supported tuition. Since its inception, the Cash Grant has been used in campus-based financial aid packaging strategies to support those individuals who would otherwise be denied the opportunity for higher education.

The amount of the award varies annually.

Part-Time Grant Program

In Massachusetts, as in some other states, the number of part-time students has grown due to changes in demographic and economic conditions. More adults now find themselves needing to return to the classroom on a less than full-time basis. The continuous increase in college costs is also requiring more students to reconsider their enrollment plans and to look at part-time programs as viable alternatives. The Commonwealth has recognized the above needs and established the Part-Time Grant Program to serve as a bridge between higher education opportunities and those segments of the Massachusetts population.

Awards range from $200 to a maximum that depends on the type of institution that the student attends.

Public Service Grant Program

The Massachusetts Public Service Grant was established for students who have experienced the loss of a parent and/or spouse who is killed or missing in the line of public service duty in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Public Service Grant Program is the only scholarship program not based on demonstrated financial need, but rather entitlement.

For a student attending a Massachusetts public college or university, the award shall be equal to the cost of the institution’s full time annual tuition charges.

For a student attending a Massachusetts Independent College or University, the award shall be equal to the full time annual tuition charge at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Paraprofessional Teacher Preparation Grant Program

The Paraprofessional Teacher Preparation Grant Program provides financial assistance to Massachusetts residents who are currently employed as paraprofessionals in Massachusetts public schools, but wish to become certified as full time teachers. This grant is designed to reduce their financial burden and help address the Commonwealth’s current teacher shortage. 

The award offers up to $7,500 per academic year.

Find More Scholarships for Massachusetts Students

There are more scholarships that you can find by searching online and through your local resources (your school and library, for example). However, you should also develop a plan to apply as often as possible to increase your chances of winning a scholarship for college. Applying for scholarships can be time-consuming, but it is worth it if you are able to secure funding for your education. It just makes sense with the cost of college seeming to rise continuously. Get started today!