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Salem State Scholarships and Grants: What's the Difference?

Scholarships application

Salem State University Scholarships

Awarded to some incoming students who meet eligibility requirements. Students awarded academic scholarships must maintain a full-time course load and meet academic progress goals.

Salem State University Grants

Need-based grants are awarded on a funds-available basis. Grants may not be awarded to a student annually and are pro-rated based on the number of credits in which a student is enrolled.

Federal Grant Programs

These grants are awarded based on eligibility as determined by the FAFSA and on also the university's level of available funding. The SEOG Grant may be prorated or canceled based on the number of credits a student is enrolled in.

The Pell Grant is awarded to undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor's or professional degree. It is a grant and does not have to be repaid. The U.S. Department of Education uses a standard formula to determine your eligibility. Salem State must receive a valid SAR or ISIR no later than June 30 of the award year, or the student's last day of attendance, whichever comes first. If the student leaves school or completes his/her program and the college does not have a valid ISIR, the student is not eligible for a Pell Grant, or other aid. The amount of Pell Grant awarded is based on the FAFSA's Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) and number of credits a student is enrolled in.

General Scholarships, State Grants and Waiver Programs*

*All tuition and fee waivers will be adjusted to reflect the number of credits a student is enrolled in.

The Harold T. and Alice M. McCarthy Memorial scholarship is a full four-year scholarship that includes full tuition, fees, room and board, and books and is awarded to a talented first-year student majoring in art + design with demonstrated financial need.

How to Apply

For more information regarding the art portfolio, please contact the art department at 978.542.6222 or

Apply now

The Jack Welch Scholarship is a four-year scholarship that covers tuition, fees, and books. New recipients are selected annually. To qualify, you must be: a resident of Salem, Massachusetts, and admitted and enrolled as a full-time student in Salem State University's Bertolon School of Business. Recipients can commute or live on campus; however, this scholarship does not cover room and board.

How to Apply

Apply now

Tuition waiver for students 24 years of age or younger: full tuition for day college courses to all children in the custody of DSS adopted by an eligible Massachusetts state employee through DSS; also for all children in the custody of DSS and adopted through DSS by an eligible Massachusetts resident.

Full tuition for day college courses to a student who is a current or former foster child; who was placed in the custody of the state through a Care and Protection Petition; is 24 years old or under; was in the custody of the Commonwealth for at least 12 consecutive months and was not adopted or returned home.

Provides grants to eligible students as determined by DSS and the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance.

MassGrant provides need-based financial assistance to undergraduate students who reside in Massachusetts. Students must enroll full-time and meet the EFC requirements to be eligible to receive this grant. Students must have an EFC between $0.00 and $6,206.00. For MASSGrant Award Terms and Conditions, please visit

 The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) will notify students of their eligibility. Students must return any requested forms to OSFA promptly; failure to do so could jeopardize the receipt of their award. 

Salem State is not responsible for the estimated award for which payment is not received.

Students must meet the State of Massachusetts' May 1st FAFSA deadline to be considered for this grant.

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

Please review the requirements for the MASSGrant Plus program below to determine if you qualify: 

  • Physically reside in Massachusetts for at least one year, as of the start of the enrolled term, with an intent to remain in Massachusetts consistent with Board of Higher Education (BHE) policy;
  • Be a U.S. Citizen, permanent legal resident, or non-citizen eligible under Title IV regulations; or have an approved eligibility status designated by the Board of Higher Education pursuant to Section 9 of Chapter 15A, as amended by Section 11 of Chapter 28 of the Acts of 2024.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually for consideration of assistance by any designated deadline, as may be determined by the Department of Higher Education (DHE), or an alternative application designated by the DHE.
  • Be a student enrolled in a certificate, associate, or bachelor’s degree program at a Massachusetts college or university.
  • Not be in default of any federal or state Student Loans for attendance at any institution or owe a refund for any previous financial aid received.
  • Be enrolled full-time (12 credits or more) at a 4-year state college or university.
  • Not have received a prior bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress in accordance with institutional and federal standards.
  • Demonstrate financial need for tuition and fees after accounting for expected family contribution (EFC) and all forms of scholarship and grant aid.


On November 15, 2023, Governor Maura Healey announced MASSGrant Plus Expansion, a new financial aid program for students attending Massachusetts' public colleges, universities, and the University of Massachusetts. MASSGrant Plus Expansion increases available funds to current beneficiaries of the MASSGrant Plus program and offers financial aid to students who currently do not qualify for MASSGrant Plus.

The University is committed to acting as swiftly as possible in determining each student's individual eligibility. Upon determination, students will be notified via their SSU email. We ask for your patience as much of this work is manual. 

More information regarding the Governor's announcement can be found at

The Mass Cash Grant grant is awarded based on eligibility as determined by the FAFSA and also on the university's level of available funding. This grant may be prorated or cancelled based on the number of credits a student is enrolled in.

This is a grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for matriculated Massachusetts residents attending part-time (six – 11.5 credits). Eligibility will be determined by Salem State's financial aid office based on students' EFC and the availability of funds. The maximum award is $550.

Based upon entitlement, not need, this scholarship provides full tuition upon the loss of a parent and/or spouse who is killed or missing in the line of public service duty in Massachusetts. Call the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance at 617.727.9420 for more information.

TheDream.US scholarships are for highly motivated, undocumented students who want to get a college education but are unable to afford the cost. They have no access to federal aid and limited access to state aid. Learn more about this amazing opportunity by visiting our dedicated site as well as TheDream.US site.

Salem State University and TheDream.US

Learn more about TheDream.US National Scholarship

IMPORTANT: This scholarship may turn into a loan leading to added costs if the service requirements are not met. Please be sure that you fully understand your obligation in meeting these requirements. 

This program is subject to annual appropriation and is considered a repayment through service scholarship that will revert to a loan, to be repaid if the teaching service obligation is not met - one year of teaching will forgive one year of scholarship. 

Scholarships of up to $25,000 per academic year will be awarded per student, subject to the availability of funds, which may influence the amount awarded. The scholarships may be used to cover educational expenses that make up the Cost of Attendance (COA), including but not limited to tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, childcare, and personal expenses.

Undergraduate students may receive scholarship funds for up to a maximum of 4 years or eight semesters. Students pursuing post-baccalaureate coursework may receive scholarship funds for up to a maximum of three semesters.

Students must have a valid and completed FAFSA on file with Salem State and complete the Tomorrow’s Teachers Scholarship application in the MASSAid Student Portal system.

The 2023-2024 application will be available beginning June 28, 2023, and must be completed by the October 15, 2023, deadline.

For more information, please visit the Tomorrow’s Teachers Scholarship Program website.

Applicants must also meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be a permanent legal resident of Massachusetts for at least 12 months (one year) prior to the start of the academic year and remain a permanent resident to maintain eligibility
  • Have not earned a prior baccalaureate degree, or the equivalent, except for those pursuing or intending to pursue post-baccalaureate course work in an approved educator preparation program at a Massachusetts four-year public institution of higher education 
  • Enroll, as a matriculated student, in an undergraduate or post-baccalaureate degree program, full-time (minimum of twelve credits, or the equivalent), unless otherwise agreed upon, in an approved course of study that meets the licensure requirements for employment at a Massachusetts public elementary or secondary school
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or non-citizen eligible under Title IV regulations 
  • Not be in default on any federal or state Student Loans for attendance at any institution or owe a refund for any previous state financial aid program
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Students will need to agree to the following terms and conditions via the online application:

  • Acknowledge that this scholarship is considered repayment through service. In the absence of fulfilling that commitment, the scholarship reverts to a loan that must be repaid by the scholarship recipient per the terms of the Scholarship Promissory Note. 
  • Acknowledge the set forth repayment through the service schedule, that one year of teaching will forgive one year of scholarship. 
  • Complete the scholarship application and sign a promissory note annually to continue scholarship funds. 
  • Provide an official transcript after each academic year to confirm continued eligibility requirements for the program of study and progress toward degree completion. Incoming first-year students are required to submit a declaration of their major from the institution’s registrar’s office. 
  • Sign a scholarship agreement to “obtain the appropriate certification in accordance with Section 38G of Chapter 71” and “commit to teaching for four years in a school district, as defined in Section 2 of Chapter 70, in the commonwealth.” Failure to complete the required four-year teaching service will result in a repayment of funds as defined in the agreement.  
  • Become employed as a teacher of record within twelve months of degree completion or the completion of post-baccalaureate coursework in an approved educator preparation program.
  • Annually provide proof of employment to document fulfillment of the service obligation.

The Viking Completion Grant program, generously established by Kim Gassett-Schiller ’83, ‘18H and Philip Schiller aims to annually award 50 to 75 microgrants of up to $6,500 each to the university seniors with high academic merit who are most at risk for dropping out. The program will combine this financial support with ongoing coaching to encourage awardees’ successful on-time completion.

Learn more about the Viking Completion Grant

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Contact Us

Financial Aid

Monday–Thursday 8:30 am–5 pm, Friday 10 am–5 pm
Student Navigation Center: Second Floor, Classroom Building, Harrington (Central) Campus, 71 Loring Avenue, Salem, MA 01970
Mailing Address:
352 Lafayette St.
Salem, MA 01970
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