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Historic Commonwealth Financial Aid News

Dear Campus Community Members, 

Many of you may have felt the incredible energy coming from the Recital Hall on the Harrington Campus this morning. Governor Healey and Lt. Governor Driscoll, along with members of their administration, Commissioner of the Department of Higher Education Noe Ortega, and other public higher education officials, including leadership from UMASS and the community college system, gathered for an historic announcement.  

The Healey-Driscoll Administration announced an incredible investment in making public higher education accessible to lower income students, along with additional supports for middle income students, through an historic increase in student financial aid with the MASSGrant Plus Expansion. 

Now, the MASSGrant Plus will cover the full cost of tuition and fees for all Pell Grant-eligible students attending public community colleges, state universities and the University of Massachusetts. For the first time, the state will be covering the cost of the expected family contribution for Pell Grant-eligible students and creating an allowance of up to $1,200 for the cost of books and supplies for Pell Grant-eligible students.   

This MASSGrant Plus Expansion will also extend eligibility to part-time Pell Grant-eligible students for the first time. The financial aid expansion will also reduce the cost of a public higher education for qualifying middle-income students – those whose families have an annual adjusted gross income ranging between $73,000 and $100,000 – perhaps reducing their out-of-pocket costs for college or university by up to half. In addition, funds will be awarded retroactively to eligible students for costs accrued this current fall semester and awarded for costs incurred during the spring semester. Students, please be patient with the Student Navigation Center as we await guidance from the Commonwealth on how this process will work. 


Read the full press release. 

View a video of this morning’s announcement (to be posted at a later date).  

As you know, many of our students are paying their own way through college to obtain their dream of earning a bachelor’s degree. These students are not working just one, but two or three jobs to make their dream a reality. In addition, 40% of our students are Pell Eligible and hundreds of our students are considered as being from middle income families. As I said earlier today, this investment by the Healey-Driscoll Administration is an incredible game-changer for our students.  

What an exciting day for all Massachusetts public higher education students everywhere and I am so honored that our campus was selected for this historic announcement. I couldn’t be more grateful to the Healey-Driscoll administration, the Legislature and our partners in the MSCA who also advocated for this historic level of financial aid. 



John D. Keenan, President

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