MASSGrant Plus Expansion

Students holding tablets and phone talk in university lobby

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.

Increased Financial Aid for MASSGrant Plus Recipients

Pell Grant students currently receiving MASSGrant Plus aid who have an expected family contribution (EFC) will no longer need to pay the federal government-determined EFC to enroll in any Massachusetts public college or university under the MASSGrant Plus Expansion program. From now on, all tuition and mandatory instructional fees will be covered with grant aid for Pell Grant-eligible public higher education students in Massachusetts. Pell Grant-eligible students will also be eligible for allowances of up to $1,200 for books and supplies.

The cost of room and board will not be covered under the MASSGrant Plus Expansion program.

Eligibility of Part-Time Pell Grant-Eligible Students in MASSGrant Plus Expansion

Pell Grant-eligible students enrolled on a part-time basis will now be eligible for MASSGrant Plus support.

Eligibility of Middle-Income Students

Middle-income students will now be eligible for MASSGrant Plus aid. MASSGrant Plus Expansion will reduce out-of-pocket costs for middle-income students by up to 50 percent of tuition and fees. Room and board are not covered under MASSGrant Plus Expansion.

Students qualifying as middle-income are defined as those whose families earn between $73,000 and $100,000 annually in adjusted gross income. Middle-income students must be enrolled full time, or in a minimum of 12 credits, to qualify.

Retroactive Financial Aid Awards

Students deemed eligible for MASSGrant Plus Expansion will have funds applied retroactively to the start of the Fall 2023 semester.


How Do I Apply for the MASSGrant Plus Expansion?

Students who have completed the 2023 FAFSA and are already receiving MASSGrant Plus aid do not need to take further action to benefit from the expansion. College and university financial aid offices will apply the funds to current MASSGrant Plus student accounts automatically.

Students who have not completed the 2023 FAFSA, particularly part-time Pell Grant-eligible students and middle-income students who previously did not qualify for MASSGrant Plus, should complete the 2023 FAFSA immediately.

Information on how to complete the free 2023 FAFSA is available here.

Do I Qualify for the MASSGrant Plus Expansion?

You qualify for MASSGrant Plus Expansion if you:

  • Are a full-time or part-time Pell Grant-eligible student enrolled at a public institution of higher education in Massachusetts.
  • Are a middle-income student whose family earns between $73,000 and $100,000 annually in adjusted gross income and you are enrolled full-time at a public institution of higher education in Massachusetts.

To be eligible, students must complete the free FAFSA or the state-alternative financial aid application designated by the DHE. If you are not sure whether you qualify for MASSGrant Plus Expansion, please fill out the free 2023 FAFSA.

Students Who Are Not U.S. Citizens

Massachusetts’ new Tuition Equity Law allows qualifying non-U.S. citizens, namely undocumented students who have attended high school for three years in Massachusetts and earned a diploma or equivalent, to access state financial aid, subject to meeting the eligibility requirements of each program.

Currently, students who believe they may qualify for MASSGrant Plus Expansion as “High School Completers” under the Tuition Equity Law should access the information at this link. Students who are not U.S. citizens may not be able to use the FAFSA to apply for this and other financial aid programs. A state-alternative version of FAFSA for Massachusetts High School Completers is under development and scheduled to be released by the end of December 2023. In the meantime, students should utilize the above link to learn about eligibility.

Students who qualify for and are awarded MASSGrant Plus Expansion will have funds applied retroactively to the start of the Fall 2023 semester.

How Will MASSGrant Plus Expansion Funds be Received?
Coverage for Tuition and Fees

For eligible students, MASSGrant Plus Expansion funds will be credited to your financial account by your institution. The amount you receive will be retroactive to the start of the Fall 2023 semester. Eligible students will then receive additional aid for the Spring 2024 semester.

Allowance for Books and Supplies

Pell Grant-eligible students who have completed the 2023 FAFSA are eligible for an allowance of up to $1,200 in books and supplies. Colleges and universities will apply these funds to the accounts of students deemed eligible.

Qualifying Colleges and Universities