FY20 Budget for Massachusetts Public Higher Education

Governor Baker’s FY2021 Budget Recommendations

Released on January 22, 2020, Governor Baker’s FY2021 budget proposal makes education a central priority, including new funds directed toward college affordability and success strategies.

Early College

The Governor’s budget includes $2.25 million in increased funding to support the expansion of the Early College program in Massachusetts. Early College provides opportunities for low-income students, first-generation students, and students interested in high-demand, STEM-related disciplines to attend college-level courses while enrolled in high school. Independent research has shown a positive correlation between Early College programs and higher college-going rates among historically underserved and low-income high school students. Massachusetts currently has 17 officially designated Early College programs across the Commonwealth serving approximately 2,000 students, and even more are expected to be approved for FY2021. The Governor’s budget would fund the incremental costs of instruction for 2,750 students at no cost to them.

Financial Aid

The Governor’s budget includes an additional $5 million to scale MASSGrant Plus, a last-dollar aid program launched in FY2019 for community college students, to support in-state students attending Massachusetts state universities who are enrolled in BHE-approved student advising and support programs. MASSGrant Plus covers unmet need for tuition and mandatory fees with a stipend for books and supplies after accounting for all other public and institutional grant aid as well as expected family contribution (EFC). The Governor’s budget proposal is aimed at aligning resources that lower the cost burden for students while ensuring they receive comprehensive and structured supports to enroll, persist, and succeed in their pursuit of a postsecondary degree at a state university.

Other Higher Education Investments

The Governor’s budget also maintained the Commonwealth’s commitment to a number of other higher education areas. Among the highlights are:

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Next Steps

The Legislature will be next to release their budget proposals, with the House Ways & Means version expected in mid-April and the Senate Ways & Means version expected in mid-May.

April–September 2020
Budget Process Delayed by COVID Emergency
October 27, 2020
Governor Baker's Revised Budget
November 2020
Accelerated House and Senate Budgets
November 30, 2020
Conference Committee Budget
December 15, 2020
Final FY21 Budget