Following the launch of a new program by Gov. Maura Healey’s administration, Massachusetts residents aged 25 and older can now go to community college for free.
Revealing the news: Healey, 52, announced the new program, MassReconnect, during an event held at Massachusetts Bay Community College’s Wellesley Hills campus.
Key details: According to Healey, MassReconnect will be available for Massachusetts residents aged 25 and older. Residents who attend one of Massachusetts’ 15 community colleges can expect the state to cover their tuition fees and other school needs, such as books and supplies.
“The program is limited to residents who have not previously earned a college degree (associates or bachelor’s) who enroll in at least six credits per semester in an approved program of study leading to an associate degree or certificate at a community college,” Healey’s office noted.
To qualify for the program, which is expected to help between 6,500 to 8,000 community college students in its first year, applicants must have been a Massachusetts permanent resident for at least one year. Additionally, they need to enroll in at least six credits per semester in “an approved program of study leading to an associate degree or certificate” at one of the state’s community colleges and complete the 2023-2024 Free Application for Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA.
Flexibility: Although most community college programs start in early September, there is no deadline to sign up for MassReconnect.
Other details: Healey also announced that each community college has received $100,000 for the “quick implementation of the program” in the fall. This money comes from the $20 million that Healey specifically invested in MassReconnect, which was part of her administration’s $55.5 billion Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) budget announced in March.