Tuition Equity Act
On July 31, the Massachusetts legislature passed Tuition Equity legislation, after 20 years of advocacy. The Governor signed the budget legislation on August 9, 2023. This is a huge win for our communities! This law would give immigrant students access to an affordable college education. The new law will not be effective immediately, since the state government’s education department will need to implement it. This could take several months.
HOW TO APPLY FOR MASSACHUSETTS IN-STATE TUITION & STATE FINANCIAL AID
In September 2023, the DHE rolled out the implementation policies of the new Tuition Equity law, including an all-in-one, standardized Student Application and an Affidavit form. These resources will help campus administrators determine whether students qualify for in-state tuition and state financial aid as “High School Completers.”
Eligibility for In-State Tuition Rates
If you are a currently enrolled or newly admitted student and believe you qualify as a High School Completer, we encourage you to reach out to your school’s admissions office and complete the application process. To meet High School Completer status, you must:
- Have attended a MA high school for at least 3 years
- Have received a high school diploma or a GED in MA
- Be admitted to a MA public college or university (for in-state tuition)
You will need to provide ONE of the following documents:
- Social Security;
- Taxpayer ID number;
- Evidence of registration with the Selective Service; or
- Affidavit affirming intent to apply for legal permanent residence (a green card) or U.S. citizenship within 120 days of eligibility. Most students will choose this option.
Students will need to demonstrate their eligibility once, with no need for annual or periodic reconfirmation. Note that foreign nationals who are in the U.S. temporarily on work or visitor visas are not eligible.
STATE FINANCIAL AID APPLICATION PROCESS
State financial aid programs will be introduced in stages throughout the fiscal year 2024, which coincides with the academic year 2023-2024. Students reassessed as eligible during the 2023-2024 academic year could have their accounts credited for eligible costs backdated to July 1, 2023! Here’s how it will work:
- Phase I: Students who have completed high school and are eligible for MA state financial aid will be immediately considered for all state financial aid programs that don’t require financial need, including tuition waivers.
- Phase II: Need-based aid eligibility will become available once the DHE establishes a state-approved form equivalent to the FAFSA. We anticipate that all criteria and forms for financial aid determinations will be finalized by January 1, 2024, with eligibility determinations made during FY2024 being retroactive to July 1, 2023.
This information in also available in Spanish.
For more information, please visit https://www.mass.edu/tuitionequity/home.asp
More resources coming soon!