MassReconnect – Proposal for Free Community College for Adults

Did you start, but not finish, college? You are not alone, millions of Americans have some college, but no degree. Maybe the college you started at wasn’t a good fit, maybe you started a family before you finished, or maybe life just got in the way. However it happened, the new MassReconnect program could be what you need to get back to school and finish a degree.

Massachusetts is known worldwide for its educational institutions – Harvard anyone? Yet some of our own residents have been left behind. Low-income and students of color enroll in college at lower rates and have lower graduation rates. Massachusetts is also experiencing a significant need for workers in cybersecurity, information technology, advanced manufacturing, health care, early childhood education, and emerging markets. The future of our state depends on successfully solving these challenges.

What is MassReconnect?

The MassReconnect program aims to address these problems by funding free community college for residents who are 25 years old and up, and who have not earned a college degree or certificate. This includes students who may have started a program, but not completed it, as well as those who have never attended college.

The program will fill unmet financial needs through grants and scholarships, leveraging existing federal financial aid available for students.

Who is eligible for the MassReconnect Free Community College Program?

To be eligible for the MassReconnect program, a student must:

  • Be at least 25 years old when they apply for the program.
  • Have been a MA resident for at least one year.
  • Have a high school diploma or GED/HiSet or equivalent.
  • Have not completed a post-secondary degree.
  • Have submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – FAFSA
  • Plan on enrolling at least half-time – 6 credits in a semester – in an eligible degree or certificate program for at least 2 semesters in a 12-month period.

Students will also need to remain Mass. Residents, continue to take at least 6 credits per semester and keep their grades at a 2.0 GPA or higher. MassReconnect students will also be required to participate in academic and career advising and continue to submit FAFSA and other aid applications.

How long can a student be in the MassReconnect Free Community College Program?

MassReconnect students will be eligible for four years from their first acceptance into the program, or until they have earned an associate degree – whichever happens first. Pell Grant-eligible, qualifying students can enroll in any associate degree major or certificate program in any field of study.

What does the MassReconnect program pay for?

MassReconnect is intended to cover tuition, mandatory fees, including lab fees or other course-specific fees, and application and graduation/commencement fees, as well as textbooks and course materials. The MassReconnect program will cover the Expected Family Contribution calculated in the FAFSA, ensuring free access to community college.

Ready to get started?

Request more information about a degree or certificate program here or sign up for a tour and information session today!