Wise students know that they should start thinking about paying for college as soon as possible. But even if you were not able to get started saving or working early, there is still hope! If you are living in the New England state of Massachusetts, you should consider applying for various grants and scholarships. Grants, stipends and scholarships in Massachusetts are available to various types of students and are based on different criteria such as intended major, particular school of preference, residency, and other factors.
Scholarships in Massachusetts
Massachusetts College Scholarships
The Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Program was begun in order to encourage those working in an early childhood or out-of-school-time environment to pursue further training as educators or caregivers to young children. Eligible students will be permanent residents of Massachusetts for at least one year prior to scholarship application, and should be enrolled in an undergraduate program to study Early Childhood education (or a related degree such as elementary education, sociology, or psychology) at a regionally accredited university or college which offers such a program. In addition, eligible students may not have previously earned a bachelor’s degree and must agree to continue as an employee within the field of Early Childhood Education in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or be willing to repay the funds appropriated toward the education. Award amounts vary based on a $250 per-credit hour rating, and depending upon the status of private or public university. Maximum amounts range from $2,250- $4,500 per semester of aid.
Merit Scholarships in Massachusetts
The John and Abigail Adams scholarship provides a tuition waiver for students during undergraduate study at a Massachusetts state college or university. Eligible students will be graduating seniors of a Massachusetts state high school and should have advanced scores on standardized tests, as well filing the FAFSA. Awards must be used within six years of high school graduation and waives tuition for up to eight semesters, which does not include room and board or other fees.
Also based on academic merit, the Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery Awards honors students who have achievements including standardized tests, SATs, AP exams, as well as competitions, student publications, and various other awards. Students who are chosen will receive a tuition waiver which is not based upon financial need. Eligibility requirements include residence in Massachusetts as well as the intention to attend a public college or university in the state of Massachusetts. All public high schools have a Koplik coordinator who should be contacted as part of the application process.
Scholarships in Massachusetts for Financial Need
GEAR UP is a program designed by the commonwealth in 1998 to encourage students to stay in school. Awards may be used by students who are less than 22 years of age, are residents of Massachusetts, have graduated from a Massachusetts public high school, and are planning to attend college or university in state as well (some nearby states have reciprocity agreements, including NH, CT, ME, VT, RI, and PA). Awards are given to full-time and part-time students for between $800 and $1,000 and may be renewed for up to four years total. The FAFSA is the only requirement for applying for this scholarship if a person was involved in the GEAR UP program during high school.
The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education awards students with the Agnes M. Lindsay Scholarship for residents of Massachusetts in a rural area. Students must attend a college or university in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and should be able to show financial need in order to gain this help to pay for college. Applications are included with the general financial aid package for the state.
Other Scholarships in Massachusetts
The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Massachusetts, in order to encourage the study of construction or civil engineering field, offer annual college scholarships to students who are residents of Massachusetts who are in sophomore standing or above. While residency is a requirement, students may attend college or university in a state other than Massachusetts. Selection is based upon financial need as well as academics. The award may be used to pay for finishing an undergraduate program in civil engineering or construction, are given in the amount of $2,500 per year, and may be renewed based upon meeting continued eligibility requirements. There are also other graduate school awards given by the same organization in the amount of $7,500 each. Deadlines for applications are in late fall for the following academic year.
Finding unique and alternative ways to pay for college can be quite an adventure. Start by looking into these and other university or college scholarships in Massachusetts to see what is available. Once you determine your eligibility, be sure to apply as soon as the application period is open, and put your best foot forward. You never know what kind of grants or scholarship money you might get to pay for your education!