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Massachusetts Department of Higher Education's                         Office of Student Financial Assistance
Need Based Tuition
Waiver Program
Created in 1981, the Massachusetts Tuition Waiver Program exists to offset increases in tuition and maintain access to the Commonwealth's public colleges and universities. An underlying goal of the Tuition Waiver Policy is that future public sector tuition increases be matched with a concomitant increase in the maximum award for the financially neediest students. Another principle of the Tuition Waiver Program is the belief that the benefits of higher education must be available to all citizens. Over the years, tuition waivers have been utilized as supplemental scholarships in campus-based financial aid packaging strategies.
Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for a Need Based Tuition Waiver, a student must:
  • Be a permanent legal resident of Massachusetts for at least one year prior to the opening of the academic year.
  • Be a United States citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • Be in compliance with applicable Selective Service Registration laws.
  • Not be in default of any federal or state loan or owe a refund on any previously received financial aid.
  • Evidence documented financial need as measured by a federally approved system of needs analysis.
  • Enroll in at least three undergraduate credits per semester in state-supported undergraduate degree or certificate program.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress in accordance with federal and institutional standards.
  • Not have earned a prior bachelors degree or its equivalent.
  • File a current year Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Eligible Institutions
An institution within the system of public institutions of higher education under section 5 of Chapter 15A of the General Laws.
Award Amounts
An individual student Tuition Waiver for an award period may not exceed the actual campus tuition charge for the award period.

Tuition Waiver awards, in combination with other resources in the student's financial aid package, may not exceed the student's demonstrated financial need.

Students qualifying for a Tuition Waiver may be granted partial or full waivers depending upon the institution's financial aid packaging policies.

Tuition Waivers should generally be awarded during the financial aid process as a component of the student's financial aid package. Therefore, students should be notified of Tuition Waiver awards via the financial aid award letter.

How Do I Apply?
Contact the financial aid office at the institution you are attending or plan to attend for application requirements and deadlines. You can also call the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance at (617) 391-6070 to obtain more information.

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Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance
454 Broadway, Suite 200
Revere, MA  02151
Phone: (617) 391-6070
Fax: (617) 727-0667
E-mail: osfa@osfa.mass.edu