In The People's Blog

The following is important news about the FAFSA application and financial aid in Massachusetts which I shared with superintendents. Please feel free to use these advocacy materials in your own outreach.

Reach out to my team and I with any questions.


The Healey-Driscoll Administration has extended the priority deadline for MASSGrant, the state’s largest financial aid program, to July 1, 2024.

Please consider spreading the word to students and families in your communities that students can still complete the FAFSA after July 1 and be eligible for significant financial aid in time to go to college this fall.

Read on for a brief overview and a few important resources.


  • The federal rollout of the new FAFSA this year caused challenges that have affected FAFSA completion for many students nationwide.
  • Recent numbers for current and incoming students in Massachusetts show about 10 percent fewer FAFSA completions than at this time last year — that’s about 20,000 fewer students completing the FAFSA (this includes high school seniors and returning college students).
  • With this gap remaining, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) and its partners are working to inform students and families that there is still time to complete the FAFSA and go to college this fall.
  • The decline in FAFSA completions comes at a time when there is more student financial aid available than ever before in Massachusetts.
  • Residents can visit where they can register for FAFSA sessions that will provide one-on-one help with the FAFSA or MASFA (Massachusetts Application for State Financial Aid). These sessions are open to all Massachusetts residents and each session is either run by FAFSA Day MA or MassEdCO.

Many students not completing the FAFSA are those who could go for free tuition and fees under MASSGrant Plus Expansion

  • MASSGrant Plus Expansion (flyer attached) was launched in the fall thanks to financial aid expansion funds. It made tuition and fees at public Massachusetts campuses free for students whose families earn about $73,000 a year after taxes (about $100,000 a year pre-tax). This applies at all Massachusetts public community colleges, regional state universities, and UMass campuses. Students only need to fill out the FAFSA to apply for this program. MASSGrant Plus Expansion is automatically applied to students who complete the FAFSA and qualify.
  • MASSGrant Plus Expansion also cut tuition and fees by up to half for middle income families at public colleges and universities (middle income refers to families earning about $73,000 to $100,000 a year after taxes).

Key information for constituents about FAFSA and MASFA

  • Community colleges generally have rolling admissions, and many public universities in Massachusetts are accepting applications after their deadlines due to the challenges with the FAFSA this year.
  • If you have questions, you can reach out to DHE’s Office of Student Financial Assistance at (617) 391-6070 or
  • MEFA is also a great contact. They can also be reached at 800-449-MEFA (6332) or They also have a helpful FAFSA page, at
  • The MASFA is also available for students who cannot complete the FAFSA due to immigration status. This form is available at The FAFSA help sessions offer assistance with the MASFA as well, and DHE’s Office of Student Financial Assistance can also be helpful.

Please reach out if you need any assistance or have any questions.

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