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Tuition waivers

For credit courses, the College requires that tuition waivers be submitted by the due date of the bill if you are eligible for one at that time. Proof of eligibility must be provided. Waivers will not be accepted if you fail to submit the proper waiver in a timely manner. Generally, fees cannot be waived with most types of waivers. However, senior citizen waivers, certain college employee waivers, and a limited number of other waivers, may also waive fees. In most cases, special class or program fees cannot be waived. Some waivers are subject to approval by the Registrar on seating availability basis.  All waivers for non-credit workshops are approved separately on a case by case basis by our Community Education Department.

The most common types of waivers are:

Categorical Tuition and/or Fee Waivers:

(Some of the following information was obtained from the website of the MA Department of Higher Education’s Office of Student Financial Assistance.)

The Categorical Tuition Waivers are a component of the Massachusetts Single Tuition Waiver Program and have the same purpose of maintaining access to the Commonwealth’s public colleges and universities. The Categorical Tuition Waivers are designed to provide financial support to individuals who might not have the opportunity to achieve higher education, without such assistance.

If it deems necessary, the institution, consistent with its mission and subject to the Board of Higher Education’s approval as of September 1, 1991, may establish additional waivers for specific categories of students.

Who is eligible for a Categorical Waiver?

To be eligible for a Categorical 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.
  • Be a member of an eligible category as defined below.
  • In accordance with institutional requirements, each student must present documentation of categorical waiver eligibility to the appropriate college officials.
  • 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.

What are the eligible categories that qualify for a Categorical Tuition Waiver?

  • Veteran (Code 11): As provided in M.G.L. Chapter 4, Section 7(43) including: Spanish War, World War I, World War II, Korean, Vietnam, Lebanese peace keeping force, Grenada rescue mission, the Panamanian intervention force, or the Persian Gulf.

For purposes of tuition waivers, the term “veteran” shall also include any individual who served in the army, navy, marine corps, coast guard or air force of the United States for not less than ninety days at least one of which was served in the theatre of operation for the Somalian mission known as “Operation Restore Hope” and whose last discharge or release was under honorable conditions.

Required documentation:

In order to qualify for this waiver, you must submit a copy of your DD 214, along with the tuition waiver form to the GCC Veteran Affairs Certifying Official in our Financial Aid Office each term for which you are requesting the tuition waiver.

Charges that qualify for this waiver:

100% day in-state (state-supported) tuition

100% day in-state DCE (D/D non state-supported) tuition

100% evening tuition

100% intersession tuition

100% summer tuition

No fees are waived

  • Native American (Code 1):

Required documentation:

Students must provide to our Financial Aid Office proof of their tribal membership, as certified by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Charges that qualify for this waiver:

100% day in-state (state-supported) tuition

100% day in-state DCE (D/D non state-supported) tuition

50% evening tuition

50% intersession tuition

50% summer tuition

No fees are waived

  • Senior Citizen (Code 2 or Code 42): Persons age 60 or over.

Required documentation:

Students must provide to our Enrollment Services Office a valid photo ID showing date of birth.

Charges that qualify for this waiver if you do not have a baccalaureate degree:

100% day in-state (state-supported) tuition

100% day in-state DCE (D/D non state-supported) tuition

100% evening tuition

100% intersession tuition

100% summer tuition

100% College Service Fee

100% Student Activity Fee

100% Health Records Administration Fee

100% registration fee

No other fees are waived

Charges that qualify for this waiver if you have a baccalaureate degree:

100% College Service Fee

100% Student Activity Fee

100% Health Records Administration Fee

100% registration fee

No tuition charges or other fees are waived

  • Armed Forces (Code 14): An active member of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force or Coast Guard) stationed and residing in Massachusetts.

Required documentation:

Students must provide to our Financial Aid Office a copy of your Armed Forces card showing you are on active duty and stationed in Massachusetts.

Charges that qualify for this waiver:

100% day in-state (state-supported) tuition

100% day in-state DCE (D/D non state-supported) tuition

100% evening tuition

100% intersession tuition

100% summer tuition

No fees are waived

  • Clients of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (Code 18) or Commission for the Blind (Code 20): As certified by the respective commission.

Required documentation:

Students must provide to our Financial Aid Office written documentation certified by the appropriate commission’s local office and/or caseworker showing that you qualify for the waiver.

Charges that qualify for these waivers:

100% day in-state tuition

100% day in-state DCE tuition (D/D)

100% evening tuition

100% intersession tuition

100% summer tuition

No fees are waived

What is an eligible institution?

An eligible institution is an institution within the system of public institutions of higher education Section 5 of Chapter 15A of the General Laws.

What is the award amount I may be eligible for?

Individual student awards for an award period may not exceed the actual campus tuition charges for the award period.

If the student is the recipient of need-based student financial aid resources and categorical tuition waiver awards, the combination of resources in the student’s financial aid package may not exceed the student’s demonstrated financial aid need.

If the student is the recipient of both a need-based tuition waiver and a categorical waiver, the total value of both waivers may not exceed the total cost of tuition.

Students qualifying for a Categorical Tuition Waiver may be granted full tuition waivers consistent with the institution’s policies.

Campus fees are not included in the waivers. Institutions may, but are not required to, waive specific fees for participants in various categorical waivers. If fees are waived, the campus should publicize the fees waived.

How do I apply for a Categorical Tuition Waiver?

Contact the financial aid office for application requirements or deadlines. You can also call the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance at (617) 391-6070 to obtain more information.

 Need-Based Tuition Waiver:

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.

What charges qualify for this waiver?

Only day state-supported tuition charges qualify for this waiver.  State supported day tuition charges are designated on your account and billing statement as DAY Tuition.  You cannot have different types of waivers that waive the same state supported tuition charges. Therefore, if you already have another type of waiver on your account that has waived all of your state-supported tuition; you will not receive this need-based waiver.

Who is eligible for a Need-Based Tuition Waiver?

 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.

What is the award amount I may be eligible for?

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.

How do I apply for a Need-Based Tuition Waiver?

Need-based Tuition Waivers are 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.

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

Massachusetts National Guard Welcome Home Tuition and Fee Waiver (Code 12):

The Massachusetts National Guard Education Assistance Program provides a 100% tuition and fee waiver for Massachusetts National Guard soldiers attending a state college, university, or community college program. Generally, these state-supported programs are offered during the day as part of a degree program. Your assistance can continue as long as you are in good standing academically and until you have reached 130 semester hours.

Who is eligible for the MA National Guard Welcome Home Tuition and Fee Waiver?

An active member of the Massachusetts Army or Air National Guard who is in good standing and meets the following criteria:

  • Is accepted for admission to, or is enrolled, full- or part-time in a Massachusetts public institution of higher education, as defined above.
  • Is eligible to receive and has been issued a Certificate of Eligibility by the Military Division of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts applicable for any portion of the academic year.
  • Has not exceeded the 130 semester credit hours maximum, or the equivalent quarter hours or clock hours, when combined with Certificates of Eligibility issued prior to September 1, 2006.
  • Maintains satisfactory academic progress as defined by the institution.

It is the responsibility of each National Guard member to maintain his/her eligibility for educational assistance during the life of each Certificate of Eligibility. The member is also responsible for providing the Certificate of Eligibility to the proper official at the institution, as designated, and in a timely manner to facilitate awarding of the waivers.

  • It is the responsibility of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Military Division to inform the institution of the status of any member of the National Guard who has failed to maintain good standing or has terminated his/ her service. Upon receipt of this information, the institution must determine if the award may be canceled for that academic term or for such future terms to follow.

What is the award amount I may be eligible for?

Subject to a special appropriation for this program, the value of the award under this program shall be equal to the amount of tuition and mandatory fees, as defined by each institution, charged to the student. The total number of credits for which tuition and fees are waived may not exceed the number of credits for which the student is eligible, as indicated and based on the Certificate of Eligibility.

The institution must maintain and record the number of credits for which tuition and fees have been waived for each student to avoid overpayment.

How do I apply for the MA National Guard Welcome Home Tuition and Fee Waiver?

As of December 1, 2008 each soldier must apply online at http://mro.chs.state.ma.us/tuition/login.aspx to obtain a new “Certificate of Eligibility” for required college credits.

What is the required documentation I must submit to support my eligibility?

Students must submit an updated “Certificate of Eligibility” along with the GCC Tuition Waiver Certification Form to our Financial Aid Office each semester for which you are requesting the waiver.

What charges are eligible to be waived?

Charges that qualify:

100% of all tuition categories

100% of all mandatory fees

No other fees are waived   

Massachusetts National Guard Tuition Waiver (waives tuition only) (Code 13):

The Massachusetts National Guard Education Assistance Program provides a 100% tuition waiver for Massachusetts National Guard soldiers attending a state college, university, or community college program. Generally, these state-supported programs are offered during the day as part of a degree program.

Who is eligible for the MA National Guard Tuition Waiver?

An active member of the Massachusetts Army or Air National Guard who is in good standing and meets the following criteria:

  • Is accepted for admission to, or is enrolled, full- or part-time in a Massachusetts public institution of higher education, as defined above.
  • Is eligible to receive and has been issued a Certificate of Tuition Waiver Eligibility by the Military Division of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts applicable for any portion of the academic year.
  • Maintains satisfactory academic progress as defined by the institution.

NOTE: Unit members are exempt from the MA residency requirement if serving in a Massachusetts unit.

What is the award amount I may be eligible for?

The value of the award under this program shall be equal to the amount of tuition charged for eligible tuition categories.

What is the required documentation I must submit to support my eligibility?

Students must submit a Certificate of Tuition Waiver from their National Guard unit to our Financial Aid Office each semester for which you are requesting the waiver.

What charges are eligible to be waived?

Charges that qualify:

100% of all tuition categories excluding intersession tuition charges

No fees are waived

 John and Abigail Adams Tuition Waiver (Code 27):

The John and Abigail Adams Scholarship awards non-need-based state-supported undergraduate tuition waivers to students who are awarded John and Abigail Adams Scholarship by the Department of Education. The purposes of the Adams Scholarship are to:

  • Reward and inspire student achievement;
  • Help attract more high-performing students to Massachusetts public higher education; and
  • Provide families of college-bound students with financial assistance.

Who is eligible for the John and Abigail Adams Tuition Waiver?

To be eligible for the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship, a student must demonstrate the following:

  • Score in the advanced category in either the Mathematics or the English language arts section of the grade 10 MCAS test and score in the Proficient or Advanced category on the second subject (Mathematics or English language arts).
  • Have a combined MCAS score on these assessments that ranks in the top 25% in their school district.
  • Must be a permanent Massachusetts resident.
  • Must be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Enrolled full-time in a Massachusetts public college or university, and has not earned a prior bachelors degree.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Must be in compliance with applicable law regarding Selective Service Registration.
  • Must not be in default with applicable law regarding any Federal or State student education loans for attendance at any institution or owe a refund for any previous financial aid received.

What is the award amount I may be eligible for?

Recipients of the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship are eligible for an award of a non-need-based tuition waiver for state-supported undergraduate courses. Individual student awards shall be no more than the resident undergraduate tuition rate at the participating institution. Students are also required to maintain a G.P.A. of 3.0 for continued eligibility.

How do I apply for the John and Abigail Adams Tuition Waiver?

There is no application process for the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship. Students who are eligible for the John and Abigail Adams tuition waiver will be notified in the fall of their senior year in high school. Students must enroll full-time in the first traditional academic semester following high school graduation. Students must also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and are required to maintain a GPA of 3.0 for continued eligibility.

What is the required documentation I must submit to support my eligibility?

Students must provide a copy of their letter of eligibility signed by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to our Financial Aid Office.

What charges are eligible to be waived?

Charges that qualify:

100% day in-state (state supported) tuition

100% day in-state DCE (D/D non-state supported) tuition

No other tuition categories or fees are waived

Foster Child Tuition Waiver and Fee Assistance Program (Code 21):

The DCF Foster Child Tuition Waiver and Fee Assistance Program is designed to provide financial support for higher education to foster children in state custody who were neither adopted nor returned home. It is believed that these children have few support systems and significant needs. Without the benefit of parental support, foster children, whose lives are filled with numerous obstacles, face the additional challenge of financing their education when they enroll as students in higher education institutions. While foster care children qualify for financial aid, many face the burden of acquiring student loans to meet their educational costs. The DCF Foster Child Tuition Waiver and Fee Assistance Program provides a valuable resource for them and will help reduce their educational loan debt.

Who is eligible for the Foster Child Tuition Waiver and Fee Assistance Program?

To be eligible for the DCF Foster Child Tuition Waiver and Fee Assistance Program, a student must

  • Be a Massachusetts resident for at least one year prior to the fall semester.
  • Be twenty-four years of age or under at the start of the academic year.
  • Be a current or former foster child who was placed in the custody of the state through a Care and Protection Petition, or
  • Be a child whose guardianship was sponsored by the Department of Children and Families through age 18.
  • Have been in the custody of the Commonwealth for at least six months before age 18.
  • Not have been adopted nor returned home.
  • Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Be enrolled in an undergraduate degree, certificate or short-term certificate program, or be taking noncredit courses.
  • Apply for financial aid, using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Not have received a prior bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
  • Must meet Selective Service requirements
  • Must meet satisfactory academic progress requirements
  • Not be in default of student loans or owe a financial aid refund.

What is the award amount I may be eligible for?

Students eligible for the DCF Foster Child Tuition Waiver and Fee Assistance Program are entitled to a tuition and fee waiver equal to 100% of the resident tuition rate, subject to budgetary appropriation, for eligible state-supported courses offered at the participating public higher education institution.

How do I apply for the Foster Child Tuition Waiver and Fee Assistance Program?

Contact the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance at (617) 391-6070 to obtain more information and to inquire about application requirements or deadlines. Additionally, you must obtain eligibility documentation from the Department of Children and Families and present it to your campus financial aid office for consideration.  To find the agency that serves your area, please contact the lead agency, Child and Family Services, Inc. at 1-800-972-2734.

What is the required documentation I must submit to support my eligibility?

Students must submit to our Financial Aid Office a Certificate or Letter of Eligibility from the Department of Children and Families.

What charges are eligible to be waived?

Charges that qualify:

100% day in-state (state-supported) tuition

100% day in-state DCE (D/D non-state-supported) tuition

100% day in-state (state supported) fees

No other tuition categories or fees are waived

Adopted Child Tuition Waiver and Fee Assistance Program (Code 21):

The DCF Adopted Child Tuition Waiver and Fee Assistance Program is designed to lessen the financial burden on adopting parents in the Commonwealth. This Waiver extends eligibility to all children and young adults, age twenty-four or under, adopted through the Department of Children and Families by state employees or eligible Massachusetts residents, regardless of the date of adoption. The tuition and fee waiver encompasses 100% of tuition and fees for state-supported courses, subject to budgetary appropriation, at all of the Massachusetts public institutions of higher education, excluding graduate courses and courses in the MD program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

Who is eligible for the Adopted Child Tuition and Fee Assistance Program?

To be eligible for the DCF Adopted Child Tuition Waiver and Fee Assistance Program, a student must:

  • Be a Massachusetts resident for at least one year prior to the fall semester.
  • Be twenty-four years of age or under at the start of the academic year.
  • Be in the custody of the Department of Children and Families and have been adopted by an eligible Massachusetts state employee through the Department of Children and Families, or;
  • Be in the custody of the Department of Children and Families and have been adopted by an eligible Massachusetts resident through the Department of Children and Families.
  • Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Be enrolled full time, half time, or part time in an eligible program or is taking an eligible course as defined.
  • Be enrolled in an undergraduate degree, certificate or short-term certificate program, or be taking noncredit courses.
  • Apply for financial aid, using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Not have received a prior bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
  • Not be in default of any federal or state loans or owe a refund for any previous financial aid received.
  • Be maintaining satisfactory academic progress in accordance with institutional and federal standards.
  • Must meet Selective Service requirements

Who is considered to be an eligible state employee or eligible resident?

Eligible state employees shall include all individuals determined to be Massachusetts State employees at the time of adoption of the eligible student including:

  • All full and part-time Massachusetts state government employees employed by the state, for at least six months at the time of the adoption. Employees who were working for the state at the time of the adoption and continued to be employed by the state for at least six months after the adoption.

Eligible Massachusetts residents shall include:

  • All individuals determined to be Massachusetts state residents at the time of adoption of the eligible student.

What is the award amount I may be eligible for?

Students eligible for the DCF Adopted Child Tuition Waiver and Fee Assistance program will be entitled to a tuition waiver and fee assistance equal to 100% of the resident rate, subject to budgetary appropriation, for eligible state-supported courses offered at the participating public higher education institutions.

How do I apply for the Adopted Child Tuition Waiver and Fee Assistance Program?

Contact the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance at (617) 391-6070 to obtain more information and to inquire about application requirements or deadlines. Additionally, you must obtain eligibility documentation from the Department of Children and Families and present it to your campus financial aid office for consideration.  To find the agency that serves your area, please contact the lead agency, Child and Family Services, Inc. at 1-800-972-2734.

What is the required documentation I must submit to support my eligibility?

Students must submit to our Financial Aid Office a Certificate or Letter of Eligibility from the Department of Children and Families.

What charges are eligible to be waived?

Charges that qualify:

100% day in-state (state-supported) tuition

100% day in-state DCE (D/D non-state-supported) tuition

100% day in-state (state supported) fees

No other tuition categories or fees are waived

Massachusetts State Employee Tuition and/or Fee Waiver (Tuition Remission):

To qualify for the MA state employee tuition and/or fee waivers (tuition remission), the employee must obtain a tuition remission form completed by the HR department at the appropriate state agency where the employee works.  The form must be signed by the certifying official in the HR department who is authorized to verify eligibility and approve the waiver (tuition remission).  The form must also be signed and dated by the eligible employee.  For additional information about these waivers contact the GCC Bursar’s Office by phone at 413-775-1301 or via email at teller@gcc.mass.edu.

  • MCCC Member: Spouse/Child Tuition & Waiver (Code 17):
  • GCC Employee AFSCME Member (Code 9):
  • MA Community Colleges Employee Non-Unit (Full-time) Spouse/Child Waiver (Code 29):
  • MA Community Colleges Employee Non-Unit (Half-time) Spouse/ Child Waiver (Code 30):
  • MA Higher Education (Full-time) Spouse/Child Waiver (Code 3):
  • MA Higher Education (Half-time) Spouse/Child Waiver (Code 6):
  • MA Higher Education Faculty (Full-time) Waiver (Code 5):
  • MA Higher Education Faculty (Half-time) Waiver (Code 7):
  • MA State Employee/MA Higher Education Staff Waiver (Code 8):
  • GCC Benefited Employee (Full-time & Half-time) Waiver (Code 4):
  • GCC Non-Benefited Employee (Half-time) Waiver (Code 4):

Miscellaneous Tuition and/or Fee Waivers:

  • MCHSP Waiver (Code 23)
  • 911 Tragedy (Code 26)
  • Persian Gulf Veteran Tuition Waiver (Code 10)
  • Mefa U-PLAN Waiver (Code 41)
  • Clinical Nursing Supervisor Waiver (Code 40)

Koplik Tuition Waiver (Code 22):

The Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery with Distinction waives tuition at Massachusetts public colleges and universities. The Koplik Certificate of Mastery may be used for 8 consecutive semesters at Massachusetts colleges and university however students are required to maintain a G.P.A. of 3.3 for continued eligibility.

Who is eligible to apply for the Stanley Z. Koplik Tuition Waiver?

To be eligible to apply for a Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery Award, a student must:

  • Be currently enrolled in a Massachusetts public high school. (Students who have graduated high school are not eligible to apply)
  • Be a permanent Massachusetts resident.
  • Be a United States citizen or eligible noncitizen.
    (In order to use the tuition waiver portion of the Certificate, students must be eligible to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA))

What is the award amount I may be eligible for?

Recipients of the Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery Tuition Waiver are eligible for an award of a non-need-based tuition waiver for state-supported undergraduate courses. Individual student awards shall be no more than the resident undergraduate tuition rate at the participating institution.

Students are also required to maintain a G.P.A. of 3.3 for continued eligibility.

How do I apply for the Stanley Z. Koplik Tuition Waiver?

Koplik Application forms should be submitted to the Koplik coordinator at your high school.

All applications and supporting documentation should be submitted directly to the school’s Koplik Coordinator, please do not send copies in to the ESE.

For students in their senior year, applications must be submitted to the Koplik coordinator by May 1. It is important to note that since scores from tests taken in May and June are not reported until early July, the application need not be complete when submitted however notifications will not be sent until scores are received. Koplik coordinators are asked to submit scores for these students by the end of July.

For any questions you may have regarding the Koplik Certificate of Mastery, please contact Koplik@doe.mass.edu.