Historic MASSGrant Plus Expansion Announced by Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll

November 17, 2023

Gov. Maura Healey and Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll have announced a significant expansion of the MASSGrant Plus program, set to benefit approximately 25,000 students across the Massachusetts public higher education system.

This expansion, fueled by nearly $62 million in new funding, aims to make higher education more accessible and affordable, covering costs like tuition, fees, books, and supplies for Pell Grant-eligible students, and halving out-of-pocket expenses for middle-income students.

The announcement was made at Salem State University on Nov. 15 by Healey, along with Secretary of Education Patrick Tutwiler, Commissioner of Higher Education Noe Ortega, and Board of Higher Education Chair Chris Gabrieli. They were joined by Salem State University President John D. Keenan, students, faculty, staff and public education leaders from across the state.

"For so many Massachusetts residents, higher education can be the ticket to their future career and economic stability. Our employers are looking to graduates of Massachusetts' exceptional public colleges to meet their workforce needs, and those graduates are most likely to stay in Massachusetts. But far too many people are held back from pursuing the education of their choice because of high costs," said Governor Healey.

"This expansion of MASSGrant Plus will open doors for more students to access higher education, which will strengthen our economy as a whole. We're grateful to our Legislative partners for making this funding available and look forward to our continued collaboration to make Massachusetts more affordable," she added.

"This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for so many of our GCC students!" said GCC President Michelle Schutt. "The fact that wrap-around services are now included in MASSGrant Plus will truly change the lives of students within our region and throughout the Commonwealth."

The MASSGrant Plus Expansion will fully cover tuition and fees for Pell Grant-eligible students and reduce costs for middle-income families. For the first time, it includes allowances for books and supplies and extends aid to both full- and part-time students.

The program is retroactive to the fall 2023 semester, requiring no additional action for students who have completed the FAFSA. This historic move is praised by educational and union leaders alike for its focus on low- and middle-income students and its potential to enhance educational equity and economic mobility in Massachusetts.