Students with a high school diploma, GED, associate degree or higher have the opportunity to enroll in a degree or certificate program at a Community College.

Admission to some programs is competitive or may require the completion of prerequisite courses, and some programs have additional requirements including specific deadlines. Complete information is available through each of the 15 Community Colleges’ Admissions offices. Each college’s Admissions staff can also help you select courses that will help you qualify for admission into programs that require prerequisites.

There are no application deadlines, but for programs with competitive enrollment it is suggested that you apply as early as possible for the next semester. On-line application forms are available on all Massachusetts Community College websites. For additional information please consult the school closest to you. 

Your Experience Counts

You may not realize just how valuable your prior life experiences are when it comes to applying them to higher education. With Credit for Prior Learning (CPL), you can put that experience towards earning your certificate or college degree at the Massachusetts Community Colleges.

This is a great opportunity to save money and complete your degree faster by demonstrating what you already know through workplace experience and training, military service, professional certifications, or your volunteer service. For more information visit

Financial Assistance Programs

Below is a brief overview of a few of the financial assistance programs available to eligible community college students. Aid is based on need, educational background, area of study, and other variables. For more details, contact the institution you attend or plan on attending.

The Commonwealth Commitment Program: The Commonwealth Commitment program allows students to start out at a Community College and transfer to one the state universities or UMASS for specific programs at a reduced cost. The program offers a freeze on tuition and mandatory fees for all four years upon entry into the program. Students must begin at one of the 15 Massachusetts Community Colleges, complete an associate degree within 2.5 years, transfer to one of the Massachusetts State Universities or UMass campuses, complete a bachelor’s degree within 2 more years, maintain continuous enrollment and a cumulative 3.0 GPA throughout the program. 

Only specific academic programs qualify for tuition discounting through the Commonwealth Commitment. Full program eligibility and details on tuition discounts and requirements are updated on the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s website. 

Access Grant Program: The Massachusetts Community College Access Grant Program significantly reduces the tuition and fees at community colleges for students enrolled in an associate degree program. Individuals with a household income of $36,000 or less can receive financial assistance sufficient to meet the full cost of tuition and fees. Students with a household income of more than $36,000 can also qualify for financial assistance. 

Federal & State Grants: Grant monies awarded to students are preferable to loans because there is no obligation to repay. Grants range from awards of $100-$4000 per academic year. Typically, these grants are combined with other forms of financial aid. Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Massachusetts State Scholarships, Massachusetts Tuition Cash Waiver Program, and Massachusetts Tuition Grants are available to students. To apply for federal student aid, students need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. Completing and submitting the FAFSA form is free and provides access to the largest source of college financial aid. For the most up-to-date information regarding these programs, call the financial aid office at your Community College.

Loan Programs: Loans allow students to borrow money in order to pay for the cost of tuition. There are long-term, low-interest, variable-interest and no-interest loans available. Contact your college’s financial aid office for more information.

Work Programs & Scholarships: A federal work-study program administered by the colleges is available to students wishing to earn extra money by working part time to meet the cost of college expenses. More information regarding these programs can be obtained through the financial aid office at the institution that you decide to attend. Scholarship programs vary from one college to another. We suggest you meet with a financial aid counselor at your college or contact the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance to discuss the types of scholarships available and your eligibility.