Enrollment up with community college now free in Massachusetts
Governor Healey’s MassReconnect program to address worker shortages by offering free tuition and textbooks to qualified students.
More students are applying for a chance at a free college education ahead of the fall semester, with the state now covering tuition for qualified students at its 15 community colleges.
More enrollment applications at Cape Cod Community College are coming from people pursuing their first degrees, transfer students, and those returning who qualify for the MassReconnect program benefit.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for students who have wanted to go to college but aren't sure how they're going to pay for it," said Christine McCarey, dean of enrollment management and student wellness.
Governor Healey in August signed the state budget which created MassReconnect for community colleges to enroll qualified students at no cost, effective Sept. 5. The program covers tuition, fees, and textbooks.
A student qualifies if they are at least 25, have lived in Massachusetts since September 2022, and have never received a degree.
Pursuing and earning a degree empowers a student, McCarey said.
"It's an opportunity for self-improvement, for self-betterment, for self-enrichment. It also helps to develop the workforce that we have on Cape Cod, on the islands, and in Plymouth."
Applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The government is expected to release a revised application intended to provide more aid.