HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Eligible community college students will have tuition fees waived come this fall, as the start of the school year gets closer.

Included in the Governor’s budget for FY 2024 is roughly $20 million for tuition-free community college.

FY 2024 runs from July 1st, 2023, to June 30, 2024 meaning some students can expect the relief this coming fall semester. 22News spoke with a leader in students affairs over at Holyoke Community College to learn more about how the program, known as MassReconnect, will work, and who is eligible to apply.

Assistant VP of Student Affairs, Renee Tastad, told 22News, “MassReconnect is for students who are ages 25 and older, who are Massachusetts residents, haven’t earned a prior degree, they’re all eligible for free tuition, fees and a stipend for books. This is just such a great opportunity for students who maybe haven’t considered, or didn’t know how to pay for school before. It’s now free for them as long as they meet the eligibility requirements.”

Funding in the governor’s budget also allows for high school students without permanent immigrant status in Massachusetts to qualify for in-state public college tuition rates.

President Biden has laid out plans to make community college free nationwide, but it hasn’t picked up much federal support. Which has led states, like Maine, Vermont, Michigan — and now Massachusetts to implement their own tuition free programs.

Local News

Kaelee Collins is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Kaelee on X @kaelee_collins and view her bio to see more of her work.