Healey-Driscoll administration extends deadline for student financial aid applications to July 1

Emmanuel Paul
Emmanuel Paul - Journalist/ Storyteller

The State of Massachusetts has decided to extend the deadline for submitting applications for MASSGrant student financial aid.
Previously set for May 1, students now have until July 1 to submit their applications, according to a release from Governor Maura Healey’s office.
The decision follows the Biden-Harris administration’s call to help students complete their “Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)”.

The deadline extension is intended to give Massachusetts students more time to complete their FAFSA for the 2024-2025 academic year.
MASSGrant is a need-based financial aid program that helps students cover their educational expenses at the state’s public and private colleges and universities.
The administration is encouraging students to complete their FAFSAs as soon as possible during FAFSA Action Week, according to a statement released by the Governor’s office, which stresses the need to ensure students have access to higher education.

“Massachusetts is home to the best higher education institutions in the world, but we must ensure that students are able to access this education,” said Maura Healey. “That’s why our administration has taken steps to significantly expand financial aid. We’re extending the MASSGrant deadline so that students who qualify for this financial aid have enough time and support to apply and not leave money on the table,” added the Massachusetts Governor.
Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll also emphasized the importance of financial aid in students’ projects after high school.

“Many students’ plans after high school depend on whether or not they get the financial aid they need to make college a reality. Updating this year’s deadline helps students who have reported difficulty completing this year’s new FAFSA, and it’s part of broader efforts to remove financial barriers to the life-changing opportunities higher education offers,” Kim Driscoll shared.
The decision to extend the priority deadline for the MASSGrant is a response to the challenges students face when completing the FAFSA, which has been significantly updated. Students who qualify for MASSGrant and apply by the July 1, 2024 priority deadline will be guaranteed financial aid under this program.
For students who are not eligible for FAFSA due to their immigration status, they may submit a MASFA application to request financial aid from the State of Massachusetts.
The decision to extend the application submission date is also applauded by Education Secretary Patrick Tutwiler. “We hope students will apply for financial aid and take advantage of the many increased opportunities to attend college at a more affordable price,” Mr. Tutwiler said.
This is also the view of Commissioner of Higher Education Noe Ortega, who reiterated the importance of completing the FAFSA and the availability of significant financial aid for eligible students. “Our message to students and families remains the same: fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible,” Ortega said. “We want students to know that significant financial aid is available for those who qualify, and that the perseverance required to complete the FAFSA is well worth it,” he added.
This decision is also endorsed by members of the Bay State legislature. These include Senate President Karen E. Spilka and House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano, who emphasized the need for many more students to have access to financial aid during their academic careers. “Extending the MASSGrant deadline puts higher education within reach of more students and families in our Commonwealth, at a time when we should be doing everything in our power to make college accessible to all residents,” said Senator Spilka. “As a former public school teacher, I fully understand the importance of ensuring equitable access to education. I commend the Healey-Driscoll administration for extending the application deadline, as this will impact those students most in need of financial support to make college a reality,” added Deputy Mariano.
Considerable efforts are being made at the Healey-Driscall administration level to increase student financial aid in Massachusetts. In August 2023, the administration launched MassReconnect, which offers free tuition and fees to community college students age 25 and older without a prior degree, regardless of income.

In November 2023, the administration introduced MASSGrant Plus Expansion, which offers free tuition and fees to Pell Grant-eligible students at all Massachusetts public colleges and universities, as well as a $1,200 allowance for books and supplies.
The expansion of the MASSGrant Plus program also cuts tuition in half for middle-income families with adjusted gross incomes between $73,000 and $100,000 a year, the Governor’s office recalled.

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