Massachusetts Launches MASFA, Expanding Financial Aid Access for Undocumented College Students
Thursday, January 11, 2024
The Healey-Driscoll Administration has unveiled the Massachusetts Application for State Financial Aid (MASFA), allowing currently enrolled undocumented college students in Massachusetts to apply for state need-based financial aid for the first time. Students can access the form at mass.edu/MASFA.
This initiative is part of the August 2023 passage of Massachusetts’ Tuition Equity Law, allowing eligible students to access in-state tuition and financial aid regardless of immigration status. The MASFA, released by the Department of Higher Education, serves as an alternative application for those unable to complete the Free Application for State Financial Aid (FAFSA) due to their immigration status.
"Providing access to state financial aid means that hundreds of our current undocumented students will now have the opportunity to not only ‘imagine the possibilities’ but achieve their educational dreams without constant financial roadblocks,” said Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) Director of Immigrant Student Support Services Renata Mauriz. “Undocumented immigrants at BHCC are passionate, driven, and resourceful students who enrich our campus. We are grateful for the advocates who allowed MASFA to open additional doors for prospective students to start their journey at BHCC.
Eligible students who started college in Fall 2023 or are commencing in Spring 2024 are encouraged to complete the application by May 1, with a final deadline of June 30, 2024, to be considered for financial aid in the 2023-2024 school year (including retroactive financial aid dating back to July 1, 2023). The move aligns with the administration's commitment to making quality higher education accessible to all Massachusetts high school graduates. It follows the passage of several key policies, including MassReconnect, MASSGrant Plus Expansion, and Tuition Equity, as highlighted by Lieutenant Governor Driscoll.
To be eligible, Massachusetts residents must meet the following criteria:
- Was admitted to a public or private higher education institution within the Massachusetts public higher education system.
- Have attended at least three academic years at a high school in Massachusetts.
- Have graduated from high school in Massachusetts or have received the equivalent of a high school diploma (for example, a GED) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- Have applied for military selective service, if eligible.
- If the individual is not a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States, that person must provide a completed the DHE Affidavit stating that the individual will file an application to become a citizen or legal permanent resident within 120 days after the individual becomes eligible to do so.
An updated MASFA for the 2024-2025 academic year will be available in late winter/early spring.