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4,500 Received Free Tuition, Fees for Community College in Last Year

By Tom Marino | July 9, 2024
Last Updated: July 9, 2024

BOSTON – In the first year of MassReconnect, the program supported 4,500 students across 15 community colleges in Massachusetts. In the same year, 8,411 students, 25 years old and older, enrolled in community colleges, a 45 percent increase over the previous year.

Of those 8,411 students, 1,667 are Black and 1,966 are Latino, both significant increases over the prior year, according to the office of Governor Maura Healey.

MassReconnect provides tuition and fee free community college for students 25 years old and older without prior degrees. Governor Healey’s fiscal year 2025 proposal includes $24 million in funding for the program, a 20 percent increase from its first year.

“Not only has MassReconnect made a difference in the lives of thousands of students, it has also been a big step toward increasing equity in higher education in Massachusetts,” said Luis Pedraja, president of Quinsigamond Community College and chair of the Community College Council of Presidents. “I’ve seen the positive impact MassReconnect has had first-hand at my own college.”

The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education tracks enrollment, graduation, and transfer rates of students in the program to measure its success.

“Massachusetts has an opportunity to lead the nation in upward mobility through higher education, and new programs like MassReconnect and MASSGrant Plus Expansion lay the crucial groundwork for getting there,” said Higher Education Commissioner Noe Ortega.

Image Credit: John Phelan, Harrington Learning Center, Quinsigamond Community College, Greendale MA, CC BY-SA 3.0

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