15 College Scholarships for Massachusetts Students
As the cost of a college education continues to grow, so does the role scholarships play in helping students afford college. Unlike loans, scholarships do not require repayment, making them key to helping alleviate debt accumulated while in college. Smaller scholarships, such as those offered on a state level, offer less competition and better odds of winning than larger awards and are a great strategy for securing funds for college.
If you’re from the Bay State, below you’ll find some awesome Massachuisstts scholarship opportunities.
15 Massachusetts Scholarships
Amount: Full tuition
Eligibility: High school seniors who are Massachusetts residents
Application Requirements: GPA of at least 3.75 and a SAT score at or above 1200
This merit-based scholarship is named after former Massachusetts congressman, senator, and one-time presidential candidate Paul Tsongas. Scholarship winners receive a waiver of tuition and mandatory fees at one of these nine Massachusetts state universities:
- Bridgewater State University
- Fitchburg State University
- Framingham State University
- Massachusetts College of Art and Design
- Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
- Massachusetts Maritime Academy
- Salem State University
- Westfield State University
- Worcester State University
Recipients of the Paul Tsongas Scholarship are required to maintain a 3.3 GPA to continue to receive the waiver over their four years of study.
Amount: Up to $3,000
Deadline: March 31
Eligibility: Any student planning to enroll for the fall semester, in any year of college, that is attending an accredited post-secondary school in the U.S.; students living in Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden Counties, but will consider some students living in Berkshire County and Hartford County in Connecticut
One of the most wide-ranging Massachusetts scholarships, the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts Scholarships offers over 140 different scholarships and awards totaling roughly $1.4 million annually. Reviewers take a lot of factors into consideration when making scholarship decisions, including the applicant’s academic performance and financial need.
Amount: Up to $3,000
Deadline: May 1
Eligibility: New England resident and skate at FMC arenas
Helping students achieve both on and off the ice, the FMC scholarship helps defray the cost of college. Awarded to ice hockey, figure skating, and recreational skaters, FMC has awarded over 440 scholarships and $450,000 since it began in 1993. Scholarship winners are selected by a variety of factors, including academics, extracurricular and community activities, and accomplishments and leadership on the ice.
Amount: $500 and up
Deadline: March 1
Eligibility: High school senior enrolled in a Massachusetts high school
Application Requirements: 500-word personal statement, portfolio, letter of recommendation, and transcript
A great Massachusetts scholarship for aspiring artists, the Pennies for Art scholarship provides funds for college to aspiring artists working in two-dimensional mediums. Sponsored by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Massachusetts (GFWC), candidates are required to submit a portfolio containing examples of original 2D artwork in three different mediums (oil, watercolor, and photography, for example).
Amount: Full tuition
Deadline: May 1
Eligibility: Massachusetts resident and a child or widowed spouse of a Massachusetts Police Officer, Firefighter, or Corrections Officer who was killed while on duty, or a child of a veteran who was killed in action and whose service was credited to Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Public Service Grant program provides financial assistance to students who lost a parent in the line of duty. The program allows students to attend any public or independent college or university in Massachusetts. If attending a public college, its full tuition is covered. If attending a private college, the award is equal to the full-time annual tuition charge at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Amount: On average $30,000 over four years
Deadline: December 1
Eligibility: High school senior who has worked two or more years on a Massachusetts golf course
Application Requirements: Recommendations and a FAFSA
The Francis Ouimet Scholarship helps deserving students who have worked on golf courses—as a caddie or in operations—make their college dreams a reality. The scholarship takes its name from Francis Ouimet, a little-known 20-year-old golfer who upset two of the top players in the world at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1913. Francis Ouimet Scholarships are need-based and some recipients have been given up to $80,000 over four years.
Deadline: April 15
Eligibility: High school senior from the four counties in western Massachusetts, who has applied to college and is planning to pursue journalism
Application Requirements: News story, personal statement, transcript, letter of recommendation, resume, and a portfolio of journalistic work
The Valley Press Club Scholarship is available to students from the four counties of Western Massachusetts (Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden, and Berkshire) with an interest in pursuing journalism as a major or minor in college. Students from a varied journalistic focus are encouraged to apply—news, sports, investigative, photojournalism, social media, features, health, and entertainment.
Deadline: March 15
Eligibility: Massachusetts high school juniors with a critical financial need who have demonstrated exceptional integrity and perseverance in overcoming adversity
Application Requirements: Minimum 2.0 GPA and a form to be completed by your high school counselor
The Horatio Alger Massachusetts Scholarship Program helps students who have confronted and overcome significant adversity attend college. Scholarships are funded by Horatio Alger Members who have also overcome enormous challenges to become successful business and civic leaders.
Amount: Up to $6,000 annually
Eligibility: Massachusetts residents under the age of 25 who were placed in the custody of the Department of Children and Families through a Care and Protection Petition
Application Requirements: Enrolled full-time in an eligible institution and meeting its requirements for satisfactory academic progress
Education is often referred to as “the great equalizer,” but young people who were in foster care face many challenges when pursuing higher education. The Foster Child Grant Program seeks to alleviate one of the barriers facing young people from foster care by providing up to $6,000 annually to any accredited institution authorized to offer undergraduate degrees in the continental U.S.
Amount: Between $3,000 and $17,000 annually
Deadline: February 1
Eligibility: Permanent New England resident planning to enroll, or enrolled, in a bachelor’s degree program
Application Requirements: Qualify financially, possess a 3.0 GPA or higher, and take challenging courses
This generous scholarship is devoted to helping students with financial need who have demonstrated academic excellence, a commitment to serving others, a strong work ethic, and great leadership graduate college without accumulating burdensome amounts of debt. Strong applicants are making meaningful contributions to society and are involved with their school and community while working part-time. Competitive applicants will have also demonstrated grit when facing hardship.
Deadline: March 1
Eligibility: African-American seniors with financial need from Worcester County
Application Requirements: Intending to study bioscience, mathematics, engineering (or any of its subfields), or physics in college
Science-minded African-American high school seniors in Worcester Country will want to check out the Wallace D. and Dorothy M. Andrews Scholarship. Awarded annually, it is one of the more than 130 scholarships offered by the Greater Worcester Community Foundation (GWCF) to high school seniors who live in the 60 cities and towns that make up Worcester County.
Amount: Up to $3,000
Deadline: September 10
Eligibility: Resident of a New England state and enrolled full-time in a landscape/horticulture program
Application Requirements: Senior status in a two-year program or junior status in a four-year program with a minimum GPA of 2.25
Created in 1988 to ensure growth in the landscape and nursery industry, the Timothy S. and Palmer W. Bigelow, Jr. Scholarship provides financial aid to students from New England who are studying horticulture. Preference is given to applicants who plan to work in the nursery industry following graduation—including the desire to own one’s own business—and students with financial need.
Deadline: June 1
Eligibility: High school seniors planning to attend a post-secondary school who have been a player registered with Massachusetts Youth Soccer for at least the past two years
Application Requirements: 500-word essay on how soccer has positively influenced your life
Massachusetts Youth Soccer provides two scholarships annually (one to a male and one to a female) for student-athletes who have been associated with the organization for at least the past two years.
Amount: Between $250 and $500
Deadline: June 1
Eligibility: Massachusetts resident enrolled in an accredited occupational therapy educational program in Massachusetts at the professional degree level and member of the Massachusetts Association for Occupational Therapy
Application Requirements: 500-word essay, resume, and two recommendations
The Karen Jacobs Scholarship provides two awards: a $500 scholarship for a Mass resident enrolled in an accredited occupational therapy educational program and a $250 scholarship for a Mass resident enrolled in an accredited OTA program. Membership to the Massachusetts Association for Occupational Therapy is required to qualify for the awards.
Eligibility: Boston resident since the beginning of junior year with a demonstrated financial need
Application Requirements: Minimum 2.0 GPA, essay, and a commitment to community service
Since 1939, the Edwards Scholarship has helped Boston students achieve a college education. A believer in strong communities, Grace Edwards (the scholarship’s namesake), was of the mind that education was a pathway to service. Consequently, strong applicants will have demonstrated a commitment to their communities.
Tips for Applying to Scholarships
Applying for scholarships takes time and effort, but the payoff is worth it when you receive an award. Below are some tips to help you maximize your scholarship efforts and improve your odds of winning an award.
- Prioritize awards: Rank awards by factors like date, prize amount, and fit (e.g., eligible to only Massachusetts residents) and focus on the opportunities that have the best odds of paying off.
- Work smart: Many scholarships have similar requirements—for example, FAFSA, transcript, recommendation, and essay. Have your documentation all in one place to expedite completing applications and tweak existing essays to use for multiple awards.
- Pay attention to details: Before applying for a scholarship, make sure you qualify for it—read the instructions before filling out an application and proofread everything.
- Create a calendar: Schedule time into your week to apply for scholarships and stick to it. A few hours a week spent finding and applying for scholarships adds up over time, especially if you start early.
- Apply often: The more scholarships you apply for, the better your chances of winning an award.