Online Colleges in Massachusetts

Most Affordable Online Colleges

COLLEGE FINDER

Article Sources

Methodology

Using the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we generated a list of colleges and universities that met the following criteria:

  • Level of institution is either "Four or more years" or "At least 2 but less than 4 years"
  • Data is reported for all 11 ranking variables listed in the Methodology section
  • At least 1 percent of students are taking at least some of the classes via distance education
  • "Number of programs offered via distance education" was an integer greater than 0

We ranked the resulting 1,813 colleges on 11 criteria, using provisional 2016-17 data from IPEDS:

  1. Number of programs offered via distance education
  2. Ratio of students participating fully or partially in DE to Total Enrollment
  3. Average in-state tuition for undergraduates
  4. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media
  5. Graduation rate
  6. Retention rate
  7. The availability of any tuition plans (Payment, Guaranteed, Other)
  8. Services (Academic/Career, Placement for Completers)
  9. Credit offerings (Dual, Life, AP, Military)
  10. Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid
  11. Average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students

All schools were scored on a 10-point scale for each of the points listed above. Individual data point scores were then multiplied by their respective weights, and the scores were added together, for a maximum possible score of 10 points.

NOTE: Schools' tuition amounts are based on 2016-17 undergraduate and graduate data reported to the National Center for Education Statistics. The actual cost of tuition may vary.

Methodology Sources

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Sources :

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Massachusetts is one of the original 13 colonies of the United States, well known as the landing place of the Mayflower and its Pilgrims. The state is almost as renowned for being the location of Harvard University, founded in 1636, the first college in the United States. Students have many options when it comes to choosing a college in Massachusetts; in addition to housing both grand old universities and newer but still well-respected schools, the state boasts a plethora of innovative online learning opportunities as well.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Massachusetts is home to is home to 15 public, four-year colleges, 17 public two-year schools, 89 private non-profit colleges and universities, and 54 for-profit schools. The University of Massachusetts System oversees five of these colleges, and is considered a leader in online education. UMassOnline, which is the online hub for the University of Massachusetts System, boasts over 140 online program options between its partner schools. Those degrees include:

  • 2 online associate degrees
  • 37 online bachelor's degrees
  • 45 online master's degrees
  • 4 online doctoral degrees
  • 61 online certificates

And, of course, Massachusetts is home to some of the most respected private universities in the country, such as Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Tufts, Babson and Brandeis.

Best Online Colleges in Massachusetts for 2018-19

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Students considering online degrees shouldn't overlook Massachusetts schools, which is why we've put together this ranking of the best online colleges in Massachusetts. Because there are so many online colleges and schools offering online programming in Massachusetts, we used data from the National Center for Education Statistics and a custom methodology (details at the bottom of this page) to select the best of the best from this renowned state. If you're in the market for a flexible degree you can complete while taking care of family or career obligations, consider one of the colleges listed here (or consider using our Top Colleges Tool to narrow down a ranking of your own making).

1

Harvard University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$47,074
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
13%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
130
School Type
4-year

Harvard University is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, and is frequently considered one of the top universities in the world. The school has produced important research that has impacted lives around the globe, along with dozens of Nobel Laureates, heads of state, and Pulitzer prize winners. While cost and competition for entry can be steep barriers, the school's long-standing reputation for quality make it worth the trouble for many.

Despite its long and classical history, this private institution has remained flexible and open to changes in technology. The university offers a handful of partially-online bachelor's and graduate degree programs that can be completed via hybrid learning, as well as dozens of professional certificate programs that can be completed entirely online.

2

University of Massachusetts-Lowell

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$14,307
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
31%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
50
School Type
4-year

The University of Massachusetts at Lowell is a national public research university aimed at helping students transition from college into the workforce. Students who choose online learning at this school can benefit from 24/7 technical support, along with academic advisors and program coordinators hired to help students reach their academic goals.

Numerous degree programs at this university are offered either fully or partially online. UMass-Lowell students can pursue online associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs in topics such as psychology, information technology, criminal justice, mathematics and management, among many others.

3

University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$14,971
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
25%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
22
School Type
4-year

Known as "the Commonwealth's flagship campus," UMass-Amherst is a public research and land grant university that also offers online degree programs to students across the country through the University of Massachusetts online platform, UMassOnline. The online programs at the university span an array of levels and subjects, both graduate and undergraduate. One student may choose to earn an associate degree in sustainable food and farming; in contrast, another might complete a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. Certificate programs, degree completion programs and individual online courses are also available for those students interested in them.

4

Westfield State University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$9,275
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
36%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
7
School Type
4-year

Westfield State University has a history of producing revolutionary movers and thinkers, such as Nettie Marie Stevens (the biologist who proved that X and Y chromosomes determined the sex of individuals), Paula Meara (the first female chief of police in a major New England city) and Tammy Kaleta (the first female firefighter in Southampton). Through the university's online degree programs, students from all over the world have the opportunity to become Westfield alumni alongside these famous names.

Online degree programs at Westfield are available in a variety of formats. From degree completion programs designed for graduates of Massachusetts community colleges, to hybrid programs combining on-campus and online coursework, to self-paced programs and courses, there's an option for everyone at Westfield State University.

5

Endicott College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$31,312
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
32%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
12
School Type
4-year

Founded in 1939 by Dr. Eleanor Tupper and her husband, the Reverend Dr. George O. Bierkoe, Endicott College offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs of study. Many of these degree programs can be completed 100 percent online, though students also have the option of blended programs, allowing them to also attend some classes on the main campus in Beverly, or satellite locations in Boston or Gloucester.

A few undergraduate degree programs are available, but the graduate degree programs are far more diverse. Some of the subjects offered include athletic administration, bioinformatics, homeland security and interior architecture. Online learners can benefit from 24/7 technical support, real-time online tutoring, access to the library and writing center and more.

Accreditation:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Higher Education (NEASC)
  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
  • Accreditation Council for Interior Design Accreditation

Location:

376 Hale Street,
Beverly, MA 01915
 
6

Simmons College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$38,590
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
55%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
7
School Type
4-year

Simmons College is deeply rooted in its namesake John Simmons' once-revolutionary idea that women should be able to earn independent livelihoods. That spirit of inclusion and empowerment still stands, as the school offers an MBA program that is designed specifically for women.

Though the college does not offer any undergraduate programs at a distance, they do offer multiple graduate degrees fully online, in subjects such as behavior analysis, library and information science, or social work. Distance learners can access many of the college's resources remotely, including library support, guided mentoring and a Virtual Career Center.

Accreditation:

  • The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Association for Behavior Analysis International
  • American Library Association Committee on Accreditation
  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International
  • Council on Social Work Education's Committee on Accreditation (CSWE)

Location:

300 The Fenway,
Boston, MA 02115
 
7

Bay Path University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$32,739
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
50%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
18
School Type
4-year

While Bay Path University, a private university founded in 1897, is a member of the Women's College Coalition, the school offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs to both women and men. With a fierce Wildcat as their mascot and "Seize the day" as their motto, you can tell at a glance that this school is overflowing with personality.

On top of its on-campus programs, Bay Path University offers a variety of programs that can be completed entirely online. Options include both associate and bachelor's degree programs in topics such as child psychology, criminal justice and health sciences. Online certificate programs are also available in entrepreneurship, as well as food science and safety.

8

University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$13,188
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
87%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
13
School Type
4-year

The University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth offers fully online undergraduate degree programs in fields such as economics, political science and women's and gender studies. Multiple hybrid programs are available as well, for those who wish to include on-campus class sessions with their online coursework. Distance learners at UMass-Dartmouth can benefit from eTutoring services at no additional cost, an online writing center, and personalized advisors.

UMass-Dartmouth accepts several different methods of transferring credit, making the university a supportive choice for transfer students. Students may be able to transfer in credits from CLEP, AP, IB or CIE examinations; prior military experience; and/or regionally accredited institutions, in particular those that hold articulation agreements or joint admissions agreements with UMass-Dartmouth.

Accreditation:

  • The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International

Location:

285 Old Westport Rd,
North Dartmouth, MA 02747
 
9

University of Massachusetts-Boston

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$13,435
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
22%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
14
School Type
4-year

The second university in the UMass system, the University of Massachusetts-Boston opened its doors in 1965 as a reaction to urban unrest and growing demand for higher education. Through the Blackboard learning management system, UMass-Boston offers fully online master's degree programs in various fields, from family therapy to science in a changing world. There is also an online bachelor's in global affairs, and a plethora of certificate and licensure programs in gerontology, vision rehabilitation therapy, game-based teaching with technology and more.

Distance learners have the ability to access UMass library resources, including video training tutorials for hundreds of applications. Prospective transfer students may want to use the school's course database, Transferology, to get a clearer idea of how their credits should transfer and ultimately apply to their degree program.

Accreditation:

  • The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

Location:

100 Morrissey Boulevard,
Boston, MA 02125
 
10

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$46,994
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
12%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
11
School Type
4-year

Worcester Polytechnic Institute does not offer any undergraduate programs online, but does provide a wide range of master's degree programs in fields ranging from biotechnology and cybersecurity to fire technology engineering and construction project management.

WPI has set up resources to help online students remain connected to their peers and their campus, whether it's through networking with other students or meeting with a staff member from the Career Development Center via video chat. Most importantly, WPI's support team checks in with online students from application up to graduation, serving as a dedicated resource to help students navigate their online education.

Accreditation:

  • The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)

Location:

100 Institute Road,
Worcester, MA 01609
 

Affordable Online Colleges in Massachusetts for 2018

Many colleges and universities in Massachusetts offer a variety of options for distance learners. The lists below highlight some of the most affordable two- and four-year online colleges in Massachusetts, using each school's in-state tuition cost as reported to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

If there's a different way you were hoping to see online Massachusetts colleges ranked, make it happen using our Top Colleges Tool.

Affordable Two-Year Online Colleges in Alabama

Students in Massachusetts can get their educational careers started at two-year or technical schools. The list below highlights five of the most affordable two-year online colleges in Massachusetts, all five of which are members of Massachusetts Colleges Online.

College NameTuition & Fees/Year
Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Distance Education Participation
Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Number of Online Programs Offered
Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics..
School Type
Bunker Hill Community College$3,88818%12-year
Bristol Community College$4,46441%72-year
Holyoke Community College$4,50241%92-year
Massasoit Community College$4,68022%162-year
Middlesex Community College$4,73028%92-year

Affordable Four-Year Online Colleges in Massachusetts

Many students who earn associate degrees go on to complete their requirements for a bachelor's degree. The list below highlights a few of the most affordable four-year online colleges and universities in Massachusetts.

College NameTuition & Fees/Year
Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Distance Education Participation
Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Number of Online Programs Offered
Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics..
School Type
Westfield State University$9,27536%74-year
Framingham State University$9,34033%64-year
Bridgewater State University$9,60327%14-year
Salem State University$9,73623%24-year
Fitchburg State University$10,13530%64-year

College Accreditation in Massachusetts

One of the most important decisions students can make regarding their education is to enroll in a college that's been properly accredited through a nationally recognized accrediting body.

Accreditation means that the school and its education programs have been peer-reviewed and found to conform to pre-determined quality standards, and therefore the degrees students earn from that school are valid because they comply with these standards.

Many online colleges in Massachusetts are accredited through the main regional accrediting body in New England:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

The NEASC has four commissions. The NEASC commission that accredits colleges and universities throughout New England is called:

  • The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE)

Certain technical and career schools in Massachusetts are accredited through a different nationally recognized accrediting body:

  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)

Students who wish to learn how their prospective college or university is accredited can check on the school's website or through the Department of Education's website.

School Interviews

Lisa Panagopoulos
As technology becomes more affordable and accessible, online instructional resources further develop and the ease and availability of rich media and social media increases, online education will continue to evolve and grow in the coming years.

Lisa Panagopoulos

Assistant Director of Faculty Development for Online Learning

University of Massachusetts Lowell

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at the University of Massachusetts Lowell?

UMass Lowell's online program has received multiple international honors for quality, course development and teaching and annually attracts more than 20,000 enrollments in fully online and blended (combining web and classroom instruction) courses, certificate programs and degrees. Our online degrees include bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in a wide range of academic disciplines. Offered through the university's Division of Online and Continuing Education (OCE), the courses use the Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS). In a typical semester, more than 400 fully online and more than 700 web-enhanced courses are taught by highly skilled faculty members, and all of those courses are ADA and FERPA compliant.

Q. What advice would you give students interested in an online degree program?

Anyone considering an online degree program should not be intimidated. At UMass Lowell, our online degree programs are overseen by the same academic departments as those that are offered on campus. Each of our online courses contains the personality of the instructor as reflected in lecture content and regular interaction with students. UMass Lowell's online students are from all around the country and the world, making for very rich, diverse and highly interactive courses with a significant amount of information-sharing and other interaction that enriches the learning experience. We have structured programs with convenience in mind, especially for working adults with busy schedules and anyone else who would find attending classes in person difficult. UMass Lowell also offers specially designed academic advising, tutoring and other support for our online students. They even have their own honor society. It really is the best of both worlds.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

UMass Lowell was one of the first universities to offer online courses when the program was launched nearly 20 years ago. Over that time, UMass Lowell's online program has continued to be a leader in the field because of its commitment to keeping the program current and we believe that the same approach will be needed in the years to come. That means continuing to ensure that courses and programs keep pace with the needs of students, that instructors are trained and supported in the online environment and that we continue to develop and follow the latest in best practices for online teaching and learning. Although online learning has been available for two decades, it is still in its infancy. As technology becomes more affordable and accessible, online instructional resources further develop and the ease and availability of rich media and social media increases, online education will continue to evolve and grow in the coming years.


[S]tudents need to look for programs structured to provide services that specifically assist online students wishing to begin or return to college or earn a graduate degree.

Karen Rhoda, Ph.D.

Executive Director, University Extension

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth?

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth offers five online undergraduate, three online graduate degrees and seven online certificate programs. Online programs at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth are accredited following the same admissions requirements, program objectives, course competencies and student learning outcomes as our on-campus programs. Students enrolled in online programs receive personalized advising in their program and the resources essential to support the success of online learners such as online tutoring, a writing center and dedicated library staff ready to assist with student research needs. Online students also enjoy the advantage of an online orientation, small class sizes, networking with top league faculty who are recognized experts in their field and interacting with fellow students from various regions of the nation and around the world. Online courses are asynchronous meaning that students do not need to log on at the same time allowing for the flexibility and convenience needed by students with real-life responsibilities.

Q. What advice would you give to students interested in an online degree program?

Today's students should look for universities that provide the online program suited to their educational and career goals. Very importantly, students need to look for programs structured to provide services that specifically assist online students wishing to begin or return to college or earn a graduate degree. Savvy prospective online students understand that earning a degree requires a commitment of time and effort, and need to know that an institution's program and support services will ensure the quality of their student experience and provide a degree that is valued in the work arena. Many of today's online students are adult students who seek to earn the degree they've always wanted. They need to know that their counterparts are the fastest growing segment in higher education.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

Online learning will utilize more technology over the next several years in order to bring more ways to adapt to students' learning styles to the virtual classroom. More people will be earning the degree they've been wanting by enrolling in online programs. Online degrees will bring the competitive advantage to more citizens needed for today's careers. The leaders in online education will continue to seek more nimble connection to the needs of the 21st century global economy and its work arena.

Financial Aid Resources in Massachusetts

Students who wish to attend college in Massachusetts are in luck. The state's Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) has a variety of merit- and need-based grant, scholarship, no-interest loan and tuition waiver programs that are designed to help students afford college. In many cases, these programs can be applied at public or private Massachusetts colleges and universities, helping students cover their college related expenses.

Take a look at some of the financial aid programs that are helping Massachusetts students secure their bright futures.

Massachusetts Gift Aid: Grants & Scholarships

Whether students attend state universities, live in rural areas or just have excellent academic standing, there just might be a grant or scholarship opportunity for you in Massachusetts. Here are a few highlights:

1.TSF of Wakefield Scholarship
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicant must be a resident of Wakefield, MA who is a full-time student. Financial need must be demonstrated.
Award Amount
N/A
Application Deadline
March 31
Renewable
Recipient must reapply for renewal.
Yes
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
No
Application URL
2.Walter S. Barr Scholarship
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicant must be a graduate of a Hampden County, MA, private or public high school. Selection is based upon academic ability, standardized test scores, and financial need.
Award Amount
$2,500
Application Deadline
February 1
Renewable
Renewable if recipient maintains academic and behavioral standards and continues to demonstrate financial need.
Yes
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
No
Application URL
3.Diosecan Scholarship
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicant must be a graduate of a Springfield, Mass., diocesan high school, be accepted as a full-time first-time student, and have completed the financial aid process.
Award Amount
$5,000
Application Deadline
None
Renewable
Renewable for up to four years if recipient maintains satisfactory GPA and full-time status.
Yes
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
Yes
Application URL
4.Cape Cod Alumni Club Scholarship
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicant must be graduating from a Cape Code high school with financial need. FAFSA required.
Award Amount
$500
Application Deadline
May 1
Renewable
No
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
Yes
Application URL

For additional information, check out OnlineCollege.com's Ultimate Guide to Grants or Ultimate Guide to Scholarships.

Loans

When scholarships and grant money aren't enough, student loans can help bridge the gap toward college affordability. Students are encouraged to apply for federal student loans via the FAFSA, but Massachusetts also offers a state-based program for additional zero interest funding.

Massachusetts No Interest Loan (NIL) Program
The NIL Program aims to assist students by providing a state-funded loan with zero interest. To be eligible, students must have one year of Massachusetts state residency, and must be attending an educational institution full-time. Students who receive this loan have up to 10 years to repay it.

  • Application deadline: Must file the FAFSA by May 1, 2017 (priority deadline is February 1)
  • Award amount: From $1,000 to $4,000 per academic year

For more information on the student loan process, don't miss the Ultimate Guide to Student Loans.

Additional Resources for Financial Aid in Massachusetts

Featured Cities in Massachusetts

Data regarding these featured metropolitan areas is sourced from the 2015 American Community Survey (census.gov).

Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH Metro Area

Total Population

4,728,844

Median salary for high school grads

$33,487

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$60,770

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

34.8%

Median rent

$1,274

Fun Facts about Boston

Boston is rich in culture and history. People enjoy visiting the Old North Church, Fannueil Hall Market Place, Harvard and Cambridge, and the Paul Revere House. History buffs enjoy the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail, which visits 16 historical sites pertaining to the Revolutionary War. The Ted Williams Tunnel in Boston is the deepest tunnel in North America at nearly 90 feet below the surface. Boston is also home to some of the most well-known sports teams in America, including the Boston Red Sox (MLB), Boston Celtics (NBA), Boston Bruins (NHL) and New England Patriots (NFL).

Worcester, MA-CT Metro Area

Total Population

930,667

Median salary for high school grads

$33,989

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$57,136

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

30%

Median rent

$943

Fun Facts about Worcester

Worcester is the busy heart of central Massachusetts and offers big city excitement as well as scenic rural vistas. There are many lakes and reservoirs in the area, many with long Native American names that are difficult to pronounce, and Old Sturbridge Village provides an authentic look at Colonial Massachusetts. The name Worcester means "War-Castle." Worcester was first settled in 1673 and was called Quinsigamond.

Springfield, MA Metro Area

Total Population

629,107

Median salary for high school grads

$31,982

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$50,168

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

39.6%

Median rent

$871

Fun Facts about Springfield

The Basketball Hall of Fame is housed in Springfield, but that's just one of the many attractions in the area. The Springfield Museums is a complex of five different museums, and includes the famous Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden honoring the birthplace of the beloved children's author. The Springfield Armory was one of the premier manufacturers of firearms in the U.S. for more than a century. It closed in 1968.

 
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