Brendan Fitzpatrick

May 8, 2024

State Senate Budget Proposal Features Plan for Tuition-Free Community College

Photo courtesy of Alexius Horatius

FRAMINGHAM - The Massachusetts Senate’s nearly $58 billion plan for fiscal year 2025 features $75.5 million for a plan that would make community college tuition-free for all Massachusetts residents.

The program, entitled MassEducate, would cover tuition and fees for all state residents attending community colleges, including Massachusetts Bay Community College. A stipend for books and additional supplies worth upwards of $1,200 would also become eligible for residents who make 125% or less of the median state income.

If included in the FY25 budget, senate officials noted that students would begin receiving benefits through MassEducate in the fall.

Leaders from the State Senate, including Senate President Karen Spilka of the 2nd Middlesex and Norfolk District, believe MassEducate can boost the workforce within Massachusetts while expanding opportunities for residents.

“We are investing in talent that is right here at home,” Spilka said in a statement, “and opening the workforce floodgates to employers who are starved for graduates, so Massachusetts keeps the competitive edge that we pride ourselves in.”

With this measure, State Senate leaders are hoping MassEducate can build upon the MassReconnect program, which was introduced as part of the 2024 fiscal year budget. MassReconnect offers students 25 years old and above with free community college courses. The Senate proposal features funding to continue MassReconnect along with free nursing programs at community colleges, which would bring the total amount of money earmarked to make tuition-free community college in Massachusetts up to $117.5 million.

The 2025 fiscal year in Massachusetts begins July 1.

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