SECTION 1. Section 1 of chapter 15A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “opportunities”, in line 14, the following words:-
It is hereby further declared to be the policy of the commonwealth to guarantee free public higher education as a right for all residents.
SECTION 2. Chapter 15A of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 45 the following section:-
Section 46. (a) Definitions
As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
“Board”, the Board of Higher Education.
“Eligible Student”, a resident of the commonwealth as determined by the board of higher education's residency status for tuition classification purposes, who has attained a high school diploma or its equivalent in the commonwealth, who is admitted to and enrolled in a Massachusetts public college or university or other public certificate, vocational, or adult education program, and who is enrolled full-time or part-time.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, the board shall create a grant program to pay the equivalent of tuition and mandatory fees to an eligible student at any Massachusetts public college or university, or certificate, vocational or training program at a public institution. Students meeting the income eligibility for Federal Pell Grants shall receive additional aid in grants to pay for the additional costs of attendance as calculated by the academic institution of enrollment, including, but not limited to, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and personal expenses.
(c) The grant shall supplement and shall not replace state grants, gift aid, institutional aid, or federal aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid process. The board shall promulgate regulations to ensure funds from this program do not affect eligibility for other state grants, gift aid, institutional aid, or federal aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid process.
(d) All public higher education and public vocational training institutions shall be considered eligible institutions for this program and there shall be no restrictions on a student’s choice of academic programs.
(e) The board shall provide an annual notice of eligibility for this program to all eligible students and all new graduates from a Massachusetts high school or GED program. The board shall maintain a database of all students currently or potentially eligible for this program.
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.