News Brief

UMass Announces Annual Scholarships for Top 10 Percent of MA Community College Graduates

Thursday, December 21, 2023

The University of Massachusetts (UMass) has introduced the Community College Advantage Scholarship (CCAS), offering a minimum of $5,000 annually to the top 10 percent of future community college graduates in Massachusetts.

Aimed at promoting timely completion of associate’s degrees, increasing access to four-year degrees for historically underrepresented students, and bolstering the state’s talent pool, the scholarship guarantees automatic admission to a UMass campus and a minimum of $2,500 per semester for the final two years of college. The initiative, effective in fall 2024, addresses challenges in public higher education, including equitable access for underrepresented groups following a U.S. Supreme Court decision on race-based admissions and the need to strengthen the workforce as the number of high school graduates in Massachusetts is projected to decline.

“Community college campuses across Massachusetts are filled with talented, hardworking, diverse populations of students, ready to thrive at UMass,” said Bunker Hill Community College President Pam Eddinger. “The Community College Advantage Scholarship will help more of them realize their dreams for a high-quality education that will prepare them for meaningful careers in the Commonwealth.”

The scholarship supplements federal and private grants, aligning with broader state and UMass initiatives to broaden access to higher education. These include a 67 percent increase in annual institutional financial aid since 2015, an early college program allowing high school students to earn UMass course credit, and recent state initiatives, such as free community college tuition for students aged 25 and older and expanded funding for the MassGrant+ program.

Read the press release from UMass.