The Best Scholarships in Massachusetts

​With one of the nation's highest public university tuition rates, it's no surprise that many students in the "Bay State" look to supplement family contributions and student loans with scholarship funds as they head off to college.

With a robust combination of state-funded aid programs, merit grants, and need-based scholarship initiatives, students in Massachusetts can certainly find at least one scholarship that will help them afford the cost of tuition, fees, room, and board, for the duration of an undergraduate, graduate or professional degree program in the state.

1. Agnes M. Lindsay Scholarship

A state program awarded by the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance, the Agnes M. Lindsay Scholarship is given each year to eligible students who are from rural areas of the Bay State. The program defines "rural" as a town with fewer than 15,000 residents. Like most state-funded aid programs, the Lindsay Scholarship is need-based and grants awards in varying amounts based on the information supplied in a student's FAFSA. The award does renew for as long as a student remains enrolled in at least 12 undergraduate credit hours.

You can learn more about the ​Agnes M. Lindsay Scholarship here

2. Atlantic Aviators Aviation Scholarship

Given annually by the Atlantic Aviators Chapter of Women in Aviation International, this scholarship is designed to enhance awareness and interest in aviation technology. The program is open to all female students in southeastern Massachusetts, primarily in the greater Boston metropolitan area, who display a demonstrated interest in aviation technology or are studying the field as an undergraduate student. Two awards, each for $1,000, are given each year on a nonrenewable basis. Previous recipients are ineligible to reapply in successive years.

You can learn more about the ​Atlantic Aviators Aviation Scholarship here

3. Edward Bangs Kelley and Elza Kelley Foundation Scholarships

The Kelley Foundation offers this scholarship each year to a student from Barnstable County who plans to practice in a medical field in the county after they finish their education. Based on a mixture of demonstrated financial need and academic merit, several awards are offered each year in amounts that range from $100 to $3,000. These awards do not renew, but previous recipients are encouraged to reapply each year until they receive the applicable license for medical practice in Barnstable County.

You can learn more about the ​Edward Bangs Kelley and Elza Kelley Foundation Scholarships here

4. GFWC of Massachusetts Memorial Education Fellowships

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You can learn more about the GFWC of Massachusetts Memorial Education Fellowships here

5. Massachusetts Public Service Grant Program

As a state-funded program, the Massachusetts Public Service Grant Program is open to any Massachusetts resident planning to study at a public or private university in the state. To be eligible for the grant funds, the student must be either the child or spouse of someone who was killed or missing in the line of duty while serving in the military. Like many state-funded grant opportunities, the program renews for the duration of a student's undergraduate enrollment. Both full-time and part-time students are eligible for the $2,500 award.

You can learn more about the ​Massachusetts Public Service Grant Program here

6. New England Regional Student Program

Sponsored by the New England Board of Higher Education, the regional Tuition Break program is designed to encourage students in New England to study at out-of-state universities without suffering from high levels of student debt. The program provides scholarship funds to students from Massachusetts who study in New England Board of Higher Education or vice versa. The maximum award amount varies per student, and per year, based on their financial need and the cost of the student's out-of-state college or university.

You can learn more about the ​New England Regional Student Program here

7. Paul Tsongas Scholarship

Named after a popular former governor of Massachusetts, the Paul Tsongas Scholarship is a merit-based program for which all graduating high school seniors are considered as long as they submit the FAFSA and accept enrollment at a state college or university. As a merit-based program, requirements are stringent and include a 3.75 GPA on a 4.0 scale and at least 1200 on the SAT. Students can also submit ACT scores for consideration. The scholarship covers the full cost of in-state tuition at state universities and renews each year as long as the recipient maintains at least a 3.3-grade point average.

You can learn more about the ​Paul Tsongas Scholarship here

8. NIADA Foundation Regional Scholarships

The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association offers four scholarships each year as part of its Regional Scholarships Program. Students in Massachusetts compete with students in several other New England and Mid-Atlantic states for the $3,500 annual award. Applicants must be graduating high school senior at a "Region I" school, which includes Massachusetts, and must submit a transcript and SAT scores that show outstanding academic achievement. The program does not renew and does not accept applications from former applicants or recipients in future years.

You can learn more about the ​NIADA Foundation Regional Scholarships here

9. PMI Mass Bay Chapter Scholarships

Each year, the Mass Bay Chapter of the Project Management Institute awards two individual scholarships in the amount of $2,500. To be eligible for this program, applicants must be studying project management or a related field at a university in the state of Massachusetts. The scholarship is only open to undergraduate students. Application materials include a formal application, transcript, essay, and two letters of recommendation. The award is nonrenewable; previous recipients are encouraged to reapply for the program each year.

You can learn more about the ​PMI Mass Bay Chapter Scholarships here

10. Massachusetts Part-Time Grant

The Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance created the Part-Time Grant to address a significant increase in the number of students studying on a part-time basis in the state. Previously, most grant programs were available only to full-time students. This grant requires that recipients enroll in no more than 12 credit hours, maintain satisfactory academic progress, and file the FAFSA each year. Students who transition to full-time enrollment will forfeit their eligibility for the Part-Time Grant immediately.

You can learn more about the ​Massachusetts Part-Time Grant here

11. The Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund

Founded in 1949, the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund is often referred to as "the golf charity of Massachusetts." The program was designed to reward male and female students in the state who had worked at golf courses and country clubs during high school. Each year, the organization provides up to 350 need-based scholarship awards that range from $10,000 to $160,000 in value. The program can cover the full cost of attendance for students who show significant financial need. Preference is given to students staying in the state for college.

You can learn more about the ​The Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund here

12. Tuition and Fee Waivers for Guard Members

The Massachusetts National Guard Education Assistance Program was created by the state to help members of the state's National Guard afford the cost of a higher education. To that end, this tuition assistance program provides for the full cost of an in-state education at Massachusetts colleges, universities, and community colleges. To continue being eligible for the program, students must maintain state National Guard service, attend a full-time program during the day, and earn no more than 130 credits toward an undergraduate degree.

You can learn more about the ​Tuition and Fee Waivers for Guard Members here

13. Valley Press Club Scholarship

The Valley Press Club advocates learning about journalism through its five-scholarship program for Massachusetts students. To qualify for this scholarship, applicants must be interested in journalism or pursuing a degree in the field. Five scholarships are given to students, with each scholarship based on a different journalistic niche. Awards for print journalism, broadcast journalism, photojournalism, and sports journalism are given, as is an award for general interest in the profession. A financial aid form, resume, essay, and several letters of recommendation are required to be considered for one of these $1,000 scholarships.

You can learn more about the ​Valley Press Club Scholarship here

14. A. David ”Davey” Duggan Memorial Scholarship

Sponsored by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, the Duggan Memorial Scholarship is open only to graduating high school seniors from a public high school in Holyoke, MA. The $250 scholarship is given to students who have shown academic and athletic success in high school. The award does not renew applicants cannot reapply after graduating from high school.

You can learn more about the ​A. David ”Davey” Duggan Memorial Scholarship here. 

15. Albert H. and Reuben S. Stone Fund Scholarships

Full-time students who are entering their first year of higher education can qualify for this program, sponsored by the Mechanics Bank of Worcester, Massachusetts if they reside in the community of Gardner, MA. Several scholarships are awarded each year, based primarily on demonstrated financial need, in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. The awards are nonrenewable, and students are ineligible to reapply after their first year of undergraduate enrollment.

You can learn more about the ​Albert H. and Reuben S. Stone Fund Scholarships here

16. Gilbert Matching Student Grant Program

Funded by the state Office of Student Financial Assistance, the Gilbert Matching Grant Program is given to students in Massachusetts who demonstrate significant financial need. The goal of the grant is to match federal grant funds with state funds, reducing the student loan burden of full-time students attending a school in the state. To be considered, students must submit the FAFSA, maintain enrollment in at least 12 credits, and demonstrate satisfactory academic progress as defined by their college or university's registrar.

You can learn more about the ​Gilbert Matching Student Grant Program here. 

17. Horatio Alger Massachusetts Scholarship Program

A merit-based program for high-achieving students, the Horatio Alger Award is given to at least one student in each of the 50 states. Massachusetts students who wish to qualify for the award should have a GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale, though a much higher GPA will be given preference in award consideration. The fully renewable award pays out in four or five installments for the duration of a student's undergraduate enrollment and totals up to $7,000 in funds over that time.

You can learn more about the ​Horatio Alger Massachusetts Scholarship Program here

18. Massachusetts Cash Grant Program

The Cash Grant Program was established by the state government in Massachusetts to cover the cost of non-tuition-related expenses at public and private universities in the state. The award, which is entirely need-based, is given to students whose financial needs exceeds other state and federal financial aid allowances. The funds can be applied to miscellaneous fees, the cost of textbooks, or the cost differential between tuition at public and private universities within the Bay State.

You can learn more about the ​Massachusetts Cash Grant Program here

19. GFWC of Massachusetts Music Scholarships

Also known as the "Nickels for Notes" scholarship, this award is sponsored by the General Federation of Women's Clubs of Massachusetts and open to female students in the state who are studying a music-related field as an undergraduate student at an in-state institution. Qualifying fields of study include voice, music therapy, instrument performance, piano, or music education. The award, applicable only to the cost of tuition, totals $500 and is sent directly to a student's college or university.

You can learn more about the ​GFWC of Massachusetts Music Scholarships here

20. Massachusetts Foster Child Grant Program

Children who are considered "alumni" of the Foster Care system often have a harder time affording the cost of higher education. The Foster Child Grant Program, funded by the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance, is open to all students in the state who have been placed into the custody of the Department of Social Services through a Care and Protection Petition. Eligible students cannot be more than 24 years of age. The $6,000 scholarship is renewable each year as long as students remain eligible.

You can learn more about the Massachusetts Foster Child Grant Program here

21. African-American Achievement Scholarship

Open to African-American students who live, work, or attend a college in the Massachusetts counties of Franklin, Hampden, or Hampshire; the African-American Achievement Scholarship is based both on a student's academic merits and overall financial need. The program awards at least $3,000 to several high-achieving African-American students each year, and is offered through the Community Foundation of Massachusetts. Though this scholarship is nonrenewable, past recipients and applicants are both eligible to submit a new application for consideration each academic year.

You can learn more about the ​African-American Achievement Scholarship here

22. Altrusa Club/Camilla C. Pickering Memorial Scholarship

Offered to undergraduate students who live in Bristol County, Massachusetts, this award focuses on a combination of academic merit and community involvement in awarding several scholarships each year. The number and amount of these scholarships do vary based on funding. Eligible students should be enrolled at a Massachusetts university, have a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, and be able to write an essay about their history of community involvement in the county. Demonstrable leadership skills, either in the community or on campus, are also considered when evaluating applicants for the award.

You can learn more about the ​Altrusa Club/Camilla C. Pickering Memorial Scholarship here

23. Alice W. Rooke Scholarship

The Rooke Scholarship is offered to female students throughout Massachusetts who are members of the state's chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. In addition to qualifying via membership, applicants must also be pursuing an undergraduate program leading to a career in medicine. Notably, this excludes pre-medicine courses of study. Students in biology, nursing, and other programs can still qualify, however. One award of $5,000 is granted annually. Though this scholarship does not renew, previous recipients can apply each year again.

You can learn more about the ​Alice W. Rooke Scholarship here

24. John and Abigail Adams Scholarship

Offering a "full ride" scholarship to a handful of highly accomplished Massachusetts students each year, the Adams Scholarship is a fully funded state program that rewards students who rank near the top of their class. To qualify, students must be in the top 25 percent of graduates at their high school, school "proficient" or "advanced" on every section of the MCAS state standardized test, and intend to enroll at a Massachusetts university after their high school graduation. Students must also file the FAFSA annually; male students must be registered for the Selective Service program in order to be considered.

You can learn more about the ​John and Abigail Adams Scholarship here

25. Massachusetts Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Program

Early childhood education is one area of teaching that suffers from continual shortages of highly qualified professionals in Massachusetts, and that’s a problem that this scholarship intends to solve. The scholarship program is open to any early childhood educator, regardless of education level, who is pursuing their first bachelor's degree in early childhood education. Several $4,500 awards are made each year on a nonrenewable basis. Only educators who enroll at a Massachusetts university are considered for scholarship funds.

You can learn more about the ​Massachusetts Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Program here

26. New England Direct Marketing Association Foundation Scholarship

For students who are currently majoring in marketing or pursuing a marketing-related concentration at the undergraduate level, the New England Direct Marketing Association offers an annual scholarship program designed to offset the high cost of Bay State tuition. The program offers several scholarships, each of $3,000, to undergraduate students in Massachusetts. As a condition for receiving scholarship funds, students must attend the NEDMA Annual conference and attend an organization-sponsored seminar in direct marketing. The scholarship is non-renewable, but past recipients are eligible to reapply for each year of their undergraduate enrollment.

You can learn more about the ​New England Direct Marketing Association Foundation Scholarship here

27. Rachel Butterworth Dietz Scholarship

Open to students throughout the broader New England region of the country; this scholarship program is sponsored by Boston Flower Exchange and generous donors. The program is open to students who intend to enroll in a full-time, fully accredited undergraduate program in floriculture or ornamental horticulture. As part of the application process, students must compose an essay describing their interest in the field and showing an awareness of the industry. A single, $5,000 scholarship is awarded each year on a nonrenewable basis.

You can learn more about the ​Rachel Butterworth Dietz Scholarship here

28. Ralphine McGill-Coons Memorial Scholarship

The Boston chapter of Mensa International sponsors this scholarship program for Boston-area students and members of the Mensa International organization. The award is given out annually, of $500, to students who write the best essay about science or medicine. Only applicants who live in Boston Mensa's service area, or intend to enroll in a university within that service area, will be considered for the nonrenewable award. Past recipients cannot reapply for the scholarship in future years.

You can learn more about the ​Ralphine McGill-Coons Memorial Scholarship here

29. Stephen Phillips Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Steven Phillips Memorial Fund was established specifically to help students avoid high levels of student loan debt at the end of an undergraduate degree program. Awards, which are need-based and require submission of a FAFSA Student Aid Report, range from $3,000 to $15,000 on a renewable basis. The program gives preference to applicants from the greater Boston metropolitan area, though applicants are considered as long as they are from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont.

You can learn more about the ​Stephen Phillips Memorial Scholarship Fund here

30. Sylvia Gafvert Stubblebine Scholarship

Worcester County high school seniors are eligible to apply for the Greater Worchester Community Foundation if they intend to study a music-related field as an undergraduate. The program is open to graduating Worcester County high school seniors who plan to attend a Massachusetts university; several awards are issued each year for $1,000, though the number of recipients fluctuates according to program funding. The scholarship does not renew and notably, prior recipients cannot reapply for the award.

You can learn more about the​ Sylvia Gafvert Stubblebine Scholarship here

31. Timothy S. and Palmer W. Bigelow Jr. Scholarship

Sponsored and funded by the Horticultural Research Institute, the Timothy S., and Palmer W. Bigelow Jr. Scholarship offers a single, $3,000 award each year to students who express an interest in horticulture. Applicants must submit an essay stating their interest in horticulture and their intention to study the field as an undergraduate. Additionally, official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a formal application are required. The award does not renew each year, but previous recipients are encouraged to reapply annually.

You can learn more about the ​Timothy S. and Palmer W. Bigelow Jr. Scholarship here

32. Women’s Partnership Scholarship for Women

This program focuses on adult women who are continuing their education. Offered exclusively to women in the greater Springfield metropolitan area of Massachusetts by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, applications are open to any woman over 25 years of age. Applicants must be accepted or enrolled in an undergraduate program in Hampden or Hampshire county in Massachusetts, be over 25 years of age, and be returning to school after a break in higher education. Award amounts vary per year and are not renewable.

You can learn more about the ​Women’s Partnership Scholarship for Women here

33. Massachusetts Youth Soccer Student Scholarship

Massachusetts Youth Soccer awards a $1,000 scholarship to one male and one female applicant each year. In order to be considered for the scholarship award, applicants must be former members of a youth soccer team affiliated with the organization. Unlike most scholarships, this award is paid only after recipients have completed at least one semester of college at a Massachusetts institution. For this reason, graduating seniors who apply for the program will want to factor the award solely into the budget for their upcoming spring semester as college freshmen.

You can learn more about the ​Massachusetts Youth Soccer Student Scholarship here

34. M. Geneva Gray Scholarship

A need-based program for Massachusetts residents, the M. Geneva Gray Scholarship focuses on students whose parents make too much money for the student to earn a full scholarship package, but too little money for the student to fully pay for the cost of their education. Scholarship awards range from $25,000 to $50,000, are renewable, and cover expenses that exceed the student's financial aid package for the duration of their enrollment in an undergraduate degree program. The number of awards does vary each year, based in part on successful funding of the program.

You can learn more about the ​M. Geneva Gray Scholarship here

35. The Karen Jacobs Scholarship

Offered by the American Occupational Therapy Foundation, this program is open only to students who have been accepted to a professional occupational therapy degree program at the graduate level. Additionally, the applicant must be enrolled in an accredited OTA program in the Bay State. The scholarship requires that students file a formal application, essay, formal transcripts, and letters of recommendation, and issues a single award of between $250 and $500 each year. Though the award does not renew, students can reapply each year.

You can learn more about the ​The Karen Jacobs Scholarship here

​We've worked hard to include a variety of scholarship opportunities within our list. If you have any suggestions on additional scholarships, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.

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