• Sources of Financial Aid

    Worcester State University has numerous financial aid programs available to assist students in meeting college costs. Funding for these programs comes from federal, state, institutional, and private sources. Types of programs include grants, scholarships, waivers, loans, and work- study. The Financial Aid Office provides an overview below. For more details, we recommend visiting and

  • Grants and Scholarships

    Federal Pell Grant

    The Federal Pell Grant is based on family income and assets. It is available to undergraduate students enrolled in a degree program who do not already have a bachelor’s degree. For the 2017-2018 award year, Pell Grants ranged from $606 to $5,920.

    Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

    The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is a federal grant administered by Worcester State. These grants are limited to undergraduate students who do not already have a bachelor’s degree. Priority is given to students with exceptional need and to Federal Pell Grant recipients. SEOG awards are determined by the Worcester State Financial Aid Office.


    The MASSGrant Program is administered and awards are made by the Office of Student Financial Assistance. Grant eligibility is verified by the Worcester State Financial Aid Office and adjustments, which affect a student’s award amount, are sent to the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

    For the 2017-2018 academic year, grant awards at Worcester State ranged from $400 to $1,400. Application is made by completing the FAFSA. Massachusetts residents applying for financial aid who will enroll full-time must apply for MASSGrant by May 1. MASSGrant eligibility is limited to eight semesters.

    Worcester State University Need-Based Tuition Waiver and State Access Grant Program

    Full and partial tuition waivers are awarded to students who demonstrate financial need and who are:

    • Undergraduate students
    • In good academic standing
    • Legal residents of Massachusetts

    Waivers may not exceed a semester’s tuition charge and other waivers and/or tuition remissions for which a student is eligible will be deducted from the tuition charged before the need-based tuition waiver amount is determined.

    The State Access Grant is awarded based on need and cannot exceed tuition and fees.

    Tuition Waivers

    Worcester State students may be considered for tuition waivers based on the following designations with proper documentation by the student:

    Veterans Tuition Waiver

    The Veterans Administration has approved Worcester State for the purpose of providing Veteran’s Educational Benefits to veterans pursuing undergraduate and graduate study.

    Massachusetts veterans entitled to educational benefits must provide the Registrar’s Office with a copy of their Form DD-214. Upon receipt of this certificate and the veteran’s application, Worcester State will prepare a notice of enrollment and notify the Veteran’s Administration to determine eligibility for and initiate payments to the student. Contact the veteran’s representative at the Registrar’s Office at 508-929-8035 for more information.

    Visit the Secretary of State’s website for details on eligibility.

    Information on the GI Bill is available at

    Armed Forces Tuition Waiver

    Available for an active member of the Armed Forces including Army, Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard stationed and residing in Massachusetts.

    Native American Tuition Waiver

    The Native American Tuition Waiver is available for Native American residents of Massachusetts who attend Worcester State. Contact the Massachusetts Commission of Indian Affairs for information and an application.

    Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver

    Available for individuals over the age of 60.

    State Scholarship and Waiver Programs

    The Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) offers programs for Massachusetts residents. Most programs require completion of the FAFSA.

    The Christian A. Herter Memorial Scholarship Program provides up to 50% of the recipient’s total annual budget for study at the college of the student’s choice. Twenty-five awards are made to high school sophomores and juniors who have a combination of high financial need, difficult personal circumstances, and promise for post-secondary work. Candidates are nominated by their high school or a community agency.

    The John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Program awards non-need-based, state-supported undergraduate tuition waivers to students who are awarded John and Abigail Adams Scholarship by the Department of Education. Potential recipients must send a copy of their Adams letter and complete the financial aid process.

    The Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery is awarded to high school seniors as determined by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education.

    The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission Waiver is for clients of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. Clients should contact their Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission counselor for further information.

    The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind Waiver is for clients of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind. Clients should contact their Massachusetts Commission for the Blind counselor for more information.

    The MassTransfer Tuition Waiver Program awards a tuition credit to students who are enrolled in a state college or university who has completed an associate degree at a public community college approved under the MassTransfer program. The credit is valid for the 2 years of a student's enrollment immediately following their community college enrollment. Visit the MassTransfer page for more information.

    The Department of Children and Families Adopted Child Tuition Waiver encompasses 100% of tuition for state-supported courses at all of the Massachusetts public institutions of higher education, excluding graduate courses. Contact the Department of Children and Families for a certification of eligibility and more information.

    The Department of Children and Families Foster Child Tuition Waiver encompasses 100% of tuition for state-supported courses at all of the Massachusetts public institutions of higher education, excluding graduate course. Eligible students include all students in the custody of the Department of Children and Families placed in foster care with eligible Massachusetts’ residents through the Department of Children and Families. Students must be 24 years old or under. Contact the Department of Children and Families for a certification of eligibility and more information.

    The Massachusetts National Guard Scholarship is available to members of the Massachusetts Army or Air National Guard Office Recruitment Program. It provides 100% tuition remission. Eligibility must be renewed after each 30 credits attempted. Contact the Massachusetts National Guard or the Worcester State Registrar’s Office for more information.

    The Police Officer/Fire Fighter Tuition Waiver may be available to police officers or firefighters of a Massachusetts city or town for full-time attendance as a matriculated student when proper certificates and credentials are submitted to the Worcester State Student Accounts Office.

    The State Employees’ Tuition Remission Benefit offers state employees and their dependents who elect to take courses at Worcester State to have some or all of their tuition waived. Documentation of eligibility should be submitted to the Worcester State Student Accounts Office by the student. Eligible individuals should contact the human resources office at their place of employment for further details.

    The Army/Navy/Air Force ROTC Scholarship is designed to offer financial assistance to outstanding students in 4-year programs. Normally, the award is made prior to the student’s first year of college; however, a student may enter the program in their freshmen year. Recipients are required to serve on active duty in the branch of the service they have elected for a period of 4 years and then in the active reserve. Contact the ROTC Office at the College of the Holy Cross or Worcester Polytechnic Institute for more information.

    Student and Parent Loans

    When considering a loan, think carefully about these points:

    • Loans are obligations that must be repaid
    • The amount of money borrowed now will affect your future lifestyle
    • Your ability or inability to repay loans will affect credit worthiness for other credit-based purchases

    Therefore, plan ahead for repayment and choose loan programs carefully.

    Federal Direct Loan Program

    The Federal Direct Loan Program is designed to help a student pay expenses at institutions of post-secondary education. A FAFSA is required to receive a Federal Direct Loan. All applicants must demonstrate financial need in order to qualify for a subsidized loan. A student with no need or partial need may be eligible for an unsubsidized loan. Unlike subsidized loans, unsubsidized loans accrue interest while in school. The Worcester State Financial Aid Office will inform you if your loan is subsidized and/or unsubsidized.

    • The federal government does not pay any interest on students’ behalf. Interest begins to accrue on an unsubsidized direct loan when each portion of a loan is disbursed. Borrowers may choose to pay the interest while in school or allow it to accumulate. Interest that is allowed to accumulate will be capitalized, meaning that the interest will be added to the principal amount of the loan and will increase the repayment amount. Paying the interest as it accumulates lowers the repayment amount in the long run.
    • The repayment period for Federal Direct Loans begins 6 months after the student/borrower graduates, ceases to be enrolled at least half-time, or withdraws from school. The interest rate is adjusted each year on July 1. Visit for terms and conditions.
    • Students who are first-time borrowers at Worcester State must complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note online to ensure that the Federal Direct Loan appears as a credit on their bill. Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note can be completed at the Federal Student Aid website.
    • All graduating students or students who withdraw or take a leave of absence must complete a required Exit Counseling session prior to graduation or the beginning of a withdrawal or leave of absence. Exit Counseling can be completed at the Federal Student Aid website.
    • Prospective borrowers should be aware that the amount of subsidized and/or unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan Worcester State can award may be affected by the amount of financial aid awarded.

    For information regarding cohort default rates for Worcester State University or any other college or university, please visit:

    Eligibility Amounts

    • Dependent and independent undergraduate students who have completed:
      • 1-29 credit hours of study are eligible for $5,500
      • 30-59 credit hours of study are eligible for $6,500
      • 60 or more credit hours of study are eligible for $7,500
    • Independent students (and dependent students whose parents are denied a PLUS loan) can borrow additional amounts from the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program in the amount of $4,000 for their first and second years of study and $5,000 for their third and fourth year.
    • Graduate students can borrow up to $20,500 from the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program if their cost of education warrants these amounts.

    Specific information on repayment, deferment, cancellation, and default provisions for Direct Loan borrowers is available at the Federal Student Aid website.

    Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

    The PLUS Loan enables parents of dependent undergraduates to borrow for their dependent’s education. A FAFSA is required to receive a PLUS Loan. Repayment of this loan begins within 60 days of the date that the loan is disbursed. However, parents can apply for a deferment through the federal government. The interest rate is variable, adjusted annually, not to exceed 9%. Parents sign a Master Promissory Note similar to the Direct Loan MPN, which is good for up to 10 years. Note: A separate MPN must be signed for each child for whom the parent borrows.

    Parents may borrow up to the cost of attendance annually, less any financial aid awarded to the student. Parents can apply for PLUS loans and get specific information on repayment, deferment, cancellation and default provisions at the Federal Student Aid website.

    Private Education Loans

    Private education loans may be available to assist students who have received the maximum financial aid award(s) allowed through grants, work-study, and loans, but still have remaining Worcester State expenses.

    Problem Resolution Options

    The Department of Education has created the position of Student Loan Ombudsman to help students to resolve their federal student loan problems. Students should first attempt to resolve federal student loan problems through their lender, servicer, or the Worcester State Financial Aid Office.

    Should all attempts to resolve problems through these channels fail, you can contact the Ombudsman at 877-557-2575 or the Federal Student Aid website. This applies to all loans with the exception of private and state loans.

    To resolve problems regarding private and state loans, contact the Worcester State Financial Aid Office or the originator of the loan.

    Student Employment Options

    Federal Work-Study Program

    The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program is a need-based program that provides federally subsidized employment opportunities on campus for enrolled students. A student’s financial aid award letter indicates the FWS award and maximum earnings limit, typically $1,500, depending on availability of funds and individual need. Students are paid only for hours actually worked. The FWS wage rate is variable depending on placement.

    The Worcester State Financial Aid Office will email instructions on how to complete the Federal Work-Study Employment process in the end of summer. This email will be sent to students’ Worcester State email address.

    To complete the employment process a student must submit a:

    • I-9 (along with appropriate identification, such as a passport, a social security card, or birth certificate)
    • W-4
    • M-4
    • Direct Deposit Form
    • Employer Action Form, the contract form given to the student after submission of the I-9, W-4, M-4, and Direct Deposit Form, with all appropriate signatures

    Students who do not submit all paperwork to the office by the Friday before Columbus Day (for students who start school in the fall), or by the Friday before Presidents' Day (for students who start school in the spring) forfeit their FWS award for the entire academic year.

    After FWS placement, the FWS student employee and supervisor complete the student’s time sheet online, per the instructions provided to the student and supervisor. FWS earnings are not applied directly to the student’s tuition account without the student’s written consent. These wages are paid directly to the student via direct deposit.

    Students are encouraged to participate in employment that complements and reinforces their educational goals. Full-time students may not work more than the number of hours indicated on their Employer Action Form and cannot work during scheduled class times.

    Community service FWS positions are available. Contact the Worcester State Financial Aid Office for information.

    Students employed under the FWS program are not eligible for unemployment compensation benefits or worker’s compensation for on-the-job accidents. FWS earnings must be declared on federal and state income tax returns, if filed.

    Other On-Campus Employment

    Some departments on campus—including Student Involvement and Leadership Development, Conference and Event Services, bookstore, Chartwells, and Residence Life and Housing—offer part-time jobs to students. Visit the Careers at Worcester State page for openings.

    Off-Campus Employment

    Off-campus job opportunities can be accesses via the LancerLink portal available through the Career Services Office website.

  • Financial Aid Subscribe Button
  • Important Deadlines

    Fall Entry Priority Deadline
    March 1
    Deadline for filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All students who wish to be considered for financial aid must file the FAFSA. Late applications will be considered, though will be subject to the availability of funds.

    Fall Entry Final Deadline
    May 1
    Deadline for applying for the MASSGrant and for on-time consideration for financial aid for the academic year. The deadline for MassGrant and for Worcester State is now May 1, 2021 for the 2022/2023 academic year.

    Spring Entry Deadline
    November 1
    Deadline for on-time consideration for financial aid for students entering a college in the spring.

  • For Entrance Counseling, To E-Sign your Promissory Note, or for Exit Counseling



    Financial Aid Office
    Shaughnessy Administration Building
    Academic Mall, 1st floor
    Office 150
    508-929-8194 (fax)
    Monday - Wednesday
    8:15 a.m. - 6 p.m.
    8:15 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    8:15 a.m. - 2 p.m.
    Appointments Preferred