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Financial Aid Can Help You Pay for College

Lane Glenn next to a happy scholarship winner
President Lane Glenn With a Scholarship Winner

In general, there are three types of financial aid you can receive: grants and scholarships, loans, and work-study.

  • Grants and scholarships carry no work or repayment requirements. They are a gift.
  • Loans, regardless of the lending source, are funds that must be repaid. The terms of repayment vary, as do the repayment periods. Loans provide you the opportunity to borrow against future earnings.
  • Work-study is a part-time job. These employment opportunities are need based, and are both on-campus and off-campus.

An award package may be a combination of any of the three aid programs. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed to receive consideration for these awards. Priority is given to those students who file on or before May 1st. If you have a bachelor’s degree or higher may only receive loans or work study. For more information related to financial aid and debt associated with attending NECC, visit the College Scorecard


Federal Pell Grant

Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant is a federal, need-based entitlement grant awarded to eligible students who are enrolled for a minimum of 3 credits who have not yet earned a baccalaureate degree. The grant is based upon an eligible expected family contribution and cost of attendance at NECC.

Massachusetts Need Based Tuition Waiver Program

Massachusetts Need Based Tuition Waiver Program

This is a state-funded, need-based program for undergraduate, Massachusetts residents for at least 1 year. This waiver cannot exceed assessed tuition and fees.

Massachusetts Cash Grant Program

Massachusetts Cash Grant Program (NECC Grant)

This is a state-funded, need-based program for undergraduate, Massachusetts residents for at least 1 year. Awards cannot exceed assessed tuition and fees.

MASSGrant Program

MASSGrant Program (MA State Scholarship)

This is a grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for full-time (12 credits or more each semester) undergraduate students who are residents of Massachusetts and demonstrate exceptional financial need. Recipients cannot have a prior bachelor’s or professional degree. For consideration for the MASSGrant, please file your FAFSA by May 1.

MASSGrant Plus Program

MASSGrant Plus Program

This is a state-funded grant available to both full-time and part-time students who are residents of Massachusetts, have completed the FAFSA by January 1, 2024, and demonstrate financial need for tuition and fees after accounting for expected family contribution (EFC) and all forms of institutional and public grant aid.

NECC Emergency Assistance Grant

NECC Emergency Assistance Grant

This grant provides short-term financial assistance to students who are experiencing unexpected or untimely expenses. Students must meet the following requirements:

• Be a Massachusetts resident (one year prior to the start of the academic year) and meet all state aid eligibility requirements. 
• Be currently enrolled for the semester at least half-time, in a degree-seeking program or eligible certificate program.
• Be Title IV eligible, as demonstrated through the filing of the 2023-2024 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and show financial need.
• Be maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in accordance with the institution’s standards.
• Have not earned a baccalaureate or professional degree. 

Apply for the NECC Emergency Assistance Grant

Federal Supplementary Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Federal Supplementary Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

This federal grant is awarded to undergraduate students who have demonstrated exceptional financial need.


NECC offers varied scholarship opportunities for current and prospective students as well as individual transfer scholarships. Additional scholarships are offered to students participating in the PACE program. Scholarship opportunities may not require the completion of the FAFSA form. MORE about 'Scholarships'

Direct Loans

Northern Essex Community College participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. You can receive an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan regardless of financial need. To receive a Subsidized Stafford Loan, you must demonstrate need. The government pays the interest while you are in school and during deferment on subsidized loans only. Students must be enrolled at least half-time. Interest starts accruing from the day the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. Loan limits are subject to cost of attendance. You may pay the interest while in school or you may capitalize it. MORE about 'Direct Loans'

Federal Work-Study

This federally and institutionally funded employment program provides jobs for eligible undergraduate students who need financial assistance. Students work on-campus and off-campus and get paid for actual hours worked. All awards are based upon need. MORE about 'Federal Work Study'

Other Types of Financial Aid

Visit the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Office for Student Financial Assistance, for other financial aid programs applicable to NECC.

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