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Northern Essex Prepares for MassReconnect Program, Providing Free Associate Degrees

Submitted by on August 10, 2023 – 7:55 pm

Haverhill, MA (August 10, 2023) – With the signing of the state budget this week, Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey fulfilled one of her major campaign promises: free community college for the Commonwealth’s adults ages 25 and over. Dubbed MassReconnect, the program provides last-dollar support to those adult learners who have not already obtained a college degree. It covers tuition and fees and includes a stipend for books and materials.

“Workforce shortages have impacted nearly all sectors of our economy, but we have an incredible opportunity before us to train the next generation of workers and increase opportunities for all,” said Governor Healey during the budget process.

At Northern Essex Community College, preparations are underway to welcome these students. The program is available for the fall semester, which starts on September 6.

“The MassReconnect program is just what hundreds of thousands of adults in Massachusetts who started college and have not yet been able to complete their degrees need to help them cross that finish line, and it’s just what the state’s employers need to help them fill in-demand jobs in our workforce,” said Northern Essex President Lane Glenn. “NECC looks forward to welcoming these students back to campus.”

Students who are new to the college are encouraged to apply and complete the 2023-2024 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. The financial aid team will contact eligible students who are already enrolled, and students who previously enrolled at NECC but took some time off should contact enrollment services.

“Our college is a leader in innovative practices that honor the prior experiences of our learners and the care and concern of our faculty,” said Northern Essex Provost, Paul Beaudin. “MassReconnect at Northern Essex is being built upon a foundation that listens to the voices of our ‘more adult’ learners and reconnects them with their dreams for the future.”

It’s estimated that more than 1.8 million adults across the Commonwealth could benefit from the MassReconnect. Learn more about the program at NECC, the eligibility requirements, and how to register by visiting the webpage.

About Northern Essex
Northern Essex Community College, the first Federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution in New England, is an education leader for the Merrimack Valley. Through a supportive learning environment and cultural inclusion, NECC embraces all identities and inspires initiative and excellence through top-notch, affordable certificate and associate degree programs online and at campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence. NECC offers many bachelor’s degree transfer options, workforce development, and community education classes, and is host to the NECC Police Academy, MassHire Merrimack Valley, and Gallaudet University’s Regional Center for the deaf and hard of hearing. Visit Northern Essex online at