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For Immediate Release
Monday, October 19, 2009
Contact:Heidi Guarino 781-338-3106 or JC Considine 781-338-3112

Adams Scholarships Awarded to Class of 2010

Recipients Offered Free State College or University Tuition For Academic Achievements

MALDEN - More than 17,500 students in the class of 2010 received word this week that they have qualified to receive the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship, the state's largest merit-based scholarship program.

A total of 17,575 students in the class of 2010 received the scholarship, an increase of more than 100 students since last year. Recipients become eligible for the scholarship based on their performance on the grade 10 MCAS English Language Arts and Math tests. To qualify a student must both score Advanced on one exam and either Proficient or Advanced on the other, and rank within the top 25 percent of students in their district. Students must also be permanent legal Massachusetts residents to qualify.

"To receive an Adams Scholarship is a noteworthy accomplishment and a testament to the level of educational excellence that all students should strive to achieve," said Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester. "I congratulate this year's student recipients for their hard work, drive, and commitment to learning."

Higher Education Commissioner Richard M. Freeland agreed.

"I congratulate the Adams Scholars on their achievements and welcome them into our rich system of public higher education for the opportunity to attain a high-quality education," he said. "Our system truly has something to offer to everyone. I know that these students and their families will be pleased with what they find."

Adams Scholarship recipients receive free tuition at any Massachusetts public college or university. The tuition waiver remains in effect for eight consecutive semesters or four years. Recipients must begin to use the waiver in the first fall semester following their high school graduation, and must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better throughout the time of the waiver. The scholarship does not cover the cost of fees.

Of this year's 17,575 student recipients:

  • 55 percent were female, 45 percent were male
  • 80 percent were white, 8 percent Asian, 6 percent Hispanic, and 5 percent African American/black
  • 15 percent were low income
  • 23 percent were from urban districts

In Massachusetts, the average tuition per year is $733 at community colleges, $961 at state colleges and $1,618 at the University of Massachusetts. Recipients are still responsible for the cost of fees, books and other expenses. Annual fees vary from school to school, but in the current academic year average $3,511 at community colleges, $5,858 at state colleges and $9,457 at the University of Massachusetts.

The Adams Scholarship is the state's only merit-based tuition waiver program, and was established to help families pay for college, create an incentive for students to push themselves academically and encourage them to pursue higher education in Massachusetts. The program is in addition to the nearly $88 million in annual state-funded financial aid awarded to Massachusetts residents. The scholarship was signed into law in 2004 as part of former Governor Romney's Legacy of Learning Initiative.

For more information on the Adams Scholarship, visit the Department's website at

Last Updated: October 19, 2009
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