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For Immediate Release
Monday, October 17, 2011
Contact:JC Considine 781-338-3112

More than 18,200 Students Receive 2012 Merit-Based Adams Scholarships

Recipients Offered Free Tuition at any Massachusetts Public College or University

MALDEN - The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced today that more than 18,200 students in the class of 2012 have been awarded the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship, qualifying them to receive free tuition at any Massachusetts public college or university.

A total of 18,261 students in the class of 2012 received the merit-based scholarship, an increase of 227 students since last year. Students become eligible for the scholarship based on their performance on the grade 10 MCAS English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics tests. To qualify, a student must score in the Advanced category on one exam and either the Proficient or Advanced categories on the other, and have combined scores from the MCAS ELA and Mathematics tests that place them in the top 25 percent of students in the graduating class in their district.

"The Adams Scholarship is a prestigious award, and these students should be very proud of their hard work and commitment to educational excellence and high standards," said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester. "Our collective goal is to ensure that all students graduate ready for success beyond high school. I am pleased to congratulate this year's student recipients and wish them well as they pursue higher education."

Higher Education Commissioner Richard M. Freeland agreed.

"Massachusetts needs the Adams Scholars' drive and talent as we continue to grow our state's knowledge-based economy," said Freeland. "Whether a student wants to build web sites or skyscrapers, study medicine or music, they will find a rich and varied array of programs and opportunities at Massachusetts' 29 public college and university campuses. We welcome the Adams Scholars to our community colleges, state universities and the University of Massachusetts."

The Adams Scholarship provides a tuition waiver for up to eight semesters of undergraduate education at a Massachusetts state college or university. The scholarship covers tuition only; fees and room and board are not included. The scholarship must be used within six years of a student's high school graduation.

Scholarship eligibility is based on each student's first attempt at taking the grade 10 MCAS tests in ELA and Mathematics. In order to receive the scholarship, a student must be enrolled in a Massachusetts public high school in his or her senior year. Students who qualify for the scholarship will receive award letters and further information this fall.

In order to continue receiving the Adams Scholarship, a student must: (1) continue to enroll full-time at a public higher education institution; (2) maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on college work; and (3) annually complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

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

Last Updated: October 17, 2011
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