The John and Abigail Adams Scholarship provides a tuition credit for up to eight semesters of undergraduate education at a Massachusetts state college or university, based on students' scores on MCAS tests. 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.
To qualify for the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship, Massachusetts public high school students must meet the eligibility criteria presented below. As shown in the tables, the eligibility criteria differ slightly depending on whether a student is a member of the class of 2022 or the class of 2023. Both classes have been affected by decisions made by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that have modified the Competency Determination (CD) requirements for graduation.
* The score requirements for the classes of 2022 and 2023 reflect an interim standard for ELA and Mathematics, defining a level of achievement on the next-generation MCAS tests that is similar to the standard on the legacy tests. This interim standard is being used during the transition to the next-generation tests. Information on the score requirements for future classes will be provided at a later time.
In order to receive the scholarship, a student must be enrolled in a Massachusetts public high school in his or her senior year.
In order to claim the Adams Scholarship, the student must meet the following criteria:
To continue receiving the Adams Scholarship, a student must meet the following criteria:
Eligible students who first enrolled in a private college or public university in another state may activate their Adams Scholarship upon transfer to a Massachusetts public college or university, provided they have previously maintained a cumulative 3.0 GPA.
Students who qualify for the scholarship will receive award letters and further information in the fall or winter of their senior year.
The first round of scholarship award letters will be sent to students in the class of 2022 in October 2021, based on results from the spring 2021 MCAS tests are available. Eligibility in this round will be based on the cut scores used in each district to determine eligibility for members of the class of 2021.
A second round of scholarship award letters will be sent to students in the class of 2022 in February 2022, when the results from the November 2021 retests are available. In each district, these final awards will be based on the top 25% of the entire class of 2022. The top 25% cut score will be calculated and applied twice (with and without the STE score), as some students in the class of 2022 did not have an opportunity to take an STE test.
Letters are sent to high schools, who then distribute letters to students and their families. Once parents/guardians receive the letter, we suggest keeping it in a secure location for reference.
The letter is important because students must provide a copy of it along with their completed FAFSA application each year. Without this letter, the college/university will not apply the tuition credit.
For additional information, email the Office of Student Assessment Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 781-338-3625.
Last Updated: June 22, 2021
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906
Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370
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