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Student Scholarships, Awards & Special Programs

John and Abigail Adams Scholarship

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. 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.

In order to be eligible for the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship, Massachusetts public high school students must meet the eligibility criteria below.

Because of the transition to the next-generation MCAS tests, there are currently different qualifications depending on the student's original class, as shown in the table below. Requirements for the classes of 2021 and 2022 reflect an interim standard for ELA and Mathematics defining a level of achievement on the new tests that is similar to the standard on the legacy tests. Information on future classes will be provided at a later time.

MCAS Requirements for the Adams Scholarship for Students in the Classes of 2021–2023
Students in the Classes of 2021–2022Students in the Class of 2023
Option 1: MCAS ELA, Math, STEOption 2: MCAS ELA and MathMCAS ELA and Math
Minimum score on one of the following:
  • ELA: 501 Next-Gen or 260 Legacy
  • Math: 504 Next-Gen or 260 Legacy
  • STE: 260 Legacy (score from February 2020 or earlier)
Minimum score on one of the following:
  • ELA: 501 Next-Gen or 260 Legacy
  • Math: 504 Next-Gen or 260 Legacy
Minimum score on one of the following:
  • ELA: 501 Next-Gen
  • Math: 504 Next-Gen
Minimum score on the remaining tests:
  • ELA: 472 Next-Gen or 240 Legacy
  • Math: 486 Next-Gen or 240 Legacy
  • STE: 240 Legacy (score from February 2020 or earlier)
Minimum score on the remaining tests:
  • ELA: 472 Next-Gen or 240 Legacy
  • Math: 486 Next-Gen or 240 Legacy
Minimum score on the remaining test:
  • ELA: 472 Next-Gen
  • Math: 486 Next-Gen
2021 MCAS Testing Opportunities:
  • May 2021: Next-Gen MCAS tests (ELA and Mathematics only, classes of 2021–2023)
  • May 2021: Legacy MCAS Tests (ELA and Mathematics only, classes of 2021–2022)

Scholarship eligibility is based on each student's first attempt at taking the spring MCAS tests (see these memoranda for information about an exception for the November 2019 retest: the August 30 "On the Desktop" and the September 18 "On the Desktop" messages). 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 in the fall of their senior year. 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.

Students in charter schools and students who participate in school choice or METCO are eligible for the scholarship if they meet the eligibility requirements for either the school they attend or the district in which they reside.

In order to claim the Adams Scholarship, the student must

  • be a permanent legal resident of Massachusetts for at least one year prior to entering college as a freshman;
  • United States Citizen or a non-citizen authorized by the federal government to live and work in the United States on a temporary or permanent basis;
  • be a graduate of a Massachusetts public high school;
  • be accepted at a Massachusetts public college or university;
  • complete the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA);
  • submit the Adams Scholarship award letter to the financial aid office; and
  • enroll as a full-time student.

To continue receiving the Adams Scholarship, a student must

  • be enrolled full-time at a public higher education institution;
  • maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 on all college work; and
  • annually complete the FAFSA.

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.

For additional information, call 781-338-3625 or send an email to mcas@doe.mass.edu.

Massachusetts State Colleges and Universities that Accept the Adams Scholarship

Community Colleges

State Colleges and Universities


University of Massachusetts


Last Updated: March 29, 2021

 
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