Student Scholarships, Awards & Special Programs

Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery Awards

The Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery with Distinction provides a credit toward tuition at Massachusetts public colleges and universities.

Comparison of Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery with Distinction Award and the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship

2022 Update for Students:

  • The student deadline for 2022 graduates will be June 1, 2022
  • Student MCAS scores from Spring 2019 and Spring 2021 have been used to calculate 2022 initial eligibility
  • Students will be allowed to retest in November 2021 to meet initial eligibility requirements
  • 2022 Student eligibility list will be released in segments due to testing schedules:
    • Round 1: November 2021
    • Round 2: February 2022
  • SAT Subject tests have been discontinued (however scores from 2018 through 2020 will be accepted)
  • AP exams are an option, not a requirement (students must score a 3 or better)
  • Additional pathways have been added (please see the application for more information)

The Purposes of the Certificate of Mastery Are To:

  • Recognize high academic achievement on MCAS and other measures of academic achievement;
  • Recognize high academic achievement as identified by outside forums including competitions, student publications, and awards;
  • Provide an incentive for students to perform to their best abilities on MCAS and on the course of studies beyond grade 10; and
  • Recognize high academic achievement in areas not included in MCAS.

Who is Eligible?

Initial Requirements:
To initially be eligible to apply, a student must meet the initial qualification based on Grade 10 MCAS Scores.

Because of the transition to the next-generation MCAS tests, there are currently different requirements for initial qualification, depending on the student's original class, as shown in the table below:

Class of 2022Class of 2023
Earn the minimum score on one of the tests listed below:
  • ELA — 501 (260 Legacy)
  • Mathematics — 504 (260 Legacy)
  • High School S/TE — 260
Earn the minimum score on one of the Next-Gen tests listed below:
  • ELA — 501
  • Mathematics — 504
Earn the minimum score for each remaining test listed below:
  • ELA — 472 (240 Legacy)
  • Mathematics — 486 (240 Legacy)
  • High School S/TE — 240
Earn the minimum score for each remaining Next-Gen test listed below:
  • ELA — 472
  • Mathematics — 486
Scores from the following testing windows can be used for initial eligibility:
  • Spring 2019
  • Spring 2021
  • Fall 2021
* STE scores will not be used in the eligibility determination, since only about 1% of students in the class of 2023 took a high school STE test.

Requirements for the class of 2022 and 2023 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.

In order to claim the Koplik tuition credit, the student must meet the following criteria:

  • be a permanent legal resident of Massachusetts for at least one year prior to entering college as a freshman;
  • be a 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);
  • enroll as a full-time student at an eligible public high education institution; and
  • submit the Stanley Z. Koplik award letter AND Certificate of Mastery to the financial aid office.

To continue receiving the Koplik tuition credit, a student must meet the following criteria:

  • be enrolled full-time at a public higher education institution;
  • maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.3 on all college work; and
  • annually complete the FAFSA and provide the completed FAFSA application to their higher education institution, along with the scholarship notification letter.

Once parents/guardians receive the letter and certificate, we suggest keeping them in a secure location for reference.

These documents are important because students must provide a copy of them along with their completed FAFSA application each year. Without the letter and certificate, the college/university will not apply the tuition credit.

How to Apply?

Students must meet eligibility requirements and submit the application to the Koplik Coordinator at their school by June 1, 2022.

Application Process:

Students who meet the initial qualifications are notified by letter to the students' parents or guardians. The letter includes a Koplik application form and a "Next Steps" Document . These documents explain the remaining requirements should the student wish to pursue them.

* Every public high school, regional high school, regional vocational technical high school and public charter high school is asked to assign a person to serve as the Koplik coordinator. The Koplik coordinator is responsible for:

  • notifying students in their junior year who initially qualify for the Koplik Certificate;
  • advising students on how they may fulfill the requirements;
  • reviewing applications; and,
  • submitting the names and addresses of students who successfully complete the requirements to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education via the security portal (this information may not be submitted via email)

All applications and supporting documentation should be submitted directly to the school's Koplik Coordinator; please do not send copies to DESE.

Students must meet eligibility requirements and submit the application to the Koplik Coordinator at their school by June 1, 2022.

For any questions you may have regarding the Koplik Certificate of Mastery, please contact Alexia.J.Cribbs@mass.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions

Award Amounts:

Recipients of the Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery with Distinction are eligible for an award of a non-need-based tuition credit for state-supported undergraduate courses. Individual student awards shall be no more than the resident undergraduate tuition rate at the participating institution. For updated information on current tuition rates at Massachusetts Public Colleges and Universities, please visit Massachusetts Department of Higher Education's Koplik Certificate of Mastery Tuition Credit — Current and Recent Value.

Massachusetts State Colleges and Universities that Accept the Koplik Certificate of Mastery with Distinction

Community Colleges

State Colleges and Universities

University of Massachusetts

Last Updated: November 19, 2021

 
Contact Us

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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