How do I apply for the Tuition-Free Community College Plan?

  • Filling out the application is easy. In fact, you can apply even before you've met all the eligibility requirements. Once you've submitted the application, though, it's very important that you complete the next steps that will determine your eligibility. Success Boston or your guidance counselor can help you complete these steps in a timely manner.


    1) Fill out the Tuition-Free Community College Plan application

    The application is fast and easy. You will not have to attach documents or make any calculations. Instead, by signing the application authorization, you permit the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development to access the necessary eligibility information from your high school and BHCC, MassBay, or RCC.
    There are two simple steps to completing the Tuition-Free Community College Plan application:
    B) Print and sign the application authorization form. You may either scan and email the form to or mail or drop-off the form to:
    The Mayor's Office of Workforce Development (OWD)
    43 Hawkins Street
    Boston, MA 02114
    ATTN: LaKeisha Franklin
    If you cannot download and print the authorization form at school, you can do so at your local Boston Public Library or at the American Student Assistance College Planning Center.

    You must complete both steps to apply to the Tuition-Free Community College Plan. Although you may submit the application at any time, your eligibility cannot be determined until the following tasks are completed.

    2) Complete the FAFSA

    All U.S. citizens and permanent residents applying for the Tuition-Free Community College Plan will need to submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA can tell you whether you're eligible for a Pell Grant, which is one of the requirements of the Tuition-Free Community College Plan. The earlier you complete the FAFSA, the sooner you will know what financial aid you're eligible for. Learn more about the FAFSA here.

    3) Apply to Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC), MassBay Community College or Roxbury Community College (RCC)

    All three colleges are open admission, meaning you can apply at any time. However, if you apply too late, you may miss the chance to register for the classes you want to take. You should aim to apply to BHCC, apply to MassBay or apply to RCC by before the start of classes. (For those students applying to RCC, please be sure to complete the following on the RCC application: For Question #86, please check academic, student account, and financial aid information. For Question #87, please enter "Mayor's Office of Workforce Development".)

    Once you are accepted, your college will send you information on the next two steps: taking college placement tests and registering for classes.

    4) Take BHCC, MassBay, or RCC's college placement testing

    College placement testing determines whether you will need to take developmental classes to prepare for college-level courses. You will need to set up an appointment for testing at BHCC, testing at MassBay or testing at RCC, depending on which college you plan to attend. At all three colleges, the major component of college placement testing is the Accuplacer test. This is an important test to study for, because to be eligible for the Tuition-Free Community College Plan, you'll have to start the semester needing no more than three developmental classes. You can learn more about the Accuplacer here.

    5) Register for college classes

    Classes fill up the longer you wait, so register as soon as you can to ensure you can take the college classes you want or need!

    After you apply, the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development will notify you whether you are eligible or ineligible for the plan. The sooner you complete the steps above, the sooner you can learn whether the Tuition-Free Community College Plan can cover the remaining costs of your tuition and mandatory fees.