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College ESL FAQs

College ESL Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. How do I know which courses to take?
    You will take a placement test, which is free.  After you receive the results of your test, you will meet with an academic advisor who will help you choose your courses.

  2. Do all English language learners have to take courses in the College ESL Program?
    Not necessarily.  It depends on the results of your placement test. You can place into courses in the College ESL Program; or, if your abilities in English are more advanced, you can place directly into one of the courses in the Writing Program.

  3. Can I take other college-level courses while I am in the College ESL Program?
    Yes, but it depends on your level of English.  Your academic advisor will help you choose the courses best for you.

  4. Do I have to go through every level of the program or can I skip levels?
    It depends.  At the end of each semester, you can participate in an exit assessment which may allow you to skip over some levels of courses.

  5. What kind of credit do I receive for College ESL courses?
    College ESL courses carry institutional credit. They do not count towards degree or elective requirements.

  6. Can I receive Financial Aid while taking courses in the College ESL Program?
    Yes. Qualified students are eligible for financial aid when taking college ESL courses. Contact the Financial Aid Office at 781-239-2600 for more information.

  7. How do I find more information about the College ESL Program?
    Send an email with your questions to or
    call MassBay at 781-239-2511 to speak to the Admissions Office staff.