FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WELLESLEY HILLS, Mass. (November 10, 2021) — MassBay Community College and the nonprofit organization, uAspire announced a new partnership today to help current and prospective MassBay students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by providing free, one-on-one assistance. By accessing uAspire’s virtual helpdesk, students can receive individual support from a financial aid expert to complete the FAFSA over text, Zoom, or phone call. uAspire also will host live virtual FAFSA support events for students and families.
“FAFSA completion is down compared to previous years across the region,” said MassBay Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management Lisa Slavin. “Since paying for college is the number one concern for many students and their families, we needed a way to make FAFSA completion less daunting and more convenient. Now students can simply text uAspire to receive assistance when they need it. This partnership provides our students with accessible, individualized guidance to navigate the process as well as supports our financial aid staff members.”
“FAFSA completion is one of the best predictors of whether a high school senior will go on to college, and students must reapply each year to receive aid,” said Kimberley Nidah, uAspire’s Massachusetts vice president of development. “But, even before the pandemic, students from low-income communities and first-generation students faced significant barriers that made completing the FAFSA difficult. From our decades of student advising, we know firsthand the challenges they face and the interventions they need to access financial aid for higher education.”
MassBay’s partnership with uAspire is funded by the Supporting Urgent Community College Equity through Student Services (SUCCESS) Fund, which was created specifically to support Massachusetts community colleges. This funding is intended for colleges to design wraparound supports and services to improve outcomes for students, particularly those from historically underrepresented backgrounds. The fund was established through an appropriation of the Massachusetts Legislature for $7 million dollars in the FY2021 budget and an additional allocation of $10.5 million in the FY2022 budget.
In addition to the collaboration with uAspire, MassBay has used SUCCESS funding to enhance student support by providing them with advising/coaching, career, wellness, and academic support services.
uAspire is a national nonprofit ensuring that all young people have the financial information and resources to find an affordable path to and through college. \
MassBay Community College is the most affordable higher education option in MetroWest Boston, offering a robust portfolio of courses and more than 70 associate degree and certificate programs with flexible day, evening, and weekend classes in Ashland, Framingham, Wellesley Hills, and online. MassBay students receive an unmatched educational value by earning stackable credits that transfer to bachelor’s degree programs, and workforce-ready skills necessary to advance careers in high-demand fields such as health and life sciences, automotive technology, engineering, business, cybersecurity, and the humanities. MassBay’s Associate Degree in Nursing (RN) and Practical Nursing (LPN) programs were both ranked as the #1 Nursing Program in Massachusetts in 2020-2021 by national nursing advocacy organizations RegisteredNursing.org, and PracticalNursing.org. Since its founding in 1961, MassBay has been accredited by several governing bodies and remains firmly committed to its mission of meeting the needs of the diverse local communities it serves. We value the intrinsic worth of all individuals, collectively in pursuit of inclusiveness and prioritize our work towards achieving equity within our community and beyond