Higher education has long been one of society’s main drivers of opportunity, social mobility, and economic progress. This is particularly true in Massachusetts, where jobs increasingly require college degrees. Yet, there are glaring — and growing — gaps in who can afford college in the Commonwealth. In 2019, Massachusetts’ affordability gap for students from low-income families at public four-year institutions was $6,293, meaning that even after financial aid, many students would need to work 20 hours per week to pay for college — double the Lumina foundation’s recommendation.

Moreover, indirect costs, such as transportation, books, and course materials, can often make up over half of the full cost of college , which financial aid does not cover. In addition, over the last five years, college attendance has declined, and gaps between students from low-income districts and their wealthier peers have widened — and these disparities have real consequences for students, their communities, and our Commonwealth’s economy and democracy.


In Massachusetts, students of color, first-generation college students, and students from low-income backgrounds face too many barriers to an affordable, high-quality higher education.

Help us advocate to pass transformative legislation to ensure a debt-free future for all Massachusetts students

Alongside the rest of the country, Massachusetts is engaged in a public conversation to ensure we equitably and adequately finance public higher education to ensure that first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students have authentic access and necessary support to succeed at and graduate from college.

Policymakers have begun making progress in addressing this problem, but more must be done.

To that end, the Massachusetts Education Equity Partnership (MEEP) has launched #Allin4aDebtFreeFuture, a campaign that center the voices, experiences, and demands of historically underserved students and families in policy conversations about the importance of college affordability. Students know the most about their challenges, and their voices will be essential to tackling them. But they're not in this fight alone: we must all rise to meet the urgency of this moment and take action to advocate for policies that will ensure all Massachusetts residents have access to high-quality, affordable public higher education.

Join us in advocating for policies to help ensure every Massachusetts resident can attend and graduate from a public college or university in the Commonwealth without financial burden.

We encourage students, families, and advocates to join us this fall and beyond to urge lawmakers to pass policies to ensure every student has equitable access to affordable public higher education! Our students cannot afford to wait. Click the buttons below to see resources you can use to make sure your voice is heard!

Resources include:

  • • Information about the legislative process and the bill
  • • Guidance on various ways to advocate
  • • Oral and written testimony samples, call scripts, and outreach templates
  • • A social media toolkit to help you spread the word

Working together, we can make a difference and ensure Massachusetts is #Allin4aDebtFreeFuture!

Every person deserves equitable access to higher education opportunities — and it all begins with alleviating the financial burden on students.

For policy to be effective, it must be informed by the voices of the people impacted on the ground. MEEP believes that students and families must speak at every level, from the classroom to the state legislature. Therefore, we asked students and families to share their experiences and perspectives regarding access, affordability, and outcomes concerns when it comes to Massachusetts public colleges and universities. Here’s what they told us.

We want to hear from you! Write to us at [email protected] and tell us about your experience!

Questions? Comments? Email us at [email protected]
Join the conversation! Follow us on Twitter and Facebook @MassEduEquity

Questions? Comments? Get in Touch!