New program gives Boston public school grads a shot at free community college

One of the areas where the McKinsey report suggested saving money was in transportation.
–The Boston Globe/Pat Greenhouse

Students at Boston Public Schools will soon be given the opportunity to attend community college tuition-free.

The city’s new program, which provides free admission to Bunker Hill Community College and Roxbury Community College, will be available at all BPS high schools beginning June 1, according to a statement from the city. The program will be run by the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, with support from the City’s Neighborhood Jobs Trust.

“The single most effective way to break down the social and financial barriers facing many Boston families is to make post-secondary education free and accessible,” Mayor Marty Walsh said. “I am so proud to launch this program and give our talented BPS graduates another resource for success.”

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Students must graduate with at least a 2.2 GPA, be able to complete community college on a two-year schedule, meet low-income status for Pell Grants, complete a FASFA financial aid application, and pass the accuplacer to place out of developmental classes in order to be eligible for the program, according to the statement.

Only 15 percent of 2007 BPS graduates attending two-year colleges managed to graduate—with 40 percent of enrollees dropping out after the first year—according to a Boston Foundation report. Students with grant assistance were more likely to stay enrolled through the first two years of college.

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