How Can I Pay For College?


FINANCIAL AID:   Regardless of whether you transfer to a public or private four-year institution, your cost of attendance is very likely to be higher than at QCC. That’s not necessarily cause for worry. The good news is that your financial aid eligibility also goes up at the next school.

(1.)  FAFSA:

  • It’s important to apply for financial aid when you start the transfer application process. Most schools recognize and minimally require the FAFSA application to determine eligibility.
  • You don’t have to wait to apply for transfer admission before you apply for financial aid. It’s even o.k. to submit your completed FAFSA first to schools where you are planning to apply. Your FAFSA file will be held aside at that school until you formally apply for admission.
  • If you receive financial aid at QCC, your award does not transfer to the next school (like your course credits do). You must formally file a FAFSA with the new school. Your eligibility and aid package are processed when you are apply for transfer admission.
  • If you do not currently receive financial aid at QCC, we still recommend applying for aid the next school. Financial aid applications are often a filter for determining scholarship eligibility at private/independent colleges and universities.
  • If your financial situation places you outside aid eligibility at QCC, chances are good that you’ll be eligible at the next school, even if limited to loans. The loans have better interest rates than if you use your credit card or get a traditional bank loan.


(2.)  CSS Profile/Other Financial Aid Applications:

  • Some private/independent colleges and universities also require a second financial aid application called the CSS ProfileThis second aid application is basically a deeper dive into your family’s financial situation to confirm what resources you have and what help you’ll need at the school.
  • There is a cost associated with the CSS Profile application.
  • Some colleges and universities require their own supplementary financial aid application instead of the CSS Profile for the same purposes.


(3.)  Net Price Calculator (NPC):

  • You can get an estimate of your financial aid eligibility at a four-year school before you even apply! The U.S. federal government requires all colleges and universities to provide the NPC to help students estimate aid eligibility.
  • The NPC is usually found under the “Financial Aid” or “Tuition” webpage at a school’s website. You fill out an online form to answer a series of questions (similar to the FAFSA) and then receive an estimate of financial aid eligibility.
  • Please note: THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL FINANCIAL AID AWARD. It’s a rough guess of your eligibility/ award. You must still file a FAFSA (and other applications if required) to have financial aid formally determined.



TRANSFER SCHOLARSHIPS:  Unlike the FAFSA application process, transfer scholarships are not tied to a single questionnaire. They’re all over the place!

  • Scholarships can vary from school to school and by various criteria, so check with each college you are interested in.
  • Transfer scholarships are usually merit-based, meaning they’re awarded because of strong academic performance (high grades and GPAs), not financial need. However, as mentioned above, scholarship eligibility may still require filing a FAFSA with the school.
  • Scholarship deadlines are typically different from transfer application deadlines, sometimes months earlier. It’s important to start looking for scholarships early.


(1.)  Scholarship Search Process:

  • Start at a college website, search for "Scholarships" or look for information at the Financial Aid page.
  • Identify any and all transfer scholarships available.
  • Read about the scholarship application process and pick up application materials, if needed.
  • Find out about scholarship deadlines. If in doubt, call the school to confirm the deadline date.
  • Follow up with the transfer admissions representative at the school you’re interested in to confirm available scholarships.



(Scholarships vary from year to year. Check directly with schools of interest to confirm scholarship availability)


  • Anna Maria College:  Community College Graduates
  • Assumption College:  Desautels Scholars, Pesse Scholars Merit Scholarships
  • Boston University:  PTK Scholarships
  • Boston University/Metropolitan College
  • Clark University:  PTK Scholarships, QCC Graduate Scholarships
  • Fitchburg State University
  • Go Local Worcester-miscellaneous scholarships
  • Greater Worcester Community Foundation

Cynthia and Harrison Taylor Scholarship:  For hard-working students who need financial assistance to pay for college, with preference to adult students (pursuing their first bachelor's degree) and to transfer students who have completed an Associate's degree and are continuing their education at a four-year institution.



This scholarship will be awarded to students who have completed two years at a community college and are transferring to a 4-year program at a Massachusetts public school. This scholarship will fund the full amount of unmet financial need for the recipient.


Worcester Latino Coalition Scholarship:  For graduating high school seniors and adult students from Worcester County who are of Latino/Hispanic descent, with preference to students working in, or pursuing a career in, a health care field.








  • QCC Financial Aid Office, Room 165A
  • Chamber of Commerce:  Ask about scholarships sponsored by business organizations, companies, or non-profit groups.
  • Library:  The reference librarian at your local library can direct you to scholarship directories.
  • Employer:  Ask about "education benefits" available at the human resources/personnel office at your/your parents' employer. Some companies offer scholarships or tuition assistance for employees and/or their children.
  • Massachusetts Educational Finance Authority can be a good resource for students.



(6.)  Words of Warning:

  • Many organizations offer scholarships, and individuals provide professional assistance in finding them. Most groups are legitimate, but others are not.
  • Be suspicious of organizations or individuals that charge application fees for their scholarships. If their goal is to give away money, they should not be asking you for money.
  • Also beware of individuals who claim there are vast amounts of unclaimed scholarship money and they can guarantee you will get some. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is not true.