A college degree is an investment in your future, but that investment doesn't have to come with piles of debt. In fact, 68% of our new incoming students graduate with zero debt. Bristol's low tuition costs combined with the following common strategies can result in a life-changing degree without saddling student loan debt.

Important note: Massachusetts residents, age 25 or older, with no prior degree, are eligible to receive FREE community college under the MassReconnect program.

1. Fill out the FAFSA.

Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This is the first step in applying for federal financial aid, including grants, work-study programs, and federal student loans. 

2. Apply for scholarships.

  • Merit-Based Scholarships: awards based on academic achievement, talents or other criteria.
  • Need-Based Scholarships: awards based on financial need, coming from colleges, government programs or private organizations.
    • Full or part-time students in Massachusetts can check out the MASSGrant program to see if they quality for need-based financial assistance.
  • Local Scholarships: The Bristol Community College Foundation awards more than 200 scholarships each year, ranging from $250 to $2,500 each, to help pay for tuition, supplies or books. Use our Scholarships page to browse, search or filter local scholarships by category.
  • Online Scholarship Search Engines: Websites like Fastweb, Scholarships.com, and Cappex can help find matching scholarships.

3. Apply for a work-study program.

Bristol's Experiential Education Center helps to match students with internship and work-study opportunities. Students can further their education and degree attainment while earning money.

4. Take advantage of tax credits.

The American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit are two federal tax credits that can help offset the cost of college. Click here for more information on IRS tax benefits for education.

5. Enroll in an online payment plan.

Bristol Community College is proud to offer Nelnet Campus Commerce Monthly Payment Plan as a convenient budget plan. This is not a loan program. You have no debt, there are no interest or finance charges assessed, and there is no credit check. Learn more about enrolling in a payment plan here.