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In the Media

Mass. should add another high school graduation requirement

December 2, 2023
By Lane Glenn, Femi Stoltz, and Andy Vargas

Mass. should add another high school graduation requirement

At a time when the Massachusetts workforce needs college degree holders more than ever, thousands of high school graduates aren’t showing up on college campuses, while leaving behind nearly $50 million in free federal financial aid each year.

We can take one simple yet effective step to turn this troubling trend around: Make completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) a requirement for high school graduation in the Commonwealth. The FAFSA is necessary to determine whether a student is eligible for a variety of federal and state financial aid, as well as scholarships that may be available from colleges, foundations, and other organizations.

Massachusetts is widely recognized as the most educated state in the nation: Nearly half of adults in the state over the age of 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher. While our workforce continues to demand more college educated people, times are changing, and we’re no longer keeping up. In a recent report, “Sizing Up Massachusetts’ Looming Skilled-Worker Shortage,” the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth (MassINC) predicts the state is going to be nearly 200,000 college-educated adults short of the workforce needed by 2030.