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Will DTA approve college attendance?


DTA made a number of changes and suspended a number of rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Guide notes in red when a rule was suspended during the pandemic.

Produced by Deborah Harris and Betsy Gwin, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed December 2022

DTA will approve college attendance as long as

  • the activities are can be credited toward a certificate, associate’s degree or other degree (including a four-year or graduate degree),
  • the program is at least half time,
  • the activities are expected to lead to a job,
  • you are making satisfactory progress. 106 C.M.R. § 707.140(D); DTA Online Guide (College).

Advocacy Reminders

  • Education and training count towards the Work Program requirement for 24 months. DTA may allow education and training for more than 24 months if you are making good progress towards a certificate or degree, but you can be cut off when you reach your time limit unless you are approved for an extension. See Can you get an extension of benefits past the time limit?
  • What if you want to go to college but have already used up some of your 24 months of education and training? You can count college attendance towards the work requirement for any of the 24 months of education or training you have left even if you don’t have enough months left to finish the program. Once your 24 months are up you can continue your education if DTA finds you are making good progress towards a certificate or degree. You may also need DTA to approve an extension of your time limit.

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