BOSTON (WPRI) — Millions of people living in Massachusetts now have the opportunity to attend community college.

Gov. Maura Healey announced the launch of MassReconnect, which is her administration’s program allowing state residents 25 years and older to go to community college for free.

“MassReconnect will be transformative for thousands of students, for our amazing community colleges, and for our economy,” Healey said. “It will bolster the role of community colleges as economic drivers in our state and help us better meet the needs of businesses to find qualified, well-trained workers.

Up to 8,000 people are expected to take advantage of MassReconnect in the first year.

“We can also make progress in breaking cycles of intergenerational poverty by helping residents complete their higher education credentials so they can attain good jobs and build a career path,” Healey continued. “Our administration is grateful for the partnership of the Legislature to move forward on this critical program that will make our state more affordable, competitive and equitable.”

According to Healey’s office, there are approximately 700,000 state residents who have some college credit, but no degree. The majority of those people were over 25, the governor’s office said.

MassReconnect will help bring back these students to finish their degrees, with the additional funding and support they may have been lacking the first time.

Healey included $20 million in funding for her free community college program in her state budget proposal signed earlier this month. Each of the state’s 15 community colleges also received $100,000 to promote and quickly administer the program.

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