Transfer program at STCC translates to savings
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – A new transfer program offered to certain incoming students at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) this academic year can mean a big financial discount for those who make the commitment.
Commonwealth Commitment calls for students to enroll at STCC in one of the eligible majors or “MassTransfer pathways”: Economics, history, biology or chemistry. Other state community colleges also are participating.
Students must transfer to a state university after receiving an associate degree and stay on course to receive a bachelor’s degree.
The state Department of Higher Education (DHE) estimates students who complete the program will realize an average savings of $5,090 depending on which institutions they choose to attend.
“Commonwealth Commitment is all about affordability and college completion,” said Dr. Arlene Rodríguez, vice president of academic affairs/chief academic officer. “For many of our students, a lack of financial resources stands in the way of their dream of obtaining a college degree. Massachusetts is making a pledge to support them by making college more affordable.”
Other Commonwealth Commitment requirements include:
- Complete 12 or more credits each semester;
- Complete an associate degree in any of the eligible programs within 2½ years;
- Transfer to one of Massachusetts’ state universities upon graduation from STCC, and complete a bachelor’s degree within two more years; and
- Maintain full-time, continuous enrollment and a cumulative 3.0 GPA throughout the program.
STCC Dean of Enrollment Management Matt Gravel said students must declare their interest in entering Commonwealth Commitment before earning more than 15 credits at their community college.
The DHE administers the program under the umbrella of MassTransfer, a statewide program of transfer agreements and incentives. DHE Commissioner Carlos E. Santiago spearheaded the effort to create attractive MassTransfer programs such as Commonwealth Commitment.
Gravel said Commonwealth Commitment might appeal to students who were considering starting at a four-year university and who have not considered the advantages of a community college.
“Anyone who wants to study one of the four programs can start here in the fall or spring and be on the path to significant savings,” Gravel said. “I would call this the Cadillac of all of the new transfer programs.”
Tuition and fees will remain the same for all four years for students entering the Commonwealth Commitment program – even if the costs rise for other students.
“For example, if you enter STCC in fall 2016 and maintain full-time, continuous enrollment, you will pay the same tuition and fees each semester until you receive your associate degree,” Gravel said. “If our fees go up in 2017, you will be charged the 2016 rate.”
Gravel said a participating student who transfers to the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, for example, in 2018 would pay UMass’ 2016 fees until they graduate.
Participants also will receive a 10 percent rebate on tuition and fees at the end of every successfully completed semester, beginning with the first semester at the community college and lasting until they earn their bachelor’s degrees.
“It sounds old fashioned to say this, but education is still the pathway to the middle class, to the American dream,” Rodríguez said. “Public higher education in Massachusetts makes that journey possible for so many.”
Students can transfer from STCC to any of the nine state universities or any one of the four undergraduate campuses of UMass. The Western Massachusetts institutions include:
- Westfield State University
- Worcester State University
- Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams
About Springfield Technical Community College
Founded in 1967 and located on 35 acres of the Springfield Armory National Historic Site, STCC is a major resource for the economic vitality of western Massachusetts. As the only technical community college in Massachusetts, STCC, an Achieving the Dream Leader College, offers a variety of career programs unequalled in the state. STCC’s highly regarded transfer programs in business, engineering, liberal arts, science and technology continue to provide the most economical option for students pursuing a four-year degree. With an annual enrollment of more than 8,500 day, evening, weekend and online students, STCC is a vibrant campus rich in diversity.
Media Contact: Jim Danko, Coordinator of Media Relations, (413) 755-4812, firstname.lastname@example.org