Gateway to College

Your Connection to College

Gateway to College students with Gateway T-shirt next to Admissions Office sign

Are you looking for an alternative to traditional high school and an opportunity to attend college? The Gateway to College scholarship may be an option for you. The Gateway to College program at STCC helps students who have experienced challenges in traditional high school for various reasons. If you had to leave school before finishing, are attending public school, homeschool, or a school other than public school, or for whatever reason, the Gateway to College program is an alternative option!

Through the Gateway to College scholarship, students can complete their high school graduation requirements at our college-based program while earning college credits. Students can earn their high school diploma and college credits simultaneously. Some also continue to finish certificate programs and associate degrees and transfer to four-year colleges.

Gateway to College is a scholarship opportunity offered by the Springfield Public Schools. The scholarship covers the costs of tuition, books, and fees. In addition, students have an academic counselor dedicated to their success. The Academic counselor guides students through the college experience, helps them navigate academic challenges, teaches organization and time management techniques, and provides referrals for college and community resources to increase student success.

Benefits of Gateway

  • Experience college courses with professors
  • Accumulate transferable college credits toward a degree or certificate program
  • Access to on-campus resources (tutoring, library, computer labs, student clubs and activities, fitness center)
  • A smaller school population with individualized support
  • Students take fewer courses per semester than in high school
  • Scholarship pays for tuition, books, and fees

Program Eligibility Requirements

This scholarship is designed for the following:

  • High school students ages 16 to 20 with any of the following conditions:
    • Students who experience challenges with the traditional high school setting for various reasons
    • Students who are behind in high school
    • Students who have left high school before obtaining their diploma
    • Students who attend a school other than public school for various reasons, including homeschooling
  • Students must read at an 8th grade level or higher
  • Students must live in Springfield, MA 
  • Click the link below and watch the information session to learn more about the expectations and benefits of the Gateway to College program
  • Answer the questionnaire and then proceed to the next step to complete the application

How to Apply

We are accepting applications for the Fall II 2023 and Spring 2024 semesters. Interested students must attend an information session to start the application process. The following steps are required to apply:

  1. Watch the information session to learn more about the expectations and benefits of the Gateway to College program
  2. Answer the questionnaire and then proceed to the next step to complete the application

In-person information sessions are canceled until further notice. Students interested in applying to Gateway to College are encouraged to watch our pre-recorded information session and answer a brief questionnaire, this is the first step to apply. Please click the link below.

Pre-Recorded Information Session

The application is lengthy. It requires a personal investment of time and effort. Applicants must include all requested information, including three formal essays. This information and the quality of the response provide additional insights for the selection committee.

To complete the Gateway to College Application you will need

  • Three formal essays. Essay files can be uploaded with your application or typed directly into the application.
    • Essay 1: (at least 300 words) Why are you interested in joining the Gateway to College Program at Springfield Technical Community College? How will the program help you to reach your goals? Why should the selection committee choose you?
    • Essay 2: (at least 300 words) Perseverance is the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult or simply not giving up. Please tell us what perseverance means to you. Tell us about a time in your life when you demonstrated perseverance. What did you learn from this experience?
    • Essay 3: (at least 300 words) Tell us about personal problems or challenges from the past that have interfered with your education and what steps you have taken to overcome them. (Examples of issues or challenges might include attitude, behavior, motivation, skills, support, need to feel accepted, cultural barriers, etc.)
  • Contact information and email addresses for your parent/guardian, high school counselor or guidance department, and someone you want to provide a recommendation for you.

Eligible students who have attended an information session and applied will be scheduled to take the college placement test.

  • The college placement test takes about 2 hours and will assess reading, writing, and math skills.
  • Students will need a picture ID and social security number.

This test evaluates your readiness for the program and places you in the appropriate classes if accepted. Please visit to learn more about the college placement test and how to prepare for it.

After you have submitted a complete application, your information will be sent to the school district for review. The school district must approve each student to continue to the next step in the application process.

If you are eligible to be considered for the Gateway scholarship, you will be scheduled for an interview. Your interview will be with members of the Gateway staff. This helps us to learn more about you, your strengths, and your motivations. You will also have a chance to ask questions about the program. Interviews are generally about 30-60 minutes long.

The final step to be officially accepted for the program is to complete Gateway Prep (a three-day college prep session) and receive final approval from the school district. The selection committee will notify applicants about final decisions.

Linda Fernandez in Gateway to College Cap and SashWith the help of my Gateway to College family, I was able to finish high school from an early college program. Their never-ending support and determination made it a little easier for me to get up every morning and never give up. I graduated high school with a GPA of 3.3 and I am now grateful to say that I’m a first generation college student! Linda Fernandez, 2018 Gateway to College graduate


We recognize the hard work and achievements of our graduates with video presentations from our commencement speakers, a list of graduating student award winners, graduate profiles, and messages of encouragement from faculty and staff on the 2023 Gateway to College Commencement page.

Past Classes

Special Education (IEP) Services

Gateway to College does not discriminate against students with disabilities. We request that students with an IEP or 504 plan submit copies of the plan with their application so that we may refer them to the STCC Office of Disabilities. Together with their families and doctors or other practitioners, students should consider whether the services and accommodations available on a college campus will best serve their needs.

Gateway to College Staff


Building 8
Phone: 413-755-4581 
FAX: 413-755-6318
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Mailing Address

Gateway to College
Springfield Technical Community College
One Armory Square
Suite 1, P.O. Box 9000
Springfield, MA 01102-9000