UMass Lowell Waives Tuition for Top Community College Students

05/10/2011


New Mass. Advantage Plus Program Delivers Services, Opportunities for Academic Achievers

LOWELL, Mass. – UMass Lowell has a long history of helping high-achieving community college graduates go on to successfully pursue bachelor’s degrees. Starting this fall, those students can do it tuition-free.

Community college students who have earned an associate’s degree in an approved program with a 3.0 or better grade point average will be eligible for a full tuition discount when they transfer to UMass Lowell. Students who maintain a 3.0 average at UMass Lowell will be eligible for the discount for up to four semesters, the typical length of time needed to finish a bachelor’s degree.

Free tuition is just one of the benefits of the new UMass Lowell Massachusetts Advantage Plus (MAP) program for community college students, which builds upon a program recently announced by UMass Amherst and Gov. Deval Patrick. UMass Lowell’s MAP program will deliver priority class registration and advising; co-op and internship opportunities; and guaranteed campus housing.

“This program provides students with the tools they need to compete and succeed in today’s workforce,” said Patrick. “I commend the leadership at UMass Lowell and our community colleges across the state for enthusiastically embracing this wonderful opportunity to collaborate.”

The new MAP program, announced today at an event for community college partners, is the latest move by UMass Lowell to make community college students’ transfer process as seamless as possible and encourage academic success once they enroll. UMass Lowell has long participated in a statewide program that guarantees admission for community college students who have a 2.5 grade point average and are enrolled in an approved program. 

This year alone, 777 students from 15 Massachusetts public community colleges transferred to UMass Lowell. The university has a solid track record of success with transfer students: 78 percent continue after their first year and 70 percent graduate within four years.

“We know that students increasingly need a bachelor’s degree and in many cases, a master’s degree, to be work-ready and achieve their goals. We want to make it as easy as possible for community college students to take the next step,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan. “We have found that students who transfer from community colleges are well-prepared and achieve high levels of academic success.” 

MAP offers the following:

  • A 100 percent discount on in-state tuition, a $1,454 value, excluding fees; 
  • Guaranteed university housing for all transfer students who complete housing contracts by the deadline; 
  • Priority advising and registration that includes the opportunity to register for courses before all other transfer students and direct outreach from transfer coordinators to develop an academic plan maximizing community college credits; 
  • Scholarships specifically for transfer students who are academic achievers that provide them up to $2,500 annually; 
  • Research co-ops and service learning internships that offer valuable opportunities to engage in experiential learning before entering the job market; 
  • Guaranteed admission into the Commonwealth Honors Program for students enrolled in comparable programs at the community college level, allowing them to immediately engage in UMass Lowell’s enriched academic opportunities such as Honors House, a specialized living-learning community; 
  • Participation in UMass Lowell’s chapter of Tau Sigma, the national honor society dedicated to acknowledging the academic accomplishments of transfer students. 
All transfer students who choose UMass Lowell are eligible for:

  • An interactive online transfer dictionary that allows students to check the UMass Lowell equivalents of courses offered at hundreds of institutions nationwide; 
  • Advisers within each department to develop an academic plan that makes the best use of transfer credits and offers the most direct path to the completion of a bachelor’s degree; 
  • Orientation programs designed to meet the specific needs of transfer students and welcome them into the UMass Lowell community, as well as follow-up contact from a student ambassador during the first month of classes; 
  • Articulation agreements with 11 community colleges across Massachusetts that guarantee participating students have met all pre-requisites and will not have to repeat courses to complete UMass Lowell degree programs, including highly competitive majors such as engineering, criminal justice and nursing.
“Community college students are critical to meeting the Commonwealth’s current and future workforce needs,” said Massachusetts Education Secretary Paul Reville. “The hallmark of an effective education system is its ability to help every student capitalize on his or her full potential. I commend UMass Lowell for enhancing opportunities for our students.”
 
Middlesex Community College President Carole Cowan lauded the opportunity UMass Lowell is offering students who have obtained an associate’s degree and look to continue their education.

“Middlesex has had tremendous success with our partner institution at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and I’m certain that this expanded opportunity that the university is making available to other community colleges will help ensure that more students stay on the track for advanced degrees,” Cowan said. “Our students have long enjoyed a successful transition to the university setting and I’m confident that this new opportunity, coupled with the expanding footprint of the university in the city of Lowell and the opportunities that come with that, will be a win-win situation for our student populations.”

UMass Lowell and Middlesex Community College are partners in Connections, a pre-admissions program that works with Middlesex students to gear their studies toward enrolling at UMass Lowell, providing customized advising and guidance, as well as use of the university’s recreational facilities and the opportunity to live in university residence halls. 

For more on the Massachusetts Advantage Plus program, check out www.uml.edu/MAP.

UMass Lowell, with a national reputation in science, engineering and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success in a diverse world and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region. The university offers its 14,000 students more than 120 degree choices, internships, five-year combined bachelor’s to master’s programs and doctoral studies in the colleges of Arts, Sciences, Engineering and Management, the School of Health and Environment, and the Graduate School of Education. www.uml.edu.
 
For more information, contact media@uml.edu or 978-934-3224