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North Shore Community College

North Shore Promise Award

Academic Programs Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What are the focus areas of study students can follow within the "Commonwealth Commitment Pathways"?

The foundation for the Commonwealth Commitment Pathways is the State's MassTransfer Program. At NSCC, there are two different types of Commonwealth Commitment Pathways that allow students to graduate with an associate degree and transfer to any to MA State college or university with a junior status. These students will continue to receive the Commonwealth Commitment benefits (tuition freeze and a 10% discount each semester) as determined by the MA State college or university that an individual student transfers to after graduating from NSCC. Students following these pathways may be eligible for both the Massachusetts Commonwealth Commitment and the North Shore Promise Award.

Below are examples of these two pathway options:

  • Students can take a series of courses or guided pathway within the Liberal Arts (LAT) Program of Study. History and Biology are examples of these pathways that can be followed within the LAT Program and allow students to graduate from NSCC with an Associate of Arts (AA) Degree and then transfer as described above.
  • Students can also choose certain specific NSCC programs that are considered Commonwealth Commitment Associate to Bachelor Degree Programs. Business Administration Transfer, Early Childhood Education, Computer Science and Criminal Justice are examples of this. These students would follow their program requirements to graduate from NSCC with an Associate of Arts Degree or Associate of Science Degree (depending on the program they choose) and then transfer as described in the first paragraph of this question.

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Q. What is the difference between the Commonwealth Commitment Pathways and an "NSCC program"?

NSCC programs like Elementary Education or Engineering, are eligible for the North Shore Promise Award, but are not currently available as part of the Commonwealth Commitment. Students in these programs will graduate with a specific Associate of Arts Degree or Associate of Science (depending on the program they choose). These students are strongly encouraged to follow the MassTransfer guidelines to help with a smooth transfer to a Massachusetts State college or university.

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Q: What if I change my NSCC Academic Program to a non-eligible Academic Program?

North Shore Promise Award participants who decide to change their program to a non-eligible program would no longer be eligible for the North Shore Promise Award. These students would be responsible for any semester balances due beginning with the semester that their program change was effective. However, in most cases you would still be eligible for your Federal and State financial aid.

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Q: Does it matter when I take classes during the 2.5 years I'm eligible for funding?

Once you enroll at NSCC and start receiving North Shore Promise Award funds in Fall 2017, you must attend continuously, Fall and Spring semesters, until you graduate (attendance during the Summer semester is optional and is not covered).

You must enroll in at least 15 credits for the Fall of 2017. The number and kind of classes you take each semester are up to you and your academic adviser. Keep in mind that associate degrees require a minimum of 60 college credits. To stay on schedule to receive your degree within 2.5 years, you should take at least 12 college credits per semester after the Fall 2017 semester.

Remember you have 2.5 years to finish your degree. North Shore Community College's academic counselors can help you stay on track, we urge you to meet with them before registering for any classes.

Students are welcome to use the Summer semester to continue to pursue their program requirements, but North Shore Promise Award funds will not be available to cover these costs.

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Q: What if my academic goal changes after I enroll?

As long as you remain in a North Shore Promise Award eligible program and are still on track to complete in 2.5 years you will remain eligible to receive North Shore Promise Award funding. Please consult with an academic counselor prior to changing your academic program to explore how it will impact your path to graduation.

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Q. What else does the North Shore Promise Award provide?

The North Shore Promise Award also offers personal support. All students enrolled in the Promise will be monitored by College staff and advisors. We share and support your goal to graduate within 2.5 years. Offices to contact with questions include:
Admissions Office
Email: info@northshore.edu
Phone (Danvers): (978) 762-4188
Phone (Lynn): (978) 477-2107

Student Financial Services
Email: sfs@northshore.edu
Phone (Danvers): (978) 762-4189
Phone (Lynn): (781) 477-2191

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NSCC is an accredited nonprofit institute of higher education where all are welcome and each is challenged.

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