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MassTransfer - Commonwealth Commitment

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I know if I am eligible for the Commonwealth Commitment program?

You are eligible to participate if you:

  1. Plan to earn your associate degree at Massachusetts Community College
  2. Transfer to a state university, any of the four UMass institutions, the Massachusetts College of Art & Design, or the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in order to earn your bachelor's degree
  3. Attend college full-time every semester and
  4. Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00
When can I apply?

Meet with your academic advisor during your first semester to decide on your major and the college or university at which you'd like to complete your bachelor's degree. Once you have decided, your academic advisor will help you fill out the Commonwealth Commitment Participation form. Please note that you must declare your interest in entering the program before earning 15 credits at a community college.

Is the Commonwealth Commitment only available to Massachusetts residents?

Yes. However, international and out-of-state students can still participate in other levels of the MassTransfer programs.

What if I haven't declared my major yet? Can I still apply?

The ComCom participation form requires you to indicate the major you wish to pursue when you transfer to complete your bachelor's degree. If you are uncertain of what you want that major to be, work with your academic advisor; they can help you research and decide on the best major to match your interests and career goals.

What if I change my major?

In many cases, changing your major can lead to mismatches between courses at the community college and courses at the institution to which you transfer. Such mismatches can make it difficult or impossible for to complete your degrees within the time limits permitted for Commonwealth Commitment students. This doesn't mean that major changes are bad, but you should definitely work with your academic advisor to make certain that you're planning, taking, and passing the necessary courses for degree completion and transfer.

How and when will I receive the Commonwealth Commitment discount?

At the end of every semester you complete, assuming you maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher and earn at least 12 credits while at the community college and 14 credits at the university, you will receive a 10% rebate.

How much money will I save?

Students who complete the Commonwealth Commitment program will realize an average savings of 40% off the cost of their bachelor’s degree, as compared to attending their chosen state university or UMass campus for all four years. See our Savings Calculator to explore potential savings models, and see our Commonwealth Commitment Cost Calculator to see today’s current Commonwealth Commitment degree costs.

Does the Commonwealth Commitment cover the costs of textbooks?

Not directly, but you may decide to use some of the savings you realize through participating in the program to pay for textbooks or other expenses.

I have to work to pay for school. Can I do the Commonwealth Commitment program as a part-time student?

Not currently. Students must enroll in a full-time to maintain eligibility.

Do I have the option of moving into on-campus housing when I transfer to a state university or UMass campus?

Yes, but residential housing costs are not covered under the terms of the Commonwealth Commitment program.

My GPA fell under a 3.0. Am I still in the Commonwealth Commitment?

Students whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 will have one semester to raise it. Students will not receive the 10% rebate for the semester that their cumulative GPAs fall below 3.0 and will have their benefits reinstated only if they raise their cumulative GPAs to a 3.0 or above by the end of the following semester.

I was unable to earn the minimum number of credits. Am I still in the Commonwealth Commitment?

Students who are unable to earn the minimum of credits will not earn the 10% rebate. Students who do not earn the minimum of credits in a given semester should meet with their academic advisor to ensure they are able to complete the program within the necessary time frame.

I have been accepted to UMass and several of the state universities but wonder if I should now plan to attend a community college first and then transfer in for my last two years. Won't I save a lot of money?

You might—but then again, you might not. UMass campuses and state universities have increased scholarship support to students. Check all your financial options and get advice from the college of your choice before selecting your bachelor’s degree pathway.

I'd like to attend the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Why do I need to transfer before completing my associates degree?

As a “special-mission” institution, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy's  (MMA) academic programs require students to transfer prior to completing an associate’s degree. You will complete the final semester of your associate degree at MMA; those credits will “reverse transfer” back to your community college and you will earn an associate’s degree before completing your baccalaureate degree requirements. Massachusetts Maritime Academy also. requires students to live on campus—and, for some majors, complete a semester at sea—in order to graduate.

I'd like to attend the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Why do I need to transfer before completing my associate’s degree?

As a “special-mission” institution, the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) academic programs require students to transfer prior to completing an associate’s degree. Community college students who wish to transfer to MassArt are required to complete the 30-credit A2B Mapped degree. Students must submit a portfolio as part of the acceptance criteria. Please note that community college students who wish to transfer to MassArt must start their baccalaureate courses during the Fall semester. If you are unable to start doing the Fall, please contact your advisor to discuss course-taking options.

Are all Massachusetts colleges and universities taking part in the Commonwealth Commitment?

All PUBLIC campuses are. These include the four undergraduate campuses of the University of Massachusetts, nine state universities, and 15 community colleges. Private colleges and universities are not signatories to the Commonwealth Commitment agreement.