To the editor:

Your Aug. 24 editorial titled “The climbing cost to attend UMass” highlighted the very real issue of college affordability and suggested that local families explore public colleges in other New England states as an alternative to the University of Massachusetts.

I respectively recommend that, instead of going out of state, students who are looking for a university education start at a community college and transfer to UMass their sophomore or junior years, saving thousands of dollars in the process.

With our MassTransfer Pathways, students can take a year of general education foundation courses at a community college, then transfer all those credits to a four-year public college or university; earn an associate degree in an approved program and transfer the full associate degree; or participate in Commonwealth Commitment (students must be full-time and have a GPA of 3.0 or better) which provides even deeper tuition discounts for those who earn an associate degree and transfer.

By choosing one of these options, students can get that bachelor’s degree from UMass and save an average of 40% on its cost.

As the father of a high school sophomore and a college senior, I, too, am concerned about the cost of higher education. It’s important to let middle class families know that there are options available.

Our Northern Essex Community College advisers are eager to meet with students and their families to plan affordable paths to that bachelor’s degree.

Lane A. Glenn


Northern Essex Community College

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