Salem State University has announced that it will grant $3,000 scholarships to students transferring to the university within a year of receiving their associate degree from North Shore Community College (NSCC) or Northern Essex Community College (NECC). Students enrolling at one of the community colleges can also apply for joint admission to Salem State, guaranteeing their admission to the university upon completing an associate degree.
The new offerings are part of the Transfer Connections partnership, which builds on years of collaboration among the institutions to increase access to a quality, affordable higher education. The partnership was enhanced after the presidents and the transfer connections teams from Salem State, NSCC and NECC participated a year-long transfer intensive initiative with the Aspen Institute and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).
“We are continually looking for ways to make a bachelor’s degree as accessible as possible, and NSCC and NECC have been outstanding partners,” said Salem State University President John D. Keenan. “This scholarship and dual admissions continue our efforts to put the opportunities that Salem State offers within reach for more students in the region and beyond.”
The $3,000 transfer scholarship is effective in the fall of 2023 and will be awarded to qualifying graduates in the form of $50 per credit each semester until graduation, with a maximum of $3,000.
"Starting at a community college is an excellent, affordable pathway to earning a Bachelor's degree but we know students and families can find the idea of going to two different institutions daunting and always worry about the costs going up after they transfer. With this agreement, NSCC, NECC and Salem State are making the journey even simpler and Salem State University is generously addressing the concern about costs with this new scholarship. We are proving that collaboration among public higher education institutions delivers for our students, their families, and our communities," said NSCC President William Heineman.
“Salem State University has been a wonderful partner to Northern Essex Community College and a popular transfer destination for our students, thanks to their accessibility and wide variety of degree programs, for many years,” said NECC President Lane Glenn, “and this Transfer Connections scholarship will make the decision about where to complete a bachelor’s degree even easier and more affordable for Merrimack Valley students and their families.”
The scholarship and dual admissions are designed to meet the Transfer Connections vision: “Increase the equitable access and completion of associate and baccalaureate degrees making transfer transparent, simple, and affordable.”
The three institutions are also streamlining the transfer process through a joint transfer coach position created in spring 2022.
The transfer connections coach, Salem State Alumna Sharon German, of Lynn, works one-on-one with students to help them identify the most efficient transfer pathways.
While Salem State, NSCC and NECC have articulation agreements, German’s deep knowledge of the degree pathways ensures students are maximizing their college credits.
“I’m passionate about helping students reach their higher education goals in a way that will allow them to get their degree sooner, and at a lower cost,” said German. “Students want to pursue their education in a way that works for them and their families. I enjoy meeting with them, mapping out a plan, and being only a phone call or email away when they have questions.”
Prior to these collaborations, Salem State and NSCC signed the North Shore Viking Partnership in 2018, streamlining the transfer process, adding deferred admissions to Salem State, offering NSCC students the opportunity to live in Salem State’s residence halls, collaborating on student activities such as clubs and sports, and connecting NSCC students with Salem State’s honors program.
Salem State, NSCC and NECC also have degree pathways in place for specific academic programs through articulation and transfer agreements and through a statewide initiative called Mass Transfer Pathways.