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The Commonwealth Commitment is a pathway offered through the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education's MassTransfer program. It allows Massachusetts students to significantly lower the cost of a bachelor’s degree by beginning their coursework at a state community college before transferring to a Massachusetts state university such as MassArt.
Who is it for?
Massachusetts high school students interested in attending MassArt have the opportunity to take coursework equivalent to the Foundation year (MassArt's first-year student requirements) at any state community college and then transfer to MassArt as a sophomore with reduced tuition and fees among other benefits.
Take the Commonwealth Commitment and pledge to enroll full-time and maintain a 3.00+ grade point average as you follow a MassTransfer A2B Mapped degree program.
On top of MassTransfer benefits, you will shave thousands of additional dollars off your degree sticker price through a combination of special savings offered only to Commonwealth Commitment students.
Commonwealth Commitment may also be a good option for students who would benefit from improving their GPA and/or portfolio at a community college before applying to MassArt.
The Student Commitment:
- Begin at a Massachusetts community college and enroll in the Commonwealth Commitment program before completing 15 credits
- Take equivalent coursework to MassArt’s required Foundation year outlined in our A2B pathways (all MassArt students are required to begin their studies as a first-year student in the Foundation program before beginning in their chosen major)
- Transfer to MassArt after one year*
- Complete their bachelor's degree within 3 years at MassArt
- Maintain full-time, continuous enrollment and a cumulative 3.00+ GPA, in order to stay enrolled in the program
*Because MassArt has a highly sequential curriculum, we have a unique relationship with the Commonwealth Commitment. Students are able to apply to transfer to MassArt after one year because community colleges seldom have the equivalents to MassArt’s specific sophomore major studio requirements. Commonwealth Commitment students typically transfer in as sophomores and spend 3 years earning their BFA at MassArt. Students can transfer their MassArt credits back to the community college to earn their associate degree.
The Commonwealth Commitment to students:
- Freeze on all increases on tuition & mandatory fees upon program entry (valid until student successfully completes or leaves Commonwealth Commitment program)
- A 10% rebate off tuition & mandatory fees, payable at the end of every successfully completed semester
- Additional MassTransfer Tuition Credit on bachelor’s degree program entry (valued at $1,030 per year)
- Guaranteed Admission - space permitting and pending portfolio review*
- Students applying to transfer to MassArt must complete an application via the CommonApp and submit an essay as well as a portfolio; learn more about MassArt's application requirements
*Students must submit coursework samples from each studio class in their application portfolio.
How can I enroll?
Start by researching the right community college for you.
Students who are interested in transferring to MassArt will want to ensure their community college offers equivalent coursework to MassArt's Foundation year program. Students will also want to factor in location, student services, elective course offerings, etc.
Connect with a counselor and enroll in Commonwealth Commitment. Students can speak with a transfer counselor at their community college about filling out their Commonwealth Commitment participation form (students must submit their participation form prior to earning 15 college credits at the community college, excluding dual enrollment credits or development courses).
Once enrolled, you may want to talk to your transfer counselor or an academic advisor to make sure you are enrolling in the right courses to set you up for a smooth transfer. Students should have at least eight out of MassArt’s ten Foundation requirements completed in order to be eligible to transfer at the sophomore level (students can “make up” up to two remaining requirements at MassArt). You can reference MassArt’s Foundation course equivalency chart. For additional support, you can also connect with Shannon Gallagher, Transfer Admissions Counselor at MassArt, at email@example.com.
Ace your classes!
In order for credit to transfer, students must earn a grade of 'C' or higher in courses that are 100-level or higher. Keep in mind that studio credit is evaluated based on your transcripts as well as your portfolio; please document and save your artwork to include in the portfolio portion of your application. Ideally, students should have 3-5 work samples from each studio class. Portfolios should include 20-30 pieces overall. Please review MassArt's portfolio tips.
Ready to apply?
Commonwealth Commitment students transferring in at the sophomore level must begin their coursework at MassArt in the Fall (some programs do make exceptions, please inquire). The application deadline for the fall semester is March 1. After the Common Application is submitted you will receive two emails with login information and a link to the MassArt Applicant Portal. It can take up to 24-hours after submitting your Common Application to receive these emails - plan your time accordingly.
Students who are not eligible for Commonwealth Commitment are encouraged to check out the MassTransfer A2B Pathway. The A2B pathway offers students the flexibility to take less than a full-time course load each semester while still providing application and tuition benefits (though benefits are not as extensive as with Commonwealth Commitment).
Which program is right for you?
We're Here to Help!
Please contact Shannon Gallagher, MassArt's Transfer Admissions Counselor, with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.