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Letter: Don’t forget the community college option

Thank you for your very informative article on financing college (“Costs often shape application choices,” Oct. 13).

While you did an excellent job of covering both public and private options, you didn’t mention community colleges, which can provide a very smart alternative for families questioning how they will pay for a college education.

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Students who start at Northern Essex — or North Shore or Middlesex Community colleges — can earn an associate’s degree for under $5,000 a year and then transfer to the four-year college of their choice, saving a great deal of money in the process.

Thanks to our many articulation agreements and the Mass Transfer Program, our students are transferring very successfully to public and private colleges and universities close to home and across the nation.

For many students, community colleges can be an opportunity to build their academic record and transfer to colleges that might not have accepted them right out of high school, which is another advantage.

Northern Essex has a lot to offer: over 70 academic programs, excellent faculty, an honors program that is affiliated with the Commonwealth Honors Program, athletics, dozens of student clubs, and plenty of support services. I encourage local families to add the community college option to their college list.

President, Northern Essex
Community College

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