Go Higher! HHS Students/Families Invited to Attend

The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education brings its “Go Higher!” campaign to promote the state’s public colleges and universities to Newton South High School Tuesday night, April 11 at 7 p.m., as Higher Education Commissioner Carlos E. Santiago urges Newton families to consider new programs and opportunities available through the state’s public higher education system.

The “Go Higher!” program will feature remarks by Santiago and a panel of students currently attending half a dozen public campuses across the Commonwealth. Admissions officers from many of the public colleges and universities plan to be in attendance.

The event will also give families a chance to learn more about the Commonwealth Commitment program announced by Governor Baker last spring. Through the program, students transferring from any community college to any state university or UMass campuses are eligible to save up to 49% off the cost of a four-year degree, if they attend full-time and maintain a 3.0 GPA. The program will expand next fall to cover more than 16 majors at all 28 public undergraduate institutions.

“Families already know that our public colleges and universities are more affordable; now we want to spread the word about the high caliber of our academic programs, the increase in internship and study abroad opportunities, our honors programs and new facilities,” said Commissioner Santiago. “We know that in every community, parents are worrying about college costs but also wanting the very best for their children. Especially for students who see graduate school in their future, we think that making smart decisions about the undergraduate experience is more important than ever. That’s why we’re stepping our efforts to promote the value of public higher education in the Commonwealth.”

The “Go Higher!” campaign reminds students that by 2020, 72% of the jobs in Massachusetts will require some post-secondary education. In an economy powered by health care and technology-related industries, the greatest need for skilled talent is at the baccalaureate level and higher. At events occurring at high school venues across the state, students from the University of Massachusetts, state universities and community colleges have spoken directly to thousands of high school students, sharing their  advice about choosing a college and a major, adjusting to campus life, and preparing for careers through internships and research opportunities. This year, students are also promoting their experience – and savings earned – by transferring from community colleges to four-year institutions.

“It was a tremendous launching pad to get where I want to be,” Massachusetts Maritime Academy student Paul Frost told high school students at a recent event, speaking of his experience studying at a community college before he transferred to Mass Maritime. He will graduate this fall with a degree in International Maritime Business, one of the majors available to students at a discount through the Commonwealth Commitment program.

For more information on the “Go Higher!” campaign, visit http://www.mass.edu/gohigher/about/about.asp.