North Shore Community Promise: free tuition

North Shore Community College will offer a “free college” pilot program starting in the fall.


LYNN North Shore Community College is launching a program that will help students who don’t qualify for full financial aid go to school for free.

The school is seeking 100 new, full-time students to apply for the North Shore Promise Award pilot program, which will launch in the Fall 2017 semester. The initiative offers free college to prospective students who are being priced out of higher education because they are not poor enough to qualify for full federal and state grant aid but also can’t pay out of pocket.

NSCC will be the first community college in the Northeast to offer a self-funded free college program.

“Commonwealth residents are opting out of pursuing post-secondary education and training as the sticker shock of a college degree and pervasive stories of crippling student debt have many questioning the return on college investment,” NSCC President Patricia A. Gentile said in a statement. “This is especially true for lower and middle income families who are rapidly being priced out of the college-going market. And this is especially bad news for area employers competing for skilled and credentialed workers.”

Gentile said years of analyzing the school’s enrollment led to the realization that there are a significant amount of potential students who, despite the relative affordability of community college, fall into the gap of not believing they can afford an education. Annual tuition and fees for a full-time student total $6,060.

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“With a booming economy, these folks are choosing employment but we know that without post-secondary qualifications they are at great risk for unemployment or lack of advancement potential when the economy declines,” Gentile said. “NSCC is committed to making college affordable for even more students to achieve the life-long dream of a college degree with less student debt.”

Applications are being accepted at the school on a first-come, first-serve basis for the first 100 qualified students. Interested potential students need to apply for the award and be accepted by May 1.

To be eligible for the award, potential students must:

  • Enroll as a new student with at least 15 credits in an eligible Commonwealth commitment pathway or an eligible NSCC program for the Fall 2017 semester
  • Be a Massachusetts resident
  • Have a high school GPA of 2.3 or higher
  • File a 2017-18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to May 1
  • Be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant
  • Be willing to complete a degree at NSCC in two-and-a-half years or five continuous semesters
  • Meet NSCC’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements throughout enrollment

Gentile said the school anticipates that most of those who will take advantage of the program will be first-generation college goers who likely come from more disadvantaged North Shore neighborhoods.

“These are the folks who are having the most difficulty affording the cost of a college degree, yet they compose the largest untapped pool of underdeveloped talent for those future high and middle skilled jobs,” Gentile said.

Bridget Turcotte can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte


High school students sample life at NSCC


A number of students from Lynn Public Schools toured North Shore Community College (NSCC) Friday morning to get a better sense of what it has to offer.

“Even a two-year degree will help you find a job that’s a living wage job,” said Dr. Karen Hynick, vice president of academic affairs, as she spoke to a group from English, Classical, and Lynn Vocational Technical Institute high schools.

She said the college has strong academic support programs and a lot of opportunities for extracurricular activities.

Following an introduction, students were brought through three “mini classes,” got a chance to speak with members of the faculty, and took part in a student panel.

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Nineteen percent of new students at the college come from public high schools in Lynn. Overall, 25.6 percent of the students at NSCC live in the city, according to statistics provided by Laurie J. LaChapelle, assistant vice president of planning and research.

Dr. Dianne Palter Gill, dean of corporate and professional education, said this is the second year the college has done such an event, with financing by a grant from the public schools.

She said that last year, a number of the students who came to the tour did end up attending NSCC. Out of the crowd on Friday, a number had already been accepted and all of the seniors present for the event filled out free applications.

Leah Dearborn can be reached at

Now’s your chance to be a Patriots cheerlader

FOXBOROUGH — The New England Patriots cheerleaders will hold open auditions for the 2017 squad on Saturday, March 4, inside the Pieri Gymnasium at Dean College in Franklin, according to a press release.

Registration begins at 9:30 a.m., with the day concluding at 7 p.m., for those advancing past all rounds of the preliminary tryout.

From a biochemical research associate and an electrical engineer to a nursing assistant, financial planner and middle school teacher, last year’s team was comprised of a spirited group hailing from a number of exciting and eclectic backgrounds, the release said.

Approximately 28 members will make up the 2017 squad. All women 18 years or older are invited to audition.

Aspiring members must first complete an online application via the Gillette Stadium website. On the day of the auditions, candidates will be taught choreographed dance routines and will be given an opportunity to perform a freestyle combination. At the end of the preliminary rounds, judges will narrow the field to 40-50 women.

The group will be invited to the final round of auditions Saturday, March 18. A more detailed description of the audition process can be found at

In addition to performing at all Patriots home games in front of nearly 70,000 fans, those selected will have the opportunity to participate in various community-involvement experiences, and are requested to attend a minimum of two rehearsals per week.

Members of the squad will also be able to take part in a number of travel opportunities including a trip to the Dominican Republic in June for their annual calendar and video shoot. Since Sept. 11, 2001, cheerleaders have visited deployed military troops in more than 25 countries and performed in over two dozen combat areas.

Most recently, during the team’s trip to Houston for Super Bowl LI, cheerleaders appeared on nationally-televised programs such as “Good Morning America,” ESPN’s “First Take” and “Inside Edition.” The squad has also been featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, Maxim and Muscle and Fitness Hers.

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Apply for Civilian Police Academy in Saugus


SAUGUS — The Saugus Police Department is accepting applications for its 9-week Civilian Police Academy program.

The academy is free to the public and begins on Feb. 15. The department offers the program to inform community members about a wide range of police-related topics, including firearms awareness, domestic violence, juvenile and drug problems, accidents, motor vehicle law, and patrol procedures.

Participants will go for a ride-along with a police officer and tour the Middleton House of Correction.   

Applications are available online at under the News section and on the Saugus Police Department’s Facebook page. Completed applications should be mailed, dropped off at the Police Department at 27 Hamilton Street in Saugus or emailed to by Tuesday.

Residents 18 and older who are interested in becoming a police officer or curious about the inner-workings of the police department are encouraged to sign up.

Bridget Turcotte can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte



KIPP Academy Lynn Elementary, Middle, and High Schools are free, open enrollment, charter public schools serving students grades K-2 and 5-12 in the 2017-2018 school year. KIPP welcomes all families interested in enrolling their children at KIPP to fill out an application to enter into the random lottery, which will be held the week of Feb. 27, 2017. Lottery applications and additional information are available at or can be picked up at 90 High Rock St., and 20 Wheeler St., Suite 404.

The deadline to submit lottery forms is Friday, Feb. 24 at 5 p.m. Late applications cannot be accepted.

KIPP staff and leadership will be hosting Open Houses at 90 High Rock St. (middle and high schools) on Thursday, Jan. 26 and Thursday, Feb. 9 from 5-7 p.m.

KIPP’s program is based on a longer school day and year, academic and character development, a relentless focus on student outcomes and college graduation, and support for students to and through college and career.

If you have questions, please call:

KIPP Academy Lynn Elementary School (grades K-2)
Rebecca Hazlett 781-558-9263

KIPP Academy Lynn Middle School (grades 5-8)
Mariela Alvarez 781-598-1609 ext 1133

KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate High School (grades 9-12)
Monica Bruno 781-598-1609 ext 1134