North Shore Community College


North Shore Community College is located in three different sites in Massachusetts including the towns of Danvers, Lynn, and Beverly. Founded in 1965, it is “the oldest and largest" community college in Massachusetts. Impressively enough, North Shore has grown exceedingly since 1965, beginning with only 5 majors to over 100 major programs and from a “single building to three campuses.” North Shore is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

It is North Shore’s mission to serve as more than just an institution of higher education, but to act as an agent of change in which the community will be positively impacted. North Shore envisions that it will be the force behind the change that will lead an increase in opportunities for the region and community overall.


Information Summary

Ranks 78th in Massachusetts and 2625th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 55.6
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $6,384
Admission Success rate N/A
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 16 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 64% / 47%
Enrollment Total (all students) 5,763


North Shore has set goals for student learning including a focus on areas such as critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, oral communication, and critical analysis. This focus can be seen in the type of programs and degrees North Shore offers its student body and the commitment it makes to the Massachusetts community in terms of advancing educational opportunity.

North Shore offers Associate in Arts degrees, Associate in Science degrees, and certificates. Associate in Arts degrees are considered transferable . The degrees that fall under this specific category include: early childhood development, elementary education, computer information systems, pre-engineering, and liberal arts for example.

North Shore also offers certificates in a variety of subjects for those seeking to go straight to work after completing a certificate degree program. Individuals that fall in this category can take advantage of courses such as aesthetics and skin care, aviation science (a professional pilot training program), culinary arts, legal administrative assistant or medical office support. In general, this diverse mix of programs of study offered through certificates can be mostly categorized under health/medicine, business, and even the arts.

There are also those programs that solely offer certificates of completion, which differ from the certificates mentioned above. This group of programs only include three major options at North Shore: child and adolescent behavioral health, dietary management, and English as a Second Language (ESL). The ESL program is open to all students who have limited English proficiency. These students are tested to determine their level of English speaking, writing, and reading skills and then placed into classes accordingly.

North Shore also happens to offer credit for lifelong learning and other professional experience. This credit is allocated through the Center for Alternative Studies and Educational Testing (CAS).

Most Popular Fields of Study


Campus Building :: North Shore Community College
Campus Building :: North Shore Community College

Unique Programs

Dual Enrollment

A fairly common program offered frequently at the community college level is dual enrollment. Dual enrollment is for those students who would like to take college level credits while still enrolled in high school. In order to participate, a student must take the CPT (a college placement test) and submit an application. This program is ideal for high school students looking for courses that are academically more challenging and rigorous than what most high schools have to offer. Emotional maturity of the student in question though, is important to consider when deciding whether or not to participate in a dual enrollment program.

Project Access

Project Access encourages individuals with development disabilities to take college level classes. These courses are offered in eight week intervals at all of the campuses associated with North Shore.

Project Grad

This program was created for individuals interested in pursuing a degree in the medical field, particularly as a medical assistant or in the realm of medical office support. It provides mentoring and pushes for retention of individuals pursuing a degree in this field.

Bridges to the STARS

This program targets currently enrolled college students. It is especially tailored for students looking to study science, technology, or math. In order to be eligible for this program individuals must be either female or a first year student of color, a resident of Massachusetts, or a “first generation college student” with demonstrated financial need.

Interestingly, there is a program particularly for women known as Women in Transition. This program is considered a learning community where women are guided through various transitions in their life whether it be the workforce, school or their personal relationships.


Unlike many other community colleges, North Shore requires students to know which program of study they are interested in pursuing prior to applying. For this reason, students are encouraged to speak with someone in transfer services if they intend to choose a degree that is transferable to a four year institution.

After deciding which program of study to pursue, one is then ready to apply to the program directly. Students are also required to take a placement test called the CPT. This assessment will determine your placement in either developmental or college-level courses. The test covers math, reading, writing and is offered on a walk-in basis. Prior to registering for classes students are required to attend an orientation. There is no application fee. Additionally, prospective students must submit an official copy of their high school transcript or GED. Transfer must submit copies of their previous college transcripts in order to be considered for admission.

Financial Aid

North Shore offers a competitive and affordable tuition rate, but it may be necessary to have additional funding. Funding available at NSCC includes: the NSCC Presidential Scholarship, the NSCC Foundation Scholarship, Gorton’s of Gloucester Scholarship, Tech Prep Scholarships, and Upward Bound Scholarships. Applications for each of these scholarships can be obtained from the college’s website.

In terms of federal funding, in order to be eligible for federal grants and loans, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA by early May for priority consideration. Once you submit the FAFSA and your information is reviewed, your information will then be sent to North Shore.

If financial assistance remains an issue, students have the opportunity to pay in installments through a payment plan.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 6532nd for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Massachusetts.


North Shore provides access to health care for its students on the Danvers and Lynn campuses. Health fairs are held on campus as well to increase awareness of healthy lifestyles and choices.

At North Shore students have many options to choose from when it comes to being active on campus. Students can choose between academic clubs, student organizations, or special interest clubs. Academic clubs are generally connected to a major of study and include the Food Science Club and Psyched for Psych, for example. Student organizations include the Women’s Center which focuses on women issues and improving the lives of women, the ubiquitous Student Government Association, and the Performing Arts Council are prime examples of the diverse clubs and organizations North Shore has to offer. Examples of special interest groups include the Multi-Cultural Society (MCS) and the Surfriders Club. In terms of recreation and fitness, the Lynn Campus features a full-size gym.

Through the Student Support and Advising Center students can seek tutoring, information about transferring to a four year institution, undergo new student orientation, explore career options and obtain counseling as needed for coping with college life. Overall this office provides an extensive amount of opportunities for students to receive the assistance they need. Whether it’s school related, personal, or job related, this office has options that the entire study body would be smart to take advantage of.

North Shore offers what is called “Pathways to College" and it a series of programs that help students either transition to college-level courses or advance themselves in their college career overall.

The Adult Learning Center provides free GED classes in the evening and mornings from September to June. Students build their math, English, reading, and writing skills in the courses offered through this program.

There is also a program called “Challenges, Choices and Change” which helps students who have undergone traumatic life experiences transition into college life. The goal of the program is to help build student confidence, develop job skills and create an environment where students together can act as pillars of support for each other.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Additional School Information

North Shore offers an Honors Program for those students who qualify. In order to qualify, a student must be currently enrolled in a major field of study, have completed a minimum of 9 college credits, and have a GPA of at least 3.5. In terms of transferring, students that enroll in the Honors Program have been known to transfer to top school in the Massachusetts region such as: Smith College, Brandeis, Wellesley, and Boston University.

North Shore offers a community education department that enables individuals from all walks of life the opportunity to take courses that interest them. Whether you are a professional looking for professional development courses or interested in learning how to paint or speak French, community education has much to offer. North Shore even offers courses for children, including a “Summer of Discovery” and “North Shore Academy.”

North Shore believes that students should have a foundation in basic skills prior to pursuing a college degree. For this reason there are developmental courses offered as well as a program in English as a Second Language (ESL).


North Shore Community College. Web. 08 May 2011.

North Shore Chamber of Commerce. Web. 08 May 2011. <>

The Salem News. “North Shore Community College Dean’s List.” Web. 08 May 2011. <>

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