Bank of America’s $1 Million Supports Educational Pathways for Massachusetts Community College Graduates to Study at UMass Amherst Honors College

March 21, 2017

AMHERST, Mass. – The Bank of America Charitable Foundation is demonstrating its commitment to supporting the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s new program to build academic pathways for high-performing graduates from the Commonwealth’s community colleges with a $1 million gift.

Focused on first-generation college students who have distinguished themselves academically, the Honors-to-Honors Program provides tuition and living expenses for bachelor’s degree candidates through the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Honors-to-Honors furnishes additional scholarship support to graduates of the state’s 15 community colleges who are enrolled in one of the state’s MassTransfer programs. Students in the honors programs of state universities who wish to enroll in the Commonwealth Honors College to pursue undergraduate degrees not offered at their current school are also eligible.

Launched last year with an initial commitment of $360,000 by UMass Amherst, Honors-to-Honors is receiving a grant of approximately $560,000 from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, which, combined with existing endowed funds from Bank of America and its legacy institutions, brings its support of the Honors-to-Honors Program to $1 million.

“Providing pathways for Massachusetts’ first-generation college students enables them to gain the knowledge and skills that will set them on the path to stable employment and meaningful lives, which is a key priority for our company and our community,” states Kerry Sullivan, Bank of America Charitable Foundation president. “We are honored to partner with the University of Massachusetts Amherst in this significant step towards finding innovative and impactful solutions to college access and success for the Commonwealth’s most promising, in-need students.”     

“This exceptionally generous grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation reflects the foundation’s understanding that the youth of Massachusetts are one of our most important resources,” says UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy. “This investment in their future is especially meaningful since many community college graduates are first-generation or low-income students.”

“The Commonwealth is always looking for ways to improve upon our nation-leading education system, like our administration’s recently proposed Learn to Earn Initiative,” says Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. “I want to thank the Bank of America’s Charitable Foundation for their generosity and for recognizing the importance of connecting Massachusetts students with the skills and opportunities to fill jobs that will make our economy even stronger.”