SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – American International College and Springfield Technical Community College will officially establishing a partnership Thursday.

The agreement will align academic programs to allow seamless transition of graduates and qualified candidates from STCC to transfer to AIC.

Students who utilize the “direct connect” transfer program will automatically receive $4,000 in scholarships before any need-based financial aid is awarded. They can earn up to $18,000 in gift aid through Direct Connect, but not loans, before being evaluated for additional need-based aid.

As an additional benefit to Direct Connect at AIC, unlike some other transfer articulation agreements, students can study and major in their area of interest while still attending their community college.