SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A new transfer program offered to students at Springfield Technical Community College can ease the financial burden of paying for an education.

The Commonwealth Commitment Program allows students to enroll in one of the eligible majors: economics, history, biology or chemistry. Students must transfer to a state university after receiving an associate degree and stay on course to receive a bachelor’s degree. Students must complete their associate degree within 2 1/2 years.

The state Department of Higher Education estimates students who complete the program will save an average of $5,090, depending on which institutions they transfer to. The students can transfer to any UMass location in the state as well as several local institutions including Westfield State University, Worcester State University, and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams.

Once enrolled in the program, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in order to be eligible to transfer. There is a guarantee that all Commonwealth Commitment students will be accepted into a state university or college of their choosing.

Dean of Enrollment Management, Matthew Gravel, said the program encourages students to complete their degree quickly. He added that many part-time students have a higher risk of never completing their degree.

STCC is adding courses to several of their majors to ensure a smooth transition to a state institution.

Students must declare their interest in entering Commonwealth Commitment before earning more than 15 credits at their community college.

Tuition and fees will remain the same for all four years for students entering the program, even if the costs rise for other students. That means that students who transfer to UMass-Amherst, for example, in 2018 would pay UMass’ 2016 fees until they graduate.