HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – American International College (AIC) and Holyoke Community College (HCC) signed a “historic” agreement that will let HCC students live in AIC residence halls and apartments.   

“This is definitely a momentous event for both AIC and HCC,” Sharale Mathis, HCC vice president of Academic and Student Affairs, said during the signing ceremony at HCC. “As we know, our students come in with a whole host of challenges, and it’s fortunate to have such a partnership with AIC that will help us address their basic needs. It’s exciting to be present now with the presidents of AIC and HCC to engage in this historic signing.” 

As part of the agreement, AIC will discount room rates for HCC students, making college housing more affordable for community college students. Currently, enrolled full-time and part-time HCC students 18 and older can opt into the housing option.  

“I think today is a hallmark on how public and private institutions truly should work together,” said AIC President Hubert Benitez.  “This is a prime example of two teams, two institutions that have a similar mission of providing access and opportunity.” 

Students who live at AIC will also have access to health services, the college library, laundry facilities, and a gym, according to the agreement. There’s also an extra charge for food and parking.   

There’s no age limit for students, couples can live together, and campus apartments are also an option. HCC will be able to recruit more student-athletes by having the AIC housing option, which may also benefit international students.  

“We’ve been committed to addressing housing insecurity and homelessness for many years, and looking for different ways to strengthen partnerships in support of our students has been a primary goal,” said HCC President Christina Royal. “This agreement does more than just provide housing for our students; it will also give them a taste of college life beyond HCC. It gives them a window into what their futures will look like when they think about transfer possibilities and helps immerse them in another college environment, which is all big wins for our students.”

For the fall semester at HCC, which starts in September, HCC students could move into AIC housing as early as August. “The more we can create these bridges, the more we can create and strengthen these pipelines, the better our communities will be served,” said Benitez.

An information session about the housing program will take place on Wed., May 3, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the HCC campus courtyard during Spring Fling.

“The courtyard will be flooded with students, and we’re excited to make them aware of this amazing opportunity,” Mathis said.