NCCC graduates start at Paul Smith's under tuition-savings deal

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PAUL SMITHS, NY (11/30/2018) The first group of students to take advantage of a special tuition-savings agreement between North Country Community College and Paul Smith's College have made the transition between the two schools.

The 2+2=You partnership allows all past and future North Country graduates who enroll full-time at Paul Smith's to pay state-level tuition rates, giving them an affordable option to earn both associate's and bachelor's degrees in four years, while remaining in the Adirondacks. Students would pay no more than $7,500 per year in tuition for two years at NCCC, and no more than $9,000 per year in tuition for two years at Paul Smith's.

The program was announced in May 2017 and was made available starting that fall. There are currently nine North Country graduates who enrolled at Paul Smith's and are benefitting from 2+2=You, receiving a private-college education at a public-college price.

Abby Cowan, 20, a Chateaugay native who lives in Tupper Lake, is part of that first group. After graduating high school in 2016, she wanted to attend Paul Smith's that fall but couldn't afford it at the time. Instead she enrolled at NCCC.

"I was very interested in North Country because it worked for me price-wise and because I knew it was a good school," Cowan said. "I definitely wanted to get out of my hometown, explore and meet new people, and it was still close enough to get home when I wanted to."

Cowan graduated from North Country this spring with an associate's degree in Environmental Science. She transferred to Paul Smith's this fall and is now pursuing her bachelor's in Psychology. As an NCCC graduate, she is paying only a fraction of the normal tuition.

"I'm saving a lot of money to go to a great school, and I'm getting all the benefits of becoming a Paul Smith's student and alum: a great higher education and career opportunities," Cowan said. "I absolutely love it here."

Current NCCC student Kim Hursh, 18, said she came to the college specifically because she wanted to take advantage of the tuition-savings program with Paul Smith's, where she plans to transfer.

"The opportunity to go to a private school for the same tuition as a community college - that's incredible," said Hursh, an Environmental Studies major from Central Square, near Syracuse. "If I hadn't known about it, I would have definitely spent way more money going to a four-year school first."

The location of both campuses in the Adirondacks is also a big attraction for Hursh, who enjoys the outdoors, especially hiking, and is an aspiring Adirondack Forty-Sixer.

There are 20 pathways for NCCC students to enhance their associate's degree by continuing their education at Paul Smith's.

For example, graduates of North Country's Environmental Science program can pursue degrees in Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences, Ecological Restoration, Environmental Science or Environmental Studies at Paul Smith's. Sports and Events Management program graduates at North Country can transfer to Paul Smith's to study the Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management. And NCCC graduates with Business Administration degrees can move into the Entrepreneurship or Business Management programs at Paul Smith's.

"This partnership is an example of how public and private colleges can work together to benefit the entire region and make college affordable for its residents," said Cathy Dove, president of Paul Smith's College. "NCCC attracts excellent students who fit in perfectly at Paul Smith's. This agreement provides them with a convenient and affordable option to earn their bachelor's degrees while remaining in the area."

"We are excited to see that so many of our graduates have recognized the benefit of this program, and we're confident more will continue to do so," said Steve Tyrell, president of North Country Community College. "Paul Smith's College is recognized as one of the finest private colleges in the Northeast, so what better way to reward our graduates than with the opportunity to attend Paul Smith's College."

About Paul Smith's College
At Paul Smith's College, it's about the experience. We are the only four-year institution of higher education in the Adirondacks. Our programs - in fields including hospitality, culinary arts, forestry, natural resources, entrepreneurship and the sciences - draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere. For more information, visit

About North Country Community College
As the only public college located in the Adirondack Park, North Country Community College provides educational, cultural and recreational programming to a 3,500 square mile service area with a population of 90,000. The college maintains three campuses in Saranac Lake, Malone and Ticonderoga, New York; an extensive high school-based academic partnership; and online course offerings. North Country Community College is part of the SUNY (State University of New York) system. With 64 unique colleges and universities, SUNY provides learning environments for every type of student, every stage of life, and every kind of passion. For more information, visit