Congratulations to the Massachusetts Class of 2017

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Photo: Salem State University Commencement, 2016

The caps and gowns are on display this spring as over 100,000 students prepare to graduate from 110 public and private college and universities in Massachusetts. Here is a schedule of college commencements in Massachusetts this May & June, 2017.

Massachusetts takes pride in its world renowned higher education system, which helps drive Massachusetts’ economy. According to the US Census, 46.1% of Massachusetts residents hold a bachelor, master or doctorate degree, the highest percentile in the United States.

The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts (AICUM) reports that Massachusetts ranks first in the nation in percentage of students graduating from independent colleges in four years. Independent schools have a $25 billion annual economic impact on Massachusetts.

In addition to the private colleges, Massachusetts serves about 260,000 students at 29 public schools including 15 community colleges, nine state universities and five University of Massachusetts campuses, according to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. Here is a full list of Massachusetts’ public colleges and universities.

In April 2016, Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Executive Office of Education Secretary Jim Peyser announced the Commonwealth Commitment, an innovative college affordability and completion plan to help more students achieve the dream of a college degree.

In August 2016, Governor Baker signed the economic development bill, Opportunities for All, which included a College Savings Tax Deduction for Massachusetts residents who make deposits into prepaid tuition or college savings accounts.

The college commencement season is also a boost for the Massachusetts tourism economy, since it attracts 350,000 people, mainly family and friends, to the Commonwealth, according to the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB). These visitors generate roughly 100,000 hotel room nights, 500,000 meals at local restaurants, and spend about $90 million.

The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) has compiled a web page called Explore Colleges for students and their families visiting Massachusetts. You’ll find information about the schools, and also valuable information about local transportation, seasonal activities, and special events that give you a flavor of each school. It’s a great resource for parents making their first trip to Massachusetts to explore potential colleges and universities for their children.

Congratulations Class of 2017.