By Elise Harmon & Varun Goyal, news staff

Next semester, parents and siblings of current undergraduate students can receive a 25 percent discount on graduate certifications and degree programs.

President Joseph E. Aoun announced the Lifelong Learning Program to students and their families on Saturday during the annual Parents and Family Weekend. The program is similar to the Double Husky scholarship, which gives students who receive an undergraduate degree from Northeastern University 25 percent off tuition for graduate school.

“Learning is a lifelong endeavor,” Aoun said in a statement on Oct. 19. “We are happy to provide opportunities for families so they can explore new knowledge regardless of where they are in their careers. This pro-gram will benefit countless families in advancing their education.”

The discount applies to 110 degree and certificate programs. The degrees not included in the scholarship are those that would be difficult to extend, such as plus-one-year programs that require freshman entry, according to Sundar Kumarasamy, the vice president of enrollment management.

“Clearly it’s a vast majority [of the programs Northeastern offers], including online, on-campus and hybrid programs,” Kumarasamy said. “Basically anywhere in the world, parents and siblings can take advantage of what Northeastern has to offer.”

The discount will first apply in the spring 2016 semester, and family members must be accepted to the university before they receive the scholarship.

“I specifically don’t know someone who will be impacted by it but I think it’s great for a student who is at Northeastern right now and has a sibling currently looking for a grad school,” Tyler McDonald, a freshman chemical engineering major, said.

Kumarasamy believes that the Lifelong Learning Program will extend a feeling of community to the families of current undergraduates and that the discount may spur parents and siblings to pursue their educational goals.

“It will make it easier for them to engage in a goal that they might already have but may not have pursued yet,” Kumarasamy said. “Maybe they like their children being Huskies, so now they look into these programs and look into what they might be interested in… It’s a world-class education that they can have from their living room.”

Benjamin Floran, an academic advisor for graduate programs in the College of Professional Studies, believes that the initiative will be a benefit for those who already have a link to the school.

“At the College of Professional Studies, we have a huge range of people… job changers, older learners, community college transfers,” he said. “I see this program benefitting a lot of those people because it allows greater access.”

Several students weren’t sure the program would have much impact.

“It’s a great opportunity to give to people, but I don’t think there would be many people who would be able to take advantage of it,” Spencer Glenn, a freshman undeclared student, said. “It sounds good, but I don’t know someone who will be impacted by it.”

Edward Edwards, another freshman undeclared major, agreed.

“It’s a good idea, but the target audience is relatively narrow,” he said. “For people it does impact, they will be able to save a good amount of money.”

For a full list of degrees included in the program, visit www.northeastern.edu/lifetimelearning.

Photo by Scotty Schenck