It’s mostly about the numbers for Michael Miranda, 18, of Owings.

Miranda is set to graduate from the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) on Jan. 18 with an associate degree in general studies. He chose to start his college career at CSM because he wanted to avoid debt and CSM was the most affordable option.

“I was determined not to be encumbered by student debt like many are experiencing who want to pursue a college degree,” Miranda said. “CSM’s affordability for myself and my parents was a huge factor in my decision to come here.”

His decision allows him to graduate with an associate degree and enter a bachelor’s program at the University of Maryland, College Park, starting as a junior. He aims to earn a degree in mathematics, with an emphasis on statistics. “After receiving my undergraduate, I also plan to go for my master’s,” he said.

“My big-picture goal is to become a statistician for the U.S. Census Bureau.”

While affordability was the deciding factor in starting this education path at CSM, Miranda found that the student life opportunities at the college were another notable draw.

For the CSM student government association, Miranda has been active member of the Students Helping Students Committee and as a general member of the SGA. For the Prince Frederick Student Association, he held the position of treasurer for the 2017-2018 school year. He was vice president of CAM Cares, a mental health advocacy and support group, and was the student panel member for the Prince Frederick Campus’ suicide awareness panel and discussion. He also was a member of the Art Club and hopes to see the Future Law Enforcement Club resumed and Gamer’s United launched as a club dedicated for students who have a passion for gaming.

For information on commencement, visitwww.csmd.edu/commencement. For information on the 2018 winter commencement keynote speaker visithttps://news.csmd.edu/all-news/csm-announces-keynote-speaker-for-19th-winter-commencement-jan-18/. Photos from graduation will be posted tocsmphoto.zenfolio.com/18jangradafter Jan. 18.