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CT’s Tuition-Free Community College Program Still Available

Hartford Courant: Slots in Connecticut’s tuition-free community college program still available

By Steven Goode
July 27, 2020

More than 2,200 students have received more than $2.5 million from the Pledge to Advance Connecticut program that makes community college free of tuition and fees for recent high school graduates but additional spots in the program are still available.

The deadline for applying for the program was July 15, but officials have extended it on a first-come, first-served basis. According to a news release, the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system plans to award an additional $1 million in PACT scholarships to eligible students.

More than half of the students accepted into the program have tuition and fees already covered by existing federal, state and institutional funding. They will receive the minimum grant of $250 for educational expenses.

“While it might not sound like a lot, that $250 grant will make a real difference to our poorer students, many of whom are students of color, who all too often face nearly insurmountable obstacles — from child care, to food insecurity, to unreliable transportation — to obtaining a degree,” CSCU President Mark Ojakian said Monday.

Eligible students, who can apply to any of the state’s dozen community colleges, must have graduated from a public or private high school in Connecticut and be attending college for the first time. Home-schooled and GED students are also eligible.

Students from all financial backgrounds are eligible, but they must attend school full-time, carrying a minimum work load of 12 credits toward a two-year degree or credit bearing certificate program. Full-time tuition to Connecticut community colleges is $5,000 a year and 60% of students attending them receive enough federal aid to attend for free.

“It is not too late for qualified students to attend college with no out-of-pocket expenses,” said Dr. David Levinson, interim president of Connecticut State Community College. “All potential college students should strongly consider a community college. With free community college and seamless transfer to our universities, students can earn even earn a four-year degree while saving tens of thousands of dollars. It’s a win-win, but potential students should not wait.”

Students can enroll in PACT online at