AP NEWS

Connecticut’s free community college program is taking shape

December 22, 2019 GMT

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut has moved closer to enacting a new, free community college program.

Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Mark Ojakian last week officially launched the Pledge to Advance Connecticut program, or PACT. It was included in the new, two-year state budget.

PACT is considered a “last-dollar scholarship” program that makes the state’s 12 community colleges tuition-free and fee-free for students who meet certain criteria. PACT awards will be made after all other sources of federal, state and institutional financial aid grants are expended.

The program will begin with students who are entering the fall 2020 semester and beyond.

“At a time when we face a student debt crisis in the United States, this represents a great opportunity for potential students to access a high quality education close to home with no out-of-pocket costs,” Ojakian said in a written statement.

To qualify, students must be a Connecticut high school graduate; be a full-time student attending college for the first time; complete the free federal application for financial aid and accept all awards and remain in good academic standing.

Students must apply and register by July 15, 2020 for priority consideration.

To learn more, potential students can visit ct.edu/pact.