After more than a year of hard work to support and launch the program, State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport) today celebrated the Board of Regents for Higher Education's approval of a one-time $3 million payment that will allow eligible students to access free community college tuition for the fall 2020 semester. With State Representative Gregg Haddad (D-Mansfield), Sen. Haskell has worked tirelessly to support the development of the Pledge to Advance Connecticut and cheered today's announcement.
"It's hard to put into words how important and historic this news is. The rising cost of college will no longer prevent students from pursuing higher education in Connecticut. At a time of economic crisis for so many families, I'm proud to live in a state that's investing in a 21st century workforce," said Sen. Haskell. "I've visited community colleges across Connecticut, and I've seen first-hand the exceptional opportunities that they provide. Now, those opportunities will be available to all. I look forward to continuing this work and securing funding to keep this important program available to generations to come."
Under the PAC program, students from all financial backgrounds are eligible, as long as they are first-time college students and have graduated from public or private high schools in Connecticut. Applications for the program are due on July 15.
This funding is expected to cover all applicants in the community college system. Currently, while 60 percent of students receive enough financial aid to attend schools for free, a year's tuition at a Connecticut community college costs about $5,000.