UConn Pauses Free Tuition Program Due to Financial Struggles Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus cuts have come to UConn impacting the university’s Connecticut Commitment program.

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Coronavirus cuts have come to UConn impacting the university’s Connecticut Commitment program. "We will not be offering the program next fall to a new cohort," said UConn President Thomas Katsouleas. "While unfortunate, I believe that this is a prudent and necessary choice to make at this time."

Announced by Katsouleas last fall, the program allows any in state student with a family income of less than $50,000 to attend UConn without tuition being charged. The intention was for the program to solely be funded by donors, but with the coronavirus comes concerns that the program may not be sustainable.

 "There is a good chance we will see a significant surge in the number of students who qualify for Connecticut Commitment, which could potentially make it much more costly than originally envisioned," Katsouleas said.

NBC Connecticut spoke with several students today, neither are enrolled in the program, but both disagree with the decision.

"I just don't think that's really fair" said UConn Freshman Eimear Emcgowan, "I think everyone deserves to go to a college and get an education especially with the pandemic, I think families have been impacted by that afford that right now so I just think it's not good."

UConn sophomore Joseph Rychwalski sees changes being made across the board and believes decisions like this will impact the future of enrollment. "I think the idea of paying all that money, taking out those loans for admittedly a subpar education just because that's the reality, I think a lot of people are considering taking gap years."

The university said the first group of about 260 students who started this fall will continue to receive the funding they were promised throughout their time at UConn, but the future of the fund like many programs is unknown.

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