There's money up for grabs for community college students.
The Connecticut Colleges and University System is literally giving out money to its students.
The new Student Support Program will make payments to community college students to help ease the financial burden of attending school. The checks will amount to $100 or $350, depending on the financial need, which will be determined through the FAFSA or the Aid Application for Connecticut Undocumented Students (AACTUS). The total cost of the program is estimated at $58 million.
The system previously announced a debt relief program for community college students to wipe out $17 million in community college debt. That program was aimed at forgiving debt students could not pay off due to the pandemic.
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All of this money is coming from the American Rescue Plan.
CSCU President Terrence Cheng said the Student Support Program can be looked at sort of like a stimulus check for students.
"In a way, it is like a stimulus check following on the heels of the debt relief that we provided earlier a few weeks back. This is a way to provide even more support for students. There are no limitations in terms of how this funding and support can be used. It can be used for books, it can be used for travel, housing. And, frankly, there are students who take out private or personal loans, so it can be used in any fashion to support our students," Cheng said.
Cheng said there will be over 81,000 students eligible. The program is for currently enrolled or previously enrolled students who attended a state community college at any point since March 13, 2020.
The goal is to increase opportunities and make college more affordable.
"We are very hopeful that this will clear the obstacles that are in the way of students getting back to classes right now. We want our students to come back. We want them to be able to partake in the education they were provided and so we’re doing everything we can through these mechanisms to create a path for their return. The first checks are in the mail right now. Students will begin to receive them as early as this week and we will have additional waves coming in October and December and then again in the spring of 2022," Cheng said.
For more information about the program, visit ct.edu/StudentSupportProgram.