The deadline is quickly approaching for priority consideration for free community college for students in Connecticut.
Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Terrence Cheng said Connecticut residents have until the end of the day today, Thursday, July 15, at 11:59 p.m., for priority consideration for the Pledge to Advance Connecticut, or PACT, the state’s tuition and fee-free community college program.
PACT funding covers the gap between federal and state grants, and community college tuition and mandatory fees.
"It is a chance for people to attend one of our community colleges with no money out of pocket. We will provide funding for people to attend so that they will not have to spend any money out of pocket to start their educations," explained Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Terrence Cheng.
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To qualify, eligible students must enroll in classes at any of Connecticut’s 12 community colleges before the deadline.
“There is still time for Connecticut residents to qualify for free community college, but with the July 15 deadline, the time to enroll is now,” Cheng said in a statement. “Our community colleges can be a pathway to opportunity. Now, with no out-of-pocket expenses, there is no reason to wait.”
He said graduates of Connecticut’s community college programs can even “transfer seamlessly” to four-year universities and Charter Oak State College, which could save tens of thousands of dollars toward a bachelor’s degree.
"It allows students to pursue their community college educations, to begin that education without money coming out of their pockets. Often times students will enroll and even after financial aid, they still owe hundreds of thousands of dollars potentially and this program will allow them to be supplemented so that they will not have cash out of their pockets to begin their educations. Coming in through one of the community colleges actually creates pathways to our universities or to industry recognized credentials that could help them in their jobs and in their lives right away. So, it's a real game changer," Cheng added.
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How to Qualify for PACT Free Community College Program
Potential students must meet the following requirements:
- Be a graduate of a public or private Connecticut high school (GED and homeschooled students qualify).
- Be a first-time college student (those who participated in dual enrollment programs while in high school remain eligible).
- Fill out FAFSA and accept all awards.
- Attend community college full-time (12 or more credits per semester).
- Enroll in classes by July 15, for priority consideration.
- Participate in a degree or credit-bearing certificate program.
- Once enrolled, remain in good academic standing.
Connecticut State Community College Interim President Dr. David Levinson said the application is free and enrolling is easy, but you must act before today's deadline.