CSCU ANNOUNCES STUDENT SUPPORT PROGRAM TO PROVIDE SUSTAINED FUNDING TO COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENTS
(HARTFORD, CT) – Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) President Terrence Cheng today announced the launch of the Student Support Program, an initiative aimed at providing sustained payments to community college students throughout the academic year. Funded through the American Rescue Plan, the federal stimulus package signed by President Biden in March, the program seeks to provide students with the resources necessary to continue their education during difficult economic times.
“We are doing everything in our power to remove external barriers, helping community college students stay in school and complete their degrees,” said President Cheng. “The Student Support Program will provide a boost to assist students and their families in making ends meet. While this money can be used for any component of the cost of attendance, I strongly encourage those students who have not yet done so to register for classes for the fall 2021 semester.”
The first round of funding will be sent this week, mostly via paper checks, to all students who are currently enrolled or were previously enrolled in a community college at any point since March 13, 2020. The amount of each check will be either $100 or $350 depending on financial need as demonstrated on the FAFSA or the Aid Application for Connecticut Undocumented Students (AACTUS).
“A community college education can be transformational, but it is only possible if students have the ability to attend and complete,” Connecticut State Community College Interim President David Levinson said. “The Student Support Program is just one step CSCU is taking – using federal stimulus funding – to provide our students with the resources necessary to continue their educational journeys.”
CSCU expects to make additional Student Support Program payments in October and December 2021 and in spring 2022. Future payments may be limited to currently enrolled students, and will include direct payments based on need as well as application-based grants for students with extraordinary needs. The total cost of the Student Support Program is estimated to be approximately $58 million. CSCU has previously provided $28 million directly to community college students. While the Student Support Program is specific to community college students, the state universities have already paid out $27 million directly to students and expect to provide another $37 million this year. Charter Oak State College has already distributed $284,000 and will distribute an additional $477,000.
In July, President Cheng announced a separate $17 million initiative, also using federal COVID-19 relief funding, to forgive debt to the community colleges which students took on or could not repay because of the pandemic.
“We are here for you,” President Cheng concluded. “If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to register for classes this fall.”
To learn more about the Student Support Program, visit ct.edu/StudentSupportProgram.