Senator Haskell Encouraged By Strong Early Response to Tuition-Free Community College Program

Today, State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport) remarked on the strong early response to the Pledge to Advance Connecticut, the state's new tuition and fee-free community college program. In a letter to legislators this week a, Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Mark Ojakian said more than 2,200 students have received $2.5 million in grant awards following the program's initial July 15 priority application deadline.

"This Fall, Connecticut will see at least 2,200 young people will decide that they too can afford to pursue a degree. I don't care what politics are -- that's good news for the development of our workforce pipeline," said Sen. Haskell. "This program is already making a difference in people's lives. But here's the coolest part; more than half of those who signed up for PACT discovered that their tuition is already covered by federal aid. So this program isn't just inspiring more students to pursue higher education -- it's bringing more dollars from Washington, DC back to Connecticut. It’s also continuing to accept applications first-come, first-served, so I encourage any interested and eligible students to apply."

PACT, funded earlier this year with a one-time grant, will provide tuition and fee-free access to two years of community college for students who apply, seeking to cover their educational costs. Ojakian said those applicants who already had tuition and fees covered by existing funding and will receive a grant of $250.

"While it might not sound like a lot, that $250 grant will make a real difference to our poorer students," Ojakian said in the letter, who noted many are students of color and face incredible challenges in obtaining degrees.

Importantly, community colleges will continue to accept applications for PACT for the fall semester with students receiving priority in the order their applications are received; at least $1 million remains for eligible students.

To be eligible, students must be graduates of Connecticut high schools, be first-time college students (not including students who took college courses in high school), fill out the FAFSA and accept all awards, take 12 or more credits per semester, enroll in classes as soon as possible, participate in a degree or credit-bearing certificate program, and remain in good academic standing once enrolled.

Those who are interested and are seeking more information should visit

Supporting Our Community

CT Food Banks

Donate to a Local Food Bank

Donations of food through community food drives, from farmers and from the food industry are vital to helping the Connecticut Food Bank provide enough food to provide more than 18 million meals annually to hungry Connecticut residents.

Home Heating Assistance

Home Heating Assistance

Operation Fuel partners with local government and community-based organizations at more than 100 sites throughout Connecticut to ensure that families in need have access to year-round energy assistance.

Energy Savings

Home Energy Savings

Control your energy bills by finding generation rates that fit your needs. See what else you can do to control your cost!






Legislative Office Building
LOB Room 3300
Hartford, CT 06106-1591


For general inquiries:



Facebook icon.Twitter icon.instagram icon.YouTube icon.