Derek Slap


Derek Slap



May 7, 2024
Senator Derek Slap

Higher Ed Chairs: ARPA Allocation Delivers for Higher Education

Today, Chairs of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee State Senator Derek Slap and State Representative Gregg Haddad advocated for and helped to secure much needed investments into higher education funding. The House and the Senate voted on a stabilization bill that allocates $372.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, $160 million of that for Higher Education funding. $80 million will be allocated to UConn and another $80 million will be allocated to the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) system. There is an additional $40 million set to be allocated.

“Higher education funding is essential to the success of our students, our workforce and our economy,” said Sen. Slap. “I am so pleased by this substantial investment into Connecticut’s future, especially the expansion of the successful PACT program. Removing barriers to higher education is one of the main charges of the Higher Education Committee and this program will do exactly that. I want to thank President Biden and our Congressional leaders for allocating this funding in the 2021 stimulus package, Senate President Marty Looney for hearing and responding to the needs of students, administrators, parents and staff – and our institutions of higher education for their collaboration and readiness to put these dollars to work.”

“The allocation and authorization of $200 million to UConn, UConn Health, our state universities, and CT State Community College, provides funding that is essential to maintaining quality post-secondary opportunities for students,” said Rep. Haddad. “Without this level of needed support, tuition increases, staffing cuts and program closures were imminent. Instead, students at our public colleges and universities can be assured that the legislature has their backs. Our institutions will continue to face significant fiscal hurdles, so state government must continue to reach for sustainable solutions to guarantee, which Connecticut students have a quality, affordable path to a degree in the future.”

The stabilization bill also:

Expands the Pledge to Advance CT (PACT) program which gives eligible Connecticut high school graduates the opportunity to attend a Connecticut community college debt-free by awarding them grants for the difference between the cost of tuition and fees and their scholarships, grants, and federal, state, or institutional aid. The program will now be available to students who are residents of Connecticut, but did not graduate from a Connecticut high school.

Additionally, the bill increases the program’s minimum awards from $250 to $500 for full-time students, and from $150 to $300 for part-time students and requires all grants made to eligible students under the debt free community college program to be designated as the “Mary Ann Handley Grant.

The bill passed the House 103-48 and the Senate 26-10.

Contact: Garnet McLaughlin