Cathy Osten


Cathy Osten



December 23, 2021

Senator Osten Welcomes Emergency State Grants to Local Community College Students

NORWICH – State Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) today welcomed the news that the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) system has just completed the distribution of more than $3.6 million in emergency grants to community college students – including $304,500 to 203 students at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich and $105,000 to 70 students at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Killingly.

Funded with federal COVID relief money, more than 2,400 students applied for and received $1,500 payments. The grants do not have to be repaid and can be used for any expense related to the cost of attendance.

“I’ve always believed in the value of a good education, but that education doesn’t have to mean an expensive public or private four-year college,” Sen. Osten said. “There are people like me who go straight from high school into the Armed Forces, and others who got to community college to hone their skills and land good-paying, in-demand jobs and start earing a paycheck. This government support has helped thousands of students in eastern Connecticut stay in school, and stay in school at a lower cost. It’s been a great program.”

“Many of our community college students are facing difficult financial situations, which have only been exacerbated by the pandemic,” said CSUS President Terrence Cheng. “In advance of the holidays and as students register for spring semester classes, these grants are a lifeline. We truly appreciate our federal partners for looking out for students at our public colleges and universities.”

In addition, CSCU has delivered the final payment in the previously announced Student Support Program, distributing more than $21 million to all students enrolled in community colleges as of December 1, 2021.

The amount of each payment varies by institution based on enrollment and Pell counts before the pandemic. 3,030 students at Three Rivers CC each received $600, and 1,084 students at Quinebaug Valley CC each received $670.

Various CSCU institutions in Connecticut received $151 million in funding of federal funding to directly support students under the Higher Education Emergency Relief program, all of which must be expended by early 2022. This includes $64 million at the Connecticut State Universities, $760,000 at Charter Oak State College, and the $86 million Student Support Program at the community colleges. The disbursements to community college students this December are the final payments under this program.