Connecticut scholarships and grants can be helpful when you’re looking to fund your education in Connecticut. While many are available only to residents of Connecticut, most of the scholarships can be used in nearby states in the New England region. States like New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia often have reciprocal agreements with Connecticut. This gives Connecticut students a broader choice of colleges but still keeps much young talent in the New England region.
Students can apply for many Connecticut financial aid opportunities that, along with federal financial aid, can cut the cost of college dramatically. Here are several opportunities to look out for:
- Capitol Scholarship Program
This is a need-based program that is funded mainly by the State of Connecticut. Some of the funds also come from the federal LEAP and SLEAP programs. Students must be financially needy, but the program also takes into account academic achievement when allocating funds. To be eligible for this award, students must be legal residents of Connecticut and fill out the FAFSA by February 15th to see their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for the application. Students must either be in their senior year of high school or have graduated high school, and they must rank in the top 20% of their class or score 1800 on the SAT or 27 on the ACT to qualify for this award.
To apply, students can access the application at the official Connecticut Department of Higher Education, at www.ctdhe.org/SFA/default.htm. The award offers $2,000 to $3,000 for students going to a four-year college or a two-year private school. Students attending a two-year public school can get between $500 and $1,000. Students attending certain out-of-state colleges can receive $500 grants. Students who are attending school part time may be eligible for prorated funding, as long as it is available.
- Connecticut Aid for Public College Students
This scholarship is great for students attending two and four year universities and colleges within Connecticut. Students who are enrolled in public universities and institutions may be eligible for up to the entire amount of their unmet financial need, based on the FAFSA. To apply for this grant, students must simply fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
Once the form is filed, students will need to find their Expected Family Contribution and then contact the financial aid office at their college of choice. Because grant money is also available for private Connecticut colleges and universities, it is worthwhile, if you’re interested in multiple universities, to check with multiple financial aid offices for the aid packages they are offering you.
- Connecticut Independent College Student Grant Program
This is similar to the above program, but funds are more limited for private or independent colleges, universities, and institutions. Students can get up to $8,332 a year as of 2011 for their grants. These grants are also based on financial need, as shown by the FAFSA.
There is no separate application for this program. Students must simply fill out the FAFSA as early as possible. The FAFSA information will be automatically sent to the schools in which students are interested. Students can then contact the financial aid offices of their top schools in order to figure out exactly how much they would be offered through this grant program. All government funds for this program are given out through the individual schools.
- Connecticut Minority Teacher Incentive Grant/Weisman Teacher Scholarship
This grant is specifically for minority students who are in a teaching or education program. Students must be enrolled in Connecticut universities or colleges to qualify. The Weisman scholarship is similar, but it is even more limited in that it’s specifically for teachers enrolled in math and science education program.
This program grants up to $5,000 a year for up to two years. Students can also get a loan reimbursement of up to $2,500 per year if they teach in a Connecticut public school. The reimbursement is available for the first four years of teaching.
Students must actually be nominated for this scholarship by the dean of their schools’ education department. Nominations are due by October 1st each year. To find out more about the scholarship, you can contact your education dean listed on the application. The application can be found at www.ctdhe.org/SFA.
- Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver
At certain Connecticut schools, senior citizens can earn credits without paying tuition. Residents who are age sixty-two and over can apply for tuition waivers at any public college or university in Connecticut, including the University of Connecticut, Connecticut State University, and all twelve Connecticut community colleges.
While tuition waiver policies differ from school to school, in general, they are only available for classes that aren’t full at the end of the registration period each semester. Costs for educational fees, books, and supplies are not waived, so students will be responsible for covering those costs on their own. Students need not be seeking degrees to qualify for this program. Instead, the money can be used for credit hours for fun or interest. For more information, check out www.ctdhe.org/edinfo/pdfs/SeniorCitizen.pdf.
- Tuition Waivers for Veterans
In addition to these opportunities, qualifying veterans at Connecticut colleges and universities may be able to have tuition partially or entirely waived. These include veterans, active members of the Connecticut Army and Air National Guard, and Connecticut residents who are children, dependents or spouses of members of the Armed forces, also Connecticut residents, who was either killed on or after September 11, 2001 or who is a prisoner of war or has been declared missing in action.
Only tuition is waived when students qualify for this waiver, so students are still responsible for other fees, books, and living expenses. Students can apply for the waiver to receive a form that they will use to get the waiver granted when applying for classes each semester. These benefits can be used at the University of Connecticut, Connecticut State University, and community and technical colleges in Connecticut, which gives veterans a broad supply of options to choose from.