Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that his plan to improve Connecticut's financial aid system is underway and being administered by the Office of Higher Education. The new Governor's Scholarship Program establishes a single, consolidated need-based aid program for residents who are undergraduates at in-state public and private institutions of higher education, and replaces the state's existing student aid programs - Connecticut Aid to Public College Students (CAPCS), Connecticut Independent College Student Grant (CICSG), the Capitol Scholarship, and Connecticut Aid to Charter Oak.
"We undertook this major reform of our state financial aid system -- the first in 30 years - to ensure a more equitable method of awarding student aid in which recipients know in advance how much assistance they will receive over the course of their college career," said Governor Malloy. "We are helping students and their families better prepare for the college application process by establishing one set of standards that will make our state financial aid programs more straightforward and transparent. We also want to ensure that we attract and retain high-quality students regardless of their economic backgrounds who may, upon their graduation, decide to begin their careers or start a business right here in Connecticut."
The new Governor's Scholarship Program will make the award amounts students receive more consistent and, in doing so, will correct a flaw that existed in the former need-based programs. Under the previous system, colleges determined the amount of funding an individual student received so that students with the same financial need might receive dramatically different award amounts depending on the college they attend. Under the new program, Connecticut colleges and universities would be required to give the same award amount to students who exhibit similar financial need, based on the federal Expected Family Contribution (EFC), to ensure that the students most in need are awarded fairly.
"Students and parents will benefit greatly by this straightforward and equitable approach to distributing state college aid," said Jane A. Ciarleglio, Executive Director of the Office of Higher Education. "We applaud Governor Malloy and state lawmakers for making these changes which give students and parents greater predictability in paying college costs, and helps advance state policy goals of encouraging timely college completion and academic achievement."
The Governor's Scholarship Program also adds a performance incentive award that raises aid amounts for students who excel academically and complete their degree programs on time. Nearly 25,000 students receive awards from the existing CAPCS, CICSG and Capitol Scholarship Programs. The new Governor's Scholarship will be awarded to first-year students starting July 1, 2013, while current recipients will continue to receive their CAPCS, CICSG and Capitol Scholarship awards through the 2015-16 academic year.
Students and parents who have questions about the new program can call (800) 842-0229 or visit www.ctohe.org.