Dear CSU-AAUP Member,
We are writing to ask you to help CSU-AAUP support the Governor’s Scholarship Program created by SB 844 by writing to the members of the Appropriations Committee listed after the text of this email. The proposed Governor’s Scholarship Program combines the three existing state funded student financial aid programs into a single need-based program with a need-merit award available to high achieving high school students. The three existing state funded programs are Connecticut Independent College Student Grant, Connecticut Aide to Public College Students, and the Capitol Scholarship, and they are only one form of financial aid that institutions may award.
The Governor’s Scholarship Program will correct a major flaw in the need-based programs: the lack of consistency in award amounts students may receive based on their college choice. Currently, the colleges determine the amount of funding an individual student will receive. Therefore, students with the same financial need may receive dramatically different amounts depending on the college they attend. This was not because of any mistakes or improper administration of the awards, but it demonstrates the need for a change.
Under the new proposal, colleges would be required to give the same award amount to students who exhibit similar financial need, based on the federal Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This change ensures that Connecticut’s neediest students are being treated fairly and equitably no matter which Connecticut college or university they attend. In addition, a major focus of this program is retention and completion. There is an incentive award for any student who completes a required number of credits each year and achieves a required grade point average based on their peers’ performance at all schools. We think this will encourage students to keep on track toward graduation. Finally, the Governor’s Scholarship Program will now provide awards to eligible part-time students and consider the cost of textbooks. These provisions were not part of the original proposal.
The Governor’s Scholarship Program will better assist students and their families to plan and make decisions based on their individual financial situations, because they now will know how much aid they will receive from the state prior to choosing which Connecticut college or university to attend. The Governor’s Scholarship Program is a dramatically improved aid program and a huge step forward for Connecticut’s students and institutions of higher education.