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Did you know you may be able to attend CT State for free?

CT State offers funding that covers the gap between federal and state grants you receive and community college tuition and mandatory fees. To receive this additional funding, apply to CT State*, register for classes (6+ credits), and fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Entry into the program is on a first-come, first-served basis.

New for 2024

  • There is no longer a 48-month timeframe to complete your program to receive free tuition
  • Continuous enrollment is no longer required to keep your free tuition eligibility
  • Tuition-Free funding is designated as the “Mary Ann Handley Award”
  • It is no longer required to have graduated from a high school in Connecticut

How to Qualify in 2024-2025

  • CT Resident
    Be a resident of the state of Connecticut
  • High School Graduate
    Be a high school graduate (GED and home-schooled students qualify)
  • Completed FAFSA
    Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), with an official Student Aid Index, which is used to package federal, state, and often institutional aid and accept all awards
  • Part-Time or Full-Time
    Attend community college part- or full-time (6+ credits/semester)
  • Degree or Certificate Program
    Enroll in a degree or credit-bearing certificate program
  • Good Academic Standing
    Once enrolled, remain in good academic standing

Get Started

*This program is only available to full or part-time students (6+ credits) enrolling in an upcoming semester and who began college in Fall 2020 or later.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible if I took college courses in high school?

College credits completed prior to high school graduation will not exclude a student from receiving this funding.

Where do I go to fill out my FAFSA?

To complete your FAFSA, go to

Which programs at my campus are eligible?

Any degree or certificate program that can use Title IV funding within 72 credits is eligible. For example, you can go into nursing, culinary arts, etc. Your campus Guided Pathways advising office can help you choose.

If I'm already a student at a CT State campus, am I eligible?

At this time, this program is only available to full or part-time students (6+ credits) enrolling in an upcoming semester and who began college in Fall 2020 or later.

I have some learning challenges and/or health concerns that may make it difficult to take 6+ credits per semester. Am I eligible?

If you have a documented disability, we will work with you and your advisor to figure out the most credit hours that you'll be able to take for enrollment.

Do I have to accept federal student loans before this additional funding kicks in?

No. Applicants must only accept all grants (Pell and institutional grants)–not loans–before funding becomes available.

I attended trade school but did not finish. Am I eligible?

It depends on when you attended trade school. Trade and postsecondary schools count as prior enrollment, but you may be eligible if you did not attend prior to the Fall 2020 semester. We still encourage students to apply for admission as many other financial aid packages are available.

Are there any income requirements for eligibility?

Under the law as it is currently written, no.

I graduated with a GED. Can I take advantage of the program?

Yes, as long as you meet all other eligibility requirements.

Appeal Form

Eligibility for this program is determined based on the eligibility criteria determined under Connecticut Public Act 19-117 and is expanded under Connecticut Public Act 23-204. Students who have lost the eligibility to participate have the right to an appeal. All appeals will be reviewed by the Appeals Committee, and decisions will be made in writing to the student with a copy of the decision kept on file with the attending Financial Aid office.