Free college to start early for some at Housatonic
BRIDGEPORT — The idea of free college has been bandied about quite a bit recently.
Housatonic Community College is making it happen for some students this fall, thanks to a $100,000 grant.
Recent public high school graduates in the greater Bridgeport region have been invited to apply for a merit-based program that promises a free full-time community college experience during the 2019-20 year.
The Housatonic Promise will pay for a student’s tuition and fees after all other federal, institutional and state aid have been applied, and is available to students regardless of immigration status.
“Qualifying students this year have an opportunity to receive an outstanding education for free,” said Paul Broadie, President of Housatonic Community College. “We’re giving students who have a track record of academic achievement the chance to harness their potential in an environment focused on student success.”
The hope is also to boost enrollment at the college, which is one of 12 community colleges in the state and part of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system.
The program is funded by a private anonymous donor through the Housatonic Community College Foundation.
To qualify, students must live within Housatonic’s 11-community service region of Ansonia, Bridgeport, Derby, Easton, Fairfield, Milford, Monroe, Seymour, Shelton, Stratford and Trumbull.
The student must have graduated by the end of the 2018-19 academic year from a Connecticut public high school or charter school with a minimum 3.0 grade point average. They must demonstrate unmet financial need, and there are limits on family income.
Once at Housatonic, participants must enroll full time in an associate degree program, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and keep a minimum 2.5 GPA.
The scholarship pays the difference between financial aid and the cost of tuition and fees, starting at $500. The scholarship is renewable for a second year if all conditions are met.
To apply, visit https://www.housatonic.edu/admissions-financial-aid/scholarships to complete an application form. Completed applications must be submitted to: Dean of Student Services Office, Housatonic Community College (HCC), Lafayette Hall, Office A110a, 900 Lafayette Boulevard, Bridgeport, CT 06604-4704. A high school transcript and completed FAFSA or Income Verification Sheet will also need to be submitted.
The number of students who can be assisted will be subject to the availability of funds.
“Additional donations to the scholarship are welcome,” said Kristy Jelenik, executive director of the Housatonic Community College Foundation.
To learn more about contributing to The Housatonic Promise, contact Kristy Jelenik, KJelenik@housatonic.edu or call 203-332-5078.