Governor's Biennial Budget Released

Includes Proposal to Exclude CT Private Colleges from Governor’s Scholarship Program
Governor Malloy has released his proposed biennial budget for FY 16 & FY 17.   A summary of that budget may be found here.  
This budget proposes excluding Connecticut students who attend Connecticut private colleges from receiving state financial aid funds through the Governor’s Scholarship Program, beginning next year (See HB 6845).   While Connecticut’s budget is extremely tight this year given an economy that has failed to recover at a rate as fast as the rest of the nation, the savings achieved by this cut pale in comparison to the policy implications it will have on needy students and the state’s workforce.  Based on an average award of $2,666 in 2013-2014, this proposal will impact an estimated 1,700 needy students in FY 16 and 2,850 needy students in FY 17.
While Connecticut has a relatively well-educated population compared to other states, according to a recent draft report adopted by the state’s Planning Commission for Higher Education, we are not prepared to meet the skilled workforce needs in the foreseeable future.  The report, written in consultation with the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), notes that in 2012, 47.5% of Connecticut’s population had an Associate’s Degree or higher. Projections done by Georgetown University’s Center on Education in the Workforce indicate that by 2025, Connecticut’s economy will require a workforce in which 70% of residents have education beyond high school.  
In specific reference to our state’s financial aid policy, the Planning Commission states that “the capacities of sectors, including the independent sector, must be harnessed if state goals are to be reached.”   Cutting private colleges out of the state supported financial aid program, which provides college access for needy students to the state’s most productive institutions is contrary to what the Planning Commission determined is needed for our economy to thrive.
Further, the education attainment gaps between whites and minorities are greater in Connecticut than in almost all other states in the country.   CCIC member institutions graduate minority students in 4-years at a significantly higher rate than their public counterparts and 2,458 minority students attending CCIC member institutions received a Governor’s Scholarship grant in 2013-2014 – 44% of all grant recipients at our schools.   To help close the attainment gap, the state needs to continue to invest in the Governor’s Scholarship Program for needy students to attend Connecticut private colleges.
Last, the investment the state makes in Connecticut students to attend Connecticut private colleges is a partnership; a partnership that CCIC’s member institutions take seriously.  As this week’s graph of the week illustrates, in 2013-2014, CCIC member institutions invested over $70 million in need-based aid for Connecticut undergraduate students.  In turn, over 5,500 Connecticut students received $14 million in Governor’s Scholarship Grant aid. This partnership allows Connecticut students the opportunity to attend the institution that might best fit their needs. It allows them to graduate in four years, more likely than not.  It allows the state to meet its needs in the areas of the greatest economic growth such as engineering and computer science in this state.  
We hope you will join us in our fight to stop this proposal from becoming law.   Stay tuned for more details on how you can help.  In the meantime, please consider testifying in opposition to this proposal by attending the Appropriations Committee’s public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 6 PM or submitting written testimony.   For more information, please contact Jennifer Widness at

From FY09-FY14, need-based institutional aid to CT undergrads at
member campuses increased more than $26.6 million (almost 63%).


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On Campus 

UNH to offer Science Workshops for local students on STEM Saturday 
The program for 5th through 10th grade students will be held at and is sponsored by the UNH Tagliatela College of Engineering and the Engineering Science University Magnet School.

Trinity Students Explore Careers in Nonprofit and Public Service Sectors 
Recently, Trinity students spent a day meeting with people working in Hartford-area nonprofit and public service organizations to discuss their career options and what it means to give back.

Fairfield University opens free tax return preparation office for low-income residents 
Individuals and families with annual incomes $60,000 and below are eligible to have their tax returns prepared for free at Fairfield University’s Dolan School of Business.
Higher Education Headlines

Finding the Right Formula
Performance-based funding in higher education is spreading, with 35 states either developing or using formulas that link support for public colleges to student completion rates, degree production numbers or other metrics.  CT held an informational forum on the issue this week.
Malloy Proposes Significant Cuts For Higher Education, Flat Funding for Local School Districts
Advocates say that the swipes Gov. Dannel P. Malloy made at higher education funding and the continued flat funding for schools districts could be a serious setback.
Bill would shift consent standard in campus sex assault cases
State Rep. Gregg Haddad and Sen. Mae Flexer have proposed a bill that would move schools away from the "no-means-no" approach and toward an affirmative-consent standard.
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