Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) President Mark Ojakian and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Connecticut State Conference President Scot X. Esdaile are reminding Connecticut residents that next Wednesday, July 15, is the deadline for priority consideration for the Pledge to Advance Connecticut (PACT), the state’s tuition and fee-free community college program. In order to qualify, eligible students must enroll in classes at any of Connecticut’s 12 community colleges before the deadline. PACT is a last-dollar scholarship, so once students enroll in classes and complete all necessary financial aid documentation, including the FAFSA, PACT funding will be applied to their account.

“There is still time for Connecticut residents to qualify for free community college, but they must act fast,” President Ojakian said. “Our community colleges offer the highest-quality education, and with the opportunity to attend and graduate with no out-of-pocket expenses, there is no reason to wait. Graduates of our community college programs can even transfer seamlessly to four-year universities, potentially saving tens of thousands of dollars toward a bachelor’s degree. To see if you qualify, visit today.”

“Community college can be a pathway to opportunity,” President Esdaile said. “The free college program is a powerful message to students – particularly students of color – that a college education is within reach. I know there are many people who have always dreamed of going to college but never believed they could afford it. This is your chance, but you need to apply and enroll in classes by Wednesday. I strongly encourage anyone interested to apply online today.”

In order to qualify for PACT, potential students must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a graduate of a public or private Connecticut high school (GED and home schooled students qualify).
  • Be a first-time college student (those who participated in dual enrollment programs while in high school are not excluded).
  • Fill out FAFSA and accept all awards.
  • Attend community college full-time (12 or more credits per semester).
  • Enroll in classes by July 15, 2020 for priority consideration.
  • Participate in a degree or credit-bearing certificate program.
  • Once enrolled, remain in good academic standing.

“Connecticut community colleges are embarked on a serious effort to improve student success and equity measures,” President Ojakian concluded. “By putting in place the necessary supports, we will be able to better serve our students in the long-run, and our graduates will be better positioned to find a rewarding career.”

To learn more about PACT or to apply online, visit

ACC building