OLR Bill Analysis
AN ACT CONCERNING THE STANDARDIZATION OF FINANCIAL AID LETTERS.
This bill requires public and non-profit private institutions of higher education in the state to collaborate to create a standardized financial aid letter to be provided to each student enrolled at a state institution of higher education. By law and unchanged by the bill, each public or private institution of higher education in the state must provide uniform financial aid information to every prospective student who has been accepted for admission into the institution (see BACKGROUND).
The existing law on uniform financial aid information applies to public institutions and all private institutions (CGS § 10a-55u). The bill does not apply to for-profit private institutions.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017
STANDARDIZED FINANCIAL AID LETTER
Under the bill, the standardized financial aid letter must consist of the following:
1. a section itemizing all grants, scholarships, and federal loans awarded to the student;
2. a section itemizing all funding the student may be eligible to receive, including, but not limited to, work-study opportunities and Parent PLUS Loans (see BACKGROUND); and
3. a glossary with definitions of terms used in the standardized financial aid letter, including grant, scholarship, loan, and work-study.
It is not clear whether the state can require private entities, such as the independent institutions of higher education, to collaborate with public colleges and universities on a project. Also, the bill does not give any agency or other entity the duty of ensuring the collaboration takes place.
Institutions of Higher Education
State law divides institutions of higher education in Connecticut into three groups: (1) public colleges and universities, (2) non-profit private institutions, and (3) for-profit private institutions.
Public colleges and universities are known as the constituent units of the state system of higher education and include the following:
2. the Connecticut State University System,
3. the regional community-technical colleges, and
4. Charter Oak State College (CGS § 10a-1).
Parent PLUS loans, also known as Direct PLUS loans, are U.S. Department of Education loans awarded through participating educational institutions for (1) parents of undergraduate students or (2) graduate or professional students. The loans are used to pay for education expenses not covered by other loans.
Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee
Joint Favorable Substitute