Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-353

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING THE CREATION OF THE CONNECTICUT HOPE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM.

Vote Date:

3/15/2018

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/8/2018

File No.:

Disclaimer: The following JOINT FAVORABLE Report is prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and does not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose.

SPONSORS OF BILL:

State Senator Toni Boucher, 26th State Senate District

REASONS FOR BILL:

To establish a scholarship for Connecticut residents with a 3.5 GPA going into their first full-time associate or bachelor's degree program.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Dr. Noah Dion, Acting Executive Director, Office of Higher Education: Dr. Dion testified in support of the aspirations in SB 353, but said that many crucial details remain unclear. For instance, fiscal implications, sustainability, how these programs will be structured, whether they will target the same students, and whether these new initiatives will “cannibalize Connecticut's existing scholarships.”

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Senator Toni Boucher, 26th Senate District: Senator Boucher told her own immigration story and how hard she had to work to receive that education, as it was her “vehicle out of poverty.” She described Georgia's HOPE Scholarship and said that the establishment of a similar program could help keep some of Connecticut's best and brightest within the state. She also described the present state of the workforce, where employers are looking for skilled workers to grow their businesses but cannot find those skilled workers.

Mona Lucas, Assistant Vice-President for Enrollment Policies & Strategic Initiatives, University of Connecticut: Ms. Lucas testified in support of this bill but suggested that it might be preferable to reinstitute the Roberta Willis Scholarship. She discussed the efforts of UConn to attract talented students through merit based aid. In doing this, Ms. Lucas explained, UConn keeps Connecticut's best and brightest within Connecticut.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None

Reported by: Stephanie Goebel

Date: March 29, 2018