Connecticut Commitment

Connecticut Commitment

UConn is committed to keeping a top-notch education accessible and affordable for Connecticut students.

Beginning with new undergraduate students for the fall 2020 term, Connecticut Commitment promises free tuition for up to four years (eight terms) of full-time undergraduate study for entering freshmen from qualifying families with household incomes of $50,000 or less, and free tuition for up to two years (four terms) of full-time undergraduate study for entering transfer students with household incomes of $50,000 or less.

Please see the FAQs below for detailed terms and conditions.

About Connecticut Commitment

What is Connecticut Commitment?

Connecticut Commitment is a University of Connecticut program that ensures eligible recipients receive the value of tuition in the form of a University Grant or combination of grants and scholarships.

Who is eligible to be considered for the Connecticut Commitment Program?

Beginning fall 2020, automatic consideration is given to every freshmen and transfer applicant who meets the following terms and conditions:

  • Is pursuing their first undergraduate degree
  • Qualifies as a Connecticut (in-state) resident for UConn undergraduate tuition purposes
  • Completes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Institutional Financial Aid Application for Students without Legal Immigration Status by the on-time deadline of February 15 annually
  • Reports a household income (Family Total Income) of $50,000 or less for the calendar year indicated on the designated aid application
  • Demonstrates “unmet financial need” defined as Cost of Attendance (COA) minus Expected Family Contribution (EFC) minus Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG), University Grants, UConn merit scholarships, and Roberta B Willis Scholarships
  • Finalizes their full-time (12 or more credit hours) undergraduate class schedule no later than the Fixed Enrollment Date each semester (tenth day of each semester)
  • Is enrolled continuously as a full-time undergraduate student (12 or more credit hours)
  • Maintains compliance with the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Guidelines

How do I apply for Connecticut Commitment?

Beginning fall 2020, all new freshman and new transfer students will be automatically considered for Connecticut Commitment by completing the FAFSA or the Institutional Aid Application for Students without Legal Immigration Status by February 15, 2020.

What is considered tuition?

Tuition is a charge billed to students registered for classes and is an amount set by the UConn Board of Trustees. Students may also be billed for mandatory fees, housing, meal plans, and health insurance.  Tuition rates and other charges may be found at bursar.uconn.edu.

Does “free tuition” mean that Connecticut Commitment covers the entire cost of an education at UConn?

No. Connecticut Commitment ensures that eligible students receive the cost of tuition through, in most cases, several grant and/or scholarship programs. Educational expenses such as mandatory fees, room and board, and books and supplies are not covered by Connecticut Commitment.

Will Connecticut Commitment increase if tuition increases?

Yes. If the cost of tuition increases from year to year, the maximum Connecticut Commitment award will also increase.

Eligibility and Income Requirements

How does UConn determine the household income, also known as Family Total Income?

Family Total Income (FTI) is the sum of Student Total Income (STI) and Total Income reported on the FAFSA or Institutional Financial Aid Application for Students without Legal Immigration Status. The total income for the student or parent is the adjusted gross income (AGI) or income earned from work, plus untaxed income, minus income exclusions such as child support paid.

Where can I find my Family Total Income (FTI), or how can I calculate my FTI?

Your FTI will be calculated as part of your aid application, but will not be viewable to you as part of your Student Aid Report (sent to you upon completion of your FAFSA). You can calculate your FTI by summing the student and parent’s adjusted gross income figures from the correct tax year, and adding in untaxed income and then subtracting any income exclusions (such as child support paid).

What tax year will be used to determine my FTI?

The tax year required on the FAFSA or the Institutional Financial Aid Application for Students without Legal Immigration Status will be used to determine the FTI. For example, aid applications for the 2020-21 academic year require 2018 income figures.

What if the tax year required on the application is no longer representative of my current financial situation due to extenuating circumstances?

If the Family Total Income reported on the FAFSA or Institutional Financial Aid Application for Students without Legal Immigration Status no longer represents current financial circumstances due to a parent’s unemployment, paid medical expenses, etc., students may pursue the Special Circumstances Appeal process offered through the Office of Student Financial Aid Services.

What if my FTI is greater than $50,000? Can I still be considered for other forms of financial aid?

Yes. Connecticut Commitment is just one of the many financial aid programs that UConn offers to students. The first step in the aid consideration process is submission of the FAFSA or Institutional Financial Aid Application for Students without Legal Immigration Status on or before the on-time deadline of February 15. We encourage all of our students to complete the FAFSA or Institutional Financial Aid Application for Students without Legal Immigration Status regardless of income level.

Will I have financial aid options if I receive Connecticut Commitment in one year, but do not qualify the next school year because my FTI is higher than $50,000?

Yes. Connecticut Commitment is a layer on top of existing financial aid programs. This ensures that students above the FTI or household income threshold can continue to receive consideration for financial aid by filing the FAFSA or the Institutional Aid Application for Students without Legal Immigration Status by the on-time deadline of February 15.

What is “unmet financial need” as it relates to Connecticut Commitment eligibility?

Cost of Attendance (COA) minus Expected Family Contribution (EFC) minus Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, University Grants, UConn merit scholarships and Roberta B Willis Scholarships.

If I am currently enrolled at UConn, can I be considered for Connecticut Commitment in fall 2020 or beyond?

No. The Connecticut Commitment program applies to new undergraduate freshman and transfer students beginning in the fall 2020 term and beyond.

Will the Connecticut Commitment FTI threshold of $50,000 increase as the cost of living increases?

Until further notice, the FTI threshold is $50,000 or less.

Other FAQS

Can I be considered for Connecticut Commitment for winter session, summer session, or summer bridge programs?

No. The Connecticut Commitment is available for fall and spring semesters only.

If I withdraw from UConn or take a leave of absence, will my eligibility for Connecticut Commitment continue upon my return?

No. The Connecticut Commitment requires continuous undergraduate enrollment.

Do I have to apply for Connecticut Commitment each year?

Yes. The FAFSA or Institutional Financial Aid Application for Students without Legal Immigration Status must be completed annually on or before the on-time deadline of February 15 to be given automatic consideration for Connecticut Commitment.

If I miss the on-time deadline of February 15 due to unforeseen circumstances, can I still be considered for Connecticut Commitment?

The Office of Student Financial Aid Services has an on-time appeal process available to students who miss the February 15 deadline. If your on-time appeal is approved and you meet all other eligibility requirements, you may still be considered for Connecticut Commitment.

Can Connecticut Commitment be used for Education Abroad?

Yes.  Connecticut Commitment may be used to pay tuition charged for approved exchange programs during the fall or spring semesters. You can determine if your program is eligible and charges UConn tuition by visiting abroad.uconn.edu.

How will Connecticut Commitment appear on my university fee bill?

The Connecticut Commitment will be fulfilled in most cases through a combination of awards from different grant and scholarship programs (e.g. Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, University Grants, UConn merit scholarships and Roberta B. Willis Scholarships). If the combination of these awards is less than the cost of tuition, then Connecticut Commitment will also appear on the university fee bill.

How will grants, scholarships, or other awards from other organizations, or from UConn departments other than the Division of Enrollment Planning and Management, affect my eligibility for Connecticut Commitment?

Grants, scholarships and awards authorized by private agencies/organizations or UConn departments outside of the Division of Enrollment Planning and Management reduce “unmet financial need.” In most cases, these awards lower the student’s eligibility for self-help forms of financial aid such as federal loans or Federal Work-Study employment. However, in some instances, the awards may lower the student’s eligibility amount for Connecticut Commitment (in addition to other need-based grants/scholarships).

If I need additional time to complete my undergraduate degree beyond four years/eight semesters for new freshmen or two years/four semesters for new transfer students, can I appeal for additional semesters of Connecticut Commitment?

No. The maximum eligibility condition is not appealable; however, we strongly encourage all of our students to complete the FAFSA or Institutional Financial Aid Application for Students without Legal Immigration Status regardless of income level, since you may still qualify for other financial aid programs.

How does Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) impact Connecticut Commitment?

Similar to the majority of financial aid programs, you must meet the requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress or have an approved appeal in order to receive financial aid and Connecticut Commitment.

Am I eligible for Connecticut Commitment if I take graduate-level coursework as an undergraduate?

Yes. If graduate-level coursework applies toward requirements for a student’s first undergraduate degree, an eligible student may continue to receive Connecticut Commitment.

If I do not finalize my full-time enrollment (12 or more credit hours) by the Fixed Enrollment Date (tenth day of classes), can I receive Connecticut Commitment?

No. Eligible students must be registered for 12 or more credit hours by the Fixed Enrollment Date. If you are not full-time by the tenth day of classes and the end of the add/drop period, your financial aid package will be adjusted and possibly reduced or cancelled.

Do I need to submit any documents to be eligible for Connecticut Commitment?

Beginning fall 2020, all freshmen and transfer students will be automatically considered for Connecticut Commitment by completing the FAFSA or the Institutional Aid Application for Students without Legal Immigration Status by February 15. If you are selected for a process called Verification, you may need to submit documents prior to the finalization of your financial aid package. Verification could affect your financial aid and Connecticut Commitment eligibility.

If I am selected for Verification and fail to submit the required documents, will this affect my Connecticut Commitment eligibility?

Yes. Eligible students failing to comply with the Verification process will forfeit eligibility for the Connecticut Commitment program. Awards granted prior to Verification being completed will not appear as a credit on the university fee bill.

Support the Program

If you would like to contribute to the Connecticut Commitment Foundation Fund, please visit: http://s.uconn.edu/ctcommitment.