Free To Start, Free To Finish College: Haddad And Democrats Propose Bill

March 8, 2018

Rep. Gregg Haddad extols the benefits of legislation.

Rep. Gregg Haddad, House chair of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee, joined his Democratic colleagues recently to unveil their Free 2 Start/Free 2 Finish college program, which would provide state aid to help qualified Connecticut students start and complete their college careers at community colleges and state universities.

“As a student from a working-class background who attended a public university in Connecticut, I know the transformative effect earning a degree can have on the trajectory of one’s life. I know the opportunities it opens to contribute for the benefit of our Connecticut community,” Haddad said.

“This bill will guarantee that no student is denied an opportunity to go to college, earn a degree, and be a contributing member of our Connecticut community. To eligible students, it offers a tuition-free path to an associate’s degree and to a bachelor’s degree. This bill grows our economy by helping thousands of students earn a degree, and assisting our employers by supplying the educated workforce they need.”

As part of the Democratic Values Agenda for the 2018 legislative session, House and Senate Democrats proposed House Bill 5371 in an effort to improve college graduation rates and prepare our state workforce for the thousands of new jobs needed in the near future.

If approved, the scholarship would take effect in the fall of 2019, and Connecticut would become one of several states in America – following recent efforts in New York, Rhode Island and others – to provide a state-sponsored higher education scholarship for qualified students.