General Assembly Substitute Bill No. 8 aims to address higher education affordability and graduate retention. It includes several changes to current law.

First, it establishes a debt-free community college program that provides awards to qualifying students each semester. The minimum award for a full-time student is increased from $250 to $1,000, and for a part-time student from $150 to $600.

Second, it reallocates federal funds from the Roberta B. Willis Scholarship program to the Connecticut State University System for grants under the scholarship program.

Lastly, it establishes the Student Loan Subsidy Program, which subsidizes interest rates on authority loans for individuals employed in high-demand professions. The eligibility criteria and administrative guidelines for the program will be established by the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority and the Office of Workforce Strategy.

The bill also includes provisions related to deductions allowed for Connecticut adjusted gross income, changes to the tax code, and the establishment of definitions and eligibility criteria for the deduction of student loan interest. The bill will take effect on various dates.

Statutes affected:
Committee Bill: 12-701
HED Joint Favorable: 12-701
File No. 139: 12-701
APP Joint Favorable: 12-701