The University of Connecticut’s new president kicked off his leadership era by announcing lower-income Connecticut residents could be eligible for free tuition.
During his inauguration address on Friday, UConn President Thomas C. Katsouleas debuted the Connecticut Commitment, which will enable a child in a Connecticut family with an annual household income of $50,000 or less to attend UConn tuition-free. The initiative will begin with fall 2020 semester and will be available for admitted UConn undergraduate freshmen students at all campuses and in all majors, as well as for new transfer students.
UConn’s tuition is $13,798 at the in-state level for the current academic year. Katsouleas noted the Connecticut Commitment can be used to make up the difference between the cost of tuition and other aid, including the federal Pell Grants and need-based and merit-based awards. He added that UConn has launched a fundraising campaign to finance the program and express hope that the income threshold will be raised above the $50,000 level within the near future.
“It is critical for U.S. higher education institutions to work to change both the perception and reality of what they deliver,” Katsouleas said. “This is critical for the future prosperity of Connecticut. To keep our brightest, most talented and most diverse human capital in Connecticut, we must continue to offer as many of them as possible a high quality and affordable education in their state.”
Katsouleas was named UConn’s 16th president in August. He was previously provost of the University of Virginia, and earlier in his career was the dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University and a professor of electrical and computer engineering there.