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Financial Aid Programs

ProgramsEligibilityProgram Characteristics
Federal Pell Grant

Undergraduate students only -need based

The maximum Pell Grant eligible expected family contribution (EFC) for 2018-2019 is: 5486

18-19 Full Year Awards Vary from $650 to $6,095

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)Undergraduate students only - need basedAwards Vary
Charter Oak State College GrantUndergraduate students only - need basedAwards Vary
Charter Oak State College Fee AwardUndergraduate students only - need basedAwards Vary
Roberta B. Willis Scholarship Program

Undergraduate students only who are residents of Connecticut - need based

Funded by the State of Connecticut

Awards Vary

CHESLA Scholarship Program

Undergraduate students only who are residents of Connecticut - need based

Funded by the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA), the scholarship provides assistance to students (other than loans) to finance their education.

Awards Vary

Connecticut Community College Tuition Match Scholarship

 Undergraduate students who have graduated from a Connecticut Community College,on or after May, 2018, with a GPA of 2.3 or higher and who are enrolled in a first bachelor's degree program -non need based.

 Awards Vary
Federal Direct
Subsidized
Stafford Loan

Undergraduate students only -need based

*Graduate students are not eligible for Subsidized Loans.

Maximum Subsidized Loan Amounts for Dependent and Independent Students:
$3,500 (freshmen); $4,500 (sophomore); $5,500 (junior/senior)
Federal Direct
Unsubsidized
Stafford Loan

Undergraduate and graduate students - non-need based

* Additional loan funds are available to dependent students if the student's parent is denied a PLUS Loan.

Maximum Loan Amounts:

Dependent Undergraduate
Freshman: $5,500 (max. $3,500 subsidized)
Sophomore: $6,500 (max. $4,500 subsidized)
Junior/Senior: $7,500 (max. $5,500 subsidized)

Independent Undergraduate
Freshman: $9,500 (max. $3,500 subsidized)
Sophomore: $10,500 (max. $4,500 subsidized)
Junior/Senior: $12,500 (max. $5,500 subsidized)

Graduate

$20,500 annually

Federal Direct PLUS Loans

Available to graduate students and parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid.

*A credit check is required for a PLUS Loan.

Student's Cost of Attendance
- Other Aid Student Received
= Maximum PLUS Loan Amount

Disclaimer: Descriptions of financial aid programs are subject to change without advance notice due to changes in federal, state, college policies, and/or changes in funding levels. The Financial Aid Office will make every reasonable effort to keep applicants and students aware of changes as they occur. Financial aid does not cover the admissions application fee, admissions deposit, late fees, non-credit courses, CLEP/DANTES testing, transcript fees, graduation fee, portfolio assessment fees or certificate program courses. Anytime the College enters into an agreement with a student or parent regarding a Title IV Federal Direct Loan, loan information is submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and other Title IV schools that are authorized user of the data system. At this time, undocumented students do not qualify for state or federal financial aid. Students are encouraged to seek scholarship opportunities from private sources. CT Students for a Dream is a resource available to undocumented students with an active list of scholarship opportunities.

Federal Pell Grant

Federal Pell Grants are awarded to needy undergraduate students who have not earned a first bachelor's degree.

The amount of your Federal Pell Grant eligibility will depend on your cost of attendance, EFC, enrollment status, and whether you will attend for a full academic year or less. You may not receive Pell Grant funds from more then one school at a time. To apply, a student must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Renewal FAFSA.

The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds a student may receive over his or her lifetime is limited by federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding a student can receive each year is equal to 100%, the six-year equivalent is 600%.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program is for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Pell Grant recipients with the lowest expected family contributions (EFC's) will be considered first for a FSEOG. To apply, a student must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Renewal FAFSA.

Charter Oak State College Grant

Funds are given to undergraduate degree seeking students with financial need who are either residents or non-residents of Connecticut. Grant awards vary per year depending on a student's need and the availability of funds. To apply, a student must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Renewal FAFSA.

Roberta B. Willis Scholarship Program

Funded by the State of Connecticut, this program makes full and part-time need based financial aid awards to undergraduate students for eligible educational costs. Available to Connecticut residents only. Full-time is considered 12 or more semester credit hours. Part-time is considered 6 to 11 semester credit hours. Eligible educational costs are tuition and fees, plus a fixed amount for books and educational supplies as determined by the Connecticut Office of Higher Education.

To apply, a student must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Renewal FAFSA, and as a result, have a federal Expected Family Contribution (EFC) within the allowable program range. Student's must also be matriculated into an undergraduate program of study, leading to a first associate or bachelor degree. Awards for full-time Pell Grant recipients may not exceed a student's calculated educational costs minus any Pell Grant eligibility. Non-Pell Grant students are also eligible for funding under this program based on the EFC amounts as described above.

CHESLA Scholarship Program

Funded by the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA), the scholarship provides additional assistance, other than loans, to needy undergraduate students who are residents of Connecticut. Awards will be made to new or returning full or part-time. To apply, a student must file a Free Application for Federal Student aid (FAFSA) or Renewal FAFSA. Funding is limited and will be awarded on a first come first served basis.

Connecticut Community College Tuition Match Scholarship

The Connecticut Community College Tuition Match Scholarship Program allows qualified students, who enroll at Charter Oak State College (COSC), to receive community college (CC) tuition and corresponding college services fee  at the community college in-state rates effective for the applicable academic year. Students can receive the matching scholarship up to a total of 17 credits per semester. All eligible students will be identified by COSC’s Admissions Office. Additional eligibility requirements apply to military and veteran students. 

To receive the matching scholarship, students are required to:

  1. Enroll in bachelor degree applicable courses on at least a half-time basis (6+ credits) every semester.
  2. Be continuously enrolled in coursework (fall and spring semesters). Students who accelerate their program of study by registering for summer courses are also eligible to receive the scholarship.
  3. Maintain at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA while enrolled at COSC.
  4. Complete their degree within 5 years of receiving their first Connecticut Community College Tuition Match Scholarship. This pace will allow part-time students to graduate within the program’s maximum allowable timeframe.

Other important scholarship guidelines:

  • The tuition match scholarship is effective with the start of the fall 2018 semester.
  • COSC will offset its tuition and student services fee against the in-state CC tuition and college services fee only.
  • The match is not applicable to any of the CC’s mandatory usage fees, out of state tuition rates, NEBHE tuition rates, student activity fees, extension fess and half credits. Students are responsible for books, COSC’s technology fee, and other applicable COSC course related expenses.
  • Students must be registered for 6 or more credits every semester.
  • The program does not cover a second AA or AS degree or certificate program classes.
  • The Tuition Match Scholarship Program is capped at 17 credits per semester. Credits at 18 or above will be charged at COSC’s regular tuition rate.  
    • Non-residents will receive in-state match rates up to 17 credits per semester. Credits at 18 or above will be charged at COSC’s regular out-of-state tuition rate.
  • Non-need based scholarship. However, students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA application to assist them with the cost of college expenses not covered by the scholarship.

Additional Eligibility Requirements for Military and Veteran Students:

Qualified military and veteran students will be identified by the college’s Business Office who will determine a student’s eligibility for the match scholarship and coordinate this information with the Office of Financial Aid.   See below for military rate, tuition assistance and veteran’s educational benefits:

  • Students receiving Military Partnership Program (MPP) rates and using Tuition Assistance (TA) are not eligible for the CC match scholarship because these benefits cover tuition/fees at 100%.
  • Self-pay MPP students who are eligible for the CT Veteran’s Waiver are also not eligible for the CC match scholarship.
  • Self-pay MPP students who are ineligible for the CT Veteran’s Waiver are eligible for the CC match scholarship.

 Charter Oak State College Fee-Award

Connecticut state law authorizes the Board of State Academic Awards, Charter Oak's governing board, to allocate funds to be given as fee awards to degree seeking undergraduate students with financial need who are either residents or non-residents of Connecticut. Fee-Awards vary per year depending on a student's need, actual fee(s) and the availability of funds. To apply, a student must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Renewal FAFSA.

Federal Direct Stafford Loans

Charter Oak State Colleges participates in the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program. These are federal loans and we also refer to them as Direct Loans. These loans have fixed rates with low interest rates and fees. Students must be at least half-time (six credits) in order to receive a loan.

There are two types of Federal Direct Loans:

Subsidized loans are need-based and available to undergraduate students only. Interest does not accrue on these loans while students are enrolled in school at least half-time, during their grace period*, and authorized deferment periods. *Note: Students who received a Direct Subsidized Loan that was first disbursed between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2014, will be responsible for paying interest that accrues during their grace period.

Unsubsidized loans are not need-based, and students are responsible for all of the interest that accrues on the loan, including while enrolled in school. However, interest does not have to be paid during this time. Unpaid interest that is deferred until after graduation can be "capitalized" (added to the loan principal). This means that a student will pay interest on a higher loan amount when they go into repayment.

Annual Loan Limits
Undergraduate (Dependent)
Freshman$5,500 ($3,500 between subsidized and unsubsidized, plus an additional $2,000 in unsubsidized if parent ineligible for PLUS)
Sophomore$6,500 ($4,500 between subsidized and unsubsidized, plus an additional $2,000 in unsubsidized if parent ineligible for PLUS)
Junior/Senior$7,500 ($5,500 between subsidized and unsubsidized, plus an additional $2,000 in unsubsidized if parent ineligible for PLUS)
Undergraduate (Independent)
Freshman$9,500 (3,500 between subsidized and unsubsidized, plus an additional $6,000 in unsubsidized)
Sophomore$10,500 ($4,500 between subsidized and unsubsidized, plus an additional $6,000 in unsubsidized)
Junior/Senior$12,500 ($5,500 between subsidized and unsubsidized, plus an additional $7,000 in unsubsidized)
Graduate
Graduate$20,500 - unsubsidized only

Undergraduate Dependent Lifetime Limit:
$31,000 (up to $23,000 may be subsidized)

Undergraduate Independent Lifetime Limit:
$57,500 (up to $23,000 may be subsidized)

Graduate Lifetime Limit:
$138,500 (up to $65,000 may be subsidized and includes all federal loans received for undergraduate studies. *The $65,000 subsidized aggregate loan limit includes subsidized loans that a graduate student may have received for periods of enrollment that began before July 1, 2012.)

Federal PLUS Loans

To receive a Direct PLUS Loan, the borrower must be the parent (biological, adoptive, or in some cases, stepparent) of a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least-half time; not have adverse credit history; and also meet the general eligibility requirements for federal student aid.

Graduate students may also borrow the remainder of their college costs not covered by other financial aid.

Credit checks are required.

Interest Rates for Direct Loans First Disbursed on or after July 1,2018 and Before July 1, 2019

Loan TypeBorrower TypeLoans first disbursed on or after 7-1-2018 and before 7-1-2019
Direct Subsidized LoansUndergraduate5.05%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Undergraduate:

Graduate:

5.05%

6.6%

Direct PLUS LoansParents of Dependent Undergraduate Students and Graduate Students7.6%

*interest rates shown are fixed rates for the life of the loan.

Federal Student Loan Fees for Award Year 18-19
Loan TypeFirst Disbursement DateLoan Fee

Direct Subsidized Loans and

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

On or after 10-1-2017 and before 10-1-2018

1.066%

Direct Subsidized Loans and

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

On or after 10-1-2018 and before 10-1-20191.062%
Direct PLUS LoansOn or after 10-1-2017 and before 10-1-20184.264%
Direct PLUS LoanOn or after 10-1-2018 and before 10-1-20194.248%

*Effective as of July 1, 2013, the Direct Loan interest subsidy will be limited for new borrowers.

  • The new limitation impacts only new borrowers -defined as a student with no outstanding Direct Loan balance as of 7-1-2013.
  • The law restricts the period of time for which a new borrower may receive subsidized loans, in the aggregate, to 150 percent of the published length of the student's current educational program.
  • Once a student reaches that limit, he or she can only borrow an unsubsidized loan, and interest begins to accrue on the student's outstanding subsidized loans.
  • While new borrowers will not see the effect of the subsidy limit until a minimum of 150 percent of his or her published program length has elapsed, it is important to understand that academic progress will be tied to the cost of borrowing student loans.

Private Education Loans

Private education loans may be available to students seeking loan assistance above and beyond the federal financial aid programs. They are used to cover "gaps" that may exist between education costs and the amount of financial aid received (if any). Learn more about private education loans.