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Dec 19, 2023

Governor Lamont Encourages High School Seniors to Apply for Connecticut's Recently Launched Automatic College Admission Program

High School Seniors Graduating This Spring Must Apply by January 4, 2024

Governor Ned Lamont today joined Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) Chancellor Terrence Cheng and Connecticut Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker for a news conference at New Britain High School to encourage eligible high school seniors in Connecticut to apply for the state’s recently launched Connecticut Automatic Admission Program. The deadline to apply for high school seniors who are graduating this spring is January 4, 2024.

The program enables graduating Connecticut high school seniors who meet identified thresholds to be automatically admitted to several participating colleges and universities by filling out one application form, which is available to them at no cost. Graduating seniors in the top 30% of their class – as identified by their individual high school counselors – are eligible.

It was created as the result of legislation the Connecticut General Assembly approved and Governor Lamont signed into law in 2021 (Public Act 21-2). By simplifying the admissions process and removing application fees, the goal is to make it easier for high school students to seek higher education, particularly among first-generation, low-income, and minority students.

“A degree in higher education will help young adults achieve their career goals, and by simplifying the application process, we can make it easier for high school students – especially those whose families have never sought higher education – to apply and then ultimately enroll in a college or university,” Governor Lamont said. “I strongly encourage eligible high school students to seize this opportunity and apply – there is no cost to submit an application, and this can be a great start to embark on their postsecondary journeys.”

The program is administered by CSCU in partnership with the nonprofit organization Common App. This becomes the first state and nonprofit partnership on automatic admission.

“The Connecticut Automatic Admission Program provides a streamlined process for high school students to apply to college and be ready to enroll,” Chancellor Cheng said. “We are grateful for the work of Governor Lamont and the state legislature for making higher education more accessible and equitable for the students of Connecticut. This program helps increase the number of high school seniors attending college who will ultimately be well-prepared to enter into the state’s workforce. It’s a win-win for Connecticut, our universities, and the students they serve.”

“The Connecticut Automatic Admission Program is one of numerous proactive measures the state has taken to remove barriers and encourage postsecondary pursuits, especially among first-generation college students and those from low-income households,” Commissioner Russell-Tucker said. “I applaud the tireless efforts of the school administrators, teachers, and counselors, who have been instrumental in guiding students through this groundbreaking program. We are grateful for our higher education partnerships and for CSCU’s leadership in this work to collectively achieve infinite possibilities for our high school students.”

After applying, Common App sends letters to eligible applicants informing them they have been accepted into participating colleges and universities and encouraging them to make the decision to enroll.

The colleges and universities currently participating include:

For the most recent round of applications that ended in October, a total of 2,266 students applied, totaling 18,128 offers of automatic admission to participating institutions – as each student received eight offers each. In 2022, there were 1,617 applications, so the program’s applications have already surpassed first year participation levels.

At New Britain High School, 70 students have already benefitted from the program.

“The Connecticut Automatic Admission Program presents an amazing opportunity for students to apply and get accepted into a college that they wouldn’t have otherwise applied to or thought they wouldn’t get admitted into,” New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart said. “This program simplifies the application process for students and families, but also the partners at the high school and collegiate level – increasing access, equity, and efficiency. Most importantly, it eliminates burdensome fees and removes many of the barriers to higher education that many in my community and across our state feel.”

“We are a school system that is constantly striving to ensure equity of outcomes for all students,” Dr. Tony Gasper, superintendent of schools for the Consolidated School District of New Britain, said. “In this work, we continually reassess our policies and practices to ensure that they are equally supportive of all learners. Our participation in the Connecticut Automatic Admissions Program has already shown results and will continue to be a key tool in our equity work. We know over 70 students have already benefited from this legislation and look forward to seeing more students enrolled in college. We are thankful to the Governor, the legislature, the State Department of Education, and Connecticut State Colleges and Universities for being our strong partners in this work.”

For more information on the Connecticut Automatic Admission Program, including instructions on how to apply, visit www.ct.edu/autoadmit.