Faced with tight budgets, all the states in New England have slashed funding to higher education.

Students in New Hampshire, though, may be feeling it a bit more.

The state has completely eliminated state support for financial aid for its students, reports the New England Board of Higher Education.

Connecticut last school year provided $64 million to help low-income students afford college. By comparison, Rhode Island provided $13 million, Maine $15 million, Vermont $18 million and Massachusetts $86 million, reports NEBHE.

Board policies at Connecticut’s public higher education institutions for years have required 15 percent of their tuition revenue be dedicated for student aid. This tuition set-aside is required by state law for each public system, but how much is set aside is not.

But Connecticut students have not been immune from the impact of the state reducing funding. In the last two years, lawmakers have reduced overall state funding by nearly $100 million, a 14 percent cut. During that time tuition has increased.

The state still has a projected deficit to close for the current fiscal year and the next two years.

Federal student aid provided through Pell Grants could also be facing a major reduction, as NEBHE reports those scholarships face a $5.7 billion shortfall.

Correction: The NEBHE originally reported that Connecticut was spending $9 million for student financial aid. They updated that figure, the state actually spends $64 million a year, the largest amount in New England.

Follow Jacqueline Rabe Thomas on Twitter.

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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