UConn, financial aid & out-of-state students

Nearly one-quarter of students who receive financial aid from The University of Connecticut are students who grew up out of state.

While UConn is expected to spend $9.2 million more in merit- and need-based aid, those increases largely do not go to help more students with aid, according to documents provided by UConn officials to state legislators. Instead, the 6 percent increase in aid over last year mostly covers the increased cost of tuition for the nearly 9,910 students receiving aid. Fifty-four more students got financial aid this year than last year; 45 from out-of-state and nine students from Connecticut.

UConn’s financial aid is paid for by setting aside a portion of the tuition dollars paid by other UConn students.

Of the 9,910 undergraduate students who will collectively receive $159.5 million in financial aid provided by UConn this school year, 2,229 students were raised in other states.

Fifty percent of out-of-state students who attend UConn receive some form of financial aid funded by the tuition dollars students pay. Forty-two percent of Connecticut residents (7,681 students) attending UConn this year receive financial aid.

Some legislators have expressed concerns that as UConn’s enrollment has increased, the rate of out-of-state students has significantly outpaced increases in-state student enrollment, and that this is crowding out Connecticut residents and making the state school less affordable.

Twenty percent of incoming freshmen to UConn’s main campus at Storrs during the 1994-95 school year were from out-of-state, compared with 31 percent in 2011-12, nonpartisan legislative researchers reported earlier this year.

Many UConn students also receive federally-funded financial aid.

Michael Kirk, UConn’s deputy chief of staff, said then out-of-state students are an essential ingredient for the state’s flagship university.

“UConn is going to continue to recruit and enroll great students; most of them will be from Connecticut, but out-of-state students, including international students, are an essential ingredient in that mix, as they are at every large research university. Geographic diversity is as important to universities as ethnic and socioeconomic diversity,” Kirk said.