The Hartford Public High School class of 2021 jump and cheer as they stream out of Dunkin' Donuts Park, diplomas in hand. Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

Connecticut high school seniors in the top 30% of their graduating class are now eligible to gain automatic admission to in-state colleges and universities.

The Connecticut Colleges and Universities system (CSCU) has partnered with Common App, a college admission application that allows students to apply to several schools at once, to offer high school seniors automatic admission to all schools within the CSCU system.

The partnership also extends to Mitchell College, University of Bridgeport, University of New Haven, University of St. Joseph, and Goodwin University.

The auto admission eligibility is CSCU’s way of removing barriers to higher education and making college applications more accessible for Connecticut students, according to CSCU Chancellor Terrence Cheng.

“By making this as easy and accessible as possible we’re creating that opportunity for students from many socio economically marginalized communities and backgrounds to be able to come to our institutions and get a great education,” Cheng said.

The partnership was born out of conversations Cheng had with K-12 educators and leaders who expressed that their students needed a simpler application process.

“This partnership represents educational access and equity while helping increase the number of high school seniors attending college who will ultimately be well-prepared to enter into the state’s workforce,”Cheng said.

Eligible students can apply for the first round of auto admission by Friday, October 27th. There is no fee to apply.

In a statement, Jenny Rickard, CEO of Common App said she was excited about partnering with the state to ensure all students have access to higher education.

“Common App’s Next Chapter is all about reimagining the admissions process so that all students feel welcomed and ready to apply and enroll in college,” Rickard said. This partnership is one of many ways we can simplify the admissions process and expand access to postsecondary opportunities.”

This story was first published Oct. 25, 2023 by Connecticut Public.