CHESLA Program Offers Short, Long-Term Impact
The Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority issued its annual economic impact report of its college loan and scholarship program.
CHESLA is a quasi-public entity charged with helping make college more affordable and attainable for Connecticut residents.
The in-school loan program allows residents to borrow money to attend any public or private non-profit two-year or four-year college or university in the US.
Need-based scholarships are available to residents studying at a Connecticut-based college or university.
Wage, Job Increases
According to CHESLA, the program helped create 597 jobs, grew wage income in the state by more than $72 million, and increased output by almost $129 million, while expanding state GDP by $74 million between 2015 and 2021.
Based on long-term modeling, students who participate in the various programs will earn a combined increase in lifetime incomes of $3.5 billion in net present value terms.
This translates into an additional $406 million in net present value of taxes for the state of Connecticut and $837 million in net present value of taxes for the federal government.
With student loan debt in the country totals $1.75 trillion, up from $330 billion in 2003, the state legislature put a renewed focus on removing postsecondary education barriers.
Various efforts are around assisting students in covering the cost.
Connecticut increased state spending for higher education from $1.4 billion in 1993 to $3.38 billion today.
The state spends approximately $14,449 per full time equivalent student, exceeding the national average of $7,566.
Additionally, the legislature recently expanded the types of post secondary education CHESLA can fund.
During the 2022 legislative session, lawmakers passed Public Act 22-4, which allows the Connecticut Student Loan Foundation board of directors to distribute excess funds to the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority or its subsidiaries to provide financial assistance for students enrolled in a “postsecondary education program.”
The act defines the program as a high-value certificate program approved by CHESLA.
CBIA’s 2022 Transform Connecticut policy priorities also focus on continuing to open doors to opportunity for all communities and residents.
That includes tackling the high costs of living and running a business, implementing pathways to rewarding careers, and leveraging the state’s many strengths to make our economy more vibrant, robust, and equitable.
Specifically, CBIA will advocate for helping residents struggling with student loans by incentivizing employers to provide employees with loans or tuition reimbursement.
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