Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority

Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority

4 min read


Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loans (CHESLA) are loans granted by the state of Connecticut to students who wish to attend college at any institution of higher education in the state. CHESLAs have no interest rate and do not need to be repaid until after graduation. You only repay what you use. If you graduate before repaying your loan, you pay nothing back. There is zero penalty for paying off your loan early! The maximum amount of aid allowed each year is $20,000 per family.

How much money will I get?

If you qualify for financial aid, you may receive between $0 and $20,000 per academic year. A portion of your award will depend upon your income and assets. Your eligibility will be determined based on your household’s net worth.

What happens if I don’t go to school?

You’re still eligible for loan forgiveness. Even if you choose not to pursue further education, you can still apply for loan cancellation and discharge. You can also refinance your existing student loans and make them easier to manage.

Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority

Connecticut’s higher education loan authority is intended to provide students at both public and private institutions, as well as individuals who qualify based on family income, with affordable access to educational financing. In addition, the HESA loans have been specifically designed to assist low-income families with the costs associated with sending their children to college. Loans offered under the program range from $50 to $1000 per semester (or summer), depending upon the individual’s financial need. Students may defer payments on eligible loans for a maximum period of five years.

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, about 75 percent of undergraduates attend two-year institutions. However, only 17 percent of those attending four-year colleges receive federal Pell Grants. Other forms of financial aid tend to be unavailable to many students who attend community colleges. As a result, the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority was established to provide funds for these students to help them cover expenses while attending school. Under the authority, loans are available to undergraduates enrolled full time at either a public or private postsecondary institution located in Connecticut.

To apply for the loans, interested students should contact their campus financial aid office or call 1-800-841-2430.

Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority

This video offers information regarding the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHELA). CHELA helps students afford tuition at state colleges and universities. There are two types of funds for using CHELA: State Funds and Federal Funds. Please use the links below for full details on each type of fund. We hope you find this video useful.

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Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority

What is the Connecticut Higher Educational Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA)?

The CHESLA program provides direct loans to students who may have difficulty paying their tuition bills each semester due to financial need. Loans are provided to CT residents whose families earn less than $50,000 per year. Students must enroll full time, maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, and participate in approved academic programs to receive loan funding. There are two types of loans: direct subsidized loans and direct unsubsidized loans.

How much money do I qualify for?

Students may apply for a maximum of $5,000 per year. If eligible, your student will receive a full interest rate subsidy for three years if they meet certain criteria. Your student must demonstrate financial need. 3. Am I able to make payments on my own?

Yes! The amount you’ll pay toward your loans is based on your family income and assets.

Do I have any repayment options?

After 3 years of making loan payments, you may choose to consolidate your loans into one federal consolidation loan.

Can I borrow again if I default on my first loan?

No. Once you have borrowed your maximum amount of $5,000, you cannot borrow additional funds until you have paid down some of your debt or repaid what you owe.

Does the state provide assistance with education costs?

Yes, the state offers grants to assist Connecticut residents who are low-income and pursuing higher education. These grants help cover a portion of the costs associated with attending college. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before applying for these grants. Visit for more information about how to file the FAFSA.

Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority

Connecticut’s Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (HELA) was created through legislation enacted during the 2010 session of the General Assembly to provide financial assistance to students who qualify under certain criteria. A student whose loans are forgiven due to the provisions of the federal William D. Ford Direct Loan Program may apply for the loan authority if they meet the following requirements: 1) the student has been enrolled full-time at a higher education institution for at least 12 months; 2) the student cannot afford to pay their educational expenses without the assistance of the loan authority; and 3) the student has not requested any aid from the State Department of Education.Students who have taken out private loans to attend college may also ask for the loan authority if those loans do not cover the total cost of their education.

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