Program Information

The following information is intended for high school counselors only.  Applications not submitted by an authorized counselor will be deleted.

The Roberta B. Willis Need-Merit Scholarship Program provides state aid to help talented and needy students pay for college.  It is not a merit program; priority is given to those who are least able to contribute to college costs.  Based upon continued funding, students may use their award at any of Connecticut's public colleges and universities or any Connecticut nonprofit independent institution of higher education.  This past year annual scholarships for students attending eligible Connecticut institutions ranged from $4,550 to $5,250 for full-time enrollment and $2,275 to $3,937 for part-time enrollment.

Counselors should ensure a high school account has been set up.  Please see link below.  The filing deadline for 2018-2019 Roberta B. Willis Need-Merit Scholarship applications is February 15th.  Please ensure students have been notified that an application has been submitted on their behalf.  The student must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 15th.  Completed FAFSA data will automatically be matched to eligible applicants. 

New applicants will be notified via email about the status of their application by August 1st.  Awards are sent directly to colleges for credit to the student's account.  Half of the award is sent in the fall after the college confirms a student's eligibility and enrollment.  The balance is sent to the college in the spring following enrollment confirmation.  Awards may be adjusted for students who are enrolled less than full-time, but at least half-time.  Awards also may be adjusted based on changes to the student's Federal Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The number of awards depends on available funding.



Eligibility Requirements

To qualify, a student must:

    1. be a legal resident of Connecticut;
    2. have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 15th, and received a valid Expected Family Contribution (EFC);
    3. be a secondary school senior or graduate;
    4. have a cumulative class rank in the top 20% at the end of their junior year for high school seniors (upon graduation for all others) OR have combined scores (math, evidenced-based reading and writing) of at least 1210 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) OR 27 or better on ACT;
    5. have not previously received a baccalaureate degree;
    6. be attending an eligible Connecticut institution;
    7. have an EFC below the maximum allowed limit. The allowable limit was $10,999 in 2017-18.

Continued Eligibility 

Eligibility for this grant is limited to six years of undergraduate study for a bachelors degree and three years of study for an associate degree.  Based upon future funding levels, students who submit a 2018-2019 application will be considered for an award in future years if a completed FAFSA is submitted by April 30th.  Renewal students will be notified via email about the status of their application by August 1st.

Other Aid Sources

To learn about other sources of student financial aid, visit the Office of Higher Education at

First time users click here (High School Counselors Only)

Existing User Account (High School Counselors Only)

Please note the Roberta B. Willis Need-Merit Scholarship Program deadline date is February 15th.

The Office of Higher Education administers the Roberta B. Willis Need-Merit Scholarship Program.  If you have any questions, please contact Lynne Goodwin at 860-947-1848 or