Student Eligibility

CHESLA loans are available for undergraduate, graduate and professional study.

  • A student must be enrolled (matriculated) in a degree-granting or certificate program on at least a half-time basis in an accredited non-profit college or university in Connecticut, or be a Connecticut resident attending an accredited non-profit college or university in the U.S.
  • A student must be making satisfactory academic progress.
  • A student and co-applicant(s) (if any) must be credit worthy, as determined by a commercial credit report.
  • A student and co-applicant(s) (if any) must have monthly installment payments amounting to 43% or less of monthly gross income (Debt-to-Income ratio).
  • A student or co-applicant(s) (if any) must have a minimum $20,000 adjusted gross annual income (AGI). There is no maximum income limit.

The financial aid office of the college or university a student attends must certify the student's enrollment and cost of education. (After an application is approved for credit worthiness, the loan servicer will send the college/university a certification form.)

Citizenship - Borrower and Co-Applicant(s)

You must be a U.S. citizen, national or a permanent resident of the Republic of Palau. You must reside in the U.S. at the time of the application.

You are an eligible non-citizen if:

  1. You are a registered permanent resident alien in the U.S. with an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151);
  2. You are an alien with an I-94 Arrival-Departure Record Card endorsed \"refugee\", \"adjustment applicant\", \"conditional entrant\", or \"indefinite parole\"; or
  3. You have documentation from the Immigration and Naturalization Service that you have been granted asylum in the U.S.

Persons in the U.S. for temporary purposes (example: persons holding F1 or F2 student visas or J1 or J2 exchange visitor visas) are not eligible to participate in the program. You may not obtain CHESLA loan assistance to attend schools located outside the U.S., the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Republic of Palau, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or American Samoa.

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Clicking Apply Now will leave the CHESLA website and take you to Firstmark's website to complete the loan application.