QU to offer discounted tuition for local town employees

Krystal Miller, Associate News Editor

Quinnipiac University signed a three-year tuition agreement with the towns of Hamden and North Haven, which will allow full-time town employees and their families to get discounted tuition.

According to a March 29 university press release, all employees, as well as their spouses and any dependents under the age of 25, are eligible for the discount by applying through the regular admissions process. 

Applicants qualify for 30% off a full-time, on-campus degree. A 10% discount can also be applied to online undergraduate and graduate programs as well as both virtual and on-campus high school summer academic programs. If the applicant qualifies for a more generous award or discount, it will override and replace the discount.

Bethany Zemba, vice president for strategy and community relations and chief of staff at Quinnipiac, said the Hamden Police Department reached out to university officials about the prospect of a tuition discount program.

Zemba said the department wanted to implement the program to increase the number of police officers with access to continuing education. Hamden and North Haven have a special connection to Quinnipiac because of the campuses in each town, Zemba said.

“When they reached out to me, I thought, ‘Well, this is a fantastic idea,’” Zemba said. “We should be doing this, and so we crafted an agreement, and then along the way I thought, ‘Well, maybe we should think about going beyond the police department and expanding it to the other town employees,’ and so that’s what we ended up doing.”

The university took several months to plan the agreement and had the general counsel’s office and the town halls review the documents, Zemba said. The agreement is for three years, but Quinnipiac officials will reevaluate the details and add any improvements if they decide to continue it.

“We are always looking for ways to connect with the local community, and to be a resource to that community, and the door is open for ideas and for collaboration,” Zemba said.

Hamden Mayor Lauren Garrett said she worked with Zemba to finalize the details of the tuition discount program, adding that she was grateful that Quinnipiac allowed town employees to take advantage of the discount.

“I think that this will be really great for our employees if they would like to continue their education and it allows for them to be better employees, better teachers, better engineers,” Garrett said.

Garrett noted that she would support Quinnipiac if it expands the program beyond three years.

“I do think that this is a huge benefit for Hamden and North Haven and all the students that are able to attend Quinnipiac,” Garrett said. “This really helps us to cultivate our employees and I think that with partnering with Quinnipiac we are really showing that the Hamden government as well as Quinnipiac are truly connected.”

North Haven First Selectman Michael Freda said he worked directly with Zemba and President Judy Olian in embracing the idea of the agreement.

“I think it’s going to be greatly appreciated and widely accepted by our employees who have children who are either entering college or in college,” Freda said.

Freda said he anticipates being sent the finalized agreement by the university as soon as next week, and will send it out immediately. The document will include the process of how to apply for the discounted tuition. There is no current estimate about how many people will apply to this form, Freda said.

“What we did was we provided the numbers of employees we have and this program will go out to all the employees and then at that point, we’ll have a better idea,” Freda said. “Once we see responses, as to how many may be interested.”

Freda said Quinnipiac had reached out to him wanting a way to give back to the community in North Haven through this discounted tuition agreement.

“For as long as I’ve been in office, Quinnipiac continues to give back to our community in terms of funding for various projects, in terms of support for our seniors and helping our veterans and also now with this tuition discount program, and are very grateful for their efforts, the university’s efforts,” Freda said.