HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A new program is being launched to help encourage “lapsed” college students in Connecticut return to the classroom.

In-state residents who have started but not yet completed a degree could begin participating in the “Go Back to Get Ahead” program, proposed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and approved by the General Assembly earlier this year.

“There are several hundred thousand adults in Connecticut who have not completed their bachelor’s degree,” Malloy said in a statement. “When a student starts college and doesn’t complete their degree, it’s a lost opportunity for the student, the college, and Connecticut’s economy.”

Under the initiative, individuals who took college courses before Dec. 1, 2012, but left before completing their degree can get up to three, free three-credit courses at one of the state’s 17 community colleges or universities.

The program will be available for a limited time.

“It’s an incentive to get more people to graduate and earn a college degree in Connecticut,” Madeline Barillo of Norwalk Community College told WCBS 880’s Fran Schneidau.

About 65,000 potentially eligible students will be contacted by mail and through a public media campaign.

For more information, visit www.GoBackToGetAhead.com or call 1-844-428-4228 or 1-844-GBTGA-CT.

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