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(110 ILCS 947/65.100)
(Section scheduled to be repealed on October 1, 2024)
AIM HIGH Grant Pilot Program.
(a) The General Assembly makes all of the following findings:
(1) Both access and affordability are important
aspects of the Illinois Public Agenda for College and Career Success report.
(2) This State is in the top quartile with respect to
the percentage of family income needed to pay for college.
(3) Research suggests that as loan amounts increase,
rather than an increase in grant amounts, the probability of college attendance decreases.
(4) There is further research indicating that
socioeconomic status may affect the willingness of students to use loans to attend college.
(5) Strategic use of tuition discounting can decrease
the amount of loans that students must use to pay for tuition.
(6) A modest, individually tailored tuition discount
can make the difference in a student choosing to attend college and enhance college access for low-income and middle-income families.
(7) Even if the federally calculated financial need
for college attendance is met, the federally determined Expected Family Contribution can still be a daunting amount.
(8) This State is the second largest exporter of
(9) When talented Illinois students attend
universities in this State, the State and those universities benefit.
(10) State universities in other states have adopted
pricing and incentives that allow many Illinois residents to pay less to attend an out-of-state university than to remain in this State for college.
(11) Supporting Illinois student attendance at
Illinois public universities can assist in State efforts to maintain and educate a highly trained workforce.
(12) Modest tuition discounts that are individually
targeted and tailored can result in enhanced revenue for public universities.
(13) By increasing a public university's capacity to
strategically use tuition discounting, the public university will be capable of creating enhanced tuition revenue by increasing enrollment yields.
(b) In this Section:
"Eligible applicant" means a student from any high school in this State, whether or not recognized by the State Board of Education, who is engaged in a program of study that in due course will be completed by the end of the school year and who meets all of the qualifications and requirements under this Section.
"Tuition and other necessary fees" includes the customary charge for instruction and use of facilities in general and the additional fixed fees charged for specified purposes that are required generally of non-grant recipients for each academic period for which the grant applicant actually enrolls, but does not include fees payable only once or breakage fees and other contingent deposits that are refundable in whole or in part. The Commission may adopt, by rule not inconsistent with this Section, detailed provisions concerning the computation of tuition and other necessary fees.
(c) Beginning with the 2019-2020 academic year, each public university may establish a merit-based scholarship pilot program known as the AIM HIGH Grant Pilot Program. Each year, the Commission shall receive and consider applications from public universities under this Section. Subject to appropriation and any tuition waiver limitation established by the Board of Higher Education, a public university campus may award a grant to a student under this Section if it finds that the applicant meets all of the following criteria:
(1) He or she is a resident of this State and a
citizen or eligible noncitizen of the United States.
(2) He or she files a Free Application for Federal
Student Aid and demonstrates financial need with a household income no greater than 6 times the poverty guidelines updated periodically in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the authority of 42 U.S.C. 9902(2). The household income of the applicant at the time of initial application shall be deemed to be the household income of the applicant for the duration of the pilot program.
(3) He or she meets the minimum cumulative grade
point average or ACT or SAT college admissions test score, as determined by the public university campus.
(4) He or she is enrolled in a public university as
an undergraduate student on a full-time basis.
(5) He or she has not yet received a baccalaureate
degree or the equivalent of 135 semester credit hours.
(6) He or she is not incarcerated.
(7) He or she is not in default on any student loan
or does not owe a refund or repayment on any State or federal grant or scholarship.
(8) Any other reasonable criteria, as determined by
the public university campus.
(d) Each public university campus shall determine grant renewal criteria consistent with the requirements under this Section.
(e) Each participating public university campus shall post on its Internet website criteria and eligibility requirements for receiving awards that use funds under this Section that include a range in the sizes of these individual awards. The criteria and amounts must also be reported to the Commission and the Board of Higher Education, who shall post the information on their respective Internet websites.
(f) After enactment of an appropriation for this Program, the Commission shall determine an allocation of funds to each public university in an amount proportionate to the number of undergraduate students who are residents of this State and citizens or eligible noncitizens of the United States and who were enrolled at each public university campus in the previous academic year. All applications must be made to the Commission on or before a date determined by the Commission and on forms that the Commission shall provide to each public university campus. The form of the application and the information required shall be determined by the Commission and shall include, without limitation, the total public university campus funds used to match funds received from the Commission in the previous academic year under this Section, if any, the total enrollment of undergraduate students who are residents of this State from the previous academic year, and any supporting documents as the Commission deems necessary. Each public university campus shall match the amount of funds received by the Commission with financial aid for eligible students.
A public university in which an average of at least 49% of the students seeking a bachelor's degree or certificate received a Pell Grant over the prior 3 academic years, as reported to the Commission, shall match 20% of the amount of funds awarded in a given academic year with non-loan financial aid for eligible students. A public university in which an average of less than 49% of the students seeking a bachelor's degree or certificate received a Pell Grant over the prior 3 academic years, as reported to the Commission, shall match 60% of the amount of funds awarded in a given academic year with non-loan financial aid for eligible students.
A public university campus is not required to claim its entire allocation. The Commission shall make available to all public universities, on a date determined by the Commission, any unclaimed funds and the funds must be made available to those public university campuses in the proportion determined under this subsection (f), excluding from the calculation those public university campuses not claiming their full allocations.
Each public university campus may determine the award amounts for eligible students on an individual or broad basis, but, subject to renewal eligibility, each renewed award may not be less than the amount awarded to the eligible student in his or her first year attending the public university campus. Notwithstanding this limitation, a renewal grant may be reduced due to changes in the student's cost of attendance, including, but not limited to, if a student reduces the number of credit hours in which he or she is enrolled, but remains a full-time student, or switches to a course of study with a lower tuition rate.
An eligible applicant awarded grant assistance under this Section is eligible to receive other financial aid. Total grant aid to the student from all sources may not exceed the total cost of attendance at the public university campus.
(g) All money allocated to a public university campus under this Section may be used only for financial aid purposes for students attending the public university campus during the academic year, not including summer terms. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any funds received by a public university campus under this Section that are not granted to students in the academic year for which the funds are received may be retained by the public university campus for expenditure on students participating in the Program or students eligible to participate in the Program.
(h) Each public university campus that establishes a Program under this Section must annually report to the Commission, on or before a date determined by the Commission, the number of undergraduate students enrolled at that campus who are residents of this State.
(i) Each public university campus must report to the Commission the total non-loan financial aid amount given by the public university campus to undergraduate students in the 2017-2018 academic year, not including the summer term. To be eligible to receive funds under the Program, a public university campus may not decrease the total amount of non-loan financial aid it gives to undergraduate students, not including any funds received from the Commission under this Section or any funds used to match grant awards under this Section, to an amount lower than the reported amount for the 2017-2018 academic year, not including the summer term.
(j) On or before a date determined by the Commission, each public university campus that participates in the Program under this Section shall annually submit a report to the Commission with all of the following information:
(1) The Program's impact on tuition revenue and
enrollment goals and increase in access and affordability at the public university campus.
(2) Total funds received by the public university
campus under the Program.
(3) Total non-loan financial aid awarded to
undergraduate students attending the public university campus.
(4) Total amount of funds matched by the public
(5) Total amount of claimed and unexpended funds
retained by the public university campus.
(6) The percentage of total financial aid distributed
under the Program by the public university campus.
(7) The total number of students receiving grants
from the public university campus under the Program and those students' grade level, race, gender, income level, family size, Monetary Award Program eligibility, Pell Grant eligibility, and zip code of residence and the amount of each grant award. This information shall include unit record data on those students regarding variables associated with the parameters of the public university's Program, including, but not limited to, a student's ACT or SAT college admissions test score, high school or university cumulative grade point average, or program of study.
On or before October 1, 2020 and annually on or before October 1 thereafter, the Commission shall submit a report with the findings under this subsection (j) and any other information regarding the AIM HIGH Grant Pilot Program to (i) the Governor, (ii) the Speaker of the House of Representatives, (iii) the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, (iv) the President of the Senate, and (v) the Minority Leader of the Senate. The reports to the General Assembly shall be filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate in electronic form only, in the manner that the Clerk and the Secretary shall direct. The Commission's report may not disaggregate data to a level that may disclose personally identifying information of individual students.
The sharing and reporting of student data under this subsection (j) must be in accordance with the requirements under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and the Illinois School Student Records Act. All parties must preserve the confidentiality of the information as required by law. The names of the grant recipients under this Section are not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.
Public university campuses that fail to submit a report under this subsection (j) or that fail to adhere to any other requirements under this Section may not be eligible for distribution of funds under the Program for the next academic year, but may be eligible for distribution of funds for each academic year thereafter.
(k) The Commission shall adopt rules to implement this Section.
(l) This Section is repealed on October 1, 2024.
(Source: P.A. 100-587, eff. 6-4-18; 100-1015, eff. 8-21-18; 100-1183, eff. 4-4-19; 101-81, eff. 7-12-19; 101-613, eff. 6-1-20; 101-643, eff. 6-18-20; 101-654, eff. 3-8-21.)