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(110 ILCS 952/) Mental Health Graduate Education Scholarship Act.

110 ILCS 952/1

    (110 ILCS 952/1)
    Sec. 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Mental Health Graduate Education Scholarship Act.
(Source: P.A. 96-672, eff. 8-25-09.)

110 ILCS 952/5

    (110 ILCS 952/5)
    Sec. 5. Purpose. The purpose of this Act is to establish a program in the Department of Human Services to upgrade mental health care services for all citizens of this State by providing scholarships to graduate students in mental health fields who agree to practice in areas of this State demonstrating the greatest need for more mental health services. The program shall encourage mental health practitioners to locate in areas where mental health manpower shortages exist in this State.
(Source: P.A. 96-672, eff. 8-25-09.)

110 ILCS 952/10

    (110 ILCS 952/10)
    Sec. 10. Definitions. The following terms, whenever used or referred to, have the following meanings, except where the context clearly indicates otherwise:
    "Advisory Council" means the Mental Health Consortium Advisory Council created under Section 35 of this Act.
    "Approved institution" means a public or private college or university located in this State.
    "Department" means the Department of Human Services.
    "Designated shortage area" means an area designated by the Secretary as a shortage area, a mental health underserved area, or a critical mental health manpower shortage area, as defined by the United States Department of Health and Human Services or as further defined by the Illinois Department of Human Services to enable it to effectively fulfill the purpose stated in Section 5 of this Act. These areas may include the following:
        (1) an urban or rural area;
        (2) a population group; or
        (3) a public or nonprofit private mental health
    "Enrollment" means the establishment and maintenance of an individual's status as a student in an approved institution, regardless of the terms used at the institution to describe such status.
    "Fees" means those mandatory charges, in addition to tuition, that all enrolled students must pay, including required course or lab fees.
    "Full-time enrollment" means enrollment by a student for at least 9 hours per school term or as otherwise determined by the institution of higher learning.
    "Mental health employment obligation" means employment in this State as a licensed professional counselor, licensed clinical professional counselor, licensed clinical psychologist, licensed social worker, licensed clinical social worker, or licensed marriage and family therapist in direct patient care in a human services capacity in a designated shortage area for at least one year for each year of scholarship assistance received through the program.
    "Program" means the Mental Health Graduate Scholarship Program.
    "School term" means an academic term, such as a semester, quarter, trimester, or number of clock hours, as defined by an approved institution.
    "Secretary" means the Secretary of Human Services.
    "Student in good standing" means a student maintaining a cumulative grade point average equivalent to at least the academic grade of a "C".
    "Total and permanent disability" means a physical or mental impairment, disease, or loss of a permanent nature that prevents employment with or without reasonable accommodation. Proof of disability shall be a declaration from the federal Social Security Administration, the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, the federal Department of Defense, or an insurer authorized to transact business in this State who is providing disability insurance coverage to a contractor.
    "Tuition" means the established charges of an institution of higher learning for instruction at that institution.
(Source: P.A. 96-672, eff. 8-25-09.)

110 ILCS 952/15

    (110 ILCS 952/15)
    Sec. 15. Creation of program; functions of Department. The Mental Health Graduate Scholarship Program is created, to be administered by the Department. The Department shall prepare and supervise the issuance of public information about the provisions of this Act, prescribe the form and regulate the submission of applications for scholarships, determine the eligibility of applicants, award the appropriate scholarships, prescribe the contracts or other acknowledgments of scholarship that an applicant is required to execute, and determine whether all or any part of a recipient's scholarship needs to be monetarily repaid or has been excused from repayment and the extent of any repayment or excused repayment. The Department may require a scholarship recipient to reimburse the State for expenses, including, but not limited to, attorney's fees, incurred by the Department or other agent of this State for a successful legal action against the recipient for a breach of any provision of the scholarship contract. In a breach of contract, the Department may utilize referral to the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to revoke, suspend, refuse to renew, place on probationary status, or take other disciplinary action concerning the recipient's credentials. The Department is authorized to make all necessary and proper rules, not inconsistent with this Act, for the efficient exercise of its functions under this Act.
(Source: P.A. 96-672, eff. 8-25-09.)

110 ILCS 952/20

    (110 ILCS 952/20)
    Sec. 20. Scholarships.
    (a) Beginning with the fall term of the 2009-2010 academic year, the Department, in accordance with rules adopted by it for this program, shall provide scholarships to individuals selected from among those applicants who qualify for consideration by showing all of the following:
        (1) That the individual has been a resident of this
State for at least one year prior to application and is a citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
        (2) That the individual enrolled in or accepted into
a mental health graduate program at an approved institution.
        (3) That the individual agrees to meet the mental
health employment obligation.
    (b) If in any year the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of scholarships to be awarded, the Department shall, in consultation with the Advisory Council, consider the following factors in granting priority in awarding scholarships:
        (1) Financial need, as shown on a standardized
financial needs assessment form used by an approved institution.
        (2) A student's merit, as shown through his or her
grade point average, class rank, and other academic and extracurricular activities.
The Department may add to and further define these merit criteria by rule.
    (c) Unless otherwise indicated, scholarships shall be awarded to recipients at approved institutions for a period of up to 2 years if the recipient is enrolled in a master's degree program and up to 4 years if the recipient is enrolled in a doctoral degree program.
(Source: P.A. 102-1030, eff. 5-27-22.)

110 ILCS 952/25

    (110 ILCS 952/25)
    Sec. 25. Requirements for scholarship recipients.
    (a) Within 12 months after graduation from a graduate program in mental health, any recipient who accepts a scholarship under this Act shall begin meeting the required mental health employment obligation. In order to defer his or her continuous employment obligation, a recipient must request the deferment in writing from the Department. A recipient shall notify program staff within 30 days if he or she spends up to 4 years in military service before or after graduation. If a recipient receives funding through the program for a higher graduate degree, the mental health employment obligation shall be deferred until he or she is no longer enrolled or has graduated. The recipient must begin meeting the required mental health graduate employment obligation no later than 6 months after the end of the deferment.
    (b) Any person who fails to fulfill the mental health employment obligation shall pay to the Department an amount equal to the amount of scholarship funds received per year for each unfulfilled year of the mental health employment obligation, together with interest at 7% per year on the unpaid balance. Payment must begin within 6 months following the date of the occurrence initiating the repayment. All repayments must be completed within 6 years from the date of the occurrence initiating the repayment. However, this obligation may be deferred and reevaluated every 6 months if the failure to fulfill the employment obligation results from involuntarily leaving the profession due to a decrease in the number of counselors, psychologists, social workers, or marriage and family therapists employed in this State or if the failure to fulfill the mental health employment obligation results from total and permanent disability. The repayment obligation must be excused if the failure to fulfill the mental health employment obligation results from the death or adjudication as incompetent of the person holding the scholarship. No claim for repayment may be filed against the estate of such a decedent or incompetent.
    (c) Each person applying for a scholarship under this Act shall be provided with a copy of this Section at the time of application for the benefits of the scholarship.
(Source: P.A. 96-672, eff. 8-25-09.)

110 ILCS 952/30

    (110 ILCS 952/30)
    Sec. 30. Amount of scholarship. To determine the scholarship amount, the Department shall consider tuition and fee charges at colleges and universities statewide and projected living expenses. Scholarship amounts for students pursuing graduate degrees in human services at a college or university shall include 75% of the weighted tuition and fees charged by public universities in this State plus the uniform living allowance used in the Monetary Award Program formula and annually reported by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. The Department may provide that scholarships shall be on a quarterly or semi-annual basis and must be contingent upon the student's diligently pursuing mental health studies and being a student in good standing. Scholarship awards may be provided to part-time students; the amount shall be determined by applying the proportion represented by the part-time enrollment to full-time enrollment ratio to the average per term scholarship amount for a student in the same mental health degree category.
(Source: P.A. 96-672, eff. 8-25-09.)

110 ILCS 952/35

    (110 ILCS 952/35)
    Sec. 35. Advisory Council.
    (a) The Mental Health Consortium Advisory Council is created, consisting of 9 members. Two members must be appointed by the Illinois Mental Health Counselors Association, 2 members must be appointed by the Illinois Psychological Association, 2 members must be appointed by the National Association of Social Workers-Illinois Chapter, 2 members must be appointed by the Illinois Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and one public member must be appointed by the Secretary.
    (b) The Advisory Council shall assist and advise the Department in the administration of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 96-672, eff. 8-25-09.)

110 ILCS 952/40

    (110 ILCS 952/40)
    Sec. 40. Student enrollment and obligations of institutions.
    (a) An approved institution is free to accept a student who is a scholarship recipient under this Act in compliance with its own admissions requirements, standards, and policies. The Department may disburse a scholarship for tuition and fees to the approved institution directly for the payment of tuition and other necessary fees or for credit against the student's obligation for such tuition and fees, and, upon acceptance thereof, the approved institution shall be contractually obligated (i) to provide facilities and instruction to the student on the same terms as to other students generally and (ii) to provide the notices and information described in this Section.
    (b) If, in the course of an academic period, a student enrolled in an approved institution pursuant to a scholarship granted under this Act shall for any reason cease to be a student in good standing, the institution shall promptly give written notice to the Department concerning such change of status and the reason thereof.
    (c) A student to whom a renewal scholarship has been awarded may either re-enroll in the institution that he or she attended during the preceding year or enroll in any other approved institution; and, in either event, the institution accepting the student for such enrollment or re-enrollment shall notify the Department of such acceptance.
(Source: P.A. 96-672, eff. 8-25-09.)

110 ILCS 952/45

    (110 ILCS 952/45)
    Sec. 45. Program funding. A maximum of $100,000 of money for scholarships under this Act shall come from the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation's licensure fund collected for counselor, psychologist, social worker, and marriage and family therapist licensure.
(Source: P.A. 96-672, eff. 8-25-09.)

110 ILCS 952/99

    (110 ILCS 952/99)
    Sec. 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon becoming law.
(Source: P.A. 96-672, eff. 8-25-09.)