Synopsis As Introduced Amends the Higher Education Student Assistance Act. Requires the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to award grants to students in financial need whose household income is less than the poverty guidelines updated periodically in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and who are enrolled for at least 15 credit hours in a public university. Provides that the Commission shall receive funding for the grants through appropriations, with each grant awarded being in an amount sufficient to pay the cost of attendance at the university in which the student is enrolled for 2 semesters of enrollment within an academic year. Defines "cost of attendance" to mean the tuition and fee, room and board, and book and supply costs related to a student's attendance at a public university.
The cost to implement HB 456 would vary based on the number of students who take advantage of the program, the availability of other financial aid programs (namely, the MAP grant), and the cost of attendance at Illinois public universities. Assuming that MAP grants continue to be funded, it would cost approximately $300 million during the first year to fully fund the new grants under HB 456 for the estimated 19,900 students who currently meet the bill's enrollment and income requirements. The cost in future years would increase as additional students changed their behavior to qualify for the grant (e.g. by enrolling full-time rather than part-time or by transferring from other sectors to public universities). Depending on how many students took advantage of the program and were accepted by public universities, annual costs in future years could reach $800 million or more. If the MAP grant were not funded, the Year One costs of HB 456 would be approximately $380 million; future annual costs would be expected to grow to about $1 billion as students changed their behavior to qualify. Since HB 456 requires the grant to be "in an amount sufficient to pay the cost of attendance," future costs would also grow as public university tuition and fees, room and board, and book and supply costs increased.
House Floor Amendment No. 1 Provides that the award of grants each year is subject to appropriation. Provides that if, in any fiscal year, the amount appropriated for grants is less than the amount determined necessary to cover the cost of attendance for all eligible applicants, then the grants shall be proportionately reduced accordingly.