Synopsis As Introduced Amends the Children and Family Services Act. Makes post-secondary education tuition and fee waivers available to youth for whom the Department of Children and Family Services has court-ordered legal responsibility, youth who aged out of care at age 18 or older, or youth formerly under care who have been adopted and were the subject of an adoption assistance agreement or who have been placed in private guardianship and were the subject of a subsidized guardianship agreement. Requires applicants to have earned a high school diploma from an accredited institution or a high school equivalency certificate or have met the State criteria for high school graduation before the start of the school year for which they are applying for the waivers. Limits the tuition and fee waivers to persons under the age of 26 and provides that waivers shall be available to a student for at least the first 5 years the student is enrolled in a community college, university, or college maintained by the State. Provides that the age requirement and 5-year cap on tuition and fee waivers shall be waived and eligibility extended for applicants or students who were unable to enroll in a qualifying post-secondary school or complete an academic term because the student: (i) was called into active duty with the United States Armed Forces; (ii) was deployed for service in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps; or (iii) volunteered in the Peace Corps or the AmeriCorps. Permits the Department to provide the student with a stipend to cover maintenance and school expenses during the academic years to supplement the student's earnings. Requires the Department to develop outreach programs to ensure qualifying youths are aware of the availability of the tuition and fee waivers.
Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Amends the Higher Education Student Assistance Act. Requires the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to receive and consider applications for grants for high risk students formerly in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services. Provides that an applicant is eligible for a grant if, among other conditions, he or she is a youth for whom the Department has court-ordered legal responsibility, a youth who aged out of care at age 18 or older, or a youth formerly under care who has been adopted and was the subject of an adoption assistance agreement or who has been placed in private guardianship and was the subject of a subsidized guardianship agreement. Sets forth provisions concerning the amount and payment of grant assistance, the automatic renewal of grants, administration, and rulemaking.