Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB2691
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Full Text of HB2691  101st General Assembly




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1    AN ACT concerning education.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Retention of Illinois Students and Equity Act.
6    Section 5. Findings. The General Assembly makes all of the
7following findings:
8        (1) The State of Illinois is committed to ensuring that
9    all students who are residents of this State have
10    meaningful and equitable access to higher educational
11    opportunities notwithstanding the student's race, color,
12    gender or gender identity, age, ancestry, marital status,
13    military status, religion, pregnancy, national origin,
14    disability status, sexual orientation, order of protection
15    status, as defined under Section 1-103 of the Illinois
16    Human Rights Act, or immigration status.
17        (2) The State of Illinois is committed to ensuring that
18    students who may not have had the same educational
19    opportunities are not penalized as they seek to achieve
20    higher education.
21        (3) The State of Illinois is committed to ensuring the
22    success and retention of African American students by
23    safeguarding equitable access to educational funding and



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1    eliminating systemic barriers.
2        (4) Lifting any caps on the Monetary Award Program,
3    other than those required by State law, will have a
4    positive impact on the retention and equity of African
5    American students and other students of color who are
6    disproportionately impacted by the lack of access to
7    resources in completing their postsecondary education.
8        (5) The State of Illinois is committed to retaining
9    Illinois students who wish to attend institutions of higher
10    learning in this State by addressing financial barriers for
11    those students.
12    Section 10. Definition. In this Act, "Illinois resident"
13includes any person who is deemed an Illinois resident for
14tuition purposes under State law.
15    Section 15. Equitable eligibility for financial aid and
17    (a) A student who is an Illinois resident and who is not
18otherwise eligible for federal financial aid, including, but
19not limited to, a transgender student who is disqualified for
20failure to register for selective service or a noncitizen
21student who has not obtained lawful permanent residence, shall
22be eligible for State financial aid and benefits as described
23in subsection (b).
24    (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the



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1contrary, a student who is an Illinois resident (i) is eligible
2to apply or receive consideration for any student aid or
3benefit funded or administered by the State, any State agency,
4or any public institution of higher learning, including, but
5not limited to, scholarships, grants, awards, stipends, room
6and board assistance, tuition waivers, or other financial or
7in-kind assistance and (ii) to ensure equity, success, and the
8retention of Illinois residents, may not be subject to any caps
9on grant assistance available under the Monetary Award Program
10other than those required by State law.
11    (c) The eligibility requirements under this Section for any
12student aid or benefit funded or administered by the State
13shall be interpreted to promote the broadest eligibility for
14students who are Illinois residents in accordance with State
15law or policy.
16    (d) Nothing in this Section shall be construed as modifying
17any eligibility requirements regarding academic standing or
18personal or household income for any State financial aid
20    (e) The General Assembly finds and declares that this
21Section is a State law within the meaning of subsection (d) of
22Section 1621 of Title 8 of the United States Code.
23    Section 97. Severability. The provisions of this Act are
24severable under Section 1.31 of the Statute on Statutes.