Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB1378
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Full Text of HB1378  103rd General Assembly




HB1378 EnrolledLRB103 04756 RJT 49765 b

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. This Act may be referred to as the Illinois
5Graduate and Retain Our Workforce (iGROW) Tech Law.
6    Section 5. The State Finance Act is amended by adding
7Section 5.990 as follows:
8    (30 ILCS 105/5.990 new)
9    Sec. 5.990. The Illinois Graduate and Retain Our Workforce
10(iGROW) Tech Scholarship Fund.
11    Section 10. The Higher Education Student Assistance Act is
12amended by adding Section 65.120 as follows:
13    (110 ILCS 947/65.120 new)
14    Sec. 65.120. IGROW Tech Scholarship Program.
15    (a) As used in this Section:
16    "Eligible applicant" means a student who has graduated
17from high school or has received a State of Illinois High
18School Diploma, who has maintained a cumulative grade point
19average of no less than 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, who is pursuing or
20intends to pursue a qualifying degree in a qualified



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1institution, and who is entitled to apply for assistance under
2this Section.
3    "Full-time" means the number of credit hours the
4Commission determines is full-time enrollment for a student
5for purposes of the program created under this Section.
6    "Minority student" has the same meaning as the term is
7defined under Section 50 of the Higher Education Student
8Assistance Act (110 ILCS 947).
9    "Program" means the iGROW Tech Scholarship Program created
10under this Section.
11    "Qualifying degree" means an associate or a bachelor's
12degree granted by a qualified institution in the field of
13computer information sciences; information technology;
14information science; computer science; computer systems
15networking and telecommunications; computer and information
16systems security or information assurance, including
17cybersecurity; or management information systems.
18    "Qualifying job" means a job with an employer in this
19State performing work that is directly related to the field of
20study that qualified the candidate for assistance under this
22    "Qualified student" means a person (i) who is a resident
23of this State; (ii) who, as an eligible applicant, has made a
24timely application for an iGROW tech scholarship under this
25Section; (iii) who is enrolled on at least a half-time basis at
26a qualified institution; (iv) who is enrolled in a course of



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1study in the field of computer and information sciences;
2information technology; information science; computer science;
3computer systems networking and telecommunications; computer
4and information systems security or information assurance,
5including cybersecurity; or management information systems;
6(v) who maintains a grade point average of no less than a 2.5
7on a 4.0 scale; and (vi) who continues to advance
8satisfactorily toward the attainment of a degree.
9    "Recipient" means an Illinois resident enrolled in a
10qualified institution who receives an award under this
12    (b) Subject to appropriation, and no sooner than the
132024-2025 academic year, there is established the Illinois
14Graduate and Retain Our Workforce (iGROW) Tech Scholarship
15Program to recruit and train individuals to work in technology
16jobs that have a high demand for new employees and offer high
17wages by awarding scholarships.
18    (c) Each iGROW tech scholarship awarded under this Section
19shall be determined by the Commission in an amount up to and
20including the full costs of tuition and fees and room and board
21of the qualified institution at which the recipient is
22enrolled if the institution is public, or an equivalent rate
23established by the Commission for private institutions. The
24total amount of iGROW tech scholarship assistance awarded by
25the Commission under this Section to an eligible applicant in
26any given fiscal year, when added to other financial



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1assistance awarded to that individual for that year, shall not
2exceed the cost of attendance at the institution at which the
3student is enrolled. If the amount of financial assistance to
4be awarded to a qualified student exceeds the cost of
5attendance at the institution at which the student is
6enrolled, the iGROW tech scholarship shall be reduced by an
7amount equal to the amount by which the combined financial
8assistance available to the student exceeds the cost of
10    (d) The maximum number of academic terms for which a
11qualified student can receive iGROW tech scholarship
12assistance shall be 8 semesters or 12 quarters.
13    (e) All applications for scholarships awarded under this
14Section shall be made to the Commission on forms which the
15Commission shall provide for eligible applicants. The form of
16applications and the information required to be set forth
17therein shall be determined by the Commission, and the
18Commission shall require eligible applicants to submit with
19their applications such supporting documents or
20recommendations as the Commission deems necessary.
21    (f) Subject to appropriation for such purposes, payment of
22any iGROW tech scholarship awarded under this Section shall be
23determined by the Commission. All scholarship funds
24distributed in accordance with this subsection shall be paid
25to the qualified institution and used only for payment of the
26tuition and fees assessed by the institution and the standard



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1housing and food allowance used for all undergraduate students
2by the qualified student in connection with his or her
3attendance at a qualified institution.
4    Any iGROW tech scholarship awarded under this Section
5shall be applicable to 2 semesters or 3 quarters of enrollment
6annually. The qualified institution can only request payment
7for tuition and fees up to the amount of actual tuition and fee
8expenses incurred.
9    If a student withdraws after the expiration of the tuition
10refund or withdrawal adjustment period, the student may
11receive payment for tuition and fees incurred up to the term
12award. The housing and food allowance shall be prorated based
13on the qualified institution's return of funds policy.
14    (g) Prior to receiving scholarship assistance for any
15academic year, each recipient of an iGROW tech scholarship
16awarded under this Section shall be required by the Commission
17to sign an agreement under which the recipient pledges that
18the recipient (i) shall work in the State in a qualified job
19for a period of not less than one year for each year of
20scholarship assistance he or she was awarded under this
21Section; however, in no event shall he or she agree to work in
22the State in a qualified job for a period of less than 2 years;
23and (ii) shall, upon request by the Commission, provide the
24Commission with evidence that he or she is fulfilling or has
25fulfilled the terms of the agreement provided for in this



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1    If a recipient of an iGROW tech scholarship awarded under
2this Section fails to fulfill the obligations set forth in
3this subsection, the Commission shall require the recipient to
4repay the amount of the scholarships received, prorated
5according to the fraction of the employment obligation not
6completed, at a rate of interest equal to 5%, and, if
7applicable, reasonable collection fees. The Commission is
8authorized to establish rules relating to its collection
9activities for repayment of scholarships under this Section.
10All repayments collected under this Section shall be forwarded
11to the State Comptroller for deposit into the State's General
12Revenue Fund.
13    A recipient of an iGROW tech scholarship shall not be
14considered in violation of the agreement entered into pursuant
15to this subsection if the recipient (I) enrolls on a full-time
16basis as a graduate student in a course of study related to the
17technology degree for which he or she qualified for the iGROW
18tech scholarship at a qualified institution; (II) is serving,
19not in excess of 3 years, as a member of the armed services of
20the United States; (III) is a person with a temporary total
21disability for a period of time not to exceed 3 years as
22established by sworn affidavit of a qualified physician; (IV)
23is seeking and unable to find full-time employment with a
24State employer that satisfies the criteria set forth in this
25subsection and is able to provide evidence of that fact; (V)
26becomes a person with a permanent total disability as



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1established by sworn affidavit of a qualified physician; or
2(VI) meets any other criteria that the Commission may deem
4    (h) Scholarship recipients under this Section who withdraw
5from a program of computer science or other related major area
6of study provided under this Section but remain enrolled in
7school to continue their postsecondary studies in another
8academic discipline shall not be required to commence
9repayment of their iGROW tech scholarship so long as they
10remain enrolled in school on a full-time basis or if they can
11document for the Commission special circumstances that warrant
12extension of repayment.
13    (i) If the Program does not expend at least 90% of the
14amount appropriated for the Program in a given fiscal year for
153 consecutive fiscal years on or before January 1 in each of
16those fiscal years, then up to 3% of amount appropriated for
17the Program for each of next 3 fiscal years shall be allocated
18to increasing awareness of the program.
19    (j) The Commission shall administer the Program and shall
20make all necessary and proper rules not inconsistent with this
21Section for its effective implementation.
22    (k) The Commission shall establish a methodology for
23prioritizing applications from applicants who demonstrate a
24financial need or hardship, applications from minority
25students, and applications from applicants demonstrating
26academic excellence. After the first academic year that the



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1Program operates, the Commission shall prioritize the
2applications of those applicants who received a scholarship
3under this Section during the prior academic year and who
4remain eligible for a scholarship under this Section.
5    (l) Each fiscal year, the Commission may use up to 5% of
6money appropriated for the Program for administration.
7    (m) Scholarships may be made under this Section through
8the 2029-30 academic year.
9    (n) The Illinois Graduate and Retain Our Workforce (iGROW)
10Tech Scholarship Fund is created as a special fund in the State
11treasury. Moneys in the fund may come from both public
12entities and institutional, organizational, or other private
13entities. All money in the Fund shall be used, subject to
14appropriation, by the Commission to implement and administer
15the Program pursuant to this Section.
16    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect January
171, 2024.