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often means that many students graduate with a high level of
debt for a job that pays slightly above minimum wage with a
great deal of stress and burnout.
In this Act:
"Commission" means the Illinois Student Assistance
"Professional" means an individual employed by a human
services agency that contracts with or is grant-funded by a
State agency for the purposes of providing direct or indirect
services that ensure that individuals have the essential
elements to build and maintain physical, emotional, and
economic well-being at every phase of life.
"Program" means the Human Services Professional Loan
"Qualified program" means a program that offers an
associate, bachelor's, or master's degree from an accredited
college or university.
"State agency" means the Department of Human Services, the
Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of
Juvenile Justice, the Department on Aging, and the Department
of Public Health.
Establishment of the Program.
Services Professional Loan Repayment Program is created and
shall be administered by the Commission. Subject to
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appropriation, the Program shall provide loan repayment
assistance to eligible professionals practicing in a
community-based, human services agency that contracts with or
is grant-funded by a State agency.
Each year for which funds have
been appropriated, the Commission shall receive and consider
applications for loan repayment assistance under this Act. All
applications must be submitted to the Commission in a form and
manner prescribed by the Commission. An eligible professional
must submit any supporting documents deemed necessary by the
Commission at the time of application.
Award; maximum loan time; maximum amount.
Commission shall award a grant to each eligible applicant for
a cumulative maximum of 4 years. The recipient of a grant
awarded by the Commission under this Act must use the grant
award for payments toward the recipient's educational loans
from a qualified program. The amount of the grant shall not
exceed: (i) $25,000 per year for a master's degree or higher;
(ii) $15,000 per year for a bachelor's degree; (iii) $3,000
per year for a professional with an associate degree; and (iv)
up to a $5,000 per year add-on if independently licensed as a
licensed clinical social worker, a licensed clinical
professional counselor, a licensed practitioner of the healing
arts, a licensed marriage and family therapist, a
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board-certified behavior analyst, or a registered behavior
Eligibility; work requirement.
(a) To be eligible to receive a grant under the Human
Services Professional Loan Repayment Program, the Commission
must find that the eligible professional satisfies all of the
(1) The applicant is a resident of the State of
(2) The applicant has worked for at least 24
consecutive months as a full-time employee as a human
services professional in a community-based human services
agency that currently has or did have a contract with a
State agency to provide human services during the duration
of applicant's 24 consecutive month tenure.
(3) The applicant is a borrower with an outstanding
balance due on an educational loan.
(4) The applicant has not defaulted on an educational
(5) The applicant must remain a full-time employee as
a human services professional in the same community-based
human services agency for at least 12 months after
receiving this grant.
(b) The Commission may grant preference to a previous
recipient of a grant under the Program, provided that the