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


Rep. Janet Yang Rohr

Filed: 3/21/2023





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend House Bill 1378 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
4    "Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the the
5Illinois Graduate and Retain Our Workforce (iGROW) Act.
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) 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)



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1    Sec. 65.120. iGROW scholarship program.
2    (a) As used in this Section:
3    "Eligible applicant" means a student who has graduated
4from high school or has received a State of Illinois High
5School Diploma, who has maintained a cumulative grade point
6average of no less than 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, who is pursuing or
7intends to pursue a qualifying degree in a qualified
8institution, and who is entitled to apply for assistance under
9this Act.
10    "Full-time" means the number of credit hours the
11Commission determines is full-time enrollment for a student
12for purposes of the program.
13    "Minority student" has the same meaning as the term is
14defined under Section 50 of the Higher Education Student
15Assistance Act (110 ILCS 947).
16    "Program" means the iGROW program created by this Act.
17    "Qualifying degree" means an associate or a bachelor's
18degree granted by a qualified institution that qualifies an
19individual to work in a qualifying job, as determined by the
21    "Qualifying job" means a job selected by the Commission
22(i) for which a recipient of an award under this Act is
23pursuing a qualifying degree, (ii) for which the recipient has
24completed a qualifying degree, or (iii) in which the recipient
25is working.
26    "Qualified student" means a person (i) who is a resident



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1of this State; (ii) who, as an eligible applicant, has made a
2timely application for an iGROW scholarship under this
3Section; (iii) who is enrolled on at least a half-time basis at
4a qualified institution; (iv) who is enrolled in a course of
5study approved by the Commission, which includes, but is not
6limited to (1) computer and information sciences; (2)
7information technology; (3) information science; (4) computer
8science; (5) computer systems networking and
9telecommunications; (6) computer and information systems
10security or information assurance; (7) management information
11systems; or (8) any other similarly designed college majors as
12determined acceptable by the Commission, (v) who maintains a
13grade point average of no less than 2.5 on a 4.0 scale; and
14(vi) who continues to advance satisfactorily toward the
15attainment of a degree.
16    "Recipient" means an Illinois resident enrolled in a
17qualified institution who receives an award under this Act.
18    (b) Subject to appropriation, and no sooner than the
192024-2025 academic year, there is established the Illinois
20Graduate and Retain Our Workforce (iGROW) Scholarship Program
21to recruit and train individuals to work in technology jobs
22that have a high demand for new employees and offer high wages
23by awarding scholarships.
24    (c) Each iGROW scholarship awarded under this Section
25shall be determined by the Commission in an amount up to and
26including the full costs of tuition and fees and room and board



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1of the qualified institution at which the recipient is
2enrolled if the institution is public, or an equivalent rate
3established by the Commission for private institutions. The
4total amount of iGROW scholarship assistance awarded by the
5Commission under this Section to an eligible applicant in any
6given fiscal year, when added to other financial assistance
7awarded to that individual for that year, shall not exceed the
8cost of attendance at the institution at which the student is
9enrolled. If the amount of iGROW scholarship to be awarded to a
10qualified student exceeds the cost of attendance at the
11institution at which the student is enrolled, the iGROW
12scholarship shall be reduced by an amount equal to the amount
13by which the combined financial assistance available to the
14student exceeds the cost of attendance.
15    (d) The maximum number of academic terms for which a
16qualified student can receive iGROW scholarship assistance
17shall be 8 semesters or 12 quarters.
18    (e) All applications for scholarships awarded under this
19Section shall be made to the Commission on forms which the
20Commission shall provide for eligible applicants. The form of
21applications and the information required to be set forth
22therein shall be determined by the Commission, and the
23Commission shall require eligible applicants to submit with
24their applications such supporting documents or
25recommendations as the Commission deems necessary.
26    (f) Subject to appropriation for such purposes, payment of



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1any iGROW scholarship awarded under this Section shall be
2determined by the Commission. All scholarship funds
3distributed in accordance with this subsection shall be paid
4to the qualified institution and used only for payment of the
5tuition and fees assessed by the institution and the standard
6housing and food allowance used for all undergraduate students
7by the qualified student in connection with his or her
8attendance at a qualified institution. Any iGROW scholarship
9awarded under this Section shall be applicable to 2 semesters
10or 3 quarters of enrollment annually. The qualified
11institution can only request payment for tuition and fees up
12to the amount of actual tuition and fee expenses incurred. If a
13student withdraws after the expiration of the tuition refund
14or withdrawal adjustment period, the student may receive
15payment for tuition and fees incurred up to the term award. The
16housing and food allowance will be prorated based on the
17qualified institution's return of funds policy.
18    (g) Prior to receiving scholarship assistance for any
19academic year, each recipient of a iGROW scholarship awarded
20under this Section shall be required by the Commission to sign
21an agreement under which the recipient pledges that the
22recipient (i) shall work in the State in a qualified job for a
23period of not less than one year for each year of scholarship
24assistance he or she was awarded under this Section; however,
25in no event shall he or she agree to work in the State in a
26qualified job for a period of less than two years; (ii) shall



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



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1affidavit of a qualified physician; (iv) is seeking and unable
2to find full-time employment with a State employer that
3satisfies the criteria set forth in this subsection and is
4able to provide evidence of that fact; (v) becomes a person
5with a permanent total disability as established by sworn
6affidavit of a qualified physician; or (viii) meets any other
7criteria that the Commission may deem necessary.
8    (h) Scholarship recipients under this Section who withdraw
9from a program of computer science or other related major area
10of study but remain enrolled in school to continue their
11postsecondary studies in another academic discipline shall not
12be required to commence repayment of their iGROW scholarship
13so long as they remain enrolled in school on a full-time basis
14or if they can document for the Commission special
15circumstances that warrant extension of repayment.
16    (i) If the iGROW scholarship program does not expend at
17least 90% of the amount appropriated for the program in a given
18fiscal year for 3 consecutive fiscal years on or before
19January 1 in each of those fiscal years, then up to 3% of
20amount appropriated for the program for each of next 3 fiscal
21years shall be allocated to increasing awareness of the
22program. The Commission shall make a recommendation to the
23General Assembly by February 1 of the year immediately
24following the end of that third fiscal year regarding whether
25the amount allocated to increasing awareness should continue.
26    (j) The Commission shall administer the iGROW scholarship



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1program established by this Section and shall make all
2necessary and proper rules not inconsistent with this Section
3for its effective implementation.
4    (k) The Commission shall establish a methodology for
5prioritizing applications from applicants who demonstrate a
6financial need or hardship, applications from minority
7students, and applications from applicants demonstrating
8academic excellence.
9    (l) Each fiscal year, the Commission may use up to 5% of
10money appropriated for the iGROW scholarship program for
12    (m) Scholarships may be made under this Section through
13the 2029-30 academic year.
14    (n) The Illinois Graduate and Retain Our Workforce (iGROW)
15Fund is created as a special fund in the State treasury. Moneys
16in the fund may come from both public or institutional,
17organizational, or other private entities. All money in the
18Fund shall be used, subject to appropriation, by the Illinois
19Student Assistance Commission to implement and administer the
20program pursuant to this Section.
21    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect January
221, 2024.".