Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB2677
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Full Text of SB2677  103rd General Assembly



State of Illinois
2023 and 2024


Introduced 1/10/2024, by Sen. Michael E. Hastings


105 ILCS 5/30-14.2  from Ch. 122, par. 30-14.2
110 ILCS 947/40

    Amends the Higher Education Student Assistance Act with respect to the Illinois Veteran grant program. Provides that a grant recipient is not required to pay any tuition or mandatory fees while attending a State-controlled university or public community college in this State for a period that is based on the length of his or her active duty service, as verified on his or her U.S. Department of Defense form DD-214, calculated at specified credit hour rates (rather than for a period that is equivalent to 4 years of full-time enrollment, including summer terms). Provides that a grant may be transferred to a qualified dependent beginning with the 2025-2026 academic year. Amends the School Code to make a related change. Effective July 1, 2024.

LRB103 36563 RJT 66670 b





SB2677LRB103 36563 RJT 66670 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 5. The School Code is amended by changing Section
530-14.2 as follows:
6    (105 ILCS 5/30-14.2)  (from Ch. 122, par. 30-14.2)
7    Sec. 30-14.2. Deceased, Disabled, and MIA/POW Veterans'
8Dependents scholarship.
9    (a) Any spouse, natural child, legally adopted child under
10the age of 18 at the time of adoption, minor child younger than
1118 who is under a court-ordered guardianship for at least 2
12continuous years prior to application, or step-child under the
13age of 18 at the time of marriage of an eligible veteran or
14serviceperson who possesses all necessary entrance
15requirements shall, upon application and proper proof, be
16awarded a MIA/POW Scholarship consisting of the equivalent of
174 calendar years of full-time enrollment including summer
18terms, to the state supported Illinois institution of higher
19learning of his choice, subject to the restrictions listed
21    "Eligible veteran or serviceperson" means any veteran or
22serviceperson, including an Illinois National Guard member who
23is on active duty or is active on a training assignment, who



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1has been declared by the U.S. Department of Defense or the U.S.
2Department of Veterans Affairs to be a prisoner of war or
3missing in action, or has died as the result of a
4service-connected disability or has become a person with a
5permanent disability from service-connected causes with 100%
6disability and who (i) at the time of entering service was an
7Illinois resident, or (ii) was an Illinois resident within 6
8months after entering such service, or (iii) is a resident of
9Illinois at the time of application for the Scholarship and,
10at some point after entering such service, was a resident of
11Illinois for at least 15 consecutive years.
12    Full-time enrollment means 12 or more semester hours of
13courses per semester, or 12 or more quarter hours of courses
14per quarter, or the equivalent thereof per term. Scholarships
15utilized by dependents enrolled in less than full-time study
16shall be computed in the proportion which the number of hours
17so carried bears to full-time enrollment.
18    Scholarships awarded under this Section may be used by a
19spouse or child without regard to his or her age. The holder of
20a Scholarship awarded under this Section shall be subject to
21all examinations and academic standards, including the
22maintenance of minimum grade levels, that are applicable
23generally to other enrolled students at the Illinois
24institution of higher learning where the Scholarship is being
25used. If the surviving spouse remarries or if there is a
26divorce between the veteran or serviceperson and his or her



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1spouse while the dependent is pursuing his or her course of
2study, Scholarship benefits will be terminated at the end of
3the term for which he or she is presently enrolled. Such
4dependents shall also be entitled, upon proper proof and
5application, to enroll in any extension course offered by a
6State supported Illinois institution of higher learning
7without payment of tuition and approved fees.
8    The holder of a MIA/POW Scholarship authorized under this
9Section shall not be required to pay any tuition or mandatory
10fees while attending a State-controlled university or public
11community college in this State for a period equivalent to 4
12years of enrollment, including summer terms.
13    Any dependent who has been or shall be awarded a MIA/POW
14Scholarship shall be reimbursed by the appropriate institution
15of higher learning for any fees which he or she has paid and
16for which exemption is granted under this Section if
17application for reimbursement is made within 2 months
18following the end of the school term for which the fees were
20    (b) In lieu of the benefit provided in subsection (a), any
21spouse, natural child, legally adopted child, or step-child of
22an eligible veteran or serviceperson, which spouse or child
23has a physical, mental or developmental disability, shall be
24entitled to receive, upon application and proper proof, a
25benefit to be used for the purpose of defraying the cost of the
26attendance or treatment of such spouse or child at one or more



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1appropriate therapeutic, rehabilitative or educational
2facilities. The application and proof may be made by the
3parent or legal guardian of the spouse or child on his or her
5    The total benefit provided to any beneficiary under this
6subsection shall not exceed the cost equivalent of 4 calendar
7years of full-time enrollment, including summer terms, at the
8University of Illinois. Whenever practicable in the opinion of
9the Department of Veterans' Affairs, payment of benefits under
10this subsection shall be made directly to the facility, the
11cost of attendance or treatment at which is being defrayed, as
12such costs accrue.
13    (c) The benefits of this Section shall be administered by
14and paid for out of funds made available to the Illinois
15Department of Veterans' Affairs. The amounts that become due
16to any state supported Illinois institution of higher learning
17shall be payable by the Comptroller to such institution on
18vouchers approved by the Illinois Department of Veterans'
19Affairs. The amounts that become due under subsection (b) of
20this Section shall be payable by warrant upon vouchers issued
21by the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs and approved
22by the Comptroller. The Illinois Department of Veterans'
23Affairs shall determine the eligibility of the persons who
24make application for the benefits provided for in this
26    (d) A person is not eligible to receive any benefits under



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1this Section if he or she is receiving grant assistance under
2Section 40 of the Higher Education Student Assistance Act.
3(Source: P.A. 101-334, eff. 8-9-19; 102-855, eff. 5-13-22.)
4    Section 10. The Higher Education Student Assistance Act is
5amended by changing Section 40 as follows:
6    (110 ILCS 947/40)
7    Sec. 40. Illinois Veteran grant program.
8    (a) As used in this Section:
9    "Qualified applicant" means a person who served in the
10Armed Forces of the United States, a Reserve component of the
11Armed Forces, or the Illinois National Guard, excluding
12members of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps and those
13whose only service has been attendance at a service academy,
14and who meets all of the qualifications of either paragraphs
15(1) through (4) or paragraphs (2), (3), and (5):
16        (1) At the time of entering federal active duty
17    service the person was one of the following:
18            (A) An Illinois resident.
19            (B) An Illinois resident within 6 months of
20        entering such service.
21            (C) Enrolled at a State-controlled university or
22        public community college in this State.
23        (2) The person meets one of the following
24    requirements:



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1            (A) He or she served at least one year of federal
2        active duty.
3            (B) He or she served less than one year of federal
4        active duty and received an honorable discharge for
5        medical reasons directly connected with such service.
6            (C) He or she served less than one year of federal
7        active duty and was discharged prior to August 11,
8        1967.
9            (D) He or she served less than one year of federal
10        active duty in a foreign country during a time of
11        hostilities in that foreign country.
12        (3) The person received an honorable discharge after
13    leaving federal active duty service.
14        (4) The person returned to this State within 6 months
15    after leaving federal active duty service, or, if married
16    to a person in continued military service stationed
17    outside this State, returned to this State within 6 months
18    after his or her spouse left service or was stationed
19    within this State.
20        (5) The person does not meet the requirements of
21    paragraph (1), but (i) is a resident of Illinois at the
22    time of application to the Commission and (ii) at some
23    point after leaving federal active duty service, was a
24    resident of Illinois for at least 15 consecutive years.
25    "Qualified dependent" means any spouse or natural born or
26legally adopted child of a veteran of the United States Armed



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1Forces who meets all of the following qualifications:
2        (1) Has earned a high school diploma or high school
3    equivalency certificate or is at least 18 years of age
4    and, for a natural born or legally adopted child of a
5    veteran, less than 26 years of age, unless granted an
6    extension by the Commission due to a qualifying illness or
7    debilitating condition.
8        (2) Meets the cumulative grade point average
9    requirements of the postsecondary institution.
10        (3) Is a resident of Illinois for the term in which the
11    grant under subsection (i) is transferred.
12    "Time of hostilities" means any action by the Armed Forces
13of the United States that is recognized by the issuance of a
14Presidential proclamation or a Presidential executive order
15and in which the Armed Forces expeditionary medal or other
16campaign service medals are awarded according to Presidential
17executive order.
18    (b) A person who otherwise qualifies under the definition
19of "qualified applicant" under subsection (a) of this Section
20but has not left federal active duty service and has served at
21least one year of federal active duty or has served for less
22than one year of federal active duty in a foreign country
23during a time of hostilities in that foreign country and who
24can provide documentation demonstrating an honorable service
25record is eligible to receive assistance under this Section.
26    (c) A grant recipient qualified applicant is not required



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1to pay any tuition or mandatory fees while attending a
2State-controlled university or public community college in
3this State for a period that is based on the length of the
4qualified applicant's federal active duty service, as verified
5on his or her U.S. Department of Defense form DD-214,
6calculated as follows:
7        (1) 72 credit hours (or 60% of the maximum payable
8    benefit) for 12 or more months but less than 18 months of
9    active duty service;
10        (2) 84 credit hours (or 70% of the maximum payable
11    benefit) for 18 or more months but less than 24 months of
12    active duty service;
13        (3) 96 credit hours (or 80% of the maximum payable
14    benefit) for 24 or more months but less than 30 months of
15    service;
16        (4) 108 credit hours (or 90% of the maximum payable
17    benefit) for 30 or more months but less than 36 months of
18    service; or
19        (5) 120 credit hours (or 100% of the maximum payable
20    benefit) for 36 or more months of service equivalent to 4
21    years of full-time enrollment, including summer terms.
22    A qualified applicant who has previously received benefits
23under this Section for a non-mandatory fee shall continue to
24receive benefits covering such fees while he or she is
25enrolled in a continuous program of study. The qualified
26applicant shall no longer receive a grant covering



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1non-mandatory fees if he or she fails to enroll during an
2academic term, unless he or she is serving federal active duty
4    (d) A person qualified applicant who has been or is to be
5awarded assistance under this Section shall receive that
6assistance if the person qualified applicant notifies his or
7her postsecondary institution of that fact by the end of the
8school term for which assistance is requested.
9    (e) Assistance under this Section is considered an
10entitlement that the State-controlled college or public
11community college in which the person qualified applicant is
12enrolled shall honor without any condition other than the
13person's qualified applicant's maintenance of minimum grade
14levels and a satisfactory student loan repayment record
15pursuant to subsection (c) of Section 20 of this Act.
16    (f) The Commission shall administer the grant program
17established by this Section and shall make all necessary and
18proper rules not inconsistent with this Section for its
19effective implementation.
20    (g) All applications for assistance under this Section
21must be made to the Commission on forms that the Commission
22shall provide. The Commission shall determine the form of
23application and the information required to be set forth in
24the application, and the Commission shall require qualified
25applicants to submit with their applications any supporting
26documents that the Commission deems necessary. Upon request,



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1the Department of Veterans' Affairs shall assist the
2Commission in determining the eligibility of applicants for
3assistance under this Section.
4    (h) Assistance under this Section is available as long as
5the federal government provides educational benefits to
6veterans. Assistance must not be paid under this Section after
76 months following the termination of educational benefits to
8veterans by the federal government, except for persons who
9already have begun their education with assistance under this
10Section. If the federal government terminates educational
11benefits to veterans and at a later time resumes those
12benefits, assistance under this Section shall resume.
13    (i) Beginning with the 2025-2026 academic year, a grant
14awarded under this Section may be transferred to a qualified
15dependent if the qualified dependent's spouse or parent meets
16all of the following qualifications:
17        (1) He or she is a qualified applicant under
18    subsection (a) or (b).
19        (2) He or she has served at least 6 years of federal
20    active duty service and at least 2 years of Reserve or
21    Individual Ready Reserve service.
22        (3) He or she has no federal veterans' educational
23    benefits or no federal veterans' educational benefits
24    dedicated only to the payment of tuition and fees, such as
25    Chapter 31 or 33 benefits, for an enrolled term or
26    semester that exceed the value of a grant under this



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1    Section.
2        (4) He or she is a resident of Illinois during the term
3    of the qualified dependent's enrollment unless the veteran
4    has been recalled to active duty outside the State or has
5    rejoined the military and is outside the State pursuant to
6    military orders. However, a veteran who has a
7    service-connected disability rating, as determined by the
8    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, of 90% to 100% or is
9    unemployable based on a total disability, as determined by
10    the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is not required
11    to maintain Illinois residency while his or her qualified
12    dependent receives benefits under this subsection.
13    A qualified dependent of a person who was killed in the
14line of duty, was a prisoner of war, was missing in action, had
15a service-connected disability rating, as determined by the
16U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, of 90% to 100%, was
17unemployable based on a total disability, as determined by the
18U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or died as a result of
19injury or illness directly related to his or her military
20service is eligible for a grant transfer of no less than 120
21credit hours under this subsection if the spouse or parent
22would have otherwise met the qualifications under this
23subsection. A dependent who is a natural born or legally
24adopted child of a veteran may still qualify for a grant under
25this subsection if he or she marries or if his or her parents



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1    Benefits under this Section may not be used simultaneously
2by both the veteran and his or her qualified dependent. A
3veteran may revoke or otherwise change the transfer of his or
4her benefits to a qualified dependent under this subsection at
5any time but may not transfer his or her benefits to the same
6qualified dependent again once those benefits have been
7revoked for that qualified dependent. Benefits under this
8Section may not be transferred to a qualified dependent if he
9or she is receiving grant assistance under Section 30-14.2 of
10the School Code.
11    A veteran may transfer benefits under this subsection to
12multiple qualified dependents; however, the total number of
13credit hours of assistance transferred may not exceed 120
14credit hours, and a veteran may transfer benefits to only one
15qualified dependent at a time.
16(Source: P.A. 101-334, eff. 8-9-19; 102-800, eff. 5-13-22.)
17    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect July 1,