Synopsis As Introduced Amends the Children and Family Services Act. Makes post-secondary education tuition and fee waivers available to youth for whom the Department of Children and Family Services has court-ordered legal responsibility, youth who aged out of care at age 18 or older, or youth formerly under care who have been adopted and were the subject of an adoption assistance agreement or who have been placed in private guardianship and were the subject of a subsidized guardianship agreement. Requires applicants to have earned a high school diploma from an accredited institution or a high school equivalency certificate or have met the State criteria for high school graduation before the start of the school year for which they are applying for the waivers. Limits the tuition and fee waivers to persons under the age of 26 and provides that waivers shall be available to a student for at least the first 5 years the student is enrolled in a community college, university, or college maintained by the State. Provides that the age requirement and 5-year cap on tuition and fee waivers shall be waived and eligibility extended for applicants or students who were unable to enroll in a qualifying post-secondary school or complete an academic term because the student: (i) was called into active duty with the United States Armed Forces; (ii) was deployed for service in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps; or (iii) volunteered in the Peace Corps or the AmeriCorps. Permits the Department to provide the student with a stipend to cover maintenance and school expenses during the academic years to supplement the student's earnings. Requires the Department to develop outreach programs to ensure qualifying youths are aware of the availability of the tuition and fee waivers.
House Floor Amendment No. 1 Provides that qualifying youth shall receive a tuition and fee waiver to assist them in attending and completing their post-secondary education (rather than a waiver of all tuition and fees to attend and complete their post-secondary education). In provisions requiring an applicant to meet certain academic and age requirements, provides that the applicant must also apply for federal and State grant assistance by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Provides that the community college or public university that an applicant attends must waive any tuition and fee amounts that exceed the amounts paid to the applicant under the federal Pell Grant Program or the State's Monetary Award Program.
State Mandates Fiscal Note (Dept. of Commerce & Economic Opportunity)
This bill does not create a State mandate.
Fiscal Note (Dept. of Children & Family Services)
If just 10% of the 11,000 eligible youth took advantage of the opportunity, the Department of Children and Family Services would be looking at an additional cost to the stipend program of $562,000 per month and $6,744,000 annually.