Bipartisan group of lawmakers announce higher education reform package

After months of deliberate study and conversations around the future of Illinois’ higher education system, the Higher Education Working Group of the Illinois General Assembly has developed a series of impactful legislation aimed at strengthening Illinois’ colleges and universities and making them more attractive and affordable for students across the state for many years to come.

Legislation signed into law includes: 

SB 2354

Starting in 2019-2020, each public college and university student with 30 academic credit hours completed must disclose their degree programs of interest to their college or university for a possible advisement session. IBHE and ICCB shall develop policies to encourage reverse transfer credits for students at colleges and universities. Tuition waiver amounts shall not be limited by the Board of Higher Education at public universities.

HB 5020

Expands MAP grant awards to public institutions from yearly to four years.

SB 2927

Creates the AIM HIGH Grant Pilot Program to encourage access and affordability for Illinois colleges and
universities through a new merit-based scholarship. Illinois citizens with qualifying income, GPAs and test scores would be eligible, and funds would be provided through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to colleges and universities who participate. Participation in the program will be tracked by ISAC and reported back to the Illinois General Assembly.

HB 4781

Authorizes the Illinois State Board of Education to conduct a brief survey of all Illinois students taking state assessments on their contact information, career interests, intended fields of study and self-reported cumulative GPA. All Illinois public higher education institutions will receive the information unless students opt out.

Dan McConchie

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