Bill Text: TX HB141 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the establishment of the Texas Promise Grant Program for certain students at two-year public institutions of higher education.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-02-25 - Referred to Higher Education [HB141 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB141-Introduced.html
  87R3296 KJE-F
 
  By: Reynolds H.B. No. 141
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the establishment of the Texas Promise Grant Program
  for certain students at two-year public institutions of higher
  education.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 56, Education Code, is amended by adding
  Subchapter U to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER U. TEXAS PROMISE GRANT PROGRAM
         Sec. 56.601.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
               (1)  "Coordinating board" means the Texas Higher
  Education Coordinating Board.
               (2)  "Eligible institution" means:
                     (A)  a public junior college;
                     (B)  a public technical institute; or
                     (C)  a public state college.
               (3)  "Public junior college," "public technical
  institute," and "public state college" have the meanings assigned
  by Section 61.003.
               (4)  "Program" means the Texas Promise Grant Program
  established under this subchapter.
         Sec. 56.602.  PROGRAM PURPOSE. The purpose of the Texas
  Promise Grant Program is to provide assistance in the payment of
  tuition and mandatory fees to enable eligible students to attend
  two-year institutions of higher education.
         Sec. 56.603.  ADMINISTRATION OF PROGRAM; AWARD OF GRANT.
  (a) The coordinating board shall administer the program and adopt
  any rules necessary to implement the program or this subchapter.
  The coordinating board shall consult with the student financial aid
  officers of eligible institutions in developing the rules.
         (b)  The coordinating board shall award a grant to each
  eligible student under the program.
         Sec. 56.604.  INITIAL ELIGIBILITY FOR GRANT. (a) To be
  eligible initially for a grant under the program, a person must:
               (1)  be a resident of this state as determined by
  coordinating board rules;
               (2)  have graduated from high school or received a high
  school equivalency certificate within the last 12 months;
               (3)  be enrolled in an associate degree or certificate
  program at an eligible institution;
               (4)  be enrolled as an entering student for at least
  one-half of a full course load for an entering student in the
  associate degree or certificate program, as determined by the
  coordinating board;
               (5)  have applied for any available financial aid or
  assistance; and
               (6)  comply with any additional nonacademic or
  nonfinancial requirement adopted by the coordinating board under
  this subchapter.
         (b)  A person is not eligible to receive a grant under the
  program if the person has:
               (1)  been granted:
                     (A)  a certificate for completion of a certificate
  program; or
                     (B)  an associate or baccalaureate degree; or
               (2)  completed more than 90 semester credit hours or
  the equivalent at an institution of higher education, excluding
  semester credit hours or the equivalent earned for a dual credit
  course.
         (c)  A person may not receive a grant under the program for
  more than 75 semester credit hours or the equivalent.
         (d)  A person's eligibility for a grant under the program
  ends on the third anniversary of the initial award of a grant under
  the program to the person and the person's enrollment in an eligible
  institution.
         Sec. 56.605.  CONTINUING ELIGIBILITY AND ACADEMIC
  PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS. (a) After initially qualifying for a
  grant under the program, a person may continue to receive a grant
  under the program during each semester or term in which the person
  is enrolled at an eligible institution only if the person:
               (1)  is enrolled in an associate degree or certificate
  program at an eligible institution;
               (2)  is enrolled for at least one-half of a full course
  load for a student in an associate degree or certificate program, as
  determined by the coordinating board;
               (3)  makes satisfactory academic progress toward an
  associate degree or certificate; and
               (4)  complies with any additional nonacademic or
  nonfinancial requirement adopted by the coordinating board.
         (b)  If a person fails to meet any of the requirements of
  Subsection (a) after the completion of any semester or term, the
  person may not receive a grant under the program during the next
  semester or term in which the person enrolls. A person may become
  eligible to receive a grant under the program in a subsequent
  semester or term if the person:
               (1)  completes a semester or term during which the
  student is not eligible for a grant; and
               (2)  meets all the requirements of Subsection (a).
         (c)  For the purpose of this section, a person makes
  satisfactory academic progress toward an associate degree or
  certificate only if:
               (1)  in the person's first academic year, the person
  meets the satisfactory academic progress requirements of the
  institution at which the person is enrolled; and
               (2)  in the subsequent academic year, the person:
                     (A)  completes at least 75 percent of the semester
  credit hours or the equivalent attempted in the person's most
  recent academic year; and
                     (B)  has earned an overall grade point average of
  at least 2.5 on a four-point scale or the equivalent on coursework
  previously attempted at institutions of higher education.
         (d)  A person who is eligible to receive a grant under the
  program continues to remain eligible to receive the grant if the
  person enrolls in or transfers to another eligible institution.
         (e)  The coordinating board shall adopt rules to allow a
  person who is otherwise eligible to receive a grant under the
  program, in the event of a hardship or for other good cause shown,
  including a showing of a severe illness or other debilitating
  condition that may affect the person's academic performance or a
  showing that the person is responsible for the care of a sick,
  injured, or needy person and that the person's provision of care may
  affect the person's academic performance, to receive a grant under
  the program:
               (1)  while enrolled in a number of semester credit
  hours that is less than the number of semester credit hours or the
  equivalent required under Subsection (a)(2); or
               (2)  if the student's grade point average or completion
  rate falls below the satisfactory academic progress requirements of
  Subsection (c).
         Sec. 56.606.  GRANT USE. A grant awarded under the program
  must be applied first to the payment of tuition and mandatory fees
  at an eligible institution.
         Sec. 56.607.  GRANT AMOUNT. (a) The amount of a grant
  awarded to an eligible student under the program for a semester or
  other academic term in which the student is enrolled at an eligible
  institution is an amount not to exceed the greater of:
               (1)  the difference between the amount of tuition and
  mandatory fees charged to the student by the institution for that
  semester or term and the amount of any other gift aid, including
  state or federal grants or scholarships, awarded to the student for
  that semester or term; or
               (2)  $1,000.
         (b)  The coordinating board may adopt rules that allow the
  coordinating board to decrease, in proportion to the number of
  semester credit hours or the equivalent in which a student is
  enrolled, the amount of a grant award under Subsection (a)(2) to a
  student who is enrolled in less than a full course load for a
  student in an associate degree or certificate program, as
  determined by the coordinating board.
         (c)  A grant may not be awarded under the program to an
  eligible student for a semester or other academic term until any
  other gift aid for which the student is eligible has been awarded to
  the student and the amount of tuition and mandatory fees owed by the
  student has been established for purposes of determining the
  appropriate amount of the student's grant under Subsection (a).
         (d)  The coordinating board shall issue to each eligible
  student a certificate indicating the amount of the grant awarded to
  the student.
         Sec. 56.608.  NOTIFICATION OF PROGRAM; RESPONSIBILITIES OF
  SCHOOL DISTRICTS. (a) The coordinating board, in consultation
  with all eligible institutions, shall prepare materials designed to
  inform prospective students, their parents, and high school
  counselors about the program and eligibility for a grant under the
  program. The coordinating board shall distribute to each eligible
  institution and to each school district a copy of the materials
  prepared under this section.
         (b)  Each school district shall notify its high school
  students, those students' teachers and school counselors, and those
  students' parents or guardians of the program and the eligibility
  requirements of the program.
         SECTION 2.  (a) The Texas Higher Education Coordinating
  Board shall adopt rules to administer Subchapter U, Chapter 56,
  Education Code, as added by this Act, as soon as practicable after
  the effective date of this Act. For that purpose, the coordinating
  board may adopt the initial rules in the manner provided by law for
  emergency rules.
         (b)  The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board shall
  begin awarding grants under Subchapter U, Chapter 56, Education
  Code, as added by this Act, for the first academic year for which
  money is appropriated for that purpose, except that the
  coordinating board may not award grants under that subchapter for
  an academic year before the 2022-2023 academic year.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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