THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2061

TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2016

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to tuition waivers.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. Chapter 304A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"304A-   Hawaii promise program; community colleges. (a) Notwithstanding section 304A-502, there is established the Hawaii promise program to be administered by the board of regents. The purpose of the program shall be to provide a waiver of tuition to a qualified student enrolled at a community college campus of the University of Hawaii system.

(b) For purposes of this section, "eligible courses" means courses that are offered at a community college campus of the University of Hawaii system and are determined by the board of regents to be required for the completion of:

(1) A one-year or two-year curriculum for transfer to another post-secondary institution of education;

(2) An associate degree; or

(3) A program in career and technical education.

(c) A waiver under the program shall be awarded to a student who meets the following requirements:

(1) Qualifies for Hawaii resident tuition;

(2) Earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or better in high school or otherwise demonstrated an equivalent academic ability, as determined by the board of regents;

(3) Enrolled in eligible courses within six months of earning a high school diploma or passing the general educational development test;

(4) Completed and submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for each academic year and accepted all state and federal aid grants available to the student; provided that the student is eligible to file for the application; and

(5) Has not completed either of the following:

(A) More than ninety credit hours, or the equivalent, at a post-secondary institution of education; or

(B) A one-year or two-year curriculum for transfer to another post-secondary institution of education, an associate degree; or a program in career and technical education.

(d) A student shall remain eligible to receive a waiver under the program if, in addition to meeting the requirements of subsection (c), the student:

(1) Maintains a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or above during each term for which the student receives a waiver under the program;

(2) Makes satisfactory progress, as determined by the board of regents, toward a one-year or two-year curriculum for transfer to another post-secondary institution of education, an associate degree; or a program in career and technical education; and

(3) Enrolls in eligible courses for a sufficient number of credit hours to be considered at least a half-time student for each term for which the student receives a waiver under the program.

(e) The total amount of a waiver awarded under this section shall be based on each term that the student is enrolled in eligible courses. The student's actual cost of tuition shall be determined by reducing the amount of tuition by any and all amounts received by the student in state and federal aid grants. The board of regents may prescribe by rule whether to include fees, and any limitations related to the inclusion of fees, when determining the actual cost of tuition or the average cost of tuition under this section.

(f) A qualifying student shall be eligible for a waiver under this section in an amount equal to $1,000 or the student's actual cost of tuition, whichever is greater; provided that the waiver shall not exceed the average cost of tuition at a community college campus of the University of Hawaii system, as determined by the board of regents. A waiver may be prorated for a student who is enrolled in eligible courses for a sufficient number of credit hours to be considered a half-time student but not a full-time student.

(g) The total amount of waivers awarded under this section by the board of regents shall not exceed $           per fiscal year. The board of regents may adopt rules to prioritize which waivers are awarded and may give preference to students enrolled in high schools that meet specified criteria.

(h) The board of regents shall adopt any rules necessary for the administration of the program, including any requirements related to:

(1) Specifying the form and timelines for submitting an application for a waiver under the program;

(2) Determining whether a student is eligible for a waiver under the program, including whether the student shall be given priority;

(3) Implementing programs or policies that improve academic success or completion rates for students who receive a waiver under the program;

(4) Prescribing eligibility requirements and waiver calculations for a student dually enrolled on a community college campus and university campus within the University of Hawaii system; and

(5) Evaluating the impact of the program, including any requirements for reporting data needed for evaluations.

(i) The board of regents shall report its findings and recommendations on the impact of the program, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session. The report shall include:

(1) Student completion rates of one-year and two-year curriculums for transfer to another post-secondary institution of education, associate degrees, and programs in career and technical education;

(2) The amount of federal and state aid grants received by students who participated in the program;

(3) The financial impact of the program on the high schools that had students receive a waiver under the program;

(4) The financial impact and the enrollment impact of the program on the community college campuses within the University of Hawaii system; and

(5) The overall success rate and financial impact of the program."

SECTION 2. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2016-2017 to the board of regents of the University of Hawaii for the establishment and implementation of the Hawaii promise program, including the provision of tuition waivers.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the University of Hawaii for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval; provided that section 2 shall take effect on July 1, 2016.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Hawaii Promise Program; University of Hawaii; Community Colleges; Tuition Waiver; Appropriation

 

Description:

Establishes the Hawaii promise program to be administered by the board of regents to provide tuition waivers for community college courses to eligible students.

 

 

 

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