HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1371

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to the University of hawaii University promise program.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that in today's knowledge-based economy, post-secondary education is increasingly linked with beneficial economic outcomes for individuals and communities at large. Several initiatives in Hawaii have outlined ambitious goals to increase college completion rates. The university of Hawaii's graduation initiative is a systemwide strategic effort intended to boost the educational capital of the State by increasing participation in and completion of college by students. Endorsed by the university of Hawaii's board of regents, the Hawaii graduation initiative has a special focus on students from native Hawaiian, low-income, and other underserved regions and populations in an attempt to prepare them for success in the workforce and their communities.

Additionally, the State's 55 by '25 campaign focuses on increasing the percentage of working-age adults with two- or four-year degrees to fifty-five per cent by 2025. According to the most recent data available, forty-five per cent of Hawaii's working age adults have a postsecondary degree. As the State's sole system of public higher education, the university of Hawaii is committed to doing its part to close the State's projected educational attainment gap.

As part of its commitment to financial aid, the university of Hawaii requires that its four-year degree campuses allocate twenty per cent of tuition revenue for need-based scholarships; it requires 8.8 per cent of the same from its community college campuses. Despite financial aid from sources such as Pell grants, university of Hawaii and private scholarships, the GI Bill for service members and veterans, and employers, cost still poses a barrier for certain students with financial need.

Codified into law by Act 14, Session Laws of Hawaii 2018, the university of Hawaii community college promise program was established to fill a critical gap by providing aid to qualifying community college students for financial needs not met by other forms of financial aid. During the 2017-2018 academic year, the university of Hawaii community college promise program provided scholarship opportunities to over one thousand five hundred community college students with financial need.

Despite the success of the university of Hawaii community college promise program, there remains an unmet need for support of students attending any of the three four-year degree campuses in the university of Hawaii system: university of Hawaii at Manoa, university of Hawaii at Hilo, and university of Hawaii, west Oahu campus. Cost still poses a major barrier for certain students with financial need.

The purpose of this Act is to address a statewide concern by establishing the university of Hawaii university promise program to provide scholarships for the unmet direct cost needs of qualified students enrolled at the university of Hawaii at Manoa, university of Hawaii at Hilo, or university of Hawaii, west Oahu campus.

SECTION 2. Chapter 304A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part II, subpart B, to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"304A-A University of Hawaii university promise program; established. (a) Notwithstanding section 304A-501, there is established the university of Hawaii university promise program to be administered by the board of regents. The program shall provide scholarships for the unmet direct cost needs of qualified students enrolled at the university of Hawaii at Manoa, university of Hawaii at Hilo, or university of Hawaii, west Oahu campus.

(b) A student enrolled at the university of Hawaii at Manoa, university of Hawaii at Hilo, or university of Hawaii, west Oahu campus shall be eligible for scholarship consideration for a maximum of twelve semesters if the student:

(1) Qualifies for Hawaii resident tuition;

(2) Completes and submits the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for each academic year and accepts all federal and state aid, grants, scholarships, and other funding sources that do not require repayment;

(3) Is enrolled in a classified degree or certificate program with six or more credits per semester;

(4) Maintains satisfactory academic progress, as defined by federal requirements established pursuant to Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and determined by the campus at which the student is enrolled; and

(5) Has been determined by the campus to have unmet direct cost needs.

(c) Scholarships shall be awarded to the extent possible based on available funds and on a greatest need basis. An award granted to a student shall be equal to the student's unmet direct cost need, based on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid calculation of need, less the amounts available to the student from Pell grants and other scholarships.

(d) To maintain a scholarship under this section, a student shall meet the requirements of subsection (b)(4).

(e) As used in this section, "direct cost" means any cost directly related to a student's education, including tuition; educational fees; and the costs of books, supplies, and transportation between the student's dwelling and the student's campus."

SECTION 3. Chapter 304A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part V, subpart B, to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"304A-B University of Hawaii university promise program subaccount. (a) There is established the university of Hawaii university promise program subaccount within the university of Hawaii general fund. Moneys in the subaccount shall be used to provide financial assistance to qualified students through university of Hawaii university promise program scholarships under section 304A-A.

(b) The university of Hawaii shall submit a report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session regarding the subaccount. The report shall include but not be limited to the number of scholarships provided under the university of Hawaii university promise program during the preceding year.

(c) This subaccount is not intended to provide loans or keep track of payback provisions."

SECTION 4. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $20,000,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2019-2020 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 to be deposited into the university of Hawaii university promise program subaccount.

SECTION 5. There is appropriated out of the university of Hawaii university promise program subaccount the sum of $20,000,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2019-2020 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 to implement the university of Hawaii university promise program, including the provision of the program's scholarships, at the university of Hawaii at Manoa, university of Hawaii at Hilo, and university of Hawaii, west Oahu campus.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the university of Hawaii for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 6. In codifying new sections added by sections 2 and 3 of this Act, the revisor of statutes shall substitute appropriate section numbers for the letters used in designating the new sections in this Act.

SECTION 7. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2019.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

University of Hawaii; University Promise Program; Scholarships; Appropriations

 

Description:

Establishes the University of Hawaii University Promise Program to provide scholarships for the unmet direct cost needs of qualified students enrolled at any 4-year degree campus of the University of Hawaii system. Appropriates funds to establish and implement the program.

 

 

 

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