SENATE BILL No. 267

 

 

April 16, 2019, Introduced by Senator ANANICH and referred to the Committee on Appropriations.

 

 

 

     A bill to establish a tuition assistance program for certain

 

undergraduate students in this state attending certain colleges,

 

universities, and junior and community colleges; to provide for the

 

administration of the tuition assistance program; and to prescribe

 

certain powers and duties of certain state officers, agencies, and

 

departments.

 

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:

 

     Sec. 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the

 

"Michigan opportunity initiative act".

 

     Sec. 2. As used in this act:

 

     (a) "Continuous enrollment" means enrollment in at least 2

 

semesters or the equivalent in terms or quarters, as determined by

 

the department, during each academic year for a number of

 

consecutive academic years.

 


     (b) "Department" means the department of talent and economic

 

development.

 

     (c) "Eligible community college" means an accredited junior or

 

community college that meets all of the following:

 

     (i) Is a junior or community college established under the

 

community college act of 1966, 1966 PA 331, MCL 389.1 to 389.195,

 

or part 25 of the revised school code, 1976 PA 451, MCL 380.1601 to

 

380.1607, or is an independent nonprofit junior or community

 

college in this state.

 

     (ii) Participates in the Michigan transfer agreement program

 

referred to in sections 210b and 265a of the school aid act of

 

1979, 1979 PA 94, MCL 388.1810b and 388.1865a, or other similar

 

program, as required by the department.

 

     (iii) Participates in the success-coach program described in

 

section 4(h).

 

     (iv) Complies with applicable restraints on fee and tuition

 

rate increases, if any, provided for in article II of the school

 

aid act of 1979, 1979 PA 94, MCL 388.1801 to 388.1830.

 

     (d) "Eligible university" means an institution that meets both

 

of the following:

 

     (i) Is one of the following:

 

     (A) A state university described in section 4, 5, or 6 of

 

article VIII of the state constitution of 1963.

 

     (B) An independent nonprofit college or university in this

 

state that grants 4-year degrees.

 

     (ii) Complies with applicable restraints on fee and tuition

 

rate increases, if any, provided for in article III of the school


aid act of 1979, 1979 PA 94, MCL 388.1836 to 388.1891.

 

     (e) "Full-time student" means a student enrolled in at least

 

20 semester credit hours in an academic year or the equivalent

 

number of term or quarter credit hours in an academic year, as

 

determined by the department.

 

     (f) "Gift aid" means scholarships or grants, other than

 

financial assistance provided under the Michigan promise zone

 

authority act, 2008 PA 549, MCL 390.1661 to 390.1679, from sources

 

that do not require repayment. The term does not include student

 

loans, work-study awards, or qualified withdrawals made from

 

education savings accounts to pay higher education expenses

 

pursuant to the Michigan education savings program act, 2000 PA

 

161, MCL 390.1471 to 390.1486.

 

     (g) "High school equivalency certificate" means that term as

 

defined in section 4 of the school aid act of 1979, 1979 PA 94, MCL

 

388.1604.

 

     (h) "Michigan opportunity initiative student" means a student

 

admitted to and enrolled in an eligible community college or

 

eligible university and receiving tuition assistance under this

 

act.

 

     Sec. 3. The department shall administer the Michigan

 

opportunity initiative program in the following phases:

 

     (a) Phase I, as provided for in section 4, which the

 

department shall implement not more than 30 days after the

 

effective date of this act.

 

     (b) Phase II, as provided for in section 5, which the

 

department shall implement after Phase I is underway on a date to


be determined by the department.

 

     Sec. 4. The department shall administer Phase I of the

 

Michigan opportunity initiative program, subject to the following:

 

     (a) To be eligible for tuition assistance in Phase I of the

 

program, an individual must meet all of the following conditions by

 

the date of his or her college enrollment described in subparagraph

 

(iii):

 

     (i) Be a resident of this state for at least the immediately

 

preceding year.

 

     (ii) Have graduated from high school with a diploma or

 

certificate of completion or achieved a high school equivalency

 

certificate.

 

     (iii) Be enrolled as a full-time student in a degree or

 

certificate program at an eligible community college not later than

 

the academic year following his or her completion of high school or

 

receipt of a high school equivalency certificate.

 

     (b) Students applying for tuition assistance in Phase I of the

 

program must complete a Michigan opportunity initiative application

 

for their initial year of enrollment in accordance with a schedule

 

determined by the department. Students must also complete the Free

 

Application for Federal Student Aid each academic year in which

 

they seek to receive tuition assistance in Phase I of the program.

 

     (c) To continue to receive tuition assistance in Phase I of

 

the program, a student must do all of the following:

 

     (i) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (e), maintain

 

continuous enrollment as a full-time student in a degree or

 

certificate program at an eligible community college.


     (ii) Maintain satisfactory academic standing as determined by

 

the eligible community college and department rules.

 

     (iii) Participate in the success-coaches program described in

 

subdivision (h).

 

     (d) Subject to appropriation, the annual amount of tuition

 

assistance to be awarded to a student in Phase I of the program is

 

equal to a student's cost of tuition and mandatory fees at the

 

eligible community college attended less all other gift aid. Gift

 

aid shall be credited first to the student's tuition and mandatory

 

fees. If awarded, tuition assistance shall be paid to the eligible

 

community college for credit to the student's account.

 

     (e) A Michigan opportunity initiative student participating in

 

Phase I of the program who takes a leave of absence from an

 

eligible community college due to a medical or family hardship may,

 

subject to department approval, continue to receive tuition

 

assistance upon resuming the student's education at an eligible

 

community college if the student continues to meet all applicable

 

eligibility requirements. A leave of absence under this subdivision

 

does not disrupt the requirement of continuous enrollment under

 

subdivision (c)(i) and does not count toward the 3-year limitation

 

described in subdivision (f)(i).

 

     (f) A student is eligible for tuition assistance in Phase I of

 

the program until the occurrence of either of the following:

 

     (i) Subject to subdivision (e), 3 years have passed since the

 

student became a Michigan opportunity initiative student at an

 

eligible community college.

 

     (ii) The student has earned 60 semester credits or the


equivalent number of term or quarter credits at an eligible

 

community college, as determined by the department.

 

     (g) A student who participates in Phase I of the Michigan

 

opportunity initiative program may transfer from 1 eligible

 

community college to another eligible community college and

 

continue in the program if the student continues to meet all

 

eligibility requirements.

 

     (h) The department shall establish a success-coach program at

 

each eligible community college that participates in Phase I of the

 

Michigan opportunity initiative program. The success-coach program

 

must include campus-based advisors who will provide Michigan

 

opportunity initiative students at eligible community colleges with

 

support services aimed at helping students succeed with their

 

studies and formulate and follow effective academic and career

 

plans. The department shall determine the qualifications for these

 

advisors, their job duties, processes for hiring and training them,

 

the number needed for a satisfactory coach-to-student ratio, and

 

other requirements related to the success-coach program.

 

     Sec. 5. The department shall administer Phase II of the

 

Michigan opportunity initiative program, subject to the following:

 

     (a) To be eligible for tuition assistance in Phase II of the

 

program, an individual must meet all of the following conditions by

 

the date of his or her university enrollment described in

 

subparagraph (iii):

 

     (i) Be a resident of this state for at least the immediately

 

preceding year.

 

     (ii) Have graduated from high school with a diploma or


certificate of completion or achieved a high school equivalency

 

certificate.

 

     (iii) Be enrolled in a 4-year degree program as a full-time

 

student at an eligible university not later than the academic year

 

following his or her completion of high school or receipt of a high

 

school equivalency certificate.

 

     (iv) Have earned a 3.0 grade point average in high school or

 

the equivalent of a 3.0 test score on the high school equivalency

 

test taken to obtain the high school equivalency certificate as

 

defined in section 2(g), as determined by the department.

 

     (v) Be a member of a household with an annual household income

 

of not more than $80,000.00 under rules promulgated by the

 

department.

 

     (b) Students applying for tuition assistance in Phase II of

 

the program must complete a Michigan opportunity initiative

 

application for their initial year of enrollment in accordance with

 

a schedule determined by the department. Students must also

 

complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid each academic

 

year in which they seek to receive tuition assistance in Phase II

 

of the program.

 

     (c) To continue to receive tuition assistance in Phase II of

 

the program, a student must do all of the following:

 

     (i) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (f), maintain

 

continuous enrollment in a 4-year degree program as a full-time

 

student at an eligible university.

 

     (ii) Maintain satisfactory academic standing as determined by

 

the eligible university and department rules.


     (iii) Continue to be a member of a household with an annual

 

household income of not more than $80,000.00 under rules

 

promulgated by the department.

 

     (d) The annual amount of tuition assistance to be awarded to a

 

student in Phase II of the program must not exceed the lesser of

 

the following:

 

     (i) The cost of the student's tuition and mandatory fees at

 

the eligible university attended less all other gift aid.

 

     (ii) $2,500.00.

 

     (e) Awards of tuition assistance in Phase II of the program

 

are subject to appropriation and shall be awarded on a first-come,

 

first-served basis if insufficient funds are appropriated for all

 

eligible students. If awarded, tuition assistance shall be paid to

 

the eligible university for credit to the student's account.

 

     (f) A Michigan opportunity initiative student participating in

 

Phase II of the program who takes a leave of absence from an

 

eligible university due to a medical or family hardship may,

 

subject to department approval, continue to receive tuition

 

assistance upon resuming the student's education at an eligible

 

university if the student continues to meet all applicable

 

eligibility requirements. A leave of absence under this subdivision

 

does not disrupt the requirement of continuous enrollment under

 

subdivision (c)(i) and does not count toward the 2-year limitation

 

described in subdivision (g)(i).

 

     (g) A student is eligible for tuition assistance in Phase II

 

of the program until the occurrence of either of the following:

 

     (i) Subject to subdivision (f), 2 years have passed since the


student became a Michigan opportunity initiative student at an

 

eligible university.

 

     (ii) The student has earned 60 semester credits or the

 

equivalent number of term or quarter credits, as determined by the

 

department.

 

     (h) A student who participates in Phase II of the Michigan

 

opportunity initiative program may transfer from 1 eligible

 

university to another eligible university and continue in the

 

program so long as the student continues to meet all eligibility

 

requirements.

 

     Sec. 6. The department shall promulgate rules to implement

 

this act pursuant to the administrative procedures act of 1969,

 

1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to 24.328.

 

     Enacting section 1. It is the intent of the legislature that

 

money in the talent investment fund created in section 8a of the

 

higher education loan authority act, 1975 PA 222, MCL 390.1158a,

 

shall be expended, upon appropriation, for the purpose of funding

 

the Michigan opportunity initiative program established in the

 

Michigan opportunity initiative act, in accordance with section 8a

 

of the higher education loan authority act, 1975 PA 222, MCL

 

390.1158a, which states that money in the talent investment fund,

 

upon appropriation, shall be expended "for the purpose of enhancing

 

the economic talent of Michigan residents, increasing access to

 

academic and technical credentials or certifications, improving

 

educational opportunities, or other purposes as provided by law".