Arizona College Access Network (AzCAN) — Legislative Update (Feb. 10)

| February 11, 2020
Arizona Education Bills to Watch in 2020
 
By: Roxanne Murphy, Director of Statewide Initiatives and AzCAN
This alert shares several proposed senate bills regarding promise scholarship programs that eligible Arizona high school students could use to attend community colleges or state universities in Arizona.   
SB1463 establishes the Community College Opportunity Grants for eligible community college students to pay for tuition and approved educational fees. Creates the Community College Opportunity Grant Fund and appropriates five million dollars from the state General Fund in FYs 2021 through 2025.
The bill proposes the below eligibility requirements that require a student to:
  • graduate from any Arizona public or private high school or obtain an Arizona high school equivalency diploma
  • complete a free application for federal student aid (FAFSA)
  • enroll in an Arizona community college for a minimum of six credit hours
  • be either:
    • a dependent student who reports on the FAFSA a family adjusted gross income of $65,000 or less; or
    • an independent student who reports on the FAFSA a family adjusted gross income of $65,000 or less
The grant would cover the cost of tuition and approved educational fees for up to 18 credit hours per semester for one year after all other financial aid received by the student. 
SB1463 had a first and second reading and is scheduled on the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development agenda for today, Monday, February 10. To learn more about SB1463 in its entirety, please visit here.
This bill establishes the Arizona Promise Scholarship program to be administered by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) for Arizona high school graduates.  Establishes the Arizona Promise Scholarship Fund and appropriates a dollar amount that is to be determined from the state General Fund in FY 2021.
 
The bill proposes the following eligibility requirements for students:
  • be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • be an Arizona resident for at least the past 12 months
  • complete an education and career action plan
  • complete a FAFSA
  • be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant
  • submit a high school transcript that proves the student graduated from an Arizona public or private high school with a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale
SB1572 had a first and second reading and is scheduled on the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development agenda for today, Monday, February 10. To learn more about SB1572 in its entirety, please visit here.
This bill appropriates $5,000,000 from the state General Fund (GF) in FY 2021 to the Arizona Department of Education to pay the tuition costs for up to 12 credit hours of dual enrollment for eligible high school juniors and seniors. Eligibility requires high school juniors and seniors to be academically eligible to enroll in dual enrollment courses and students to be eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
 
SB1661 had a first and second reading this week. To learn more about SB1661 in its entirety, please visit here.
Action Steps
  • Share and talk about these bills with your network
  • Encourage your colleagues to become an AzCAN member
  • Contact your legislators and Education Committee about these bills via www.azleg.org
AzCAN advocates at the local, state, and national level for policies that
increase college access and completion for low-income, minority, and first generation college students.
AzCAN, 4040 E. Camelback Rd., Suite 220, Phoenix, AZ 85018-8361

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