7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill creates the Adult Learners Grant Program to provide financial assistance to
10 adult students pursuing online education.
11 Highlighted Provisions:
12 This bill:
13 ▸ creates the Adult Learners Grant Program (program) to provide financial assistance
14 to students who:
15 • are at least 26 years old;
16 • are financially needy; and
17 • are pursuing an online degree or certificate in a field with an industry need;
18 ▸ requires the Utah Board of Higher Education (board) to:
19 • make rules to administer the program;
20 • distribute grant money to eligible students; and
21 • prioritize grants to students from rural areas, minority students, low income
22 students, and first generation students; and
23 ▸ defines terms.
24 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
25 This bill appropriates in fiscal year 2022:
26 ▸ to the Utah Board of Higher Education - Student Assistance - Adult Learner Grant
27 Program as an ongoing appropriation:
28 • from the Education Fund, $1,000,000.
29 Other Special Clauses:
31 Utah Code Sections Affected:
33 53B-13c-101, Utah Code Annotated 1953
34 53B-13c-102, Utah Code Annotated 1953
36 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
37 Section 1. Section 53B-13c-101 is enacted to read:
39 53B-13c-101. Definitions.
40 As used in this chapter:
41 (1) (a) "Cost of attendance" means the estimated costs associated with taking an online
42 course, as established by an eligible institution in accordance with board policies.
43 (b) "Cost of attendance" includes tuition, costs payable to the eligible institution, and
44 other direct educational expenses related to taking an online course.
45 (2) "Eligible institution" means an institution that offers a postsecondary level course
46 of instruction using digital technology.
47 (3) "Eligible student" means a financially needy student who is:
48 (a) at least 26 years old;
49 (b) enrolled in an online course at an eligible institution;
50 (c) pursuing:
51 (i) an online postsecondary degree program in a field where there is a demonstrated
52 industry need; or
53 (ii) an online non-degree program that is designed to meet industry needs and leads to a
54 certificate or another recognized educational credential; and
55 (d) a resident student under Section 53B-8-102 and rules the board establishes.
56 (4) "Financially needy student" means a student who demonstrates the financial
57 inability to meet all or a portion of the cost of attendance at an eligible institution as defined by
58 the board, after utilizing family and personal resources, federal assistance, and scholarships.
59 (5) "Fiscal year" means the fiscal year of the state.
60 (6) "Institution" means:
61 (a) an institution described in Section 53B-1-102; or
62 (b) a Utah private, nonprofit postsecondary institution that is accredited by a regional
63 accrediting organization that the board recognizes.
64 (7) "Online course" means a postsecondary level course of instruction offered by an
65 eligible institution using digital technology.
66 (8) "Program" means the Adult Learners Grant Program established in Section
68 (9) "Tuition" means tuition and fees at the rate charged for residents of the state.
69 Section 2. Section 53B-13c-102 is enacted to read:
70 53B-13c-102. Adult Learners Grant Program established -- guidelines for
71 administration of the program.
72 (1) There is created the Adult Learners Grant Program to provide financial assistance
73 to eligible students.
74 (2) (a) The board shall, in accordance with the guidelines in this section, develop and
75 administer the program.
76 (b) In accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, the
77 board shall make rules to establish:
78 (i) how an individual establishes financial need for purposes of receiving a grant under
79 the program;
80 (ii) a requirement that an applicant complete the Free Application for Federal Student
82 (iii) how to determine whether an individual is a Utah resident;
83 (iv) a process and requirements for an individual to apply for a grant under the
85 (v) a formula to allocate money appropriated for the program to eligible students,
87 (A) students from rural areas;
88 (B) minority students;
89 (C) low income students;
90 (D) first generation students; and
91 (E) students pursuing education that aligns with industry needs; and
92 (vi) a method of identifying industry needs for purposes of determining student
93 eligibility to receive a grant under this section.
94 (c) The board may not use more than 3% of money appropriated for the program for
95 administrative costs or overhead.
96 (3) To be eligible for a grant under this section, a student shall demonstrate, in
97 accordance with rules the board makes under Subsection (2)(b):
98 (a) that the student has completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid; and
99 (b) that the student is financially needy.
100 (4) The board shall:
101 (a) annually establish the minimum and maximum amount for a grant;
102 (b) (i) award grants to eligible students on an annual basis; and
103 (ii) distribute grant money on a quarter or semester basis; and
104 (c) except as provided in Subsection (2)(b)(v), award all money appropriated for the
105 program without regard to an applicant's race, creed, color, religion, sex, or ancestry.
106 (5) The total sum of program grant money, financial aid from any source, and family or
107 personal contribution may not exceed the cost of attendance for an eligible student at an
108 eligible institution for a fiscal year.
109 (6) An eligible student that receives a grant under the program shall apply the grant
110 money to the cost of attendance.
111 (7) The board shall annually report program outcomes to the Higher Education
112 Appropriations Subcommittee, including:
113 (a) number of grant recipients at each eligible institution;
114 (b) average amount of grant money provided per grant recipient;
115 (c) benefits in fulfillment of the purposes for the program described in this chapter; and
116 (d) recommendations for program modification, including recommended funding
118 Section 3. Appropriation.
119 The following sums of money are appropriated for the fiscal year beginning July 1,
120 2021, and ending June 30, 2022. These are additions to amounts previously appropriated for
121 fiscal year 2022. Under the terms and conditions of Title 63J, Chapter 1, Budgetary Procedures
122 Act, the Legislature appropriates the following sums of money from the funds or accounts
123 indicated for the use and support of the government of the state of Utah.
124 To Utah Board of Higher Education - Student Assistance
125 From Education Fund
126 Schedule of Programs:
127 Adult Learner Grant Program $1,000,000