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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 28, 2019 01:46 PM
From: Representative Jason Dawkins
To: All House members
Subject: Reliable Educational Assistance for College Hopefuls (REACH) Scholarship Program (former House Bill 1150 of 2017-2018)
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation - former House Bill 1150 of the 2017-2018 legislative session - that would establish the Reliable Educational Assistance for College Hopefuls (REACH) Scholarship program in Pennsylvania. This program is designed for the thousands of academically qualified Pennsylvania students who may not otherwise be able to afford higher education. Eligible students must be residents of Pennsylvania and must meet academic, community service and other requirements to qualify for this program. If eligible, a student will be provided with a full-tuition scholarship to attend a Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education school, or an equivalent or lesser amount of tuition to attend State-related institutions or private colleges or universities located in this Commonwealth. The eligibility requirements for this program include:
  • Must be a resident of Pennsylvania for at least 3 years prior to application, and during the term of the scholarship;
  • Must have earned a 3.0 cumulative G.P.A. or higher for the sophomore, junior, and senior years of high school; and must maintain a 3.0 G.P.A. or higher during each semester at a State-owned, State-related or private institution of higher education through the term of the scholarship;
  • Must have a cumulative attendance rate of at least 90 percent, and a satisfactory disciplinary or conduct record for the sophomore, junior and senior years of high school;
  • Must complete at least 100 hours of community service each academic year of high school, and 40 hours annually during attendance at the college or university;
  • Must apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year during the term of the scholarship;
  • Must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward completion of a course of study at a State-owned or State-related institution, or private institution of higher education;
  • Must sign written agreement with the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, which is the administrative agency for the program, to maintain Pennsylvania residency for four years after completion of a baccalaureate degree.

The REACH Scholarship Fund would be established from which scholarships would be paid. The scholarships would be funded by donations and contributions from all public and private sources, including the Federal Government, and any appropriations or transfers authorized by the General Assembly for deposit in the fund.

Pennsylvania is world-renowned for its institutions of higher education, be they state-owned, state-related, or private institutions. This program will help academically capable, promising Pennsylvania residents to have the chance to earn a degree at these colleges and universities, providing them with the hope for a brighter future. This program will also help to incentivize these students – as college graduates – to work and live in this Commonwealth, which will strengthen our economy and our culture. Please join me in sponsoring this vital legislation.

Introduced as HB1552