See other bills
under the
same topic
PRINTER'S NO. 1968
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1552
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY DAWKINS, BULLOCK, MURT, SCHLOSSBERG, CALTAGIRONE,
KINSEY, HILL-EVANS, McCLINTON AND YOUNGBLOOD, JUNE 3, 2019
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, JUNE 3, 2019
AN ACT
Establishing a Statewide academic scholarship program to be
known as the Reliable Educational Assistance for College
Hopefuls Scholarship; and providing for the powers and duties
of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Reliable
Educational Assistance for College Hopefuls Scholarship Act.
Section 2. Purpose.
The purpose of this act is to reward educational excellence
and provide an incentive to Pennsylvania students to pursue
higher education within this Commonwealth.
Section 3. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Agency." The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance
Agency.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
"Fund." The REACH Scholarship Fund established under section
6.
"Grade point average." The numbered grade average calculated
using a 4.0 scale.
"Private institution of higher education." An institution of
higher education located in this Commonwealth that provides an
organized four-year program of undergraduate instruction toward
a baccalaureate degree and that is not a State-owned institution
or State-related institution.
"REACH." The Reliable Educational Assistance for College
Hopefuls Scholarship established under section 4.
"State-owned institution." An institution that is part of
the State System of Higher Education under Article XX-A of the
act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public
School Code of 1949.
"State-related institution." The Pennsylvania State
University, the University of Pittsburgh, Temple University and
Lincoln University and their branch campuses.
"Student." A school-age resident of this Commonwealth who
attends or is about to attend a State-owned institution, State-
related institution or private institution of higher education
located in this Commonwealth.
Section 4. REACH Scholarship.
(a) Establishment.--The REACH Scholarship is established
within the agency.
(b) Issuance of scholarships.--
(1) The agency shall provide scholarships, which may be
referred to as REACH Scholarships, to all students who meet
the requirements of subsection (d) or (f). The scholarships
may be issued to a student only upon confirmation from the
20190HB1552PN1968 - 2 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
State-owned institution, State-related institution or private
institution of higher education to which the student has
enrolled full time.
(2) The scholarships shall be available for four years
or upon completion of a baccalaureate degree, whichever
occurs earlier.
(3) The scholarships shall only be used for tuition and
mandatory fees.
(4) The scholarships shall be awarded solely on the
basis of merit and without regard to need.
(5) The scholarships shall only be awarded to students
who are high school seniors during or after the school year
in which this section takes effect.
(c) Calculation of award.--
(1) Each eligible student who will attend or attends a
State-owned institution shall receive a full-tuition
scholarship.
(2) Each eligible student who will attend or attends a
State-related institution or private institution of higher
education shall receive the lesser of a full-tuition
scholarship or a scholarship equal to the average tuition at
the State-owned institutions as calculated annually by the
agency.
(d) Eligibility.--To receive a scholarship under this
section, a student must meet all of the following requirements:
(1) Pennsylvania residency for at least three years
prior to application for the REACH Scholarship.
(2) Pennsylvania residency during the term of the
scholarship.
(3) Cumulative high school grade point average of 3.0 or
20190HB1552PN1968 - 3 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
higher for the sophomore, junior and senior years of high
school. If the student does not graduate from high school or
completes a home study program meeting the requirements of
section 1327.1 of the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14),
known as the Public School Code of 1949, the agency shall
determine the eligibility of the student.
(4) Cumulative high school attendance of at least 90%
for the sophomore, junior and senior years of high school
unless the agency determines there are extenuating
circumstances, including, but not limited to, approved
medical or personal leave of absence. If the student does not
graduate from high school but completes a home study program
meeting the requirements of section 1327.1 of the Public
School Code of 1949, the agency shall determine the
eligibility of the student.
(5) Satisfactory disciplinary record or conduct record
for the sophomore, junior and senior years of high school. If
the student does not meet this requirement but meets or
exceeds all other requirements under this subsection, the
agency shall determine eligibility of the student.
(6) Satisfactory academic progress toward completion of
a course of study at a State-owned institution, State-related
institution or private institution of higher education as
provided under subsection (f).
(7) Entrance into a written agreement with the agency to
maintain Pennsylvania residency for four years after
completion of a baccalaureate degree. The student shall
reimburse the Commonwealth all amounts received under this
act and interest thereon, at a rate equal to the average
Stafford loan through the term of the scholarship, if the
20190HB1552PN1968 - 4 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
student fails to comply with the terms of the written
agreement.
(8) Apply for the Free Application for Federal Student
Aid each year during the term of the scholarship.
(9) Complete at least 100 hours of community service
each academic year. The community service must be documented
by a supervisor and approved by the agency.
(e) Contents of application.--The application of a student
who seeks a scholarship as prescribed by the agency must
include:
(1) All information and documentation required by the
agency.
(2) If the student is under 18 years of age, the
signature of a parent or guardian.
(3) A verified statement of grade point average,
attendance and disciplinary record or conduct record from the
appropriate educational institution.
(f) Maintenance of scholarship.--
(1) Except as provided under paragraph (2), a student
must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher during
each semester at a State-owned institution, State-related
institution or private institution of higher education
through the term of the scholarship, unless the agency
determines that there are extenuating circumstances,
including, but not limited to, approved medical or personal
leave of absence.
(2) In the event that a student receives a grade point
average below 3.0 during a semester at a State-owned
institution, State-related institution or private institution
of higher education, the agency shall place the student on
20190HB1552PN1968 - 5 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
scholarship probation. If a student on scholarship probation
receives a grade point average below 3.0 in any following
semester, the scholarship shall be terminated.
(3) A student must complete 40 hours of community
service during each 12-month period during the term of the
scholarship, which community service must be verified by the
agency.
(g) Scholarship termination and transfer.--
(1) If a student who has received a scholarship
terminates enrollment in the educational institution to which
the student has enrolled full time during the academic year,
the educational institution shall notify the agency in
writing and shall return all unused portions of the
scholarship.
(2) Returned amounts shall be deposited in the fund.
(3) A student may transfer a scholarship from one State-
owned institution, State-related institution or private
institution of higher education to another.
(h) Limitation.--A scholarship shall be paid only from the
fund.
Section 5. Administration.
(a) Verification.--The agency shall monitor and verify a
student's compliance with all the requirements under this act.
(b) Enforcement.--The agency shall enforce repayment of all
scholarships for a student who does not comply with the
provisions of this act to include use of all lawful collection
procedures and the use of private collection agencies.
(c) Exclusion from taxation.--No scholarship received by a
student may be considered taxable income for purposes of Article
III of the act of March 4, 1971 (P.L.6, No.2), known as the Tax
20190HB1552PN1968 - 6 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Reform Code of 1971.
(d) Financial assistance.--No scholarship received by a
student may be considered financial assistance or appropriations
to the approved education institution.
(e) Regulations.--The agency shall adopt regulations and
procedures necessary to carry out the purposes of this act.
Section 6. REACH Scholarship Fund.
(a) Establishment.--The REACH Scholarship Fund is
established as a separate fund in the State Treasury.
(b) Administration.--The fund shall be administered by the
agency.
(c) Use of fund.--The purpose of the fund shall be to
provide full tuition scholarships or equivalent scholarships to
students who have been determined eligible in accordance with
this act.
(d) Funding source.--
(1) Donations and contributions from all public and
private sources, including the Federal Government, and any
appropriations or transfers authorized by the General
Assembly may be deposited in the fund.
(2) All interest earned by the fund and all refunds and
repayments shall be credited to the fund.
Section 7. Report to General Assembly.
On or before April 1 following the effective date of this
section, and in each succeeding year in which REACH Scholarships
are awarded, the agency shall provide a report to the General
Assembly regarding the implementation and administration of this
act.
Section 8. Effective date.
This act shall take effect July 1, 2019, or immediately,
20190HB1552PN1968 - 7 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
whichever is later.
20190HB1552PN1968 - 8 -
1