EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Illinois students will continue to benefit from the provisions of a hugely successful scholarship program which transitions from a pilot to a permanent program under a new law passed by state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville.
“Helping more of Illinois’ best and brightest to access affordable higher education, especially as we continue to see our state’s finances improve and credit rating skyrocket, provides a tangible benefit to the whole economy,” Stuart said. “Personal financial factors should never be the reason why a smart and driven young person has to put off or give up on higher education. That’s why making this program permanent was clearly the right thing to do.”
Stuart’s House Bill 301 makes the Aspirational Institutional Match Helping Illinois Grow Higher Education (AIM HIGH) Grant Program available as a permanent program to students attending any of Illinois 12 public, four-year institutions of higher learning who also meet other requirements including having attended an Illinois high school, having U.S. citizenship or qualifying under the RISE Act, being enrolled full time, and not being in default on any student loans.
Institutions themselves are also permitted to impose additional qualifications, and will provide matching funds if these are met. Additional qualifications are listed on each university’s website.
The grants are usable on any expense that is part of the cost of attendance at the qualifying institution. The grant is renewable and those who continue to meet eligibility requirements are eligible for renewal grants in subsequent years.
The bill passed both houses unanimously and was signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Aug. 11. It took effect immediately.
“When we can all see, as in this case, that a program is effective in accomplishing the goals we designed it for, letting that program expire is the wrong choice,” Stuart said. “AIM HIGH is a proven method of boosting access to higher education and keeping more of our best talent here in Illinois. Now that it’s permanent, I’m excited to see what it helps us to achieve.”