Thursday, August 4, 2011

Illinois Governor signed into law the Illinois DREAM Act

On August 1, 2011, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law S.B. 2185, the Illinois DREAM Act, which among other things adds new 110 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 947/67 to create a privately funded scholarship program for high-school graduates from immigrant families who wish to attend college:
Sec. 67. Illinois DREAM Fund Commission.

(a) The Illinois Student Assistance Commission shall establish an Illinois DREAM Fund Commission. The Governor shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the Senate, members to the Illinois DREAM Fund Commission, which shall be comprised of 9 members representing the geographic and ethnic diversity of this State, including students, college and university administrators and faculty, and other individuals committed to advancing the educational opportunities of the children of immigrants.

(b) The Illinois DREAM Fund Commission is charged with all of the following responsibilities:

(1) Administering this Section and raising funds for the Illinois DREAM Fund.

(2) Establishing a not-for-profit entity charged with raising funds for the administration of this Section, any educational or training programs the Commission is tasked with administering, and funding scholarships to students who are the children of immigrants to the United States.

(3) Publicizing the availability of scholarships from the Illinois DREAM Fund.

(4) Selecting the recipients of scholarships funded through the Illinois DREAM Fund.

(5) Researching issues pertaining to the availability of assistance with the costs of higher education for the children of immigrants and other issues regarding access for and the performance of the children of immigrants within higher education.

(6) Overseeing implementation of the other provisions of this amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly.

(7) Establishing and administering training programs for high school counselors and counselors, admissions officers, and financial aid officers of public institutions of higher education. The training programs shall instruct participants on the educational opportunities available to college-bound students who are the children of immigrants, including, but not limited to, in-state tuition and scholarship programs. The Illinois DREAM Fund Commission may also establish a public awareness campaign regarding educational opportunities available to college bound students who are the children of immigrants. The Illinois DREAM Fund Commission shall establish, by rule, procedures for accepting and evaluating applications for scholarships from the children of immigrants and issuing scholarships to selected student applicants.

(c) To receive a scholarship under this Section, a student must meet all of the following qualifications:

(1) Have resided with his or her parents or guardian while attending a public or private high school in this State.

(2) Have graduated from a public or private high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in this State.

(3) Have attended school in this State for at least 3 years as of the date he or she graduated from high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma.

(4) Have at least one parent who immigrated to the United States.

(d) The Illinois Student Assistance Commission shall establish an Illinois DREAM Fund to provide scholarships under this Section. The Illinois DREAM Fund shall be funded entirely from private contributions.

University of Illinois President Michael Hogan said, “The Illinois DREAM Act is a crucial step in the right direction, ensuring that worthy students are no longer denied the life-changing opportunity of college simply because their immigration status puts needed financial aid out of reach. I'm grateful to our legislators and Governor Quinn for supporting the shared vision that bright minds are our most precious resource and must be cultivated, not thwarted by outdated immigration laws.”

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home