bill sponsor, introduced and gave opening remarks on HB21-1330.
The bill makes changes to higher education programs, including allocating
federal funding for multiple purposes, creating the Colorado Re-engaged
Initiative (CORE) initiative, and modifying the ability of community colleges
and local district colleges to offer a bachelorâs degree in applied science,
among other changes.
Institution allocations of federal funds. The Colorado Opportunity
Scholarship Initiative (COSI) board must allocate federal funds to public
institutions of higher education as follows:
- 50 percent based
on each institutionâs headcount enrollment of undergraduate, in-state
students in FY 2019-20 whose expected family contribution does not exceed
250 percent of the maximum Pell-eligible contribution, and other criteria
by rule; and
- 50 percent based
on each institutionâs full-time equivalent enrollment of undergraduate,
in-state students in FY 2019-20 whose expected family contribution does
not exceed 250 percent of the maximum Pell-eligible contribution, and other
criteria by rule.
To receive a funding
distribution, institutions must submit a student assistance plan detailing
how the funds will be used to support in-state, undergraduate students
who earned some credits, but did not complete a credential before deciding
not to enroll, or who were admitted in 2019-20 or 2020-21 academic years
but did not enroll at any institution during the 2020-21 academic year.
The board must review and approve the plans, and the bill establishes
reporting requirements for institutions and COSI.
Federal funds - student aid application grant program. The bill
creates the Student Aid Application Completion Grant Program in COSI to
provide grants to local education providers to implement strategies to
increase the number of students who complete student aid applications before
graduating from high school. The bill specifies application and reporting
requirements, and provides $1.5 million in federal coronavirus recovery
funds for grants. The board must prioritize applicants who partner
with a community-based nonprofit organization or institution of higher
education, and must consult with the Colorado Department of Education (CDE).
CORE initiative. The bill creates CORE initiative to authorize
certain institutions to award associateâs degrees to eligible students
who enroll in a bachelorâs degree program, earn at least 70 credit hours,
and withdraw from the institution prior to completing the degree.
Eligible students must have completed general education requirements and
other required courses, must not have been enrolled for at least two consecutive
semesters, and may not have transferred directly from a community college.
Eligible institutions must have approval from their accrediting
agency to participate, and must not offer programs specifically designed
to lead to an associateâs degree, with some exceptions.
Associateâs degrees offered through CORE are not considered in determining
an institutionâs funding. The Department of Higher Education (DHE) must
publicize the program and work with institutions to identify eligible students
and notify them of their eligibility, and institutions must determine eligibility,
issue the associateâs degree, and advise the student on how to re-enroll
to complete the bachelorâs degree. The bill establishes reporting
requirements for participating institutions.
Bachelors of applied science degrees. The bill repeals the requirement
that the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) approve proposals
for community colleges to offer bachelors of applied science degrees. It
allows community colleges and local district colleges to offer bachelors
of applied science degrees with the approval of their governing boards.
The governing boards must notify CCHE of any such degree it approves.
Working groups. The bill creates two working groups and specifies
the member composition and reporting deadlines for each one. First,
the CCHE must convene a working group by August 1, 2021, to review the
role and mission and service area of each institution of higher education,
the interaction between institutions with the state workforce development
council, and possible uses of federal coronavirus funds. Additionally,
DHE must convene a task force to recommended ways to increase the number
of students who complete student aid applications prior to graduation.
In-state tuition eligibility. The bill allows institutions of
higher education to grant in-state tuition to a person who moves to Colorado
to accept a job with an employer that will pay the personâs tuition. The
person must demonstrate intent to establish a permanent domicile in the
state, and is not eligible for the College Opportunity Fund stipend. The
bill also clarifies provisions concerning in-state tuition for minor children
who move to Colorado during their senior year of high school.