SB 10: "An Act establishing a grant program to provide to essential workers the tuition and fees to attend a state-supported postsecondary educational institution."
00 SENATE BILL NO. 10 01 "An Act establishing a grant program to provide to essential workers the tuition and 02 fees to attend a state-supported postsecondary educational institution." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 05 to read: 06 ESSENTIAL WORKER GRANT PROGRAM. (a) Subject to appropriation, the 07 Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education shall award a grant in an amount equal to 08 the recipient's cost of annual undergraduate tuition and fees at a state-supported postsecondary 09 educational institution to a person who 10 (1) applies on a form provided by the commission; 11 (2) was employed as an essential worker in the state when the federal 12 government declared a public health emergency on January 31, 2020, and 13 (A) maintains employment as an essential worker for the duration of 14 the public health emergency; or
01 (B) was temporarily or permanently laid off; 02 (3) is enrolled or about to be enrolled at a state-supported postsecondary 03 educational institution as a half-time or full-time student; 04 (4) has been a resident of the state for at least 12 months; 05 (5) has received, or will receive within six months after applying for a grant 06 under this section, a high school diploma or general educational development certificate; 07 (6) has earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher in high 08 school or has otherwise demonstrated an equivalent academic ability, as specified by the 09 commission in regulation; 10 (7) has completed and submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid 11 for each academic year, if eligible, and accepted all state and federal aid grants available to 12 the person; and 13 (8) has not completed more than a total of 90 credit hours, or the equivalent, at 14 a postsecondary educational institution. 15 (b) A recipient of a grant under this section is eligible to receive a grant for another 16 term if the person 17 (1) maintains a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher during each 18 term for which the person has received a grant under this section, unless waived in accordance 19 with regulations adopted by the commission; 20 (2) makes satisfactory progress toward a curriculum, degree, or program, as 21 specified by the commission in regulation; and 22 (3) maintains enrollment as a half-time or full-time student. 23 (c) The commission shall 24 (1) establish an application process for participation in the program; 25 (2) implement policies that improve the academic success or completion rates 26 of students who receive a grant under this section; 27 (3) evaluate the effects of the grant program for the purpose of preparing the 28 report required under sec. 2 of this Act. 29 (d) The total amount of grants awarded under this section may not exceed 30 $10,000,000 in a fiscal year. If the amount appropriated in a fiscal year is insufficient to meet 31 the amounts awarded under (a) and (b) of this section, the commission shall prioritize
01 payment of grants based on need according to the expected family contribution reported on 02 each applicant's Free Application for Federal Student Aid. 03 (e) The commission may adopt regulations necessary to implement this section. 04 (f) In this section, 05 (1) "commission" means the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education; 06 (2) "essential worker" means a person who is employed on a full-time or part- 07 time basis as 08 (A) hospital or nursing home personnel; 09 (B) a personal care attendant; 10 (C) a childcare provider for children of critical infrastructure workers; 11 (D) an employee of a personal protective equipment manufacturer; 12 (E) a public safety employee; 13 (F) janitorial or cleaning personnel; 14 (G) a solid waste disposal worker; 15 (H) a delivery driver; 16 (I) a grocery store worker; or 17 (J) document or record destruction personnel; 18 (3) "full-time student" means an undergraduate or career education student 19 who enrolls in and regularly attends classes for at least 12 semester hours of credit or the 20 equivalent during the semester; any combination of semester hours of credit, or the 21 equivalent, aggregating to the requisite number of semester hours and undertaken during a 22 semester at two or more public or private institutions of higher education constitutes full-time 23 student status; 24 (4) "half-time student" means 25 (A) an undergraduate or career education student who, during the 26 semester, enrolls in and regularly attends classes at one or more public or private 27 institutions of higher education for six to 11 semester credit hours or an equivalent of 28 six to 11 semester credit hours; or 29 (B) a career education student who enrolls in and regularly attends 30 classes for 15 hours a week. 31 * Sec. 2. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to
01 read: 02 ESSENTIAL WORKER GRANT PROGRAM REPORT. On or before December 31 03 of each calendar year, the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education shall submit a 04 report to the senate secretary and chief clerk of the house of representatives and notify the 05 legislature that the report is available. The report must include 06 (1) student completion rates of the curricula, degrees, and programs described 07 in sec. 1(b)(2) of this Act; 08 (2) the amount of federal aid awarded to grant recipients under sec. 1 of this 09 Act; 10 (3) the effects of the grant program on the enrollment and finances of state- 11 supported postsecondary educational institutions; 12 (4) the overall success rate and financial effects of the grant program. 13 * Sec. 3. Section 1 of this Act is repealed on the earlier of 14 (1) the date the public health emergency declared by the federal government 15 expires; or 16 (2) the date the federal government determines that the public health 17 emergency no longer exists. 18 * Sec. 4. Section 2 of this Act is repealed January 1, 2025.