SB 362 Modifies provisions regarding the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority and funding of higher education
Sponsor: Shoemyer Co-Sponsor(s)
LR Number: 1684S.02I Fiscal Note:
Committee: Education
Last Action: 1/25/2007 - Second Read and Referred S Education Committee Journal Page: S159
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: Emergency Clause

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Current Bill Summary

SB 362 - This act requires the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority to annually transfer one and half percent of the Authority's assets to certain funds in the following percentages:

(1) 18% to the academic scholarship fund;

(2) 12% to the Department of Health donated fund for the purpose of funding the primary care resource initiative program; and

(3) 70% to the newly created Gallagher teach and heal fund.

Moneys from the general revenue fund are required to annually be used to pay debt service on bonds issued by the state after July 1, 2007, for capital projects at institutions of higher education in an amount not to exceed the amount of general revenue transferred to the academic scholarship fund, the Missouri college guarantee fund and the student grant fund for fiscal year 2007.

As a result of the increase moneys available to the "Bright Flight" scholarship based on this act, the award to qualified recipients is increased from the current $2,000 per year to an amount of at least $4,000 per year. This provision is similar to SB 662 (2006).

This act provides the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA) shall make access to low cost student loans and access to grants, scholarships and loan forgiveness programs a priority of MOHELA. The board of MOHELA owe a fiduciary duty to post-secondary students to ensure that all eligible students have access to low cost student loans, as well as access to grants, scholarships, and loan forgiveness programs to the extent practicable. Currently, any sale by MOHELA of student loan notes is limited by the terms of the bond resolution authorizing the issue of the bonds. This act provides that such sale shall also be limited to solely furthering the fiduciary duty of the board as described in the act.

The act provides that all bond proceeds, fees, and other revenues of the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MoHELA) can only be used for lowering student loan rates, forgiving loans, and administering loans and the loan program. This provision is similar to HB 387 (2007).

The act creates the Gallagher Teach and Heal Grant Program. The coordinating board for higher education shall be responsible for the implementation of the program, including determining the criteria for eligibility of applicants, evaluating each applicant's expected family contribution, and selecting qualified applicants to receive financial assistance. Financial assistance is allotted for one academic, but a recipient is eligible for renewal, provided the person maintains a grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, or an equivalent scale.

Beginning with the 2007-2008 academic year, a qualified applicant is entitled to financial assistance under the program for certain maximum and minimum dollar amounts, depending on whether the institution is a two- or four-year institution, and whether the institution is public or private. Students with certain levels of expected family contributions, as well as "Bright Flight" recipients, may have their assistance reduced. The award amounts specified in the act may be adjusted based on changes in the consumer price index.

The provisions of the sunset act shall not apply to the Gallagher Teach and Heal Grant Program.

This act repeals the current Gallagher Grant Program and the College Guarantee Program.

This act contains an emergency clause.