On Aug. 11, the Governor signed a pair of bills directed at establishing scholarship programs to attract talented high school graduates to attend Illinois universities and colleges.
The first bill, House Bill 301, permanently establishes Illinois’ Aspirational Institutional Match Helping Illinois Grow Higher Education (AIM HIGH) Grant Pilot Program. AIM HIGH was originally a statewide pilot program that provided merit-based scholarships to Illinois high school graduates to incentivize more high-achieving students to attend Illinois public universities, rather than them taking out-of-state offers with the chance they never return.
The second bill signed into law, House Bill 1378, establishes the Illinois Graduate and Retain Our Workforce (iGROW) Tech Scholarship Program. The iGROW program awards scholarships in order to recruit and train individuals to work in technology jobs that have a high demand for new employees and offer high wages. Scholarships may be made through the 2029-2030 academic year for a maximum of eight academic semesters.
State Senator Sue Rezin says both scholarship programs should help the state deal with the ongoing “brain drain” of young, talented high school graduates and help ensure that Illinois’ workforce remains full of strong and qualified candidates.