Sen. Michael Hastings

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael E. Hastings fought for a significant milestone in the expansion of the AIM HIGH Grant Pilot Program.

“This monumental legislation makes greater investments in our children,” said Hastings (D- Frankfort). “The cost of financing higher education can be overwhelming. The expansion of this grant program will help increase accessibility for middle class families at our state’s universities and colleges.”

House Bill 301 will make the AIM HIGH Grant Pilot Program permanent, increase transparency in the program to allow more students to take advantage of it, increase access for part-time students and make changes to the matching requirements for the public universities.

Since the 2019-2020 academic year the AIM HIGH program has provided merit-based, means-tested student financial aid to first-time, full-time undergraduate students and transfer students who are Illinois residents attending any of the 12 Illinois public four-year universities. AIM HIGH-participating universities are required to provide matching funding for institutional awards for students who meet certain eligibility requirements, as well as those established by each individual university.

The initiative adopts changes to help ensure that the AIM HIGH Grant Program targets those most in need, further amplifying its impact.

“Our children are the future leaders of our great state,” said Hastings. “It’s our goal to provide students with the opportunity to be successful – this legislation is a step in the right direction to do just that.”

House Bill 301 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support.