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Legislative Year: 2021 Change

Bill Detail: HB21-1330

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Title Higher Education Student Success
Status Governor Signed (06/29/2021)
Bill Subjects
  • Higher Education
House Sponsors N. Ricks (D)
J. McCluskie (D)
Senate Sponsors R. Zenzinger (D)
B. Kirkmeyer (R)
House Committee Public and Behavioral Health & Human Services
Senate Committee Finance
Date Introduced 06/01/2021

Section 1: Legislative declaration. The bill explains why
appropriating money to the Colorado opportunity scholarship initiative
(COSI) and to the department of higher education (department) for
programs to incentivize students to re-enroll and complete postsecondary
credentials and degrees, and for a grant program to assist students in
completing applications for financial assistance, are appropriate and

lawful uses of a portion of the money the state receives pursuant to the
American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).
Sections 2 through 5: Distribution of federal money to support
student success. Beginning with the 2021-22 state fiscal year, the bill
directs the COSI advisory board to allocate to public institutions of higher
education (institution) an amount appropriated to the COSI fund from
money received pursuant to ARPA. To receive a distribution of its
allocation, an institution must submit a student assistance plan (plan)
explaining how the institution will use the money to provide financial
assistance and support services to students who have some postsecondary
credits but stopped attending before obtaining a credential, and first-time
students who were admitted to an institution for the 2019-20 or 2020-21
academic year but did not enroll for the 2020-21 academic year. The
provision of financial assistance and support services is designed to
decrease student debt and increase student enrollment, retention, and
completion of credentials. The COSI advisory board must review each
plan based on specified criteria and may require changes to a plan before
approving a distribution. At the end of the fiscal year, each institution
must submit a report of how it used the money and the results achieved.
The COSI director must include the information in the report that the
board annually prepares. The program to distribute the federal money in
this manner is repealed July 1, 2026.
The bill creates the student aid applications completion grant
program (grant program) in COSI. A school district, a charter school, or
a board of cooperative services that operates a high school (local
education provider) that chooses to apply for a grant must require the
students enrolled by the local education provider to complete the free
application for federal student aid and the Colorado application for state
financial aid (student aid applications) before high school graduation,
unless waived under conditions specified by the local education provider.
The bill specifies the contents of the application and requires the COSI
board to review the applications and approve the grant awards to be paid
from an amount appropriated to the COSI fund in the bill. Each grant
recipient must submit an annual report concerning use of the grant
money, and the COSI board must include a summary report in the annual
report that the COSI board submits to the education committees of the
general assembly. The grant program is repealed July 1, 2026.
Section 6: Colorado re-engaged (CORE) initiative. The bill
creates the Colorado re-engaged (CORE) initiative within the department
to award an associate degree to an eligible student who enrolls in a
baccalaureate degree program at a 4-year institution and earns at least 70
credit hours, but stops attending before attaining the degree. The bill
specifies the role of the department in implementing the CORE initiative
and the role of an institution that chooses to participate in the CORE
initiative. Each institution that chooses to participate in the CORE
initiative must annually submit to the department a report concerning
implementation of the CORE initiative. The department must review and
compile the reports and submit a summary report to the education
committees of the general assembly.
Sections 7 through 12: Bachelor of applied science degree
programs. The bill repeals the requirement that a community college or
a local district college must receive approval from the Colorado
commission on higher education (commission) to offer a bachelor of
applied science degree program. A community college or a local district
college that seeks to offer a bachelor of applied science degree program
must apply to its governing board, and the governing board may approve
the program based on specified criteria. If a governing board approves a
bachelor of applied science degree program, the governing board must
notify the commission. The bill repeals the criteria the commission must
apply in approving a bachelor's degree program for a local district
Section 13: Study of role and mission and workforce
development. The bill directs the commission to convene a task force to:
  • Review the role and mission and service area of each state
institution of higher education, local district college, and
area technical college;
  • The interaction between the institutions, the local district
colleges, the area technical colleges, and the state work
force development council in supporting and improving
workforce development; and
  • Review and make recommendations concerning uses of
ARPA money for assistance for populations
disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 public
health emergency that addresses or mitigates the impacts of
the public health emergency on educational disparities.
The bill describes the membership of the task force and the issues
the task force must address. By December 15, 2021, the task force must
submit a report of findings and recommendations to the commission and
to the education committees of the general assembly. The department
must post the report on the department's website.
Section 14: Completion of student aid applications. The bill
creates within the department a working group appointed by the governor
to recommend strategies for increasing the student completion rate for the
student aid applications. The working group must submit its
recommendations to the commission, the state board of education, the
joint budget committee, and the education committees of the general
assembly by January 15, 2022.
Section 15: Classification for in-state tuition. The bill allows the
governing board of an institution to classify a qualified person as an
in-state student, for tuition purposes only, if the qualified person moves
to the state to accept employment, the employer is paying the qualified
person's tuition, and the qualified person demonstrates the intent to
establish permanent domicile in the state. The qualified person is not
eligible to receive the state stipend for the first year of enrollment.

Committee Reports
with Amendments
Full Text
Full Text of Bill (pdf) (most recent)
Fiscal Notes Fiscal Notes (07/30/2021) (most recent)  
Additional Bill Documents Bill Documents
  • Past bill versions
  • Past fiscal notes
  • Committee activity and documents
  • Bill History
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