Higher Education Legislation in 2022

10/24/2022

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During 2022 state legislative sessions, NCSL tracked more than 1,700 bills related to postsecondary education. As of October, more than 300 bills have been enacted into law. These bills are all available in the NCSL Postsecondary Bill Tracking Database.

Common Areas of Enacted Legislation

Financial Aid & Affordability

Financial Aid Programs

  • Georgia HB 1435 - Provides financial aid scholarships of up to $2,500 as part of a needs-based financial aid program for undergraduate students. 

  • South Carolina HB 3144 - Establishes The South Carolina Workforce Industry Needs Scholarship for technical college programs in workforce shortage areas.
  • Wyoming HB 31 - Creates the Tomorrow Scholarship Program to support students over 24 years old without a postsecondary degree or credential.

FAFSA Completion & Promotion

  • Rhode Island HB 7974 - Requires that the guidance department of every public or private high school in the state ensure that notices are provided to students and their parent, guardian, or responsible adult, regarding the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and the Rhode Island alternative financial aid application form.

  • Washington HB 1835 - Creates an outreach and completion initiative pilot program for FAFSA completion. 

Student Supports

  • California SB 641 - Implements recommendations from the College Hunger Working Group including posting additional information online regarding SNAP eligibility for students and modifying reporting requirements around students who use benefits.
  • Colorado HB 1107 - Creates the Inclusive Higher Education Grant Program to provide grants to state institutions of higher education for the purpose of establishing, or expanding existing, inclusive higher education programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Illinois HB 4201 - Provides for a benefits navigator to be designated by the university to help students determine eligibility for benefit programs and community support resources. 
  • Louisiana HB 888 Requires the Board of Regents to establish a process for a postsecondary education institution to be designated as a Hunger Free Campus, provides that the board shall establish a Hunger Free Campus grant program. 

Student Loans

  • Arizona SB 1321 - Expands eligibility and continues funding for the Arizona Teacher Student Loan Program which provides loan forgiveness for teachers who teach in certain schools for at least one full school year.
  • Louisiana HB 789 - Creates a private student loan registry and requires private education lenders to meet reporting requirements.
  • Washington SB 1736 - Establishes as state-run low interest student loan program beginning in the 2024-25 school year.

Postsecondary CTE

  • Hawaii HB 1561 - Establishes within the Department of Education a workforce readiness program to provide opportunities for students to earn associate degrees, workforce development diplomas, pre apprenticeship certificates, and other industry recognized certificates, requires the Department to designate schools, including adult community schools, to participate in the program.
  • Mississippi HB 1388 - Requires the office of workforce development, subject to appropriation by the legislature, to pilot a career coaching program to support middle schools and high schools as students are exposed, prepared and connected to career avenues within and beyond the classroom setting, requires the state department of education to work in conjunction with the state community college board to ensure alignment of career and technical education courses across the public school system and community college system.
  • Oregon SB 1545 - Establishes grant programs in Higher Education Coordinating Commission to provide funding for workforce development activities that aim to increase access for priority populations to training opportunities in construction, health care and manufacturing and to workforce development services and benefits.

Campus Safety

  • Arizona HB 2322 - Creates a definition and criminal consequences for hazing on college campuses. Creates a definition and criminal consequences for hazing on college campuses.
  • Maine SB 572 - Addes new language around sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and stalking at higher education institutions. Requires institutions to adopt policies and procedures related to sexual violence and the creation of the Higher Education Interpersonal Violence Advisory Council.
  • Virginia SB 439 - Establishes mandates at both public and nonprofit, private institutions of higher education relating to hazing and defines different types of organizations at such institutions to which the mandates apply. Requires the governing board of each institution to include as part of its policy, code, rules, or set of standards governing sexual violence a provision for immunity from disciplinary action based on hazing or personal consumption of drugs or alcohol where such disclosure is made in conjunction with a good faith report of an act of hazing in advance of or during an incident of hazing that causes injury to a person.

Governance & Finance

  • Florida SB 7044 - Includes provisions that prohibit public postsecondary institutions from being accredited by the same agency or association for consecutive accreditation cycles. Additionally, authorizes the Board of Governors to adopt post-tenure reviews for tenured faculty every five years.
  • Indiana SB 388 - Requires institutions to submit disclosure reports when they receive a gift or enter into contracts with foreign sources.
  • Washington HB 1051 - Provides that the governance of the University of Washington shall be vested in a board of regents to consist of 11 members, one of whom shall be a student and one of whom shall be a full time or emeritus member of the faculty,

Veterans

  • California AB 1633 - Requires California State University, and requests the University of California, to electronically transmit specified personal information regarding students whose tuition or fees, or both, are paid, or intended to be paid, using GI Bill educational benefits, as defined, to the Department of Veterans Affairs for each academic year, starting with the 2023-24 academic year, as provided.
  • Colorado HB 1407 - Requires higher education institutions to permit a veteran to audit a course for no credit if there is space available for the veteran in the course, provides that an institution may set and collect a fee of no more than $10 per audited course, provides that an institution may develop policies governing permitting veterans to audit a course, provides that a veteran auditing a course is not an eligible student for the purposes of receiving a college opportunity fund stipend.
  • New Hampshire SB 360 - Allows for members of the New Hampshire national guard to transfer their national guard tuition waiver benefit to their spouses until specified date.

Incarcerated Students

  • Alabama SB 59 - Provides that the Board of Pardons and Paroles, in consultation with the Department of Corrections, shall establish the PREP pilot program to assist individuals exiting the correctional system by providing training in consultation with J. F. Ingram State Technical College, in how to establish small businesses and assistance in obtaining funding to establish small businesses.
  • Arizona HB 2823 - Provides that a person who is convicted of a Class 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 felony is ineligible for a tuition waiver scholarships.
  • Utah HB 226 - Establishes the Higher Education and Corrections Council to advise the Board of Higher Education, the Education Interim Committee, and the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee, provides for the membership and duties of the council, requires the council to make recommendations regarding the delivery of education in the state's correctional facilities, collects certain critical data.

Student Athlete Compensation (NIL)

  • Alabama HB 76 - Repeals the state's NIL law for student athlete compensation.
  • Tennessee SB 2392 - Modifies the state's NIL law to include provisions that widen eligibility for student athletes.

At least four other states have also passed legislation to modify or repeal NIL laws in 2022.

Ballot Measures

  • Arizona Proposition 308 - Would allow non-citizen students to receive in-state tuition if the student attends school in the state for at least two years and graduates from a public school, private school, or homeschool in the state. Passed. 

Andrew Smalley is a Policy Specialist in the NCSL Education Program.

Additional Resources

Previous NCSL Higher Education Legislative Summaries