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On Wednesday, May 15, the Senate Education Committee held a hearing on three bills that aim to expand access to affordable higher education for Pennsylvania students.

Senate Bill 78, sponsored by Senator Greenleaf (R-Bucks), expands state scholarship eligibility requirements for students regardless of the percentage of credit hours completed through online courses.

Senate Bill 420, sponsored by Senator Ward (R-Westmoreland), creates a debt relief program for middle-income students. The legislation would appropriate additional funds to PHEAA for a new student aid and debt reduction program for middle-income ($80,000-$110,000) students.

Senate Bill 713, the DREAM Act, sponsored by Senator Smucker (R-Lancaster), provides in-state tuition for undocumented students who graduated or received a GED from a Pennsylvania high school. Similar legislation has been passed in at least 12 other states.

APSCUF submitted written testimony to the committee on all three bills. More information about the hearing, including testimony from PASSHE and other presenters can be found on the committee’s website.