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  Date of enactment: March 28, 2016
2015 Assembly Bill 741   Date of publication*: March 29, 2016
* Section 991.11, Wisconsin Statutes: Effective date of acts. "Every act and every portion of an act enacted by the legislature over the governor's partial veto which does not expressly prescribe the time when it takes effect shall take effect on the day after its date of publication."
2015 WISCONSIN ACT 282
An Act to amend 38.28 (1m) (a) 1.; and to create 20.285 (1) (e), 20.292 (1) (e), 36.66 and 38.42 of the statutes; relating to: grants to students enrolled in technical colleges and University of Wisconsin college campuses to meet emergency financial need and making an appropriation.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:
282,1 Section 1. 20.005 (3) (schedule) of the statutes: at the appropriate place, insert the following amounts for the purposes indicated: - See PDF for table PDF - See PDF for table PDF
282,2 Section 2. 20.285 (1) (e) of the statutes is created to read:
20.285 (1) (e) Grants to meet emergency financial need. As a continuing appropriation, the amounts in the schedule for distribution to the college campuses for purposes of making grants under s. 36.66.
282,3 Section 3. 20.292 (1) (e) of the statutes is created to read:
20.292 (1) (e) Grants to meet emergency financial need. As a continuing appropriation, the amounts in the schedule for distribution to technical college districts for purposes of making grants under s. 38.42.
282,4 Section 4. 36.66 of the statutes is created to read:
36.66 Grants to meet emergency financial need. (1) In this section:
(a) "Eligible student" means a student enrolled in a college campus whose expected family contribution, as defined in s. 39.437 (3) (a), is less than $5,000.
(b) "Financial emergency" means an unplanned event causing an unanticipated expense, such as charges for medical treatment or vehicle repair, that would cause an eligible student to not complete that term if a grant were not available to cover the expense, but does not include such expenses as those for tuition, textbooks, student fees, alcohol or tobacco, groceries, entertainment, legal services, or fines or forfeitures resulting from legal violations.
(2) From the appropriation under s. 20.285 (1) (e), no later than September 1, 2016, and by September 1 of each year thereafter, the board shall distribute funds to the college campuses for payment of grants under this section. These funds may not be used by the college campuses for any other purpose. The amount distributed by the board to each college campus shall be determined by the board based on the anticipated need and demand for grants at each college campus.
(3) (a) Subject to pars. (b) to (d), each college campus may award grants to eligible students to pay the student's expense resulting from a financial emergency. In evaluating a grant application, the college campus shall, in its discretion and based on its best judgment, determine whether the student has incurred a legitimate financial emergency.
(b) No grant may be awarded to a student unless the student has submitted with the grant application written proof, such as a bill, identifying the nature and amount of the expense and the 3rd party to whom this amount is owed.
(c) A college campus may not award more than 2 grants under this section to the same student in any academic year. The total of all grants made to a student under this section in the same academic year may not exceed $500.
(d) A grant under this section may not be disbursed in cash. The grant funds shall be disbursed in any of the following ways:
1. By check made payable to the student and delivered to the student.
2. By check made payable to the 3rd party identified under par. (b) and delivered to the 3rd party or to the student.
3. By electronic fund transfer or other electronic deposit to an account maintained by the student at a financial institution.
(4) Each college campus shall create or adopt a brief application process and designate an employee with the authority to disburse the grant funds to eligible students. A decision on a grant application, and disbursement of grant funds to a student if a grant is awarded, shall be made within 5 business days of the student's application.
(5) If a student applies for a 2nd grant under this section within the same academic year, a college campus shall require the student to undergo a financial counseling session with a financial aid professional before the grant may be awarded.
(6) (a) Each college campus shall collect, for each academic year, the following information related to the grant program under this section:
1. The number of grants awarded.
2. The number of grant requests denied.
3. The number of students receiving grants.
4. The total amount of grant money awarded.
5. The total amount of grant money available but not awarded.
6. The number of students who received a grant and completed their degree or credential.
7. The number of students who received a grant and transferred to another postsecondary institution.
8. The number of students who received a grant and did not complete the term in which the grant was awarded.
9. The types of expenses for which students requested grants.
(b) By June 30, 2017, and by June 30 of each year thereafter, each college campus shall report to the board the information collected under par. (a), for the academic year ending in that calendar year, and the board shall submit a report of this information to the chief clerk of each house of the legislature, for distribution to the appropriate standing committees under s. 13.172 (3) having jurisdiction over matters relating to colleges and universities.
282,5 Section 5. 38.28 (1m) (a) 1. of the statutes, as affected by 2015 Wisconsin Act 55, is amended to read:
38.28 (1m) (a) 1. "District aidable cost" means the annual cost of operating a technical college district, including debt service charges for district bonds and promissory notes for building programs or capital equipment, but excluding all expenditures relating to auxiliary enterprises and community service programs, all expenditures funded by or reimbursed with federal revenues, all receipts under ss. 38.12 (9), 38.14 (3) and (9), 118.15 (2) (a), and 118.55 (7r), all receipts from grants awarded under ss. 38.04 (8), (28), and (31), 38.14 (11), 38.26, 38.27, 38.31, 38.33, and 38.38, and 38.42, all fees collected under s. 38.24, and driver education and chauffeur training aids.
282,6 Section 6. 38.42 of the statutes is created to read:
38.42 Grants to meet emergency financial need. (1) In this section:
(a) "Eligible student" means a student enrolled in a technical college whose expected family contribution, as defined in s. 39.437 (3) (a), is less than $5,000.
(b) "Financial emergency" means an unplanned event causing an unanticipated expense, such as charges for medical treatment or vehicle repair, that would cause an eligible student to not complete that term if a grant were not available to cover the expense, but does not include such expenses as those for tuition, textbooks, student fees, alcohol or tobacco, groceries, entertainment, legal services, or fines or forfeitures resulting from legal violations.
(2) From the appropriation under s. 20.292 (1) (e), no later than September 1, 2016, and by September 1 of each year thereafter, the board shall distribute funds to the districts for payment of grants under this section. These funds may not be used by the districts for any other purpose. The amount distributed by the board to each district shall be determined by the board based on the anticipated need and demand for grants at each technical college.
(3) (a) Subject to pars. (b) to (d), each technical college may award grants to eligible students to pay the student's expense resulting from a financial emergency. In evaluating a grant application, the technical college shall, in its discretion and based on its best judgment, determine whether the student has incurred a legitimate financial emergency.
(b) No grant may be awarded to a student unless the student has submitted with the grant application written proof, such as a bill, identifying the nature and amount of the expense and the 3rd party to whom this amount is owed.
(c) A technical college may not award more than 2 grants under this section to the same student in any academic year. The total of all grants made to a student under this section in the same academic year may not exceed $500.
(d) A grant under this section may not be disbursed in cash. The grant funds shall be disbursed in any of the following ways:
1. By check made payable to the student and delivered to the student.
2. By check made payable to the 3rd party identified under par. (b) and delivered to the 3rd party or to the student.
3. By electronic fund transfer or other electronic deposit to an account maintained by the student at a financial institution.
(4) Each technical college shall create or adopt a brief application process and designate an employee with the authority to disburse the grant funds to eligible students. A decision on a grant application, and disbursement of grant funds to a student if a grant is awarded, shall be made within 5 business days of the student's application.
(5) If a student applies for a 2nd grant under this section within the same academic year, a technical college shall require the student to undergo a financial counseling session with a financial aid professional before the grant may be awarded.
(6) (a) Each technical college shall collect, for each academic year, the following information related to the grant program under this section:
1. The number of grants awarded.
2. The number of grant requests denied.
3. The number of students receiving grants.
4. The total amount of grant money awarded.
5. The total amount of grant money available but not awarded.
6. The number of students who received a grant and completed their degree or credential.
7. The number of students who received a grant and transferred to another postsecondary institution.
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