HB 1378 allows students in IT fields to receive a grant amount up to the total cost of attendance
On Friday, Aug. 11, 2023, Governor JB Pritzker signed House Bill 1378, which will create the Illinois Graduate and Retain Our Workforce (iGROW) Tech Act to establish a new program that allows students majoring in technology fields to receive tuition grants.
The iGROW program will be administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) and will be open to students enrolled in associate or bachelor’s degree programs at public or private colleges and universities. Students in IT fields can receive a grant amount up to the total cost of attendance.
“The talent, creativity, and innovative capabilities of tech leaders in this state has propelled Illinois to the forefront of international tech success,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Our best asset is our top-tier workforce, and that’s why we’re taking steps every day to push the bar higher and deliver new opportunities for every student. I’m proud to sign this legislation that will train and recruit the next generation of tech leaders and continue growing Illinois’ thriving tech sector.”
“The future of our state depends on how well we prepare our students for opportunities in the field of technology. That is why the Illinois Graduate and Retain Our Workforce Tech Act (iGROW) is a fundamental piece that will create a path to impactful and sustainable jobs,” said Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton. “As we look at the workforce of tomorrow, we are confident that Illinois students will have the skills to succeed.”
Initiated by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the program will help increase, foster, and retain Illinois’ tech workforce. Illinois’ FY 2024 budget includes an appropriation to ISAC of $2 million for iGROW. The program is set to begin for the 2024-2025 academic year.
“We live and work in a world of rapidly expanding technological opportunity, and very often students are the first to see the new horizons ahead,” said State Rep. Janet Yang Rohr (D-Naperville). “The iGrow Tech Scholarship program is about training and recruiting our talented and motivated young people for these high-tech, high-paying jobs. By preparing students today with the skills that will be in the highest demand tomorrow, we’re putting our young people and our state on the cutting edge of the 21st century economy.”
“Providing an incentive for this field will help grow our economy, retain our workforce and train our next generation of leaders for the jobs of the future,” said State Sen. Javier Cervantes (D-Chicago). “Students and their families invest so much into their education — this law lets them know Illinois has their back and is investing in their future too.”