Pennsylvania Statutes Title 72 P.S. Taxation and Fiscal Affairs § 312. Keystone Scholars Grant Program

(a) The department shall establish a grant program as part of the Tuition Account Guaranteed Savings Program Fund established under section 306 of the Tuition Account Programs and College Savings Bond Act   1 to be known as the Keystone Scholars Grant Program.  The purpose of the program shall be to promote access to postsecondary educational opportunities for each eligible child.

(b) The following apply:

(1) No later than ninety days following the birth of an eligible child, the Department of Health shall transmit information and record data to the department necessary to administer the program and establish the eligibility of each child born after December 31, 2018.  Information under this subsection shall include, but not be limited to, record data such as the full name and residential address of the child's parent or legal guardian and birth date of the child.

(2) Following receipt of the information under paragraph (1), the department shall notify each parent or guardian of each eligible child about the program.

(3) The department shall provide an opportunity to be excluded from the program.

(4) The department shall ensure the security and confidentiality of the information and record data provided under paragraph (1).

(c) The following apply:

(1) The Keystone Scholars Grant Program Account is established as a separate account within the Tuition Account Guaranteed Savings Program Fund.  Money contained in this account shall be for the exclusive purpose of providing scholarship grants to eligible children to pay for qualified higher education expenses associated with the attendance at an eligible educational institution.

(2) The following apply:

(i) Subject to subparagraphs (ii) and (iii), at the end of each fiscal year, assets of the Tuition Account Guaranteed Savings Program Fund that are in excess of ten per centum of the actuarially determined liabilities of the Tuition Account Guaranteed Savings Program Fund shall be allocated to the account.

(ii) Annual allocations under this paragraph may not exceed an amount equal to one hundred dollars ($100) multiplied by the number of children born in this Commonwealth in the fiscal year.

(iii) An allocation under subparagraph (i) may not be made if the allocation would cause the actuarially determined surplus of the Tuition Account Guaranteed Savings Program to fall below ten per centum of the Tuition Account Guaranteed Savings Program's actuarially determined liabilities.

(iv) The department shall have the authority to invest and reinvest money in the account as provided for under section 307 of the Tuition Account Programs and College Savings Bond Act.  2

(v) Annually, the State Treasurer shall report to the Governor, the chair and minority chair of the Appropriations Committee of the Senate and the chair and minority chair of the Appropriations Committee of House of Representatives the actuarial status of the Tuition Account Guaranteed Savings Program Fund as required under section 306(b)(2) of the Tuition Account Programs and College Savings Bond Act.

(vi) This paragraph shall expire December 31, 2029.

(3) Money in the account shall be used for the purpose of providing grants for qualified higher education expenses associated with the attendance at an eligible educational institution and for costs associated with the administration of the program.  Costs associated with the administration of the program shall be reported to the Governor, the chair and minority chair of the Appropriations Committee of the Senate and the chair and minority chair of the Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives in the same manner as required under paragraph (2)(v).

(4) To an eligible child for whom a Tuition Account Program Contract has been entered into, and upon application and the submission of documentation necessary to establish the child's eligibility and enrollment as a student at an eligible educational institution, the department shall provide a scholarship grant in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100), plus such investment earnings attributed to the initial grant amount since the birth date of the eligible child as calculated by the department, for qualified higher education expenses associated with attendance at an eligible educational institution.

(5) The department shall make program account balances available to each parent or guardian of an eligible child through a secured Internet account.

(d) The following apply:

(1) Subject to the availability of money under subsection (e), the State Treasurer may establish an annual match of contributions made by a parent or guardian of an eligible child into an established Guaranteed Savings Plan Account under section 309 of the Tuition Account Programs and College Savings Bond Act.  3

(2) Subject to the availability of money from contributions made under subsection (e), the State Treasurer may establish financial incentives, such as school attendance, for additional grants for an eligible child with an established Guaranteed Savings Plan Account under section 309 of the Tuition Account Programs and College Savings Bond Act.

(3) Money from the Tuition Account Guaranteed Savings Program Fund may not be used for purposes under clauses (1) and (2).

(e) Notwithstanding subsection (c)(2)(iii), the department may receive contributions from any person or legal entity to the account on behalf of, and make grants to, eligible children to pay for qualified higher education expenses associated with attendance at an eligible educational institution.

(f) In addition to the duties under section 304 of the Tuition Account Programs and College Savings Bond Act,  4 the board shall consider, study and review the work of the program, advise the department on request and make recommendations for the improvement of the program.

(g) The following words and phrases when used in this section shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

Account” shall mean the Keystone Scholars Grant Program Account established under subsection (c).

Department” shall mean the Treasury Department of the Commonwealth.

Eligible child” shall mean an individual born after December 31, 2018, who is:

(1) a resident of this Commonwealth at the time of birth and at the time that the grant for qualified higher education expenses is applied for or received;  or

(2) an adoptee in receipt of a valid decree of adoption under 23 Pa.C.S. § 2902 (relating to requirements and form of decree of adoption), whose adopting parent or parents were residents of this Commonwealth at the time the decree of adoption was entered and who is a resident at the time that the grant for qualified higher education expenses is applied for or received.

Eligible educational institution” shall mean a college, university, vocational or other postsecondary educational institution as defined by section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 ( Public Law 99-514 , 26 U.S.C. § 529 ).

Program” shall mean the Keystone Scholars Grant Program established under subsection (a).

Qualified higher education expenses” shall mean expenses, as defined under section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 .

Tuition Account Programs and College Savings Bond Act” shall mean the act of April 3, 1992 (P.L. 28, No. 11),   5 known as the Tuition Account Programs and College Savings Bond Act.

1 24 P.S. § 6901.306.
2 24 P.S. § 6901.307.
3 24 P.S. § 6901.309.
4 24 P.S. § 6901.304.
5 24 P.S. § 6901.101 et seq.

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