College completion has become an area of focus for many states. Illinois legislation enacted earlier this year is using financial aid as a carrot to boost 4-year degree completion rates, including in high-need fields.
S.B. 3699 creates the Community College Transfer Grant Program to award $1,000 scholarships for up to two years or 60 credit hours to students who have completed an associate's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. An additional $1,000 grant is available for students pursuing undergraduate degrees in engineering, mathematics, nursing, teaching or science.
It will be interesting to see several years from now how many students take the state up on the scholarship, and how B.A. completion rates of scholarship recipients compare against the completion rates of other students transferring to four-year institutions after A.A. completion.