The board shall develop a scholarship program to incentivize new students to enter high-demand occupations upon graduation.
The program shall award scholarships at the beginning of an academic term, in the amount of $2,500, to be distributed evenly between two terms.
(a) Scholarships shall be awarded only to a student eligible for resident tuition, as defined in section 135A.043, who is enrolled in any of the following programs of study or certification: (1) advanced manufacturing; (2) agriculture; (3) health care services; or (4) information technology.
(b) The student must be enrolled for at least nine credits at a two-year college in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.
A student who has received a scholarship may apply again but total lifetime awards are not to exceed $5,000 per student. Students may only be awarded a second scholarship upon completion of two academic terms.
(a) The board shall establish an application process and other guidelines for implementing this program.
(b) The board shall give preference to students in financial need.
The board must submit an annual report by February 1 of each year about the scholarship awards to the chairs and ranking minority members of the senate and house of representatives committees with jurisdiction over higher education finance and policy. The first report is due no later than February 1, 2019. The annual report shall describe the following:
(1) the number of students receiving a scholarship at each two-year college during the previous fiscal year;
(2) the number of scholarships awarded for each program of study or certification described in subdivision 3, paragraph (a);
(3) the number of scholarship recipients who completed a program of study or certification described in subdivision 3, paragraph (a);
(4) the number of scholarship recipients who secured employment by their graduation date and those who secured employment within three months of their graduation date;
(5) a list of occupations scholarship recipients are entering; and
(6) the number of students who were denied a scholarship.