Senate Bill 490, relating to Texas Equalization Grant (TEG) eligibility, will streamline the TEG program by requiring all graduate students currently receiving a TEG to meet the program's current requirements. Additionally it allows undergraduate students who have received a TEG under the program's previous requirements two additional years to graduate. This change in law will allow approximately 50 new students to receive a TEG, with no additional funding.
Senate Bill 496, joint authored with Senator Kevin Eltife and relating to Capital Project Approval Authority, eliminates unnecessary levels of bureaucracy when institutions of higher education seek to receive authority for capital construction projects not funded with state dollars. By transferring approval authority from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to the individual Boards of Regents, this bill minimizes the costs associated with receiving approval for construction while maintaining adequate oversight.
Senate Bill 497, joint authored with Senator Judith Zaffirini and relating to Associates Degree Semester Credit Hours, caps the number of semester credit hours necessary to receive an associates degree at levels required by accreditation or licensure. By making uniform the number of semester credit hours needed to receive an associates degree while respecting accreditation and licensure, this bill helps to ensure that students receive adequate academic advising and minimizes the loss of credit when students transfer to a four-year institution.
Continuing the focus on associates degrees, Senate Bill 498, joint authored with Senator Dan Patrick and relating to Reverse Transfer, reduces the number of semester credit hours required for notification of associates degree eligibility from 90 to 60. This bill requires that four-year institutions notify community colleges when a transfer student achieves 60 semester credit hours so that the community college may award that student an associates degree. By lowering the threshold from 90 to 60 this bill ensures that more students receive associates degrees, which are integral to Texas' future workforce needs.
"I appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with several of my Senate colleagues on this legislation," Seliger said. "I believe these bills are valuable to students and higher education institutions in Texas."