Sen. CervantesSPRINGFIELD – Students will soon see scholarship opportunities in Illinois’ growing technology sector thanks to a new scholarship incentive program championed by State Senator Javier Loera Cervantes.

“From the moment they start higher education, students will have a pathway to good-paying technology jobs, with employers ready to hire them when they graduate,” said Cervantes (D-Chicago). “The growing tech sector in Illinois needs skilled employees and the iGROW program establishes a pipeline for students to grow and live their life here in Illinois.”

Cervantes’ measure creates the iGROW Tech Scholarship program to award scholarships to public and private university students working toward qualifying tech-related degrees such as computer and information sciences, information technology, computer systems networking and telecommunications. Recipients would receive the scholarship award each year they agree to work in a qualified job that relates to their degree.

The iGROW Tech Scholarship encourages academically talented Illinois students to enter high-demand fields upon graduating while helping the state retain and recruit quality workers. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission, which administers the program, will prioritize applications from minority students and students who demonstrate financial hardship to ensure equitable opportunities are extended to all communities throughout the state.

“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,” Cervantes said. “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.”

This year’s state budget provided $2 million for the iGROW Tech Scholarship program, meaning ISAC could begin awarding iGROW scholarships as soon as the 2024-2025 academic year.

House Bill 1378 was signed into law Friday.