Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 400
By: Giddings
Higher Education


Individual public institutions of higher education independently distribute
pertinent information to prospective students to ensure that the students
and their parents understand the benefits of higher education and the
necessary steps to prepare for college.  However, current law does not
provide for a public program to distribute such information, which may help
increase the admission and enrollment of students in Texas institutions of
higher education.  House Bill 400 creates the Higher Education Assistance
Pilot Program to provide prospective students with assistance and
information on admissions and enrollment at institutions of higher


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


House Bill 400 amends the Education Code to require the Texas Higher
Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to administer and coordinate the
Higher Education Assistance Pilot Program if the legislature appropriates
money specifically for the program.  If money is not appropriated by the
legislature for that purpose, THECB is authorized to implement the program
using other appropriations available for that purpose.  The bill requires
THECB, through the program, to provide prospective students in the cities
of Dallas and Houston and the counties of Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and
Willacy with assistance in filling out applications and with information on
admissions, enrollment, and financial aid at higher education institutions.
The bill requires that the information be provided at least twice each year
at one or more appropriate locations in each area served by the program.
The bill also authorizes THECB to coordinate with higher education
institutions or other entities to provide the required information and
assistance.  No later than at the expiration of the program on August 31,
2003, THECB is required to submit to the legislature a report on the
program's effectiveness and recommendations on whether to implement the
program statewide. 


On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act
takes effect September 1, 2001.