Substitute Bill No. 204, introduced in the February Session of 2024, aims to expand the debt-free community college program and rename the grants provided under this program after Mary Ann Handley. The bill includes several amendments to the existing law, which are set to take effect on July 1, 2024. The term "Award" is replaced with "Grant" throughout the text, indicating a shift in terminology. The definition of a "Qualifying student" has been modified by removing the requirement that the student must have graduated from a public or nonpublic high school in the state, among other changes. The bill also specifies that grants made to eligible students under the debt-free community college program will be designated as the "Mary Ann Handley Grant."

The bill outlines the eligibility criteria for students, the process for the Board of Regents for Higher Education to establish the program, and the reporting requirements. It states that grants will be available to qualifying students for the first seventy-two credit hours earned at a regional community-technical college, provided they meet the ongoing requirements. The Board of Regents is prohibited from using a grant to supplant any financial aid that a qualifying student would otherwise receive. Additionally, the bill mandates that the Board of Regents report to the General Assembly on various aspects of the program, including enrollment numbers, grant amounts, and completion rates, with updated reporting deadlines set for November 1, 2024, and March 1, 2025.