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1995 SESSION

LD1768188
HOUSE BILL NO. 1388
Offered January 25, 1994
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Title 23 a chapter numbered 4.4:3, consisting of sections numbered 23-38.53:8, 23-38.53:9, and 23-38.53:10, relating to the Virginia Nonresident Higher Education Grants Program.
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Patrons--Crittenden, Christian, Cooper, Cunningham, Jones, D.C., Melvin, Robinson and Spruill; Senators: Marsh, Maxwell and Miller, Y.B.
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Referred to Committee on Appropriations
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Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Title 23 a chapter numbered 4.4:3, consisting of sections numbered 23-38.53:8, 23-38.53:9, and 23-38.53:10, as follows:

CHAPTER 4.4:3.
VIRGINIA NONRESIDENT HIGHER EDUCATION GRANTS PROGRAM.

23-38.53.8. Virginia Nonresident Higher Education Grants Program established; amount and application of awards.

A. From such funds as may be appropriated and from other funds as might be received on its behalf, a program of tuition assistance is hereby established in the form of grants awarded to financially needy undergraduate students who are non-Virginia residents and who are enrolled in or accepted for full-time enrollment in a degree-granting program at any accredited, four-year public institution of higher education in Virginia. The program shall be administered by the State Council on Higher Education for Virginia through such regulations as the Council may deem necessary and appropriate. For the purposes of this chapter, a student shall be identified as financially needy if his economic circumstances impose a barrier or an obstacle to the pursuit of postsecondary education or training.

23-38.53:9. Virginia Nonresident Higher Education Grants Fund created.

A. There is hereby created in the Department of the Treasury a special nonreverting fund which shall be known as the Virginia Nonresident Higher Education Grants Fund. The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller, and any moneys remaining in such Fund at the end of the biennium shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Interest earned on such funds shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Funds may be paid to any public institution of higher education on behalf of students who have been awarded financial assistance pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

B. The Department of the Treasury shall administer and manage the Virginia Nonresident Higher Education Fund, subject to the authority of the State Council of Higher Education to provide for its disbursement, from such funds as are appropriated for this purpose and from such gifts, donations, grants, bequests, and other funds as may be received on its behalf. The Fund shall be disbursed for the purpose of making grants to be determined by a needs analysis methodology approved by the Council. The first such awards shall be made after July 1, 1995. The amount of each grant awarded to a qualifying student shall be no less than $500 and no more than $1,500 and shall be used only for payment of charges for tuition, fees, room and board, and to cover the costs of books, supplies, or other educational expenses as may be approved by the State Council of Higher Education.

23-38.53:10. Eligible students; criteria for awarding grants; renewals.

A. Only students who (i) fail to meet the residency requirements as defined by 23-7.4, (ii) are deemed financially needy pursuant to this chapter, and (iii) are enrolled in or accepted for enrollment in a degree-granting program in any four-year public institution of higher education in Virginia shall be eligible to receive such awards.

B. All awards made pursuant to this chapter shall be based on such criteria as shall be established by the State Council of Higher Education, which shall include guidelines for determining priority for awarding grants to qualifying students under the Program and for granting exceptions to the continuous enrollment requirement pursuant to subsection C.

C. All grants shall be awarded for one year, but may be renewed annually for no more than three subsequent years of study if the recipient:

1. Makes satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, earning not less than the minimum number of hours of credit required for full-time standing in each academic period during enrollment at a public institution of higher education in Virginia;

2. Demonstrates continued financial need; and

3. Maintains continuous enrollment for not less than two semesters or three quarters in each successive academic year, unless granted an exception for cause by the State Council of Higher Education.