Two-Year College Transfer Grant Program

Suggested State Legislation: This Act establishes a program to provide grants of up to $2,000 per year to state residents who successfully complete an associate degree program at a public two-year institution of higher education and subsequently enroll in a four-year institution.

Submitted as:
Virginia
Chapter 850 of 2007
Status: Enacted into law in 2007.

Suggested State Legislation: 2009 Docket

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(Title, enacting clause, etc.)

Section 1. [Short Title.] This Act shall be cited as “An Act to Establish a Two-Year College Transfer Grant Program.”

Section 2. [Definitions.] As used in this Act:
1. “Accredited institution” means any institution approved to confer degrees pursuant to [insert citation].
2. “Council” means the [State Council of Higher Education] established under [insert citation].
3. “Grant” means the amount of financial assistance awarded under this Act whether disbursed by warrant directly to an institution of higher education or directly to a student.
4. “Institution of higher education” means a four-year public or private nonprofit educational institution within this state with a primary purpose to provide undergraduate collegiate education and not to provide religious training or theological education.
5. “Student” means an undergraduate student who is entitled to in-state tuition charges pursuant to the provisions of [insert citation].

Section 3. [Two-Year College Transfer Grant Program Created; State Council of Higher Education To Promulgate Regulations.] There is hereby created a Two-Year College Transfer Grant Program to provide financial assistance to eligible students, beginning with the freshman class of the [fall 2007] academic year, for the costs of attending a public or private institution of higher education in this state. Funds may be paid to any institutions of higher education on behalf of students who have been awarded financial assistance pursuant to section 4 of this Act. The [Council] shall promulgate regulations for the implementation of the provisions of this Act and the disbursement of funds consistent therewith and appropriate to the administration of the program.

Section 4. [Eligibility Criteria.]
A. Under this program, grants shall be made to or on behalf of eligible domiciles in this state who:
1. have received an associate degree at a two-year public institution of higher education located in this state,
2. have enrolled in a four-year public or private institution of higher education located in this state by the Fall following the award of the Associate Degree,
3. have applied for financial aid, and
4. have financial need, defined by an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of no more than [$8,000] as calculated by the federal government using the family's financial information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Only students who maintained a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 or its equivalent while enrolled in an Associate Degree program at a two-year public institution of higher education located in this state shall be eligible to receive a grant under this Act.
B. Eligibility for a higher education grant under this program shall be limited to [three academic years or 70 credit hours] and shall be used only for undergraduate collegiate work in educational programs other than those providing religious training or theological education. To remain eligible for a grant under this program, a student must continue to demonstrate financial need, as defined in this section, maintain a 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 or its equivalent, and make satisfactory academic progress towards a degree.
C. People who fail to meet the federal requirement to register for the Selective Service shall not be eligible to receive grants pursuant to this Act. However, a person who fails to register for the Selective Service shall not be denied a right, privilege, or benefit under this section if:
1. the requirement to so register has terminated or become inapplicable to the person, and
2. the person shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the failure to register was not a knowing and willful failure to register.

Section 5. [Amount of Award.] The amount of the grant for an eligible student shall be provided in accordance with the [Appropriation Act] and shall be fixed at [$1,000] per year. An additional [$1,000] per year shall be provided to those students pursuing undergraduate collegiate work in engineering, mathematics, nursing, teaching, or science.

Section 6. [Determination of Domicile.] For the purposes of determining the eligibility of a student for a Two-Year College Transfer Grant, domicile shall be determined by the enrolling institution, as provided in [insert citation], and the [State Council of Higher Education’s] guidelines for domiciliary status determinations.

Section 7. [State Financial Aid Eligibility.] The [Council] shall reduce state financial aid eligibility by the amount of the grant awarded pursuant to this Act. Tuition assistance received by a student under this program shall not be reduced by the receipt of other financial aid from any source by such student. However, a student shall not receive a grant pursuant to this Act that, when added to other financial aid received by that student, would enable the student to receive total assistance in excess of the estimated cost to the student of attending the institution in which they are enrolled.

Section 8. [Severability.] [Insert severability clause.]

Section 9. [Repealer.] [Insert repealer clause.]

Section 10. [Effective Date.] [Insert effective date.]

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