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Introduced Version Senate Bill 635 History

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SB635 INTR


Senate Bill No. 635

(By Senators Tomblin (Mr. President) and Sprouse

By Request of the Executive)

____________

[Introduced February 18, 2002; referred to the Committee

on Education; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

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A BILL to amend chapter eighteen-c of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated article eight, relating to higher education; student financial aid; creating West Virginia financial aid coordinating council; membership; responsibility; meetings; recommendations; and report.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter eighteen-c of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated article eight, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 8. WEST VIRGINIA FINANCIAL AID COORDINATING COUNCIL.
§18C-8-1. West Virginia financial aid coordinating council.
(a) The West Virginia financial aid coordinating council is hereby created. The council is established for the purpose of examining and recommending strategies for maximizing coordination among the various sources of student financial aid.
(b) The council is responsible for examining financial aid issues which includes at least the following:
(1) A manner for administering and maintaining the most efficient, simplified and coordinated application process. This includes implementing the optimum use of technology in the application process.
The council shall explore the feasibility of developing a single form for completing the application process;
(2) A strategy for ensuring that a reasonable balance of need based, merit based and self help financial assistance is available to West Virginia students;
(3) An integrated and well coordinated system for making financial aid awards on a timely basis;
(4) A comprehensive informational and marketing plan that delivers to middle school through high school students and the public an awareness of the various financial aid resources;
(5) An articulation plan between secondary and postsecondary education regarding delivery and availability of student financial aid, including dual credit course offerings for secondary students free of charge; and
(6) A strategy for working with and informing high school guidance counselors in implementing effective strategies for assisting students in completing the financial aid application process.
(c) The council shall:
(1) Make recommendations with respect to coordinating the application for and disbursement of funds from all sources of a student's financial aid package, and for maximizing the level of funding derived from federal sources;
(2) Identify and examine all sources of student financial aid, and recommend the most effective manner for coordinating all financial aid resources. The sources include, but are not limited to:
(A) PROMISE scholarship program;
(B) Higher education grant program;
(C) Higher education adult part-time student grant program;
(D) Prepaid tuition trust and savings programs;
(E) Underwood-Smith teacher scholarship program;
(F) Health sciences scholarship program;
(G) West Virginia engineering, science and technology scholarship program;
(H) Federal PELL grant program;
(I) Federal student loans;
(J) Work/study programs;
(K) Tuition waivers; and
(L) Privately funded scholarships;
(3) In consultation with the higher education policy commission, establish and provide in its annual report budget recommendations for funding levels for each state grant and scholarship program;
(4) Utilize the resources of national or regional education organizations such as but not limited to, the southern regional education board, education commission of the states and national association of student financial aid administrators; and
(5) Meet at least bimonthly at a place it considers appropriate, and at least quarterly after January, two thousand three.
§18C-8-2. Council membership.
(a) The council is composed of seventeen members as follows:
(1) Chancellor for higher education, or designee;
(2) State superintendent of schools, or designee;
(3) Secretary of education and the arts, or designee;
(4) State treasurer, or designee;
(5) Vice chancellor for administration for the higher education policy commission;
(6) Director for student and educational services for the higher education policy commission;
(7) Assistant state superintendent for technical and adult education services, or designee;
(8) Executive director of the PROMISE scholarship program;
(9) Director of American education services-West Virginia;
(10) Proprietary institution representative selected by the West Virginia association of independent colleges and schools;
(11) Independent institution representative selected by the West Virginia independent colleges and universities, inc.;
(12) President of the West Virginia association of student financial aid administrators;
(13) President of the West Virginia counselors association, or designee;
(14) Two representatives of state institutions of higher education appointed by the policy commission, one of which represents community and technical college education; and
(15) Two members appointed by the governor, knowledgeable about and representing the interests of student financial aid applicants.
(b) The chair is elected by majority vote of the council, and serves a term of one year, at which time the council elects a new chair. A council member may not serve for more than two consecutive terms as chair, except by unanimous vote of the council.
(c) Members serve without compensation, but are reimbursed for expenses, including travel expenses, actually incurred by the member in the official conduct of business at the same rate as is paid to state employees. Reimbursement is made jointly by the higher education policy commission and secretary of education and the arts. A majority of council members constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business.
§18C-8-3. Annual report.
The council shall report its initial recommendations by the December, two thousand two, legislative interim meeting period, and annually thereafter by such time. The report is made to the: Governor; President of the Senate; Speaker of the House of Delegates; chairs of the Senate and House finance committees; legislative oversight commission on education accountability; higher education policy commission; and state board of education. Any recommendation of the council, over which the policy commission has authority or responsibility shall be implemented by the commission upon adoption by the legislative oversight commission on education accountability of the recommendation or a modification thereof. The policy commission may communicate to the legislative oversight commission on education accountability concerns regarding any recommendation adopted by the legislative oversight commission.




NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create a West Virginia
financial aid coordinating council to examine and recommend strategies for maximizing coordination of student financial aid resources. The council is to make such recommendations to the legislative oversight commission on education and accountability.

This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.

















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