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Introduced Version Senate Bill 73 History

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Senate Bill No. 73

(By Senator Deem)

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[Introduced February 9, 2005; referred to the Committee

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

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A BILL to amend and reenact §18B-10-1 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to tuition and fees at institutions of higher education; and authorizing each higher education governing board to increase fees of students taking more hours of course work than the number of hours of course work defined as full time.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18B-10-1 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 10. FEES AND OTHER MONEY COLLECTED AT STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION.

§18B-10-1. Enrollment, tuition and other fees at education institutions; refund of fees.

(a) Each governing board shall fix tuition and other fees for each school term for the different classes or categories of students enrolling at each state institution of higher education under its jurisdiction and may include among the tuition and fees any one or more of the following as defined in section one-b of this article:
(1) Tuition and required educational and general fees;
(2) Auxiliary and auxiliary capital fees; and
(3) Required educational and general capital fees.
(b) An institution may establish a single special revenue account for each of the following classifications of fees:
(1) All tuition and required educational and general fees collected;
(2) All auxiliary and auxiliary capital fees collected; and
(3) All required educational and general capital fees collected to support existing system-wide and institutional debt service and future systemwide and institutional debt service, capital projects and campus renewal for educational and general facilities.
(4) Subject to any covenants or restrictions imposed with respect to revenue bonds payable from such accounts, an institution may expend funds from each such special revenue account for any purpose for which funds were collected within that account regardless of the original purpose for which the funds were collected.
(c) The purposes for which tuition and fees may be expended include, but are not limited to, health services, student activities, recreational, athletic and extracurricular activities. Additionally, tuition and fees may be used to finance a student's attorney to perform legal services for students in civil matters at the institutions: Provided, That the legal services are limited only to those types of cases, programs or services approved by the administrative head of the institution where the legal services are to be performed.
(d) The commission and council jointly shall propose a rule for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to govern the fixing, collection and expenditure of tuition and other fees.
(e) The Legislature finds that an emergency exists and, therefore, the commission and council jointly shall file the rule required by subsection (d) of this section as an emergency rule pursuant to the provisions of article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, subject to the prior approval of the legislative oversight commission on education accountability.
(f) The schedule of all tuition and fees, and any changes therein, shall be entered in the minutes of the meeting of the appropriate governing board and the board shall file with the commission or council, or both, as appropriate, and the legislative auditor a certified copy of such schedule and changes.
(g) The boards shall establish the rates to be charged full-time students, as defined in section one-b of this article, who are enrolled during a regular academic term.
(1) Undergraduate students taking fewer than twelve credit hours in a regular term shall have their fees reduced pro rata based upon one twelfth of the full-time rate per credit hour and graduate students taking fewer than nine credit hours in a regular term shall have their fees reduced pro rata based upon one ninth of the full-time rate per credit hour.
(2) Fees for students enrolled in summer terms or other nontraditional time periods shall be prorated based upon the number of credit hours for which the student enrolls in accordance with the above provisions.
(3) A governing board may increase the fees of undergraduate students taking more than sixteen hours in a regular term pro rata based upon one twelfth of the full-time rate per credit hour and a governing board may increase the fees of graduate students taking more than nine credit hours in a regular term pro rata based upon one ninth of the full-time rate per credit hour.
(h) All fees are due and payable by the student upon enrollment and registration for classes except as provided in this subsection:
(1) The governing boards shall permit fee payments to be made in installments over the course of the academic term. All fees shall be paid prior to the awarding of course credit at the end of the academic term.
(2) The governing boards also shall authorize the acceptance of credit cards or other payment methods which may be generally available to students for the payment of fees. The governing boards may charge the students for the reasonable and customary charges incurred in accepting credit cards and other methods of payment.
(3) If a governing board determines that a student's finances are affected adversely by a legal work stoppage, it may allow the student an additional six months to pay the fees for any academic term. The governing board shall determine on a case-by-case basis if the finances of a student are affected adversely.
(4) The commission and council jointly shall propose a rule in accordance with the provisions of article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, defining conditions under which an institution may offer tuition and fee deferred payment plans through the institution or through third parties.
(5) An institution may charge interest or fees for any deferred or installment payment plans.
(i) In addition to the other fees provided in this section, each governing board may impose, collect and distribute a fee to be used to finance a nonprofit, student-controlled public interest research group if the students at the institution demonstrate support for the increased fee in a manner and method established by that institution's elected student government. The fee may not be used to finance litigation against the institution.
(j) Institutions shall retain tuition and fee revenues not pledged for bonded indebtedness or other purposes in accordance with the tuition rule proposed by the commission and council jointly pursuant to this section. The tuition rule shall:
(1) Provide a basis for establishing nonresident tuition and fees;
(2) Allow institutions to charge different tuition and fees for different programs;
(3) Provide that a board of governors may propose to the commission, council or both, as appropriate, a mandatory auxiliary fee under the following conditions:
(A) The fee shall be approved by the commission, council or both, as appropriate, and either the students below the senior level at the institution or the Legislature before becoming effective;
(B) Increases may not exceed previous state subsidies by more than ten percent;
(C) The fee may be used only to replace existing state funds subsidizing auxiliary services such as athletics or bookstores;
(D) If the fee is approved, the amount of the state subsidy shall be reduced annually by the amount of money generated for the institution by the fees. All state subsidies for the auxiliary services shall cease five years from the date the mandatory auxiliary fee is implemented;
(E) The commission, council or both, as appropriate, shall certify to the Legislature by the first day of October in the fiscal year following implementation of the fee, and annually thereafter, the amount of fees collected for each of the five years;
(4) Establish methodology, where applicable, to ensure that, within the appropriate time period under the compact, community and technical college tuition rates for community and technical college students in all independently accredited community and technical colleges will be commensurate with the tuition and fees charged by their peer institutions.
(k) A penalty may not be imposed by the commission or council upon any institution based upon the number of nonresidents who attend the institution unless the commission or council determines that admission of nonresidents to any institution or program of study within the institution is impeding unreasonably the ability of resident students to attend the institution or participate in the programs of the institution. The institutions shall report annually to the commission or council on the numbers of nonresidents and such other enrollment information as the commission or council may request.
(l) Tuition and fee increases of the governing boards are subject to rules adopted by the commission and council jointly pursuant to this section and in accordance with the provisions of article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
(1) A governing board of an institution under the jurisdiction of the commission may propose tuition and fee increases of up to nine and one-half percent for undergraduate resident students for any fiscal year. The nine and one-half percent total includes the amount of increase over existing tuition and fees, combined with the amount of any newly established, specialized fee which may be proposed by a governing board. A governing board of an institution under the jurisdiction of the council may propose tuition and fee increases of up to four and three quarters percent. The four and three-quarters percent total includes the amount of increase over existing tuition and fees, combined with the amount of any newly established, specialized fee which may be proposed by a governing board. The commission or council, as appropriate, shall examine individually each request from a governing board for an increase. Any proposed increase requires the approval of the commission or council, as appropriate.
In determining whether to approve or disapprove the governing board's request, the commission or council shall determine the progress the institution has made toward meeting the conditions outlined in this subdivision and shall make this determination the predominate factor in its decision. The commission or council shall consider the degree to which each institution has met the following conditions:
(A) Has maximized resources available through nonresident tuition and fee charges to the satisfaction of the commission or council;
(B) Is consistently achieving the benchmarks established in the compact of the institution pursuant to the provisions of article one-a of this chapter;
(C) Is continuously pursuing the statewide goals for post-secondary education and the statewide compact established in articles one and one-a of this chapter;
(D) Is implementing the efficiency measures required by section nine, article five of this chapter;
(E) Has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the commission or council that an increase will be used to maintain high-quality programs at the institution;
(F) Has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the commission or council that the institution is making adequate progress toward achieving the goals for education established by the Southern Regional Education Board; and
(G) To the extent authorized, will increase by up to five percent the available tuition and fee waivers provided by the institution. The increased waivers may not be used for athletics.
(2) This section does not require equal increases among institutions or require any level of increase at an institution.
(3) The commission and council shall report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability regarding the basis for each approval or denial as determined using the criteria established in subdivision (1) of this subsection.
(4) For fiscal year two thousand five only, a governing board of any institution under the jurisdiction of the commission may increase tuition and fees for undergraduate resident students by one and one-half percent greater than the amount authorized by the commission pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(m) The amount of fees assessed immediately prior to the effective date of this act under the provisions of this article relating to a higher education resource fee, a faculty improvement fee, a medical education fee, a health professions fee and a student activities fee are included in the appropriate tuition or fees classifications established under subsection (a) of this section.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize each higher education governing board to increase fees of students taking more hours of course work than the number of hours of course work defined as full time.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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