H. B. 2155
(By Delegates Mezzatesta and Williams)
(Originating in the Committee on Education)
[January 28, 2003]
A BILL to amend and reenact section three, article one-a, chapter
eighteen-b of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended; and to amend and reenact
section one, article ten of said chapter, all relating to
higher education; tuition and fees; peer institutions;
adjustments to peer institutions; and limitations on tuition
and fee increases.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section three, article one-a, chapter eighteen-b of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted; and that section one, article
ten of said chapter be amended and reenacted, all to read as
ARTICLE 1A. COMPACT WITH HIGHER EDUCATION FOR THE FUTURE OF WEST
§18B-1A-3. Peer institutions.
(a) The commission shall select not fewer than ten peer
institutions for each state institution of higher education in West
Virginia, including, but not limited to, independently accredited
community and technical colleges.
(b) The peer institutions shall be selected from among
institutions throughout the United States and not solely from the
states that are members of the southern regional education board.
(c) The peer institutions, as selected by the commission,
shall be used as benchmarks for comparison purposes only and are
not intended to reflect funding goals for West Virginia
institutions of higher education. Such a use is inappropriate
since institutions selected as peers for a state institution may be
located in an area of high per capita income or have their funding
subject to other factors that make its use unrealistic for setting
funding goals in West Virginia. The peer institutions shall be
used for comparison in the following areas:
(1) To determine adjustments to base operating budgets as
described in section five of this article;
(2) To determine comparable levels of tuition;
(3) To determine comparable faculty and staff teaching
requirements and other workloads; and
(4) For such other purposes as the law may require or the
commission may find useful or necessary.
(d) The commission shall contract with a national, independent education consulting firm to assist in the unbiased selection of
peer institutions for each West Virginia institution. The
commission shall select peer institutions for each institution
through an open, deliberative, objective process and in
consultation with the institutional boards of governors, intended
to achieve broad understanding of the basis for this selection in
the higher education community and the Legislature. Final peer
selection is subject to the
review approval of the legislative
oversight commission on education accountability. In selecting
peer institutions, the commission shall use criteria such as, but
not limited to:
(1) Institutional mission;
(2) Institutional size related to full-time equivalent
(3) The proportions of full-time and part-time students;
(4) The level of academic programs, including, but not limited
to, number of degrees granted at the associate, baccalaureate,
masters, doctoral and first-professional level;
(5) The characteristics of academic programs such as health
sciences, professional, technical or liberal arts and sciences; and
(6) The level of research funding from federal competitive
(e) Subject to the
review approval of the legislative
oversight commission on education accountability, the commission
shall review and make necessary adjustments to peer institutions at least every six years or as necessary based on changes in
institutional missions as approved in institutional compacts or in
changes at peer institutions.
(f) Nothing herein
shall may be construed to prevent the
commission from using the same peers or peer groups for more than
one institution of higher education.
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 such fees any one or
more of the following:
(1) Health service fees;
(2) Infirmary fees;
(3) Student activities, recreational, athletic and
extracurricular fees, which fees may be used to finance a students'
attorney to perform legal services for students in civil matters at
Provided , That Such legal services shall be
limited only to are limited to only those types of cases, programs
or services approved by the administrative head of such the
institution where such the legal services are to be performed; and
(4) Graduate center fees and branch college fees, or either,
if the establishment and operations of graduate centers or branch
colleges are otherwise authorized by law.
(b) All fees collected at any graduate center or at any branch
college shall be paid into special funds and shall be used solely
for the maintenance and operation of the graduate center or branch
college at which they were collected: Provided, That the
commission shall set tuition and fee goals for residents at each
institution after examining tuition and fees at the institutions'
peers: Provided, however, That, effective the first day of July,
two thousand one, tuition and fees for nonresident, undergraduate
students shall, at a minimum, cover actual instructional costs as
determined in accordance with commission policy: Provided further,
That students enrolled in undergraduate courses offered at
off-campus locations shall pay an off-campus instruction fee and
shall not may not be required to pay the athletic fee and the
student activity fee.
(c) The off-campus instruction fee shall be used solely for
the support of off-campus courses offered by the institution.
Off-campus locations for each institution shall be defined by the
appropriate governing board. The schedule of all 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
legislative auditor a certified copy of such schedule and changes.
(d) In addition to the fees mentioned in the preceding paragraph, each governing board may impose and collect a student
union building fee. All such building fees collected at an
institution shall be paid into a special student union building
fund for such institution, which is hereby created in the state
treasury, and shall be used only for the construction, operation
and maintenance of a student union building or a combination
student union and dining hall building or for the payment of the
principal of and interest on any bond issued to finance part or all
of the construction of a student union building or a combination
student union and dining hall building or the renovation of an
existing structure for use as a student union building or a
combination student union and dining hall building, all as more
fully provided in section ten of this article. Any moneys in such
funds not needed immediately for such purposes may be invested in
any such bonds or other securities as are now or hereafter
authorized as proper investments for state funds.
(e) The boards shall establish the rates to be charged
full-time students enrolled during a regular academic term.
(1) For fee purposes, a full-time undergraduate student is one
enrolled for twelve or more credit hours in a regular term, and a
full-time graduate student is one enrolled for nine or more credit
hours in a regular term.
(2) 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.
(3) 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.
(f) All fees are due and payable by the student upon
enrollment and registration for classes except as provided for in
(1) The governing boards shall permit fee payments to be made
in up to three installments over the course of the academic term.
Provided , That all fees must 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.
Provided , That 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
the finances of any
student were a student's finances are affected adversely by a legal
work stoppage, that commenced on or after the first day of January,
one thousand nine hundred ninety-three it may allow the student an
additional six months to pay the fees for any academic term. Provided , That The governing board shall determine on a
case-by-case basis if the finances of a student were are affected
On or before the first day of July, two thousand one, the
chancellor for higher education shall review policy series
twenty-two of the governing boards, related to assessment, payment
and refund of fees and determine whether a new rule should be
adopted regarding the refund of any fees upon the voluntary or
involuntary withdrawal from classes of any student. The rules The
rule related to assessment, payment and refund of fees including
refund of fees upon voluntary or involuntary withdrawal from
classes, shall comply with all applicable state and federal laws
and shall be uniformly applied throughout the system.
(h) In addition to the other fees
mentioned in the preceding
subsections 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
Provided , That if the students at such institution demonstrate
support for the increased fee in a manner and method established by
that institution's elected student government. Provided, however ,
That such fees shall Such a fee may not be used to finance
litigation against the institution.
Any proposed fee increase which would become effective
during the transition year beginning on the first day of July, two
thousand, and ending on the thirtieth day of June, two thousand one, and which has been approved by the governing board, shall then
be submitted by the governing board to the secretary for education
and the arts for approval. Such approval shall be granted only
upon the certification that such institution requesting a fee
increase is in compliance with the strategic plans required to be
submitted, pursuant to section one-b, article one of this chapter.
Notice, in the form of a report, shall be provided by the
chancellor to the legislative oversight commission on education
accountability describing such fee increases and showing how such
increases compare with the average tuition and fees charged at
comparable peer institutions in member states of the southern
regional education board.
(j) Effective the first day of July, two thousand one, tuition
and fees rates shall be determined in accordance with subsections
(k), (l) and (m) of this section.
(k) Effective the first day of July, two thousand one,
Institutions shall retain tuition and fee revenues not pledged for
bonded indebtedness or other purposes in accordance with a revised
tuition policy adopted by the respective governing boards and
approved by the commission. The revised tuition policy shall:
(1) Provide a basis for establishing nonresident tuition and
(2) Allow institutions to charge different tuition and fees
for different programs; and
(3) 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.
(l) No penalty shall (j) A penalty may not be imposed by the
commission upon any institution based upon the number of
nonresidents who attend the institution unless the commission
determines that admission of nonresidents to any institution or
program of study within the institution is impeding unreasonably
the ability of the resident students to attend the institution or
participate in the programs of the institution. The institutions
shall report annually to the commission on the numbers of
out-of-state residents nonresidents and such other enrollment
information as the commission may request.
(m) (k) Tuition and fee increases of the governing boards are
subject to rules adopted by the commission pursuant to subsection
(a), section four, article one-b of this chapter. Except as
provided in subsections (l) and (m) of this section, a tuition and
fee increase for resident students at any institution for any
fiscal year may not exceed three percent.
(l) The tuition and fee increase limitation provided in
subsection (k) of this section does not apply to tuition and fee
charges for students enrolled at a school of medicine, as defined
in section three, article sixteen of this chapter.
(m) The commission may authorize an institution that is not a
community and technical college to increase resident student
tuition and fees a maximum of five percent in a fiscal year where
necessity is established by the institution to the satisfaction of
the commission. Necessity is based on a determination that the
(1) Maximized resources available through nonresident tuition
and fee charges; and
(2) Been adversely affected by historic under-funding based on
peer internal comparisons, which is the deficiency ratio for all
West Virginia institutions pursuant to subparagraph (iii),
paragraph (A), subdivision (6), subsection (b), section five,
article one-a of this chapter, prior to the first day of January,
two thousand one; or
(3) Implemented administrative efficiencies for at least the
three preceding years that have resulted in documented cost
(4) A per capita income in its service region that exceeds the
state per capita income.
For the purpose of this subdivision only: (A) Service region
is the county in which the main campus of the institution is
located and the contiguous West Virginia counties; and (B) per
capita income for the service region shall be computed using the
most current annual, county-level per capita income data published
by the United States department of commerce, bureau of economic analysis, weighted by the compatible year population estimates
published by the United States census bureau.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be s
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would