FUND(S):

$1,400,000

Sources of Revenue:

General Fund

Legislation creates:

Neither Program nor Fund



Fiscal Note Summary


Effect this measure will have on costs and revenues of state government.


    
    The proposed bill would create the Agriculture Education Loan Forgiveness Program Act to provide a loan forgiveness program for resident students who have majored in and received their degrees in the fields of agriculture or veterinary medicine. This program would forgive loans borrowed through the agency-administered guaranteed student loan program at a rate of $2,000 per year, in whole or in part, not to exceed $10,000 for those individuals who upon completion of their degree are: working on family farms; teaching agriculture curriculum at the elementary or secondary level in a public or private school; or practicing veterinary medicine, a portion of which must be for the protection and enhancement of agricultural animal health and productivity.
    
    
    Currently, there are no Veterinary Medicine degree programs offered at West Virginia public higher education institutions, although there are reciprocity agreements with Tuskegee University and the University of Georgia which allows students to attend these institutions at an in-state rate – 10 students are estimated to be in these programs. There are an additional 125 students who received their degrees in the area of agricultural operations and related sciences from West Virginia public institutions during the 2003-2004 academic year. It is difficult to estimate how many of these 135 eligible applicants would remain within the state and obtain employment in the loan forgiveness program’s relevant positions. Maximum estimates have been used for this fiscal note.
    
    An estimate of the lost revenue from tuition and fees for loans that would be forgiven for the beginning start up year through year five are estimated below:
    
    Years 1 - 5 (Estimate of Awards per year Based on 135 Graduating Students in the fields of Agriculture or Veterinary Medicine - $2,000 Annual Forgiveness Amount Per Student (up to $10,000)
    
    Annual Cost: First Year - 135 students @ $2,000 = $270,000; Second Year - 270 students @$2,000 = $540,000; Third Year - 405 student @$2,000 = $810,000; Fourth Year - 540 students @ $2,000 = $1,080,000; Fifth Year - 675 students @ $2,000 = $1,350,000
    
    As with any student aid program there would be administrative costs. Tracking graduates and determining those who are practicing their degrees within the state as outlined in the bill would require significant administrative attention. Estimated annual administrative costs are $50,000.
    
    



Fiscal Note Detail


Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
2005
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
2006
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
Implementation)
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 320,000 1,400,000
Personal Services 0 50,000 50,000
Current Expenses 0 0 0
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 0 0
Other 0 270,000 1,350,000
2. Estimated Total Revenues 0 0 0


Explanation of above estimates (including long-range effect):


    



Memorandum


     Person submitting Fiscal Note: Patricia Hunt
     Email Address: phunt@hepc.wvnet.edu