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Introduced Version Senate Bill 213 History

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Senate Bill No. 213

(By Senators Tomblin, Mr. President, and Caruth,

By Request of the Executive)

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[Introduced January 11, 2008; referred to the Committee on Education; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §18C-7-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to authorizing the West Virginia PROMISE Scholarship Board to recommend a legislative rule to the Higher Education Policy Commission for promulgation requiring repayment of the PROMISE scholarship award under certain circumstances.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18C-7-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 7. WEST VIRGINIA PROVIDING REAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR MAXIMIZING IN-STATE STUDENT EXCELLENCE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM.

§18C-7-6. PROMISE scholarship program requirements; legislative rule.

(a) A PROMISE scholarship annual award meets the following conditions:(1) Equals but does not exceed the cost of tuition for a student enrolled in a state institution of higher education; (2) Equals an amount determined by the board, but not to exceed the cost of tuition at state institutions of higher education, for a student enrolled in an eligible institution that is not a state institution of higher education; and (3) Is used by an eligible institution to supplement, but not to supplant, a tuition and fee waiver for which the individual is eligible pursuant to sections five, six-a or seven, article ten, chapter eighteen-b of this code. (b) The total cost of all scholarships awarded by the board in any year may not exceed the amount of funds available to the board during that fiscal year. (c) An individual shall meet the following conditions in order to be eligible to receive a PROMISE scholarship award: (1) Submit a scholarship award application to the board: (A) Within two years of graduating from high school or within two years of acquiring a General Equivalency Degree if provided instruction in the home or other approved place pursuant to exemption B, section one, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code; or (B) Within seven years of initially entering military service, and within one year of discharge from such military service, if the individual has entered the United States armed services within two years after graduating from high school; (2) Apply for and submit to the board a free application for Federal Student Aid; (3) Maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale in the required core and elective course work necessary to prepare students for success in post-secondary education at the associate and baccalaureate degree levels as determined by the board, if the individual has completed not more than one semester or term at an institution of higher education, excluding credits earned in advanced placement, international baccalaureate, dual credit and comparable courses while the student is enrolled in high school; (4) Maintain appropriate academic progress toward the completion of a degree at the undergraduate education level as determined by the board if the individual has completed more than one semester or term at an institution of higher education, excluding credits earned in advanced placement, international baccalaureate, dual credit and comparable courses while the student is enrolled in high school; (5) Meet additional objective standards as the board considers necessary to promote academic excellence and to maintain the financial stability of the fund; (6) Enroll in an eligible institution. Any student enrolled at an eligible institution who receives a PROMISE scholarship award may retain and renew the scholarship to complete his or her undergraduate education at that institution, or any other eligible institution: (A) If the institution at which the student is enrolled loses its status as an eligible institution pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (2), subsection (a), section three of this article; and (B) If the student meets all other renewal requirements of this code and of board rules. (7) It is the intent of the Legislature that the board shall strongly encourage prospective candidates for the PROMISE scholarship to perform at least twenty hours of unpaid community service while in high school to help prepare them for success in post-graduate education. The community service may include, but is not limited to, participation with nonprofit, governmental or community-based organizations designed to: (A) Improve the quality of life for community residents; (B) Meet the needs of community residents; or (C) Foster civic responsibility. (d) Upon the amendment and reenactment of this section during the regular session of the Legislature in two thousand eight, the board shall recommend a legislative rule to the commission to implement the provisions of this article. The commission shall promulgate a legislative rule in accordance with the provisions of article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.(1) The rule shall include at least the following provisions: (A) The amount of a PROMISE scholarship award may not exceed the cost of tuition at state institutions of higher education; (B) The amount of a PROMISE scholarship award in combination with aid from all other sources may not exceed the cost of education at the institution the recipient is attending. This provision does not apply to members of the West Virginia National Guard, recipients of an Underwood-Smith teacher scholarship, and recipients of a West Virginia engineering, science and technology scholarship;
(C) Requiring repayment of the amount of the scholarship, in whole or in part, if a scholarship recipient chooses to work outside of the state after graduation: Provided, That the rule may not require a recipient to repay a scholarship, in whole or in part, unless the prospective recipient has been informed of this requirement in writing before initial acceptance of the PROMISE scholarship award. (C) (D) Additional objective standards as the board considers necessary: (i) To promote academic excellence; (ii) To maintain the financial stability of the fund; and (iii) To operate the program within the limits of available funds. (D) (E) Provisions for making the highest and best use of the PROMISE scholarship program in conjunction with the West Virginia Prepaid Tuition Trust Act set forth in article thirty, chapter eighteen of this code; (E) (F) A provision defining the relationship of PROMISE scholarship awards to all other sources of student financial aid to ensure maximum coordination. The provision shall include the following: (i) Methods to maximize student eligibility for federal student financial aid; (ii) A requirement that PROMISE scholarship awards not supplant tuition and fee waivers; and (iii) Clarification of the relationship between the PROMISE scholarship program, tuition savings plans and other state funded student financial aid programs. (F) (G) A method for awarding scholarships within the limits of available appropriations, including circumstances when program funds are not sufficient to provide awards to all eligible applicants. The board may not utilize any of the following methods: (i) Making a scholarship award for an amount less than the cost of full tuition for a student enrolled in a state institution of higher education; or (ii) Eliminating any current recipient from eligibility. (G) (H) A method for applicants to appeal determinations of eligibility, and renewal and repayment. (2) The rule may provide for or require the following at the board's discretion: (A) Requiring repayment of the amount of the scholarship, in whole or in part, if a scholarship recipient chooses to work outside the state after graduation: Provided, That rule may not require a recipient to repay a scholarship, in whole or in part, unless the prospective recipient has been informed of this requirement in writing before initial acceptance of the PROMISE scholarship award. (B) (A) Targeting a portion of the scholarship funds to be used for applicants enrolled in an engineering, science, technology or other designated program; (C) (B) Determining what other sources of funding for higher education are to be deducted from the PROMISE scholarship award; and (D) (C) Providing additional criteria as determined by the board. (3) The Legislature finds that an emergency exists and, therefore, the board shall file a rule to implement the provisions of this section as an emergency rule pursuant to the provisions of article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code. The rule is subject to the prior approval of the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide for a legislative rule requiring repayment, in whole or in part, of a PROMISE scholarship award if the recipient chooses to work outside of West Virginia following graduation.

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