Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 8. Education
Agency 40. State Council of Higher Education For Virginia
Chapter 132. Virginia Student Financial Assistance Program Regulations

8VAC40-132-120. Renewability of awards.

A. Awards for students attending two-year colleges may be renewed for one year while awards for students attending four-year colleges may be renewed for up to three years. Students shall be limited to a cumulative total of four years of eligibility.

Awards may be renewed provided that the undergraduate student, for the term in which an award is provided:

1. Is enrolled full-time in an eligible program on or after the term's census date;

2. Is a domiciliary resident of Virginia;

3. Demonstrates continued financial need;

4. Maintains continuous full-time enrollment unless granted an exception for cause by the council.

a. Continuous enrollment shall be recognized as full-time enrollment in each academic period; lack of enrollment or less than full-time enrollment in the summer session or other special sessions offered by the institution does not disqualify the student.

b. A student participating in a cooperative education program or internship that is part of his academic program and a student whose college education is interrupted by a call to military service shall be deemed to have maintained continuous enrollment if he reenrolls no later than the following fall semester after completion of such employment or military service.

c. If an exception is granted by council, council staff will also determine the student's remaining VGAP eligibility within his current class level as well as toward the student's maximum VGAP usage;

5. Annually, prior to the start of the award year,

a. Maintains at least a 2.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, or its equivalent; and

b. Maintains satisfactory academic progress;

6. Has complied with federal selective service registration requirements, unless the following apply:

a. The requirement to register has terminated or become inapplicable to the student; and

b. The student shows by preponderance of the evidence that failure to register was not a knowing and willful failure to register.

B. VGAP renewal awards are subject to the following special considerations:

1. Students who transfer to an institution shall be considered renewal students if they received or were eligible for an award during the prior academic period provided they meet renewal criteria in subsection A of this section.

2. Students who do not initially receive a VGAP award may be considered for an award provided that they meet initial eligibility criteria and continue to meet renewal criteria in subsection A of this section.

3. If a student fails to meet one of the renewal criteria found in subsection A of this section, the student cannot reestablish such eligibility. However, the student may be considered for a Commonwealth Award.

C. Conditions and requirements for renewal awards.

1. Beginning with the 2017–2018 award year, a student may not receive more than one year of support before satisfying the requirements to move to the next class level.

a. For purposes of this section, one year shall mean a 12-month timeframe from the beginning of the first term a VGAP award was received at a specific class level.

(1) Students receiving their first term of VGAP at a class level in the fall term must advance class levels by the beginning of the following fall term.

(2) Students receiving their first term of VGAP at a class level in the spring term must advance class levels by the beginning of the following spring term.

(3) Students receiving their first term of VGAP at a class level in the summer term must advance class levels by the beginning of the following summer term.

(4) If an institution determines that the student did not advance class level at the completion of the one year, the student is not eligible for a VGAP award the next term; however, the institution may reconsider providing VGAP for that next term, if:

(a) The student subsequently demonstrates that additional credits were earned prior to the beginning of the term (whether by transfer, adjusted grades, or other); and

(b) The additional credits are accepted by the institution and are sufficient for the student to advance class level.

(c) Example: The student falls three hours short of advancing class level upon completion of the 2017–2018 award year and therefore is not packaged VGAP entering the fall 2018 term. However, if during the fall term the student successfully transfers or secures a grade change for courses that were completed prior to the fall 2018 term, and as a result secures the additional hours needed to advance class level, the institution may award VGAP for fall 2018.

b. The hours required to advance class level may be completed in any combination of terms, transfer of credits, or testing out of courses. Examples include completing:

(1) The minimum hours necessary to advance class level (typically 30) in the combined fall, spring, and summer terms within the one-year timeframe; or

(2) The minimum hours necessary to advance class level (typically 30) by combining credits earned in academic terms during the one year and any other credits earned via transfer or an approved examination, such as a test of The College Board's College Level Examination Program (CLEP), by no later than the completion of the one-year timeframe.

c. Students failing to advance class levels after one year of support:

(1) May be considered for a Commonwealth Award for the next term of enrollment; and

(2) May then be reconsidered for a VGAP award for the term in which they enter at a higher class level if they continue to meet all renewal criteria in subsection A of this section.

d. Students advancing class levels in less than one year are not granted extra terms of support.

2. Beginning with first-time students enrolled in the fall semester in 2018, each eligible student shall receive a grant in an amount greater than the grant of each eligible student with equivalent remaining need in the next lowest class level.

a. The annual award differential between the class levels is determined by the institution. When determining the differential, institutions should weigh the available funding and the needs of the overall student enrollment with the amount of the differential necessary to incentivize students to progress.

b. The award differential between the class levels can vary from year to year.

c. The award differential is not based upon the prior year awards for the individual student or other class levels. Annual awards are based upon the unique circumstances for the individual year, including available funding, student remaining need, and changes in total financial need across all eligible students.

3. Grandfathering:

a. For students enrolled prior to fall 2018, there is no requirement that the awards be differentiated by class level.

b. For students enrolled prior to fall 2017, those students completing full-time equivalent courses per academic year remain eligible for consideration of a VGAP award entering the 2017–2018 award year. The requirement of one year of award per class level is reviewed upon completion of the 2017–2018 award year and then evaluated each term thereafter, as appropriate.

Statutory Authority

§ 23.1-636 of the Code of Virginia.Derived from Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 5, eff. November 1, 2017.

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