Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 8. Education
Agency 40. State Council Of Higher Education For Virginia
Chapter 71. Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant Program Regulations
1/21/2022

8VAC40-71-40. Student eligibility.

A. Receipt of application.

1. Applications submitted in person, by facsimile, or by other electronic means, or postmarked by carrier mail by the applicable deadline (July 31, September 14, and December 1) of the academic year may be deemed as meeting the deadline.

2. If the deadline occurs on a weekend or nonbusiness day as recognized by the institution or carrier, the application will be deemed as meeting the respective deadline if the application is received by the institution by the first business day following the deadline or postmarked by carrier mail by the carrier's first business day following the deadline.

3. Students who submit an application to one institution but enroll into another may still be considered to have met the respective deadline if the initial institution can verify receipt of the application by the deadline.

B. Priority for award. Because funds may not be sufficient to award all eligible students, students are prioritized based on prior eligibility (returning students) and date of application (new students). Below are descriptions of the students in priority order for receiving an award. Priority students will receive a full award before students in a subsequent priority order.

1. Category 1 and 2 students receive priority for an award.

a. Category 1 students: returning students who received an award in the previous fiscal year, including:

(1) Students returning to their original institution;

(2) Students transferring from another participating eligible institution; and

(3) Students moving from one degree level to another within an institution or from another participating eligible institution.

b. Category 2 students: students submitting a completed program application by July 31 of the fiscal year who were:

(1) New and readmitted students who were not enrolled in the previous fiscal year; or

(2) Returning students who met the domicile requirements in the previous fiscal year but did not receive an award due to insufficient funding (Category 3 and 4 students) or because they were not enrolled full time or otherwise did not meet other award criteria.

2. Category 3 students will be considered for an award if funds are available after Category 1 and 2 students are fully funded. Category 3 students are those who submit a completed application after July 31 but no later than September 14, including:

a. New and readmitted students who were not enrolled in the previous fiscal year; or

b. Students enrolled but who did not apply for an award in the previous fiscal year.

3. Category 4 students will be considered for an award if funds are available after Category 1, 2, and 3 students are fully funded.

a. Category 4 students are those who submit a completed program application after September 14 but no later than December 1 of the fiscal year and include new and readmitted students who were not enrolled in the previous fiscal year.

b. Category 4 students receive spring term only awards.

4. Exceptions are made for students who break enrollment for military purposes. Students reentering their degree program within one year of completion of military responsibilities shall be granted priority, along with Category 1 students. This exception is for priority purposes only as the student still must meet all eligibility criteria.

C. Eligibility criteria. In order to be eligible to receive an award, the student must:

1. Be a domiciliary resident of Virginia, as defined by § 23.1-502 of the Code of Virginia, for at least one year prior to the date of entitlement (first day of classes for the program in which the student is enrolled) or eligible under § 23.1-505 of the Code of Virginia.

2. Enroll in the academic year for which the award is to be received as a full-time student in an eligible program at a participating eligible institution.

a. A student's enrollment status shall be determined at the census date. If a student falls below full time by dropping or withdrawing from individual courses or withdraws from the institution after the census date, he shall receive a prorated award based on the tuition refund policy in effect at the institution.

b. A graduating student enrolled less than full time for a term in his final academic year may be eligible to receive an award if:

(1) The student was enrolled full time and accepted for or received an award in the immediate preceding academic year;

(2) The course credits available in the current term needed to complete degree requirements total less than a full-time course load; and

(3) The maximum number of years of eligibility has not been exceeded.

c. Exceptions to the full-time requirement due to a documented disability or other medical reasons, as applicable under the federal American's with Disabilities Act, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

3. Have complied with federal selective service registration requirements unless the following apply:

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

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

4. Complete and submit an application for an award by the published deadline.

5. Not participate in the Virginia Women's Institute for Leadership at Mary Baldwin College.

D. Limitations on awards. For administrative purposes, each academic year shall be comprised of six units of program eligibility; accordingly, a semester is equivalent to three units and a quarter is equivalent to two units.

1. If a student receives a partial payment for a semester or quarter, the student's total eligibility shall be reduced by one semester (three units) or quarter (two units).

2. Undergraduate students:

a. Students pursuing an associate's degree shall be limited to a maximum of two academic years (12 units), or its equivalent, of support.

b. Students pursuing degrees at the undergraduate level shall be limited to a combined life-time maximum of four academic years (24 units), or its equivalent, of support, inclusive of enrollment in any combination of associate's or baccalaureate degrees.

c. Students enrolled in teacher certification programs at the undergraduate level may receive awards if the student is enrolled full time and has not exhausted eligibility.

3. Post-undergraduate students:

a. Students pursuing degrees at the graduate level shall be limited to a combined life-time maximum of three academic years (18 units), or its equivalent, of support.

b. Students pursuing degrees at the first-professional level shall be limited to a life-time maximum of three academic years (18 units), or its equivalent, of support, except for students pursuing medical or pharmacy degrees who are limited to four academic years (24 units), or its equivalent, of support.

c. In no case should any combination of post-undergraduate programs exceed four years of support.

4. A student enrolled at multiple institutions may receive an award if:

a. The home institution is an eligible institution;

b. A formal consortium agreement is in place; and

c. The student's combined enrollment is full time.

If the consortium agreement includes a Virginia public institution, the award will be prorated based on the courses for the term not attempted at the Virginia public institution as a percentage of minimum full-time enrollment.

5. A student may receive an award under a study abroad program if:

a. The student is enrolled full time;

b. The student remains on record as an enrolled student in an otherwise eligible program at a participating eligible institution for the term in which the award is received;

c. The program funds are disbursed to the participating eligible institution; and

d. The overseas program is a formal agreement arranged by the participating eligible institution.

E. Appeals process.

1. The participating institution makes the student's initial eligibility determination. If the institution determines that the student does not meet the domicile requirements, the institution must notify the student in writing of the outcome and the availability of the appeals process.

2. Council shall make final decisions on domicile eligibility disputes between students and the enrolling institutions. The appeal process for resolving eligibility disputes shall consist of a review of the institution's initial determination by a council staff member. Further student appeals are subject to a final review by a committee comprised of three council staff members. No person who serves at one level of the appeals process shall be eligible to serve at any other level of review. Timing for completion of the review is heavily dependent upon the response time to staff information requests for both the student and the institution, but typically council staff will respond within two weeks.

3. Student appeals must be filed in writing with the council within 30 days of the institution's written notification. If the outcome of the appeal upholds the institution's initial determination, the student may file a final appeal within 30 days of the council's written notification.

4. The appeals process is contained in this subsection and available to the institutions and students online or in print upon request.

Statutory Authority

§ 23.1-629 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 2, eff. September 16, 2011; amended, Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 13, eff. February 20, 2017.

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