Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 23.1. Institutions of Higher Education; Other Educational and Cultural Institutions
Subtitle II. Students and Campus
Chapter 6. Financial Assistance
4/18/2024

Chapter 6. Financial Assistance.

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 23.1-600. Participation in and eligibility for state-supported financial aid programs.

A. Participation in and eligibility for state-supported financial aid or other higher education programs designed to promote greater racial diversity in public institutions of higher education shall not be restricted on the basis of race or ethnic origin. Any individual who is a member of any federally recognized minority is eligible for and may participate in such programs if such individual meets all other qualifications for admission to the relevant institution and the specific program.

B. Individuals who have completed a program of home instruction in accordance with § 22.1-254.1 and individuals who have been excused from school attendance pursuant to subsection B of § 22.1-254 shall be deemed to have met the high school graduation requirements for purposes of eligibility for any state-supported financial aid or other higher education programs. When a high school grade point average, class rank, or other academic criteria are specified as a condition of participating in a program, the Council shall develop empirical alternative equivalent measures that may be required for such programs.

1993, c. 843, § 23-7.1:02; 2009, c. 879; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-601. Public institutions of higher education; grants for tuition and fees for certain individuals.

A. Each comprehensive community college shall and any other associate-degree-granting public institution of higher education or baccalaureate public institution of higher education may provide a grant for the payment of tuition and fees, except fees established for the purpose of paying for course materials such as laboratory fees, for any Virginia student who:

1. a. Has received a high school diploma or has passed a high school equivalency examination approved by the Board of Education and was in foster care or in the custody of the Department of Social Services or is considered a special needs adoption at the time such diploma or certificate was awarded; or

b. Was in foster care when he turned 18 and subsequently received a high school diploma or passed a high school equivalency examination approved by the Board of Education;

2. Is enrolled or has been accepted for enrollment as a full-time or part-time student, taking a minimum of six credit hours per semester, in a degree or certificate program of at least one academic year in length or in a noncredit workforce credential program in a comprehensive community college;

3. Has not been enrolled in postsecondary education as a full-time student for more than five years or does not have a bachelor's degree;

4. Maintains the required grade point average established by the governing board of the institution at which he is enrolled;

5. Has submitted complete applications for federal student financial aid programs for which he may be eligible;

6. Demonstrates financial need; and

7. Meets any additional financial need requirements established by the governing board of the institution at which he is enrolled for the purposes of such grant.

B. The State Board and the Council, in consultation with the Department of Social Services, shall establish regulations governing such grants. The regulations shall include provisions addressing renewals of grants, financial need, the calculation of grant amounts after consideration of any additional financial resources or aid the student holds, the minimum grade point average required to retain such grant, and procedures for the repayment of tuition and fees for failure to meet the requirements imposed by this section.

2000, c. 968, § 23-7.4:5; 2009, cc. 430, 603; 2014, c. 84; 2016, c. 588; 2017, cc. 306, 318; 2019, c. 589.

§ 23.1-602. Payments to institutions of higher education for certain courses taken by law-enforcement officers.

A. The Department of Criminal Justice Services shall enter into contracts to make payments to public institutions of higher education and accredited private institutions of higher education whose primary campus is within the Commonwealth for tuition, books, and mandatory fees for any law-enforcement officer of the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions, departments, or authorities or any locality of the Commonwealth who (i) is enrolled on a full-time or part-time basis in courses included in an undergraduate or graduate program that leads to a degree or certificate in an area relating to law enforcement or suitable for law-enforcement officers and (ii) enters into an agreement to continue to serve as a law-enforcement officer in the Commonwealth upon completion of his course of study for a period at least as long as the length of the course of study undertaken and paid for under the provisions of this section and, in the event that he does not complete such service, to repay the full amount of such payments on the terms and in the manner that the Department of Criminal Justice Services prescribes.

B. Any individual who receives the benefit of funds expended pursuant to this section shall reimburse such funds to the Department of Criminal Justice Services if he fails to satisfactorily complete the course for which the funds were expended.

The Department of Criminal Justice Services shall use such reimbursed funds in accordance with the purposes of this section.

1972, c. 697, § 23-9.2:4; 1974, c. 162; 1977, c. 162; 1982, c. 18; 1986, c. 236; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-603. State cadets; Mary Baldwin College and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; financial assistance awards.

From funds appropriated by the Commonwealth to Mary Baldwin College for the Virginia Women's Institute for Leadership and to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, each such institution's governing board may provide for financial assistance awards to students designated as state cadets on terms and conditions comparable to the provisions of § 23.1-2506.

1996, c. 203, § 23-31.1; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-604. Investment of funds donated for scholarships.

A. When any person deposits moneys in, bequeaths moneys to be deposited in, or devises or bequeaths property to be sold and the proceeds to be deposited in the state treasury for the benefit of any institution of higher education in such an amount that the interest on such moneys is sufficient to cover the costs of tuition, mandatory fees, and other necessary expenses for a cadet or student enrolled in such institution, the moneys shall be invested in securities that are legal investments under the laws of the Commonwealth for public funds in the name and for the benefit of such institution.

B. Such donation is irrevocable, but the donor, his heirs, or the guardian of any heir who is under 21 years old may nominate and place in such institution any cadet or student.

C. If such donor, heirs, or guardian fails to nominate a cadet or student within one year of such donation, the governing board of the institution may appropriate such moneys to cover tuition, mandatory fees, and other necessary expenses for indigent Virginia students or cadets.

Code 1919, §§ 994, 995, 996; 1936, p. 536, §§ 23-32, 23-33, 23-34; 1956, c. 184; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-605. Commissioned officers; waiver of tuition and mandatory fees.

Any commissioned officer of the Virginia National Guard or the Virginia Defense Force may become a student at any public institution of higher education for a period not exceeding 10 months and receive instruction in the departments of military science, emergency management, emergency services, public safety, and disaster management at such institution without being required to pay tuition and mandatory fees.

Code 1919, § 846, § 23-108; 1983, c. 385; 2014, c. 778; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-606. Service in Armed Forces of the United States; discharge of scholarship service obligations.

Any length of service by any individual in the Armed Forces of the United States as an officer, private, or nurse or in any other capacity in time of war or other declared national emergency is a complete and final discharge of any obligation of such individual to serve the Commonwealth as a teacher in the public schools or in any other capacity, including any such obligation that has been reduced or computed into terms of a monetary obligation in lieu of such service, arising by virtue of any statute or of any contract entered into between such individual and any public institution of higher education in consideration of any state scholarship awarded to or received by such individual as a student in such institution, provided that such service is terminated by an honorable or medical discharge and such individual entered such service within four years after leaving such institution.

1942, p. 504; Michie Code 1942, § 997c, § 23-38; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-607. Compensation of cooperating teachers.

A. As used in this section, "cooperating teacher" means an individual licensed by the Board of Education who meets the criteria established by the relevant institution of higher education and is engaged in supervising and evaluating one or more student teachers.

B. In addition to the provisions of § 22.1-290.1 relating to compensation of certain licensed teachers while engaged in supervising and evaluating student teachers, any institution of higher education engaged in educating students to be teachers may, from such funds as may be available for such purpose, develop and implement a program to compensate public school or private school teachers who agree to be cooperating teachers. Such compensation programs may provide for payment in the form of money or authorization to enroll without charge for a designated number of credit hours in the school, department, or other unit of the institution of higher education at which the student teacher being supervised is enrolled.

1994, c. 533, § 23-8.2:1; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-607.1. Veterans; withdrawal; tuition refund.

A. As used in this section, "veteran" has the same meaning as provided in § 23.1-500.

B. Each public institution of higher education shall provide a refund of the tuition and mandatory fees paid by any veteran student for any course from which such veteran student is forced to withdraw, for the first time, due to a service-connected medical condition during a semester, as certified in writing to the institution by a physician licensed to practice medicine pursuant to Chapter 29 (§ 54.1-2900 et seq.) of Title 54.1 who treated the veteran student for such medical condition. Such refund shall not be issued when three-quarters of a course has been completed at the time that the veteran student withdraws from the course. The time period that constitutes three-quarters of a course shall be determined by the institution.

C. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect any such student's ability to reenroll at the institution.

2020, c. 434.

§ 23.1-608. (Effective until pursuant to Acts 2023, cc. 756 and 778, cl. 5) Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program; tuition and fee waivers.

A. As used in this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Domicile" has the same meaning as provided in § 23.1-500.

"Program" means the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program.

"Qualified survivors and dependents" means the spouse or a child between the ages of 16 and 29 (i) of a military service member who, while serving as an active duty member in the Armed Forces of the United States, Reserves of the Armed Forces of the United States, or Virginia National Guard, during military operations against terrorism, on a peacekeeping mission, as a result of a terrorist act, or in any armed conflict, was killed, became missing in action, or became a prisoner of war or (ii) of a veteran who served in the Armed Forces of the United States, Reserves of the Armed Forces of the United States, or Virginia National Guard and, due to such service, has been rated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as totally and permanently disabled or at least 90 percent permanently disabled and has been discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. However, the Commissioner of Veterans Services may certify dependents above the age of 29 in those cases in which extenuating circumstances prevented the dependent child from using his benefits before the age of 30. For purposes of this section, a child who is a stepchild of a deceased military service member described in this section shall receive all benefits described in this section as a child of such military service member if the military service member claimed the stepchild on his tax return or on his Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System while serving on active duty.

B. The Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program is established for the purpose of waiving tuition and mandatory fees at a public institution of higher education or Eastern Virginia Medical School for qualified survivors and dependents who have been admitted to such institution and meet the requirements of subsection C, as certified by the Commissioner of Veterans Services.

C. Admitted qualified survivors and dependents are eligible for a waiver of tuition and mandatory fees pursuant to this section if the military service member who was killed, became missing in action, became a prisoner of war, or is disabled (i) established domicile (a) at the time of entering such active military service or called to active duty as a member of the Reserves of the Armed Forces of the United States or Virginia National Guard; (b) at least five years immediately prior to, or had a physical presence in the Commonwealth for at least five years immediately prior to, the date on which the admission application was submitted by or on behalf of such qualified survivor or dependent for admission to such institution of higher education or Eastern Virginia Medical School; or (c) on the date of his death and for at least five years immediately prior to his death or had a physical presence in the Commonwealth on the date of his death and had a physical presence in the Commonwealth for at least five years immediately prior to his death; (ii) in the case of a qualified child, is deceased and the surviving parent, at some time previous to marrying the deceased parent, established domicile for at least five years, or established domicile or had a physical presence in the Commonwealth for at least five years immediately prior to the date on which the admission application was submitted by or on behalf of such child; or (iii) in the case of a qualified spouse, is deceased and the surviving spouse, at some time previous to marrying the deceased spouse, established domicile for at least five years or had a physical presence in the Commonwealth for at least five years prior to the date on which the admission application was submitted by such qualified spouse. In any case under this subsection, the Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Services shall have the authority to consider the domicile or physical presence requirements under clause (i) (c) through the surviving spouse or under clause (iii) through the surviving student if the military service member or surviving spouse dies after having established physical presence within the Commonwealth but before such requirements can be met.

D. The Department of Veterans Services shall disseminate information about the Program to those spouses and dependents who may qualify. The Department of Veterans Services shall coordinate with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to identify veterans and qualified survivors and dependents. The Commissioner of Veterans Services shall include in the annual report submitted to the Governor and the General Assembly pursuant to § 2.2-2004 an overview of the agency's policies and strategies relating to dissemination of information about the Program and Fund.

E. Each public institution of higher education and Eastern Virginia Medical School shall include in its catalog or equivalent publication a statement describing the benefits available pursuant to this section.

1996, cc. 931, 981, § 23-7.4:1; 1998, c. 377; 2001, c. 330; 2003, cc. 657, 670; 2005, cc. 773, 783; 2006, c. 793; 2007, cc. 116, 161, 717; 2011, cc. 572, 586; 2012, c. 776; 2013, c. 719; 2014, cc. 184, 657; 2015, cc. 38, 730; 2016, c. 588; 2019, cc. 317, 491; 2022, c. 442.

§ 23.1-608. (Effective pursuant to Acts 2023, cc. 756 and 778, cl. 5) Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program; tuition and fee waivers.

A. As used in this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Domicile" has the same meaning as provided in § 23.1-500.

"Program" means the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program.

"Qualified survivors and dependents" means the spouse or a child between the ages of 16 and 29 (i) of a military service member who, while serving as an active duty member in the Armed Forces of the United States, Reserves of the Armed Forces of the United States, or Virginia National Guard, during military operations against terrorism, on a peacekeeping mission, as a result of a terrorist act, or in any armed conflict, was killed, became missing in action, or became a prisoner of war or (ii) of a veteran who served in the Armed Forces of the United States, Reserves of the Armed Forces of the United States, or Virginia National Guard and, due to such service, has been rated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as totally and permanently disabled or at least 90 percent permanently disabled and has been discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. However, the Commissioner of Veterans Services may certify dependents above the age of 29 in those cases in which extenuating circumstances prevented the dependent child from using his benefits before the age of 30. For purposes of this section, a child who is a stepchild of a deceased military service member described in this section shall receive all benefits described in this section as a child of such military service member if the military service member claimed the stepchild on his tax return or on his Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System while serving on active duty.

B. The Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program is established for the purpose of waiving tuition and mandatory fees at a public institution of higher education for qualified survivors and dependents who have been admitted to such institution and meet the requirements of subsection C, as certified by the Commissioner of Veterans Services.

C. Admitted qualified survivors and dependents are eligible for a waiver of tuition and mandatory fees pursuant to this section if the military service member who was killed, became missing in action, became a prisoner of war, or is disabled (i) established domicile (a) at the time of entering such active military service or called to active duty as a member of the Reserves of the Armed Forces of the United States or Virginia National Guard; (b) at least five years immediately prior to, or had a physical presence in the Commonwealth for at least five years immediately prior to, the date on which the admission application was submitted by or on behalf of such qualified survivor or dependent for admission to such institution of higher education; or (c) on the date of his death and for at least five years immediately prior to his death or had a physical presence in the Commonwealth on the date of his death and had a physical presence in the Commonwealth for at least five years immediately prior to his death; (ii) in the case of a qualified child, is deceased and the surviving parent, at some time previous to marrying the deceased parent, established domicile for at least five years, or established domicile or had a physical presence in the Commonwealth for at least five years immediately prior to the date on which the admission application was submitted by or on behalf of such child; or (iii) in the case of a qualified spouse, is deceased and the surviving spouse, at some time previous to marrying the deceased spouse, established domicile for at least five years or had a physical presence in the Commonwealth for at least five years prior to the date on which the admission application was submitted by such qualified spouse. In any case under this subsection, the Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Services shall have the authority to consider the domicile or physical presence requirements under clause (i) (c) through the surviving spouse or under clause (iii) through the surviving student if the military service member or surviving spouse dies after having established physical presence within the Commonwealth but before such requirements can be met.

D. The Department of Veterans Services shall disseminate information about the Program to those spouses and dependents who may qualify. The Department of Veterans Services shall coordinate with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to identify veterans and qualified survivors and dependents. The Commissioner of Veterans Services shall include in the annual report submitted to the Governor and the General Assembly pursuant to § 2.2-2004 an overview of the agency's policies and strategies relating to dissemination of information about the Program and Fund.

E. Each public institution of higher education shall include in its catalog or equivalent publication a statement describing the benefits available pursuant to this section.

1996, cc. 931, 981, § 23-7.4:1; 1998, c. 377; 2001, c. 330; 2003, cc. 657, 670; 2005, cc. 773, 783; 2006, c. 793; 2007, cc. 116, 161, 717; 2011, cc. 572, 586; 2012, c. 776; 2013, c. 719; 2014, cc. 184, 657; 2015, cc. 38, 730; 2016, c. 588; 2019, cc. 317, 491; 2022, c. 442; 2023, cc. 756, 778.

§ 23.1-608.1. (Effective until pursuant to Acts 2023, cc. 756 and 778, cl. 5) Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Fund; stipends.

A. As used in this section:

"Fund" means the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Fund.

"Qualified survivors and dependents" means the spouse or a child between the ages of 16 and 29 (i) of a military service member who, while serving as an active duty member in the Armed Forces of the United States, Reserves of the Armed Forces of the United States, or Virginia National Guard, during military operations against terrorism, on a peacekeeping mission, as a result of a terrorist act, or in any armed conflict, was killed, became missing in action, or became a prisoner of war or (ii) of a veteran who, as a direct result of such service, has been rated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as totally and permanently disabled or at least 90 percent permanently disabled and has been discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. However, the Commissioner of Veterans Services may certify dependents above the age of 29 in those cases in which extenuating circumstances prevented the dependent child from using his benefits before the age of 30.

B. From such funds as may be appropriated and from such gifts, bequests, and any gifts, grants, or donations from public or private sources, the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Fund is established for the sole purpose of providing financial assistance, in an amount (i) up to $2,000 or (ii) as provided in the general appropriation act, for room and board charges, books and supplies, and other expenses at any public institution of higher education or Eastern Virginia Medical School for the use and benefit of qualified survivors and dependents, provided that the maximum amount to be expended for each such survivor or dependent pursuant to this subsection shall not exceed, when combined with any other form of scholarship, grant, or waiver, the actual costs relating to the survivor's or dependent's educational expenses allowed under this subsection.

C. Each year, from the funds available in the Fund, the Council and each public institution of higher education and Eastern Virginia Medical School shall determine the amount and the manner in which financial assistance shall be made available to beneficiaries and shall make that information available to the Commissioner of Veterans Services for distribution.

D. The Council shall disburse to each public institution of higher education and Eastern Virginia Medical School the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by the Commonwealth to support the Fund and shall report to the Commissioner of Veterans Services the beneficiaries' completion rate.

E. The Department of Veterans Services shall disseminate information about the Fund to those spouses and dependents who may qualify. The Department of Veterans Services shall coordinate with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to identify veterans and qualified survivors and dependents. The Commissioner of Veterans Services shall include in the annual report submitted to the Governor and the General Assembly pursuant to § 2.2-2004 an overview of the agency's policies and strategies relating to dissemination of information about the Fund.

F. Each public institution of higher education and Eastern Virginia Medical School shall include in its catalog or equivalent publication a statement describing the benefits available pursuant to this section.

2019, cc. 317, 491.

§ 23.1-608.1. (Effective pursuant to Acts 2023, cc. 756 and 778, cl. 5) Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Fund; stipends.

A. As used in this section:

"Fund" means the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Fund.

"Qualified survivors and dependents" means the spouse or a child between the ages of 16 and 29 (i) of a military service member who, while serving as an active duty member in the Armed Forces of the United States, Reserves of the Armed Forces of the United States, or Virginia National Guard, during military operations against terrorism, on a peacekeeping mission, as a result of a terrorist act, or in any armed conflict, was killed, became missing in action, or became a prisoner of war or (ii) of a veteran who, as a direct result of such service, has been rated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as totally and permanently disabled or at least 90 percent permanently disabled and has been discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. However, the Commissioner of Veterans Services may certify dependents above the age of 29 in those cases in which extenuating circumstances prevented the dependent child from using his benefits before the age of 30.

B. From such funds as may be appropriated and from such gifts, bequests, and any gifts, grants, or donations from public or private sources, the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Fund is established for the sole purpose of providing financial assistance, in an amount (i) up to $2,000 or (ii) as provided in the general appropriation act, for room and board charges, books and supplies, and other expenses at any public institution of higher education for the use and benefit of qualified survivors and dependents, provided that the maximum amount to be expended for each such survivor or dependent pursuant to this subsection shall not exceed, when combined with any other form of scholarship, grant, or waiver, the actual costs relating to the survivor's or dependent's educational expenses allowed under this subsection.

C. Each year, from the funds available in the Fund, the Council and each public institution of higher education shall determine the amount and the manner in which financial assistance shall be made available to beneficiaries and shall make that information available to the Commissioner of Veterans Services for distribution.

D. The Council shall disburse to each public institution of higher education the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by the Commonwealth to support the Fund and shall report to the Commissioner of Veterans Services the beneficiaries' completion rate.

E. The Department of Veterans Services shall disseminate information about the Fund to those spouses and dependents who may qualify. The Department of Veterans Services shall coordinate with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to identify veterans and qualified survivors and dependents. The Commissioner of Veterans Services shall include in the annual report submitted to the Governor and the General Assembly pursuant to § 2.2-2004 an overview of the agency's policies and strategies relating to dissemination of information about the Fund.

F. Each public institution of higher education shall include in its catalog or equivalent publication a statement describing the benefits available pursuant to this section.

2019, cc. 317, 491; 2023, cc. 756, 778.

§ 23.1-609. Surviving spouses and children of certain individuals; tuition and fee waivers.

A. The surviving spouse and any child between the ages of 16 and 25 of an individual who was killed in the line of duty while employed or serving as a (i) law-enforcement officer, including as a campus police officer appointed under Article 3 (§ 23.1-809 et seq.) of Chapter 8, sworn law-enforcement officer, firefighter, special forest warden pursuant to § 10.1-1135, member of a rescue squad, special agent of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, state correctional, regional or local jail officer, regional jail or jail farm superintendent, sheriff, or deputy sheriff; (ii) member of the Virginia National Guard while serving on official state duty or federal duty under Title 32 of the United States Code; or (iii) member of the Virginia Defense Force while serving on official state duty, and any individual whose spouse was killed in the line of duty while employed or serving in any of such occupations, is entitled to a waiver of undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees at any public institution of higher education under the following conditions:

1. The chief executive officer of the deceased individual's employer certifies that such individual was so employed and was killed in the line of duty while serving or living in the Commonwealth; and

2. The surviving spouse or child is admitted to, enrolls at, and is in attendance at such institution and applies to such institution for the waiver. Waiver recipients who make satisfactory academic progress are eligible for renewal of such waiver.

B. Institutions that grant such waivers shall waive the amounts payable for tuition, institutional charges and mandatory educational and auxiliary fees, and books and supplies but shall not waive user fees such as room and board charges.

C. Each public institution of higher education shall include in its catalog or equivalent publication a statement describing the benefits available pursuant to this section.

1996, cc. 931, 981, § 23-7.4:1; 1998, c. 377; 2001, c. 330; 2003, cc. 657, 670; 2005, cc. 773, 783; 2006, c. 793; 2007, cc. 116, 161, 717; 2011, cc. 572, 586; 2012, c. 776; 2013, c. 719; 2014, cc. 184, 657; 2015, cc. 38, 730; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-610. Members of the National Guard; grants.

A. Any individual who (i) is a member of the Virginia National Guard and has a minimum remaining obligation of two years, (ii) has satisfactorily completed required initial active duty service, (iii) is satisfactorily performing duty in accordance with regulations of the National Guard, and (iv) is enrolled in any course or program at any public institution of higher education or accredited nonprofit private institution of higher education whose primary purpose is to provide collegiate or graduate education and not to provide religious training or theological education is eligible for a grant in the amount of the difference between the full cost of tuition and any other educational benefits for which he is eligible as a member of the National Guard. Grants provided under this section shall be subject to limitation based on the amount of funds appropriated for such purpose. If applications for grants exceed the amount of funding appropriated, the Department of Military Affairs (the Department) shall issue grants to eligible recipients based on the order in which applications were received.

B. Application for a grant shall be made to the Department no later than 30 days prior to the beginning of an academic semester. The Department shall determine whether an applicant is eligible for the grant as described in subsection A and communicate acceptance and any additional requirements determined by the Department in writing no later than 30 days after receipt of an application. Applicants eligible for a grant pursuant to this section shall:

1. Satisfy all financial obligations with the institution of higher education at the beginning of each semester; and

2. Provide written proof of acceptable academic performance and good standing with the institution of higher education for the current term to the Department no later than 30 days following the end of a term or semester. Upon the receipt of proof of academic performance and continued good standing to the Department, the Department shall issue grants in a manner and amount that is consistent with regulations promulgated by the Adjutant General. As used in this subdivision, "academic performance" means (i) achieving a passing grade in each course during the semester and (ii) maintaining a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on a scale of 4.0 or its equivalent, and "good standing" means that the individual has fulfilled all obligations to the institution of higher education.

C. Any member of the Virginia National Guard shall be eligible to receive a grant under this section if such member has two years remaining on his service obligation to the Virginia National Guard as of the last day of the last term or semester for which tuition assistance is requested. Service in the inactive National Guard, the active duty or reserve forces of the United States, or the National Guard of any other state shall not count as applicable service toward fulfilling this service obligation. Federal active duty mobilizations occurring while still a member of the Virginia National Guard and state active duty for the Commonwealth shall count toward the two-year service obligation.

D. The Department may utilize grant funding in order to recruit qualified applicants for service in the Virginia National Guard. The yearly funding amount for such recruitment shall be at the discretion of the Adjutant General and the Department and not exceed $50,000 per fiscal year.

1996, cc. 931, 981, § 23-7.4:2; 1998, cc. 62, 79; 1999, cc. 424, 437; 2000, c. 196; 2001, c. 483; 2004, cc. 501, 520; 2006, cc. 783, 797; 2007, cc. 76, 102, 112; 2008, c. 723; 2009, c. 470; 2011, c. 376; 2013, cc. 166, 243, 302; 2014, cc. 341, 762; 2016, c. 588; 2022, cc. 604, 605, 691, 748; 2023, c. 638.

§ 23.1-610.1. Veteran Student Transition Grant Fund and Program.

A. There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Veteran Student Transition Grant Fund, referred to in this section as "the Fund." The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All funds appropriated for such purpose and any gifts, donations, grants, bequests, and other funds received on its behalf shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for the purposes of providing grants through the Veteran Student Transition Grant Program established pursuant to subsection B. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the director of the Council.

B. The Council shall establish the Veteran Student Transition Grant Program (the Program) for the purpose of providing grants through the Veteran Student Transition Grant Fund established in subsection A on a competitive basis to a public institution of higher education, private institution of higher education eligible to participate in the Tuition Assistance Grant Program pursuant to § 23.1-628, or group of such institutions that proposes a new and innovative program or research project relating to improving the transition of veteran students from military to higher education or from higher education to the civilian workforce.

C. The Council shall administer the Program and shall establish such guidelines and procedures as it deems necessary for the administration of the Program, including guidelines and procedures for grant applications, awards, and renewals.

2020, c. 636.

§ 23.1-611. Students from foreign countries; student exchange programs; tuition and fee waivers.

Tuition and mandatory fees may be waived for a student from a foreign country enrolled in a public institution of higher education through a student exchange program approved by such institution, provided that the number of students from a foreign country for whom tuition and mandatory fees has been waived does not exceed during any three-year period the number of students from a foreign country who are enrolled through such student exchange program and who pay full tuition and mandatory fees to the institution.

1996, cc. 931, 981, § 23-7.4:1; 1998, c. 377; 2001, c. 330; 2003, cc. 657, 670; 2005, cc. 773, 783; 2006, c. 793; 2007, cc. 116, 161, 717; 2011, cc. 572, 586; 2012, c. 776; 2013, c. 719; 2014, cc. 184, 657; 2015, cc. 38, 730; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-611.1. Financial aid award notification.

Any comprehensive financial aid award notification provided to a student by a public institution of higher education or private institution of higher education shall meet the requirements and best practices established by the Council in its Financial Aid Award Letters Policies and Guidance.

2019, cc. 571, 572.

Article 2. Scholarships.

§ 23.1-612. Unfunded scholarships.

A. The governing board of each public institution of higher education may establish unfunded scholarships that are subject to such regulations and conditions as the governing board establishes and the following limitations and restrictions:

1. All such scholarships shall be applied exclusively to the remission, in whole or in part, of tuition and mandatory fees.

2. The governing board shall determine the number of such scholarships annually awarded to undergraduate Virginia students and non-Virginia students.

3. The total value of all such scholarships annually awarded to undergraduate Virginia students shall not exceed the amount of the applicable sum of undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees multiplied by 20 percent of the enrollment of undergraduate Virginia students during the preceding academic year.

4. The total value of all such scholarships annually awarded by an institution to undergraduate non-Virginia students shall not exceed the amount of the applicable per capita out-of-state tuition differential paid by undergraduate non-Virginia students for tuition and mandatory fees multiplied by 20 percent of the enrollment of undergraduate non-Virginia students during the preceding academic year.

5. All such scholarships awarded to undergraduate students shall be awarded only to students in the first four years of undergraduate work and shall be awarded and renewed on a selective basis to students of character and ability who are in need of financial assistance. For purposes of determining need under this section, each governing board shall use a nationally recognized needs-analysis system approved by the Council.

6. The governing board of each public institution of higher education shall determine the number of such scholarships annually awarded to graduate students or teachers serving as clinical faculty pursuant to § 22.1-290.1. The total value of all such scholarships annually awarded to such graduate students and clinical faculty shall not exceed the amount of the sum of graduate tuition and mandatory fees multiplied by the number of teachers serving as clinical faculty pursuant to § 22.1-290.1 and graduate students who are employed as teaching assistants, graduate assistants, or research assistants with significant academic or academic support responsibilities and who are paid a stipend of at least $2,000 in the particular academic year. All unfunded scholarships awarded to graduate students or teachers serving as clinical faculty shall be awarded and renewed on a selective basis to such graduate students and clinical faculty of character and ability.

7. An unfunded scholarship shall entitle the holder to the following award, as appropriate:

a. An undergraduate Virginia student may receive an annual remission of an amount not to exceed the cost of tuition and mandatory fees;

b. An undergraduate non-Virginia student may receive an annual remission not to exceed the amount of the out-of-state tuition differential required to be paid by the student for tuition and mandatory fees;

c. A qualified graduate student may receive an annual remission of an amount not to exceed the cost of tuition and mandatory fees; and

d. A teacher serving as clinical faculty may receive an award as determined by the governing board of the institution.

8. Notwithstanding the limitations on the awards of unfunded scholarships to undergraduate students pursuant to subdivision A 7, an institution may award unfunded scholarships to visiting foreign exchange students as long as the number of such awards in any fiscal year does not exceed one quarter of one percent of the total institutional headcount enrollment.

B. No public institution of higher education shall remit any tuition or mandatory fees to any student at such institution except as authorized in this section. Each such institution shall make a report to the Council, upon request, showing the number and value of scholarships awarded under this section according to each student classification.

C. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent or limit in any way the admission of state cadets at Virginia Military Institute or to affect the remission of tuition, mandatory fees, or other charges to such state cadets as permitted under existing law.

D. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect or limit in any way the control of the governing boards of the respective institutions over (i) any other scholarships, (ii) any gifts or donations made to such institutions for scholarships or other special purposes, (iii) any funds provided by the federal government or otherwise for the purpose of career and technical education or vocational rehabilitation in the Commonwealth, or (iv) any funds derived from endowment or appropriations from the federal government for instruction in agriculture and mechanic arts at land-grant universities.

E. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the governing board of any public institution of higher education from fixing a tuition charge for Virginia students reasonably lower than that for non-Virginia students.

F. Nothing in this section or any other provision of law shall prohibit the awarding of 10 full tuition unfunded scholarships each year by Old Dominion University under the terms and conditions provided for in a deed conveying certain property in Norfolk known as the Old Larchmont School made July 5, 1930, between the City of Norfolk and The College of William and Mary in Virginia.

G. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit other financial aid programs provided pursuant to state law.

Code 1919, § 993; 1936, p. 447, § 23-31; 1952, c. 139; 1964, c. 440; 1966, c. 621; 1974, c. 317; 1975, c. 397; 1976, c. 189; 1977, cc. 296, 319; 1979, cc. 136, 145, 730; 1990, c. 447; 1992, c. 103; 1996, c. 103; 1999, cc. 424, 437; 2001, c. 483; 2002, cc. 158, 257; 2004, cc. 58, 176, 195, 739; 2014, c. 594; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-613. Alumni scholarships.

The alumni association of any public institution of higher education may provide for and maintain a scholarship fund by annual contributions under such criteria as may be prescribed.

Code 1919, § 997, § 23-35; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-614. Nursing scholarships.

A. As used in this section:

"Graduate nursing program" means a program at a school of nursing that leads to a master's degree or doctorate in nursing or a field relating to nursing activities.

"Undergraduate nursing program" means a program at a school of nursing that leads to an associate degree, diploma, or baccalaureate degree in nursing.

B. Annual nursing scholarships are established for part-time and full-time Virginia students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate nursing programs or first-year Virginia students at the beginning of their first academic year who present to the advisory committee established pursuant to subsection D a notice of intention to pursue an undergraduate nursing program.

C. Undergraduate nursing scholarships shall not exceed $2,000 annually. Graduate nursing scholarships shall not exceed $4,000 annually. No scholarship shall be less than $150 annually. Scholarship funds shall be paid directly to the recipient.

D. Each nursing scholarship shall be made by an advisory committee appointed by the State Board of Health that consists of eight members, four of whom shall be deans or directors of schools of nursing or their designees, two of whom shall be past recipients of nursing scholarships awarded pursuant to this section, two of whom shall have experience in the administration of student financial aid programs, and at least two of whom shall not have served as members of the advisory committee during the previous two years. Appointments shall be for two-year terms. No member of the advisory committee is eligible to serve more than two consecutive two-year terms immediately succeeding any unexpired term for which such member was appointed.

E. Awards shall be made upon such basis, competitive or otherwise, as determined by the advisory committee, with due regard for scholastic attainments, character, need, and adaptability of the applicant for the service contemplated in such award. No award shall be made if the applicant fails to possess the requisite qualifications. With due consideration of the number of applications and the qualifications of all such applicants, the advisory committee shall, to the extent that it is practicable, award an equal number of scholarships among the various congressional districts within the Commonwealth.

F. Before any such scholarship is awarded, the applicant shall agree in a signed written contract to complete a nursing program and, upon completion, to promptly begin and continuously engage in nursing work in the Commonwealth in a region with a critical shortage of nurses for one month for each $100 of scholarship awarded. The requirement for continuous engagement in nursing work may be waived by the advisory committee if the scholarship recipient requests leave to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree in nursing or relating to nursing activities. The contract shall contain such other provisions as the State Board of Health determines to be necessary to accomplish the purposes of the scholarship.

G. Each scholarship shall be awarded for a single award year and may be renewed annually for up to four additional award years upon a showing of satisfactory progress toward completion of the relevant nursing program.

1950, pp. 1291, 1292, §§ 23-35.9, 23-35.10, 23-35.11, 23-35.12, 23-35.13; 1956, c. 644; 1962, c. 81; 1966, c. 162; 1968, c. 441; 1970, c. 653; 1973, c. 401; 1974, c. 654; 1989, c. 330; 2002, c. 290; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-615. Soil scientist scholarships.

A. The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Board of Visitors may establish up to 20 annual soil scientist scholarships for Virginia students in an amount equal to tuition and mandatory fees at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

B. Each scholarship award shall be made upon such basis, competitive or otherwise, as is determined by the president or other proper officer of the institution of higher education (institution) that the applicant plans to attend, with due regard to the scholastic achievements, character, and adaptability of the applicant to the service contemplated under such award. No award shall be made unless the applicant possesses the requisite qualifications.

C. Each such scholarship shall be awarded for a single award year and may be renewed annually for up to three additional award years upon a showing of satisfactory progress.

D. Before any such scholarship is awarded, the applicant shall agree in a signed written contract to pursue soil science at the institution at which the scholarship is awarded until his graduation and, upon graduating, to promptly begin and engage continuously as a soil scientist as an employee of the Commonwealth for as many years as he was a beneficiary of such scholarship, unless no such suitable vacancy exists as an employee of the Commonwealth, in which case the obligation of such contract shall be discharged by being continuously engaged in the Commonwealth as a soil scientist as an employee of a local, state, or federal government agency for as many years as he was a beneficiary of such scholarship. The contract shall contain such other provisions as Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University deems necessary to accomplish the purposes of the scholarship. In the event that the holder of any awarded soil scientist scholarship dies while receiving instruction under such a scholarship, any balance unpaid and agreed to be repaid by the holder of such scholarship shall be deemed paid, and no liability shall be attached to his estate.

E. Such contract shall contain a clause under which the applicant shall be relieved of his obligation to serve the Commonwealth as a soil scientist, for a period equal to that during which he was a beneficiary of such scholarship, at any time that he (i) fails to maintain a scholastic standard at least equal to the standard required of the general student body at such institution or (ii) becomes permanently disabled and is not able to engage in the profession of soil scientist, upon certification by a faculty committee. Any applicant so relieved shall arrange to reimburse the Commonwealth for the amount received on account of such scholarship plus interest on such amount computed at the prevailing rate charged on student loans at the institution attended by the applicant. Any applicant who so reimburses the Commonwealth and subsequently fulfills the terms of his contract by completing his studies and serving the Commonwealth as a soil scientist for a period equal to that during which he received such scholarship shall be reimbursed from the general fund of the state treasury the amount of the scholarship and interest previously repaid to the Commonwealth. This reimbursement shall be made on any contract made under the provisions of this subsection.

F. All funds repaid by any applicant pursuant to subsection E shall be paid into the state treasury and shall become a part of the general fund. The governing board of the institution attended by the applicant shall collect such payments and shall pay all moneys so received into the state treasury promptly. If any applicant fails to abide by the terms of such contract, such fact shall be communicated to the Attorney General by the proper officer of the institution or by the employing state agency. The Attorney General shall take such action as he deems proper.

G. The funds making up each scholarship shall be paid to the recipient or applied toward the payment of his expenses at the relevant institution in such a manner and at such a time during the academic year as the president or other proper officer determines.

H. There is appropriated to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University from the general fund of the state treasury the sum of $8,000 each year of the biennium for carrying out the purpose of this section.

1970, c. 620, §§ 23-38.3, 23-38.4, 23-38.5, 23-38.6, 23-38.7, 23-38.9, 23-38.10; 1972, c. 188; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-615.1. Enslaved Ancestors College Access Scholarship and Memorial Program.

A. The Enslaved Ancestors College Access Scholarship and Memorial Program (the Program) is established for the purpose of reckoning with the history of the Commonwealth, addressing the long legacy of slavery in the Commonwealth, and acknowledging that the foundational success of several public institutions of higher education was based on the labor of enslaved individuals.

B. Consistent with the purpose set forth in subsection A, Longwood University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, the Virginia Military Institute, and The College of William and Mary in Virginia shall each implement and execute the Program, with any source of funds other than state funds or tuition or fee increases, by annually (i) identifying and memorializing, to the extent possible, all enslaved individuals who labored on former and current institutionally controlled grounds and property and (ii) providing a tangible benefit such as a college scholarship or community-based economic development program for individuals or specific communities with a demonstrated historic connection to slavery that will empower families to be lifted out of the cycle of poverty.

C. The Council shall collaborate with the institutions set forth in subsection B to establish guidelines for the implementation of the Program, including guidelines for the identification of all enslaved individuals who labored on former and current institutionally controlled grounds and property, the development of appropriate means to memorialize these individuals, the development of programs for individuals and communities still experiencing the legacy of slavery to empower them to break the cycle of poverty, eligibility criteria for participation in such programs, and the duration of such programs.

D. Each institution set forth in subsection B shall continue the activities set forth in subsection B pursuant to the Program for a period equal in length to the period during which the institution used enslaved individuals to support the institution or until scholarships have been awarded to a number of recipients equal to 100 percent of the population of enslaved individuals identified pursuant to subsection B who labored on former and current institutionally controlled grounds and property, whichever occurs first.

E. Each institution set forth in subsection B shall annually submit to the Council information on the implementation of the Program. The Council shall compile such information in a report and submit such report no later than November 1 of each year to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations, the House Committee on Education, the Senate Committee on Education and Health, the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations, and the Virginia African American Advisory Board.

F. Each private institution of higher education with a legacy of slavery that is similar to that of any institution set forth in subsection B is strongly encouraged to participate in the Program on a voluntary basis.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 442.

§ 23.1-616. Stephen J. Wright Scholars Program established.

The Graduate Student Recruitment Program and the Southern Regional Education Board Minority Doctoral Program established in the general appropriation act are renamed and established as the Stephen J. Wright Scholars Program for the purpose of fostering scholarship among the Commonwealth's graduate students and retaining the Commonwealth's outstanding and promising young adults through awards based on scholarship and achievement.

1997, cc. 713, 746, § 23-38.53:11; 2016, c. 588.

Article 3. Student Loan Funds.

§ 23.1-617. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Fund" means a student loan fund.

"Institution" means a public institution of higher education that has established a student loan fund from appropriations from the general fund of the state treasury for fellowships, scholarships, and loans.

"Student" means a medical student, dental student, intern, resident, or undergraduate student who is entitled to reduced rate tuition charges pursuant to Chapter 5 (§ 23.1-500 et seq.).

1978, c. 745, § 23-38.10:2; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-618. Loans to students.

A. Any institution may make loans from its fund only to needy students who might be unable to attend such institution without such loans and who are duly admitted into degree or certificate programs at the institution. Such loans shall be made upon such terms and according to such rules as may be prescribed by the governing board of the institution.

B. In any one academic year, no student shall receive a loan from the fund of an institution that would result in such student owing a net outstanding amount at the end of that year in excess of the tuition and mandatory fees charged by the institution.

C. The rate of interest charged on loans to students from a fund is three percent annually.

1978, c. 745, § 23-38.10:3; 1991, c. 590; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-619. Collection of loans.

For each loan made from its fund, each institution shall:

1. Include in loan documents for each loan an individual plan for the repayment of principal and interest and the payment of any late fees and clear and detailed information about the collection process for such loan pursuant to the Virginia Debt Collection Act (§ 2.2-4800 et seq.), including information about the agency or entity that is responsible for collection;

2. Establish a process for notifying each student or, in the case of an undergraduate student and as appropriate, the student's parent of any loan payment that is past due no later than (i) 30 days after the payments become past due and (ii) if necessary, the end of the academic term during which such payment becomes past due; and

3. Make every effort to collect each loan and comply with the Virginia Debt Collection Act (§ 2.2-4800 et seq.) with regard to the collection of such loans, provided that, notwithstanding §§ 2.2-4805 and 2.2-4806, the institution may, with the consent of the borrower, modify the terms of any loan for which payments are past due to provide for repayment forbearance on such loan and repayment to commence on a mutually agreed-upon date in the future. Prior to entering into any such agreement, the institution shall provide the borrower with information regarding the effect of a forbearance on the loan amount, including (i) the amount of any additional accumulated principal and interest and (ii) the estimated total amount to be owed upon recommenced payments.

1978, c. 745, § 23-38.10:4; 1988, c. 544; 2016, c. 588; 2018, c. 786.

§ 23.1-620. Biennial audits.

The Auditor of Public Accounts shall at least biennially audit and exhibit the account of the fund of each institution.

1978, c. 745, § 23-38.10:6; 1991, c. 590; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-621. Additional student loan funds.

A. Whenever an institution's fund is inadequate to carry out fully the purpose for which the fund was established, the governing board and chief executive officer of such institution, with the prior written consent and approval of the Governor, are authorized, for the purpose of providing an additional fund, to borrow from such sources and on such terms as may be approved by the Governor an amount not to exceed $25,000 and provide for such extensions or renewals of such loans as may be necessary. Such additional fund shall be used only in making loans to students as provided in this article and for no other purpose.

B. The repayments and interest accretions to the additional fund shall be used insofar as may be necessary to repay the indebtedness of the institution created by the governing board and chief executive officer in establishing such additional fund.

C. Such additional amounts may be borrowed as may be deemed necessary by the governing board and chief executive officer of the institution, with the Governor's approval, but in no event shall the amount of the additional fund, including cash, notes receivable, and all amounts borrowed and not repaid exceed $50,000.

D. Accounts shall be kept and reports rendered for each such additional fund in all respects as required by this article for funds created by appropriations from the general fund of the state treasury and the Auditor of Public Accounts shall biennially exhibit in his report the amount of the additional fund at each institution.

1978, c. 745, § 23-38.10:7; 2016, c. 588.

Article 4. Two-Year College Transfer Grant Program.

§ 23.1-622. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Eligible institution" means a baccalaureate public institution of higher education or baccalaureate nonprofit private institution of higher education whose primary purpose is to provide undergraduate collegiate education and not to provide religious training or theological education.

"Grant" means the amount of financial assistance awarded under this article whether disbursed by warrant directly to an eligible institution or directly to a Virginia student.

"Program" means the Two-Year College Transfer Grant Program.

2007, cc. 850, 899, § 23-38.10:8; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-623. Two-Year College Transfer Grant Program; Council regulations.

A. The Two-Year College Transfer Grant Program is created to provide financial assistance to eligible students, beginning with the first-time entering freshman class of the fall 2007 academic year, for the costs of attending an eligible institution. Funds may be paid to any eligible institution on behalf of students who have been awarded financial assistance pursuant to § 23.1-624.

B. The Council shall adopt regulations for the implementation of the provisions of this article and the disbursement of funds consistent with the provisions of this article that are appropriate to the administration of the Program.

2007, cc. 850, 899, § 23-38.10:9; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-624. Eligibility criteria.

A. Grants shall be made under the Program to or on behalf of Virginia students who (i) maintained a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 or its equivalent while enrolled in an associate degree program at an associate-degree-granting public institution of higher education, (ii) have received an associate degree at an associate-degree-granting public institution of higher education, (iii) have enrolled in an eligible institution by the fall or spring following the award of such associate degree, (iv) have applied for financial aid, and (v) have demonstrated financial need, defined as an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of no more than $12,000 as calculated by the federal government using the family's financial information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

B. Eligibility for a grant under the Program is limited to three academic years. Grants under the Program shall be used only for undergraduate coursework in educational programs other than those providing religious training or theological education.

C. To remain eligible for a grant under the Program, a student shall continue to demonstrate financial need as defined in subsection A, maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 or its equivalent, and make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree.

D. Individuals who have failed to meet the federal requirement to register for the Selective Service are not eligible to receive grants pursuant to this article. However, an individual who has failed to register for the Selective Service shall not be denied a right, privilege, or benefit under this section if (i) the requirement to so register has terminated or become inapplicable to the individual and (ii) the individual shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the failure to register was not a knowing and willful failure to register.

2007, cc. 850, 899, § 23-38.10:10; 2014, c. 806; 2016, c. 588; 2017, cc. 102, 297.

§ 23.1-625. Amount of award.

The amount of the grant for an eligible student shall be provided in accordance with the general appropriation act and shall be fixed at $1,000 per academic year. An additional $1,000 per academic year shall be provided to eligible students pursuing undergraduate coursework in engineering, mathematics, nursing, teaching, or science.

2007, cc. 850, 899, § 23-38.10:11; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-626. Determination of domicile.

For the purposes of determining a student's eligibility for a grant, the enrolling institution shall determine domicile as provided in § 23.1-502 and the Council's domicile guidelines.

2007, cc. 850, 899, § 23-38.10:12; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-627. State financial aid eligibility.

A. Eligible institutions shall reduce a student's state financial aid eligibility by the amount of the grant awarded pursuant to this article.

B. Grants shall not be reduced by virtue of an eligible student's receipt of any other financial aid from any other source except when the total of the grant and such other financial aid would enable the student to receive total financial assistance in excess of the estimated cost to the student of attending the institution in which he is enrolled.

2007, cc. 850, 899, § 23-38.10:13; 2016, c. 588.

Article 4.1. New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Program.

§ 23.1-627.1. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Board" means the Virginia Board of Workforce Development.

"Competency-based" means awarded on the basis of demonstrated knowledge and skills rather than completion of instructional hours or participation in an instructional course or program.

"Council" means the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

"Eligible institution" means a comprehensive community college, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, New College Institute, Richard Bland College, Roanoke Higher Education Center, Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, or Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center.

"Eligible student" means any Virginia student enrolled at an eligible institution who is domiciled in the Commonwealth as provided in § 23.1-500, as determined by the eligible institution.

"Fund" means the New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Fund.

"Grant" means a New Economy Workforce Credential Grant.

"High-demand field" means a discipline or field in which there is a shortage of skilled workers to fill current job vacancies or anticipated additional job openings.

"Industry-recognized" means demonstrating competency or proficiency in the technical and occupational skills identified as necessary for performing functions of an occupation based on standards developed or endorsed by employers and industry organizations.

"Noncredit workforce credential" means a competency-based, industry-recognized, portable, and third-party-validated certification or occupational license in a high-demand field.

"Noncredit workforce training program" means a program at an eligible institution that leads to an occupation or a cluster of occupations in a high-demand field, which program may include the attainment of a noncredit workforce credential. "Noncredit workforce training program" may include a program that receives funding pursuant to the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006, P.L. 109-270. "Noncredit workforce training program" shall not include certificates of completion.

"Portable" means recognized by multiple employers or educational institutions and, where appropriate, across geographic areas.

"Program" means the New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Program.

"Third-party-validated" means having an external process in place for determining validity and relevance in the workplace and for continuous alignment of demonstrated knowledge and skills with industry workforce needs.

2016, cc. 326, 470.

§ 23.1-627.2. New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Program; purpose.

The New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Program is established for the purpose of (i) creating and sustaining a demand-driven supply of credentialed workers for high-demand occupations in the Commonwealth by addressing and closing the gap between the skills needed by workers in the Commonwealth and the skills of the available workforce in the Commonwealth; (ii) expanding the affordability of workforce training and credentialing; and (iii) increasing the interest of current and future Virginia workers in technician, technologist, and trade-level positions to fill the available and emerging jobs in the Commonwealth that require less than a bachelor's degree but more than a high school diploma.

2016, cc. 326, 470.

§ 23.1-627.3. New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Fund and Program established; administration.

A. There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Fund. The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All moneys appropriated by the General Assembly, and from any other sources, public or private, shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for the purposes of disbursing moneys to eligible institutions for the award of grants pursuant to the Program. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the director of the Council.

B. There is hereby established a New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Program for the purpose of disbursing moneys from the Fund to eligible institutions for the award of grants to benefit students pursuant to this article.

C. The Council shall administer the Program and shall carry out the goals and purposes of the Program set forth in this article. In administering the Program, the Council (i) shall require eligible institutions to provide student-specific data and make final decisions on any dispute between eligible institutions and grant recipients; (ii) shall undertake periodic assessments of the overall success of the Program and recommend modifications, interventions, and other actions based on such assessment; and (iii) may adopt such regulations for the administration of the Program as it deems necessary and appropriate.

D. The Council shall instruct the Comptroller to annually disburse moneys to eligible institutions on a first-come, first-served basis as eligible students enroll in noncredit workforce training programs, giving priority to noncredit workforce training programs in high-demand fields in which employer demand is currently unmet by the available workforce. No more than one-quarter of the moneys in the Fund shall be disbursed annually to any eligible institution. The Council shall set forth the procedure by which eligible institutions shall notify the Council when eligible students enroll in noncredit workforce training programs identified by the governing board of the eligible institution pursuant to subsection E.

E. The Board shall make recommendations to eligible institutions to help determine high-demand fields for which noncredit workforce training programs may be offered pursuant to the Program. The governing board of each eligible institution shall determine the noncredit workforce training programs offered pursuant to the Program.

2016, cc. 326, 470; 2019, c. 578.

§ 23.1-627.4. Student grants.

A. Subject to the availability of funds, any eligible student who enrolls in a noncredit workforce training program offered by an eligible institution pursuant to the Program may apply for and be awarded a grant to cover two-thirds of the cost of the noncredit workforce training program, provided that at the time of enrollment the eligible student pays one-third of the cost of the noncredit workforce training program and signs an agreement to complete the noncredit workforce training program or pay an additional one-third of the program cost in the event of noncompletion. Upon the presentation of satisfactory proof of completion of the noncredit workforce training program by the eligible student, the Council shall reimburse the institution in an amount equal to one-third of the cost of the program. Upon the presentation of satisfactory proof of the attainment of a noncredit workforce credential by the eligible student, the Council shall reimburse the institution in an amount equal to one-third of the cost of the program. However, the Council shall not reimburse any eligible institution more than $4,000 per completed noncredit workforce training program per eligible student pursuant to the Program.

B. Grants shall not be reduced by an eligible student's concurrent receipt of financial aid from any other source except in cases in which the grant and such other financial aid would result in total assistance in excess of tuition, fees, books, and other allowable costs of completing the noncredit workforce credential program.

2016, cc. 326, 470; 2023, cc. 5, 6.

§ 23.1-627.5. Board of Workforce Development to keep a list of high-demand fields and related noncredit workforce training programs and credentials.

The Board shall maintain and update a list of high-demand fields and the related noncredit workforce training programs and noncredit workforce credentials on its website.

2016, cc. 326, 470.

§ 23.1-627.6. Eligible institutions; academic credit; noncredit workforce credentials.

Each eligible institution that participates in the Program shall adopt a policy for the award of academic credit to any eligible student who has earned a noncredit workforce credential that is applicable to the student's certificate or degree program requirements.

2016, cc. 326, 470.

§ 23.1-627.7. Eligible institutions and the Council; reporting.

A. No later than January 1 of each year, each eligible institution shall submit to the Council a report with data from the previous fiscal year on noncredit workforce training program completion and noncredit workforce credential attainment by eligible students participating in the Program that includes:

1. A list of the noncredit workforce credentials offered, by name and certification entity;

2. The number of eligible students who enrolled in noncredit workforce credentials programs;

3. The number of eligible students who completed noncredit workforce credentials programs;

4. The number of eligible students who attained noncredit workforce credentials after completing noncredit workforce training programs, by credential name and relevant industry sector; and

5. The average cost per noncredit workforce credential attained, by credential name and relevant industry sector.

B. The Council shall compile the data provided pursuant to subsection A and annually report such data, in the aggregate and by eligible institution, to the Board and the General Assembly. Such report shall also include information on the wages, including average wage and other relevant information, of students who have completed noncredit workforce training programs by credential name and relevant industry sector.

2016, cc. 326, 470; 2017, c. 329.

Article 5. Tuition Assistance Grant Act.

§ 23.1-628. Tuition Assistance Grant Program.

A. As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Eligible institution" means a nonprofit private institution of higher education whose primary purpose is to provide collegiate, graduate, or professional education and not to provide religious training or theological education.

"Grant" means a Tuition Assistance Grant.

"Principal place of business" means the single state in which the natural persons who establish policy for the direction, control, and coordination of the operations of the institution as a whole primarily exercise that function, considering the following factors: (i) the state in which the primary executive and administrative offices of the institution are located; (ii) the state in which the principal office of the chief executive officer of the institution is located; (iii) the state in which the board of trustees or similar governing board of the institution conducts a majority of its meetings; and (iv) the state from which the overall operations of the institution are directed.

"Program" means the Tuition Assistance Grant Program.

B. From such funds as may be provided for such purpose, the Tuition Assistance Grant Program is established to provide Tuition Assistance Grants to or on behalf of Virginia students who attend eligible institutions.

C. Eligible institutions admitted to this program on or after January 1, 2011, shall (i) be formed, chartered, established, or incorporated within the Commonwealth; (ii) have their principal place of business within the Commonwealth; (iii) conduct their primary educational activity within the Commonwealth; and (iv) be accredited by a nationally recognized regional accrediting agency.

1972, c. 18, § 23-38.12; 1973, c. 2; 1975, c. 400; 1980, c. 101; 1981, c. 257; 1985, c. 520; 1998, c. 483; 1999, c. 434; 2011, cc. 419, 421; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-629. Council designated as administering agency.

The Council is designated as the administering agency for the Program and may adopt regulations consistent with this article and appropriate to the administration of the Program. The Council may define by regulation such terms used in this article as "full-time," "undergraduate," "graduate," "professional," and "financial aid."

1972, c. 18, § 23-38.13; 1973, c. 2; 1981, c. 257; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-630. Maximum amount of tuition assistance per student.

The annual amount of tuition assistance in the form of a grant for a Virginia student attending an eligible institution shall not exceed the annual average appropriation per full-time equivalent student for the previous year from the general fund of the state treasury for operating costs at public institutions of higher education.

1972, c. 18, § 23-38.14; 1975, c. 400; 1980, c. 101; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-631. Eligibility; duration.

A. Virginia students who are obligated to pay tuition as full-time undergraduate, graduate, or professional students at an eligible institution are eligible to receive a grant for the academic year for which they enroll.

B. Eligibility for grants under the Program is limited to a total of four academic years for undergraduate students, pharmacy students, and medical students and a total of three academic years for other graduate students and professional school students. The academic years for which grants are awarded need not be in succession.

C. Grants under the Program shall be used only for undergraduate, graduate, or professional collegiate work in educational programs other than those providing religious training or theological education.

1972, c. 18, §§ 23-38.15, 23-38.16; 1973, c. 2; 1975, c. 400; 1980, c. 101; 1981, c. 257; 1987, c. 600; 2000, cc. 94, 660; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-632. Eligibility; Selective Service registration.

Individuals who have failed to meet the federal requirement to register for the Selective Service are not eligible to receive grants. However, an individual who has failed to register for the Selective Service shall not be denied a right, privilege, or benefit under this section if (i) the requirement to so register has terminated or become inapplicable to the individual and (ii) the individual shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the failure to register was not a knowing and willful failure to register. The Council shall be assisted in enforcing this provision by the eligible institutions whose students benefit from the Program.

1972, c. 18, § 23-38.12; 1973, c. 2; 1975, c. 400; 1980, c. 101; 1981, c. 257; 1985, c. 520; 1998, c. 483; 1999, c. 434; 2011, cc. 419, 421; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-633. Receipt of other financial aid by students.

Grants shall not be reduced by virtue of the student's receipt of any other financial aid from any other source except when the total of the grant and such other financial aid would enable the student to receive total financial assistance in excess of the estimated cost to the student of attending the institution in which he is enrolled.

1972, c. 18, § 23-38.17; 1973, c. 2; 1975, c. 400; 1980, c. 101; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-634. Prompt crediting and expeditious refunding of funds.

Each eligible institution acting as an agent for students receiving grants under the Program shall promptly credit disbursed funds to student accounts following the institution's verification of student eligibility and expeditiously distribute any refunds due recipients.

1985, c. 359, § 23-38.17:1; 2000, cc. 94, 660; 2016, c. 588; 2017, c. 314.

§ 23.1-635. Determination of domicile; Council oversight and reports.

A. For the purposes of determining a student's eligibility for a grant, the enrolling institution shall determine domicile as provided in § 23.1-502 and the Council's domicile guidelines.

B. In order to ensure consistency and fairness, the Council shall (i) require all participating eligible institutions to file student-specific data, (ii) monitor the decisions of such institutions regarding domicile, and (iii) make final decisions on any disputes between such institutions and grant applicants.

C. The Council shall report to the Governor and the General Assembly, as the Council deems necessary, on issues relating to determinations of domicile for students applying for grants.

1972, c. 18, § 23-38.18; 1973, c. 2; 1985, c. 359; 1995, c. 663; 2016, c. 588.

Article 6. Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program and Fund.

§ 23.1-636. Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program; Council to adopt regulations.

A. The Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program is created to provide financial assistance in the form of grants to eligible students for the costs of attending a public institution of higher education. Funds may be paid to any public institution of higher education on behalf of students who have been awarded grants pursuant to § 23.1-638.

B. The Council shall adopt regulations for the implementation of the provisions of this article.

1992, c. 879, § 23-38.53:4; 1994, c. 789; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-637. Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Fund.

There is created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Fund (the Fund). The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All moneys as may be appropriated by the General Assembly and any gifts, donations, grants, bequests, or other moneys as may be received for the purposes of the Fund shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be paid to any public institution of higher education on behalf of students who have been awarded grants pursuant to the provisions of § 23.1-638. Any moneys remaining in the Fund shall be credited to the account of the Council. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the director of the Council.

1992, c. 879, § 23-38.53:5; 1994, c. 789; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-638. Eligibility; amount of grants; renewals.

A. Only students who (i) are accepted for full-time enrollment at a public institution of higher education, (ii) are not receiving a Virginia Commonwealth Award, (iii) demonstrate financial need as determined by the Council, and (iv) are either (a) Virginia students who graduated from a high school in the Commonwealth with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 on a scale of 4.0 or its equivalent or (b) dependent children of active duty military personnel residing outside the Commonwealth pursuant to military orders, claiming Virginia on their State of Legal Residence Certificate, and satisfying the domicile requirements for such active duty military personnel pursuant to §§ 23.1-502 and 23.1-504 and who graduated from a high school within or outside the Commonwealth with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 on a scale of 4.0 or its equivalent are eligible to receive such grants.

B. Each eligible student shall receive such a grant from the institution's appropriations for undergraduate student financial assistance before Commonwealth Award grants are awarded to students with equivalent remaining need.

C. Each eligible student shall receive a grant in an amount greater than Commonwealth Award grants awarded to students with equivalent remaining need.

D. 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.

E. The amount of each grant shall vary according to each student's remaining need and the total of tuition, fees, and other necessary charges, including books. The actual amount of each grant shall be determined by the proportionate award schedule adopted by each institution.

F. All grants shall be awarded for one award year and may be renewed annually for no more than three subsequent award years, and students shall not receive subsequent grants until they have satisfied the requirements to move to the next class level. Each recipient may receive a maximum of one year of support per class level for a maximum total of four years of support at a baccalaureate public institution of higher education and a maximum total of two years of support at an associate-degree-granting public institution of higher education, provided that in no case shall a recipient receive more than a combined total of four years of support, if the recipient:

1. Maintains a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on a scale of 4.0 or its equivalent;

2. Demonstrates continued financial need;

3. Makes satisfactory academic progress toward a degree; and

4. Maintains continuous full-time enrollment for not less than two semesters or three quarters in each successive award year unless the Council grants the recipient an exception for cause.

1992, c. 879, § 23-38.53:6; 1993, c. 832; 1994, c. 789; 2002, c. 114; 2016, c. 588; 2017, cc. 325, 335.

Article 7. Senior Citizens Higher Education Act of 1974.

§ 23.1-639. Definition; construction of section.

A. As used in this article, "senior citizen" means any individual who, before the beginning of any academic term, semester, or quarter in which he claims entitlement to the benefits of this article, has reached the age of 60 and has been legally domiciled in the Commonwealth for at least one year.

B. Nothing in this section shall be construed to exclude any other rules and requirements made by any public institution of higher education for all other students besides senior citizens with respect to domicile in the Commonwealth.

1974, c. 463, § 23-38.55; 1976, c. 19; 1977, c. 281; 2002, c. 521; 2003, c. 700; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-640. Senior citizens; registration and enrollment in courses.

A. Any senior citizen may, subject to any regulations prescribed by the Council:

1. Register for and enroll in courses for academic credit as a full-time or part-time student if he had a taxable individual income not exceeding $23,850 for Virginia income tax purposes for the year preceding the award year;

2. Register for and audit up to three courses offered for academic credit in any one academic term, quarter, or semester for an unlimited number of academic terms, quarters, or semesters; and

3. Register for and enroll in up to three courses not offered for academic credit in any one academic term, quarter, or semester for an unlimited number of academic terms, quarters, or semesters.

B. No senior citizen who enrolls in or audits courses pursuant to subsection A shall pay tuition or fees except fees established for the purpose of paying for course materials such as laboratory fees.

C. Senior citizens are subject to the admission requirements of the institution and a determination by the institution of its ability to offer the course for which the senior citizen registers.

D. The Council shall establish procedures to ensure that tuition-paying students are accommodated in courses before senior citizens enroll in or audit courses pursuant to subsection A. However, public institutions of higher education may make individual exceptions to these procedures for any senior citizen who has completed 75 percent of the requirements for a degree.

1974, c. 463, §§ 23-38.56, 23-38.58; 1977, c. 281; 1982, c. 677; 1984, c. 371; 1988, c. 90; 1989, c. 101; 1999, c. 381; 2002, c. 521; 2015, c. 146; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-641. Catalog to include statement of benefits.

Each public institution of higher education shall prominently include in its course catalog a statement of the benefits provided by this article for senior citizens.

1974, c. 463, § 23-38.59; 1977, c. 281; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-642. Determination of senior citizen status; forms.

The registrar or other admissions officer of each public institution of higher education shall determine whether an individual is a senior citizen pursuant to the provisions of this article and may require senior citizens to execute appropriate forms to request the benefits provided by this article.

1974, c. 463, § 23-38.60; 2016, c. 588.