Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 23.1. Institutions of Higher Education; Other Educational and Cultural Institutions
Chapter 6. Financial Assistance
5/26/2022

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. 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.

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.

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.

§ 23.1-608.1. 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.

§ 23.1-609. 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. Application for a grant shall be made to the Department of Military Affairs. Grants shall be awarded from funds made available for the purpose by the Department of Military Affairs.

B. Notwithstanding the requirement in subsection A that a member of the Virginia National Guard have a minimum of two years remaining on his service obligation, if a member is activated or deployed for federal military service, an additional day shall be added to the member's eligibility for the grant for each day of active federal service, up to 365 days. Additional credit or credit for state duty may be given at the discretion of the Adjutant General.

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.

§ 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.