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
6/16/2024

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.