Bill Summaries: S706 (2021-2022 Session)

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  • Summary date: Apr 8 2021 - View summary

    Adds new Part 5, Community College Promise Scholarship Program in Article 23 of GS Chapter 116, providing as follows. Enacts GS 116-209.80, establishing the Community College Promise Scholarship Program (program), administered by the State Education Assistance Authority (Authority). States the program's purpose. Directs the Authority to annually award scholarships to eligible students for up to four academic semesters at a community college in the State. Requires applicants to complete a FASFA and requires the Authority to reduce a scholarship award by the amount of any grants or scholarships the applicant received from other State or federal resources. Provides for scholarships to be awarded in the order application are received. Establishes student eligibility criteria, including that the student graduated with at least a 2.0 unweighted GPA from a public high school, nonpublic high school or home school located in the State in the academic semester prior to enrollment at the community college; the student qualifies as a resident for tuition purposes; and the student gains admission at a community college in a curriculum program. Allows for annual renewal of the scholarship if the student demonstrates a 2.3 GPA and maintains satisfactory progress. Directs the Authority to adopt rules for program administrative. Authorizes the Authority to use up to 5% of the funds appropriated each fiscal year for the program for administrative costs. Provides that unexpended funds do not revert to the General Fund. 

    Enacts GS 116-209.82 as follows. Directs the Authority to partner with the Community Colleges System Office and local school administrative units to place higher education advisors in secondary schools statewide to provide outreach to high school students on the program and other financial aid assistance programs. Requires the advisers to provide information to students on FASFA assistance and scholarship options. 

    Enacts GS 116-209.83, establishing an annual reporting requirement for the Authority to report on the program to the specified NCGA committee, beginning November 1, 2022. Specifies required content of the report. 

    Appropriates $300,000 from the General Fund to the UNC Board of Governors (BOG) for 2021-22 to be allocated to the Authority to establish the program and the financial aid counseling program, as enacted. 

    Appropriates $242,962,947 in recurring funds from the General Fund to the BOG for 2022-23 to be allocated to the Authority for awarding scholarships and for the financial aid counseling program, as enacted, beginning with the 2022-23 academic year. Directs the Authority to use appropriated funds to hire 100 full-time higher education advisers to be assigned by the Authority pursuant to new GS 116-209.82.

    Effective July 1, 2021, and applies beginning with the 2022-23 academic year.