AN ACT TO CREATE THE HIGH ACHIEVING TUITION SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM FOR SCHOLARSHIPS FOR TOP PERFORMING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ATTENDING NORTH CAROLINA COMMUNITY COLLEGES.
House committee substitute to the 2nd edition makes the following changes.
Amends the High Achieving Tuition Scholarship Program (Program) eligibility requirements to provide that a student is deemed eligible who (1) is either a citizen or eligible non-citizen (was, had to be a US citizen) and (2) gains admission as a student at a North Carolina community college in a curriculum program (was, gains admission as a degree-seeking student). Adds to initial eligibility requirements and the annual renewal eligibility requirements the provision that the student must affirmatively state that the student does not have a felony conviction for a controlled substance offense under Article 5 of GS Chapter 90.
Provides that either of the following is a basis for revoking a scholarship award at the conclusion of the first semester of an academic year: (1) failing to maintain a course load of a minimum of 12 credit hours or (2) default or unpaid refund on a student financial aid program. Deletes failure to maintain a 2.5 grade point average as a basis for scholarship revocation. Removes controlled substance offense as a basis for scholarship revocation to conform with amended admission eligibility requirements requiring that an eligible student not have a felony conviction for a controlled substance offense.
Charges community colleges with responsibility for ensuring that scholarship recipients are provided counseling and assistance in maintaining the necessary grade point average.
Adds an appropriation of $50,000 from the General Fund to the State Education Assistance Authority (Authority) for the 2015-16 fiscal year for administrative costs related to the implementation of the Program. Adds provision to permit the Authority to use up to 5% of the appropriated funds for administrative costs associated with the Program. Deletes provision indicating that it is the intent of the General Assembly to appropriate $3.5 million in recurring funds for the 2017-18 fiscal year for administrative costs and scholarship awards.
Provides that a student successfully receiving deferred admission to a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina is contingent on the successful completion of an associate's degree and remaining in good standing in the scholarship Program while enrolled in the community college.
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