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  • Summary date: Apr 9 2019 - View Summary

    Enacts Part 5, Tuition Grants for Graduates of the NC School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM), to Article 23 of GS Chapter 116.

    Establishes that any resident graduate from the NCSSM in each school year beginning with the 2019-20 school year who enrolls as a full-time student in an eligible institution of higher education in the academic year following graduation is eligible for a tuition grant under Part 5, within the funds available. Extends eligibility to students who receive initial tuition grants as a cohort of a graduating class for subsequent tuition grants for up to four total academic years. Requires continuous enrollment in an eligible institution of higher education, unless the State Education Assistance Authority (Authority) waives the requirement upon the student demonstrating a substantial disruption or interruption in the pursuit of a degree due to military service obligation, serious medical debilitation, short-term or long-term disability, or other extraordinary hardship. Defines eligible institution of higher education to mean a constituent institution of the UNC System or a private institution of higher education located in the state, as specified. Provides for grant administration by the Authority pursuant to guidelines and procedures consistent with its practices for administering State-funded financial aid. Details the required guidelines and procedures. Requires the Authority to receive proper certification from the appropriate eligible institution of higher education prior to approving grants. Provides for remittance to the appropriate eligible institution of higher education, and refund by the institution as specified. Details parameters for the amount of grants awarded, requiring the grant to cover attendance costs, as determined by the Authority, with certain restrictions for tuition costs at private institutions. Also provides for the reduction of grants if an eligible student receives a scholarship or grant covering the cost of attendance at the eligible institution of higher education for which the grant was awarded, as specified. Provides for disbursement by pro rata share when there are not sufficient funds to provide each eligible student with a full grant. 

    Establishes the NC Tuition Grant Reserve Fund (Reserve) to hold all monies appropriated to the Authority to provide the tuition grants, all returned tuition grant monies, and all interest earned, to be used for tuition grants for the academic year that begins in the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the appropriation is made to to the Reserve, and up to 5% of the funds appropriated each fiscal year to cover the Authority's administrative costs.

    Includes resident students who graduated from NCSSM at the end of the 2018-19 school year and were awarded a tuition grant for the 2019-20 academic year under Section 10A.5 of SL 2018-5, in the award of tuition grants under GS 116-211, as enacted, beginning with the 2020-21 academic year.

    Appropriates a total of $4.8 million in recurring funds from the General Fund to the Reserve for the 2020-21 fiscal year: $2.95 million in recurring funds for the 2019-20 fiscal year to support the the award of tuition grants to students who qualify based on qualification under Section 2 of the act (those receiving grants under Section 10A.5 of SL 2018-5) and a new cohort of eligible NCSSM graduates from the 2019-20 school year and $1.85 million in additional recurring funds for the 2020-21 fiscal year to support the award of tuition grants to a new cohort of eligible students who graduate from NCSSM at the end of the 2020-21 school year. Provides for availability of the funds to students beginning with the 2019-20 fiscal year, allowing the Authority to use up to $750,000 for grants to students attending private institutions and up to $1.1 million for students attending constituent institutions of UNC. Provides for legislative intent to appropriate specified amounts to the Reserve for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 fiscal years, to be used as specified.

    Effective July 1, 2019.