AN ACT TO ESTABLISH A COMMUNITY COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP PILOT PROGRAM IN CERTAIN COUNTIES TO COVER THE COST OF ATTENDANCE FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ENROLLING IN CERTAIN WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS.
Requires the State Board of Community Colleges (State Board), within the funds appropriated in this act, to establish a pilot program at the community colleges serving Mecklenburg County, Halifax County, and Cumberland County to give scholarships to high school students who graduate from a public high school in those counties to attend community college programs for free. Requires the pilot to operate for five academic years, beginning with the 2022-23 academic year and ending with the 2026-27 academic year. Requires the State Board to establish criteria for the pilot to give scholarships to students who: (1) in the semester before enrolling in a community college, graduate with at least a 2.7 unweighted GPA from a public high school in one of the counties served by a community college participating in the pilot; (2) qualify as a resident for tuition purposes; (3) meet enrollment standards of the community college; (4) submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and demonstrate a median household family income that is lower than $85,000 per year; (5) complete at least 20 hours of community service hours prior to graduation from high school; and (6) gain admission to a program of study in one of the following subject areas: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); health care; advanced manufacturing, transportation or logistics; information technology; or certain programs with a regional demand, as determined by the State Board. The amount of the scholarship is to cover the actual cost of tuition and fees to attend the community college after the determination of awards from any other grants or scholarships received by that student. Awards grants in the order in which applications are received. Allows scholarships to be renewed if specified qualifications are met.
Appropriates $1 million in recurring funds for 2022-23 from the General Fund to the Community College System Office for the pilot program beginning with scholarships awarded for the 2022-23 academic year for high school students graduating at the end of the 2021-22 school year. States the NCGA's intent to appropriate from the General Fund to the Community Colleges System Office $1 million in additional recurring funds for the 2023-24 fiscal year for awarding scholarships for the 2023-24 academic year for an additional cohort of high school students graduating at the end of the 2022-2023 school year. Requires recurring funds appropriated in subsequent fiscal years to be made available for successive cohorts of high school students as the students participating in the pilot program complete their course of study at the community colleges during the five-year term of the program.
Requires the State Board to report to the specified NCGA committee annually for the program's duration beginning February 1, 2023, on the result of the pilot program, including the specified information.
Effective July 1, 2021, and applies beginning with the award of scholarships for the 2022-23 academic year.
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