HB476: Community service careers; tuition and fee waivers at higher educational institutions.

HOUSE BILL NO. 476

Offered January 10, 2018
Prefiled January 7, 2018
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 23.1-609.1, relating to community service careers; tuition and fee waivers at public institutions of higher education.
Patron-- Reid

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 23.1-609.1 as follows:

§ 23.1-609.1. Community service careers; tuition and fee waivers.

A. As used in this section:

"Community service career" means full-time employment as an emergency medical technician, firefighter, member of the Virginia National Guard, state or local law enforcement officer, or teacher.

"Program" means the community service career incentive program established by the Council pursuant to subsection B.

B. The Council shall establish and administer a community service career incentive program by which any student who is enrolled at a public institution of higher education, intends to pursue a community service career in an area of the Commonwealth in which there is a high need for professionals in such community service career, and meets certain other eligibility criteria established by the Council may apply to the Council for a waiver of tuition and mandatory fees, including room and board. Each student who is granted a waiver and who makes satisfactory academic progress is eligible for renewal of the waiver.

C. Each student who is granted a waiver by the Council pursuant to the program shall enter into an agreement with the Council to serve in a community service career in an area of the Commonwealth in which there is a high need for professionals in such community service career for a period that is at least equal to the duration of the waiver and, in the event that he does not complete such service, to repay to the Council an amount equal to the full value of the waiver on the terms and in the manner that the Council prescribes.

D. Each student who is granted a waiver pursuant to the program shall repay to the Council an amount equal to the full value of the waiver if he fails to serve in a community service career for a period that is at least equal to the duration of the waiver.

E. Each public institution of higher education shall include in its catalog or equivalent publication a statement describing the waivers available pursuant to the program.