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Free community college bill would require staying in West Virginia 2 years


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The free community college bill backed by West Virginia’s governor and Senate president was introduced Monday, and the current version would benefit traditional college-age students and adults returning to school.

Senate Bill 284 would require students to enroll in at least six credit hours per semester and pay for and pass a drug test before each semester to receive the new “WV Invests Grant.”

For renewal of the grant until a degree is earned, SB 284 would require students to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0. However, the bill doesn’t specify how long a student’s grant would last before it would require renewal, and the legislation would leave many details up to the council that oversees the state’s two-year colleges.

That council’s rules must ultimately be approved by state lawmakers.

The bill also requires each grant recipient to agree to repay the grant, wholly or partly, including with an interest rate the council sets, if the recipient “chooses to reside outside the state within two years following obtainment of the degree or certificate for which the grant(s) was awarded.”

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