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WV Free tuition bill would impact two Eastern Panhandle schools


The West Virginia Senate on Jan. 29 unanimously passed SB 284 to make in-state community and technical colleges tuition free. The bill has now gone on to the House of Delegates.

Under the bill, students would be required 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.” Students would also have to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0.

The bill doesn’t specify how long a student’s grant would last before requiring renewal, and the legislation would leave many details up to the higher education council that oversees the state’s two-year colleges.

Aside from the WV Invests Grant portion, part of the bill affects vocational education provided to traditional high-schoolers and adults who are in the technical education centers, such as James Rumsey, which qualifies under the bill’s ACE segment of the program.

BRCTC President Peter Checkovich praised the proposed legislation, saying it would open up opportunity for more young state residents to attend college.

“It’s going to give a lot of opportunity to deserving students throughout the state,” said Checkovich at BRCTC’s board of governors meeting Wednesday.“It’s going to be a positive step forward for the state.”

However, Checkovich said those qualified will still be responsible to pay other non-tuition costs….

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