House Bill Would Expand Grants To College Students

Ann McClure's picture
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

On television and billboards throughout Hampton Roads, advertisements inform students that if they enroll at Tidewater Community College, it can be a gateway to four-year schools such as the University of Virginia.

A bill before the House would help 800 more families pay for that schooling, Ellen Davenport, a representative of the state's community colleges, said before the House education committee Monday. But the bill may not survive after a referral to the appropriations committee, where many proposals go to die.

The bill, by Virginia Beach Del. Bob Tata, a Republican, would expand the income bracket to qualify for the state's two-year college transfer grant. Right now, eligibility stops with students whose families have four people and make $60,000 a year, testified Davenport, assistant vice chancellor for governmental relations and institutional advancement for Virginia's Community Colleges. The bill would extend that income to $71,000 for a family of four.

The program provides $1,000 grants to students who complete an associate's degree at a state junior or community college with at least a 3.0 grade point average and transfer to a four-year Virginia school. Students who major in science, teaching, engineering, math or nursing are eligible for $1,000 more.

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