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.