CHAPTER 161

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 227

AS AMENDED BY

SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SCHOLARSHIPS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Chapter 34 of Title 14 of the Delaware Code by deleting the title of Subchapter I and by substituting in lieu thereof the title "Scholarship Incentive Program" and further amend Title 14 of the Delaware Code by designating existing subsection (2) of §3401 as new subsection (3) and by adding a new subsection (2) as follows:

"Provide a financial incentive for higher academic achievement for students who qualify to receive such scholarships; and"

Section 2. Amend § 3402, Title 14 of the Delaware Code by deleting subsections (a) and (d) and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"(a) This subchapter shall be administered by the Delaware Higher Education Commission, hereinafter referred to as the 'Commissions".

(d) The Commission may apply for and receive such funds as may be available

to the State from any agency of the federal government as grants for student financial assistance programs at the postsecondary level."

Section 3. Amend § 3403, Title 14 of the Delaware Code by deleting said section in its entirety and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"3403. Scholarship Incentive Program.

The General Assembly shall each year in the budget act appropriate a sum to be known as the Scholarship Incentive Program for the purpose of carrying out this subchapter,"

Section 4. Amend § 3404, Title 14 of the Delaware Code by deleting said section in its entirety and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"3404. Scholarships.

The Commission is hereby authorized to award scholarships from the Scholarship Incentive Program subject to the limits of its appropriations and the following limitations:

(a) No student shall be eligible for such scholarship who was not a resident of

the State for at least twelve (12) consecutive months immediately prior' to the application deadline for the scholarship. The place of residence of a student who is dependent on parental financial support shall be deemed to be the legal residence of the student's parent or guardian. The place of residence of an independent student shall be deemed to be the legal residence of the student. Whether a student is considered to be independent shall be determined on the basis of the federal government's financial aid independent student definition. No student shall be deemed to satisfy for the first time the residence requirement of this program while the student's principal occupation is that of student in a postsecondary Program. Evidence of legal residence in Delaware which is deemed satisfactory to the Commission must be provided. Such evidence may include: voter registration in

Delaware, a valid Delaware driver's license, or other evidence of bona fide residence in Delaware. Delaware residence shall be considered terminated 12 months after a move from the State of Delaware.

(b) Scholarships shall be awarded only to persons who will become enrolled as

full-time students in a degree program at a college or university which is accredited by one of the regional accrediting associations. No student may receive scholarships for either undergraduate or graduate study for more than five (5) years. Under exceptional circumstances in the case of a person who will attend a program of graduate study, the Commission may, in its discretion, grant a temporary waiver to the requirement of accreditation by one of the regional accrediting associations where the institution is in the process of becoming accredited or where other comparable evidence of academic quality is provided.

(c) Scholarships shall be used only at educational institutions:

(I) in Delaware for undergraduate study;

(2) in States which have established scholarship reciprocity agreements
with the State and the Commission for undergraduate study; or

(3) For undergraduate or graduate study in degree programs which are
not offered by a publicly assisted institution in Delaware.

(d) Scholarships shall be awarded on the basis of financial need and academic

merit. Financial need shall be determined by a federally-approved need analysis system. The financial need calculation shall consider the student's expected family contribution, the expense of attending the institution selected, the student's eligibility for Pell grants and the availability of State funding for out-of-state graduate programs. For students attending institutions in states other than Delaware, the maximum tuition cost used in determining financial need shall be the highest tuition rate charged to non-residents of Delaware who attend a Delaware publicly-assisted institution.

(e) No scholarship shall exceed a student's direct educational expenses. For

students attending a college or university under the terms of a reciprocity agreement, the Scholarship shall not exceed the amount allowable for out-of-state grants under the grant program of that state.

(f) By applying to this scholarship program, applicants agree to release of their

academic records to the Commission.

(g) The Commission shall publish annually in two newspapers of general

circulation within the state an announcement of the application deadline for the scholarship. The Commission shall inform college financial aid officers and high school guidance counselors within the State of application procedures and deadline.

(h) Payment of funds shall be made on a semester or quarter basis to institutions

only, not to individual scholarship recipients, upon receipt of verification from the institution that the student is enrolled full-time in a degree program and meets the satisfactory academic progress standards of the institution. The Commission shall establish a refund policy which will specify conditions under which students may retain all or a portion of their scholarship if they withdraw from an institution or otherwise become ineligible to receive a full scholarship.

(i) Scholarships are renewable upon reapplication provided that the applicant

continues to meet the qualifications required by this subchapter."

Section 5. Amend § 3405, Title 14 of the Delaware Code by deleting said section in its entirety.

Approved July 7, 1995