§ 3401 Purpose.
It is the intent and purpose of the General Assembly through this chapter to standardize aspects of and streamline administration of a variety of student assistance programs administered by the Delaware Higher Education Office.
§ 3402 Administration.
(a) This chapter shall be administered by the Delaware Higher Education Office, hereinafter referred to as the "Office."
(b) The Office is hereby authorized to award student financial aid from the programs described in this chapter subject to the limits of its appropriations for this purpose.
(c) The Office shall adopt such rules and regulations as it deems necessary, proper, convenient or incidental to the administration of this subchapter.
(d) The Office may establish temporary or permanent advisory groups to assist in administration of these programs.
(e) The Office shall publish annually in 2 newspapers of general circulation within the State an announcement of the application deadlines. The Office shall inform college financial aid officers and high school guidance counselors within the State of application procedures and deadlines.
(f) Unless otherwise provided, no student shall be eligible for student assistance programs authorized in this chapter who was not a resident of the State for at least 12 consecutive months immediately prior to the program application deadline. 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 these programs while the student's principal occupation is that of student in a postsecondary program. Evidence of legal residence in Delaware that is deemed satisfactory to the Office must be provided. Such evidence may include: prior year Delaware income tax return, a valid Delaware driver's license, a valid Delaware vehicle registration card or other evidence of bona fide residence in Delaware. Delaware residence shall be considered terminated 12 months after a move from the State.
(g) Unless otherwise provided, awards from the programs authorized in this chapter may be used only at regionally accredited colleges and universities. Under exceptional circumstances in the case of a person who will attend a program of graduate study, the Office 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.
(h) Unless otherwise provided, awards from the programs authorized in this chapter are intended for full-time study. The Office may, however, in its discretion, make prorated awards to recipients enrolled less than full-time in specific programs.
(i) By applying to the programs authorized in this chapter, an applicant agrees to release that applicant's own academic and financial aid records to the Office.
(j) Disbursement of scholarship funds shall be made only to institutions, not to individual recipients, upon receipt of institutional verification that the student's academic, financial and enrollment status meet program requirements.
(k) If, at the end of the drop/add period for a term, a recipient has withdrawn from school or otherwise does not qualify for full payment, the following refund policy shall apply:
(1) A student who will not be charged tuition or will receive a full refund of tuition paid is not entitled to receive any portion of the award and the full amount shall be refunded to the Office;
(2) A student who will be charged full tuition shall receive the full amount of the award for that term; and
(3) A student who will be charged a percentage of tuition is entitled to that same percentage of the award, and the balance shall be refunded to the Office.
(l ) The Office may grant leaves of absence to students under circumstances including but not limited to: severe or prolonged illness; family emergency; religious obligation or to pursue activities directly related to the student's educational program.
(m) Recipients who are enrolled in cooperative education programs may receive funds only for those terms when they are attending classes, not for terms spent in work experience.
(n) Calculation of high school grade point average shall include unweighted grades in a core curriculum defined by the Office.
(o) Calculation of cumulative grade point average in postsecondary coursework will include grades earned at all postsecondary institutions.
(p) The number and amount of awards shall be determined annually by the Office, except that awards may not exceed the cost of tuition, mandatory fees, room, board, books and other direct educational expenses.
(q) The Office shall annually report to the General Assembly of the State the number of recipients, the institutions attended by the recipients, and the total amount of expenditures made under this chapter.
(r) The Office is authorized to allocate unused funds among the various programs, with prior approval of the Secretary of Education, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Controller General, to meet state priorities, achieve program objectives, and respond to student demand.
(s) Unused funds appropriated for these programs in any fiscal year shall be carried forward to the next fiscal year.
(t) The General Assembly shall each year in the Budget Act appropriate a sum to be known as Scholarships and Loans for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this chapter.
§§ 3403 -3406. [Reserved.]