116-209.55. Administration and funding.

(a) The Authority is charged with the administration of the tuition assistance program under this Part.

(b) The Authority shall determine the eligibility of applicants, select the benefit recipients, establish the effective date of the benefit, and may suspend or revoke the benefit if the Authority finds that the recipient does not maintain an adequate academic status, or if the recipient engages in riots, unlawful demonstrations, the seizure of educational buildings, or otherwise engages in disorderly conduct, breaches of the peace, or unlawful assemblies. The Authority shall maintain such records and shall promulgate such rules and regulations as the Authority deems necessary for the orderly administration of this program. The Authority may require of proprietary schools or State or private educational institutions such reports and other information as the Authority may need to carry out the provisions of this Part and the Authority shall disburse benefit payments for recipients upon certification of enrollment by the enrolling institutions.

(c) All tuition benefit disbursements shall be made to the proprietary school or State or private educational institution concerned, for credit to the tuition account of each recipient. Funds disbursed pursuant to subsection (g) of this section shall be made to the student loan creditor concerned to be applied against the outstanding student loans of each North Carolina National Guard member beneficiary.

(d) The participation by any proprietary school or private educational institution in this program shall be subject to the applicable provisions of this Part and to examination by the State Auditor of the accounts of the benefit recipients attending or having attended such private schools or institutions. The Authority may defer making an award or may suspend an award in any proprietary school or private educational institution which does not comply with the provisions of this Part relating to said institutions. The manner of payment to any proprietary school or private educational institution shall be as prescribed by the Authority.

(e) Irrespective of other provisions of this Part, the Authority may prescribe special procedures for adjusting the accounts of benefit recipients who, for reasons of illness, physical inability to attend classes or for other valid reason satisfactory to the Authority, may withdraw from any proprietary school or State or private educational institution prior to the completion of the term, semester, quarter or other academic period being attended at the time of withdrawal.

(f) Any balance of the monetary educational assistance grant up to the maximum for the academic year remaining after tuition is paid pursuant to subsection (c) of this section may be disbursed to the recipient as reimbursement for required course books and materials. The manner of obtaining the reimbursement payment for these required books and materials shall be as prescribed by the Authority.

(g) Any funds not needed to accomplish the other purposes of this Part may be used to help members of the North Carolina National Guard repay outstanding student loans in accordance with rules to be adopted by the Authority. These rules shall provide that the length of a member's deployment may be considered in determining whether or not, and in what amount, a member receives assistance pursuant to this subsection. There shall be no reimbursement under this subsection for payments already made on student loans, and funds shall not be provided under this subsection for the purpose of paying student loans obtained for courses from which the member withdrew or for which the member did not receive a passing grade. Payments for outstanding loans shall not exceed the maximum benefit available under G.S. 116-209.53. (1975, c. 917, s. 7; 1977, c. 70, s. 2; 2005-444, ss. 2, 3; 2008-94, s. 1; 2010-31, s. 17.3(b), (c); 2011-183, s. 87; 2015-264, s. 66(c).)