S105 - 2021 Appropriations Act. (SL 2021-180)
Session Year 2021
Overview: OVERVIEW AND ANALYSIS: Section 8A.1 of S.L. 2021-180 provides tuition grants for high school graduates of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) to attend a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina (UNC). A graduate who meets the following conditions is eligible for a tuition grant:

  • Is a North Carolina resident for tuition purposes.
  • Enrolls as a full-time student in a constituent institution of UNC in the next academic year after graduation.

Students who receive initial tuition grants as a cohort of a high school graduating class of NCSSM or UNCSA are also eligible to apply for tuition grants for subsequent academic years for up to a total of four academic years. A student must be continuously enrolled in a constituent institution of UNC after the award of the initial tuition grant to be eligible for tuition grants in subsequent academic years. The State Education Assistance Authority (SEAA) has the discretion to waive this requirement if the student is able to demonstrate that any of the following have substantially disrupted or interrupted the student's pursuit of a degree: (i) a military service obligation, (ii) serious medical debilitation, (iii) a short term or long term disability, or (iv) other extraordinary hardship.

The SEAA must administer the tuition grants pursuant to guidelines and procedures that it establishes consistent with its practices for administering State funded financial aid. The guidelines and procedures must include an application process and schedule, notification and disbursement procedures, standards for reporting, and standards for return of tuition grants when a student withdraws. No grant can be approved until the SEAA receives proper certification from the appropriate constituent institution that the student applying for the grant is an eligible student. Upon receipt of the certification, the SEAA must remit the tuition grant to the constituent institution on behalf, and to the credit, of the student. If a student on whose behalf a tuition grant has been paid is not enrolled and carrying a minimum academic load as of the tenth classroom day following the beginning of the school term for which the tuition grant was paid, the constituent institution must refund the full amount of the tuition grant.

The amount of the grant awarded to a student must cover the tuition cost at the constituent institution in which the student is enrolled. No tuition grant can exceed the cost of attendance at a constituent institution at which the student is enrolled. If a student who is eligible for a tuition grant also receives a scholarship or other grant covering the cost of attendance at the constituent institution for which the tuition grant is awarded, then the amount of the tuition grant must be reduced by an appropriate amount determined by the SEAA so that the total amount of scholarships and grants received by the student does not exceed the cost of attendance for the institution. The cost of attendance is to be determined by the SEAA for each constituent institution. If there are not sufficient funds to provide each eligible student with a full tuition grant, then each eligible student must be given a pro rata share of funds available for the academic year covered by the appropriation in the preceding fiscal year.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This section became effective July 1, 2021, and applies beginning with graduates of NCSSM and UNCSA from the 2020-2021 school year.

Additional Information: