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Searching 2017-2018 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 16: Education

Chapter 090: FUNDING OF POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION

  • § 2885. Vermont Higher Education Endowment Trust Fund

    (a) A Vermont Higher Education Endowment Trust Fund is established in the Office of the State Treasurer to comprise the following:

    (1) appropriations made by the General Assembly;

    (2) in any fiscal year in which a General Fund surplus exists and the General Fund  Stabilization Reserve is funded to its required statutory level, funds raised by the estate tax levied under 32 V.S.A. chapter 190 that are more than 125 percent of the amount projected by the Emergency Board in the July annual forecast made pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 305a; and

    (3) contributions from any other sources.

    (b) The State Treasurer may invest the monies in the Fund.

    (c) In August of each fiscal year, beginning in the year 2000, the State Treasurer shall withdraw and divide an amount equal to five percent of the assets equally among the University of Vermont, the Vermont State Colleges, and the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. In this subsection, "assets" means the average of the Fund's market values at the end of each quarter for the most recent 12 quarters, or all quarters of operation, whichever is less. Therefore, up to five percent of the Fund assets are hereby annually allocated pursuant to this section, provided that the amount allocated shall not exceed an amount that would bring the Fund balance below the initial funding made in fiscal year 2000 plus any additional contributions to the principal. The University of Vermont and the Vermont State Colleges shall use the funds to provide nonloan financial aid to Vermont students attending their institutions; the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation shall use the funds to provide nonloan financial aid to Vermont students attending a Vermont postsecondary institution.

    (d)(1) During the first quarter of each fiscal year, the Secretary of Administration or the Secretary's designee and the individuals identified in subsection 2905(d) of this title may authorize the State Treasurer to make an amount equal to no more than two percent of the assets available, in equal amounts, to the University of Vermont and the Vermont State Colleges for the purpose of creating or increasing a permanent endowment.

    (2) In this subsection, "assets" means the average of the Fund's market values at the end of each quarter for the most recent 12 quarters, or all quarters of operation, whichever is less. Up to two percent of the Fund assets are hereby annually allocated pursuant to this section, provided that the amount allocated shall not exceed an amount that would bring the Fund balance below the initial funding made in fiscal year 2000 plus any additional contributions to the principal. One-half of the amount allocated shall be available to the University of Vermont and one-half shall be available to the Vermont State Colleges. The University of Vermont and the Vermont State Colleges may withdraw funds upon certification by the withdrawing institution to the Commissioner of Finance and Management that it has received private donations that are double the amount it plans to withdraw.

    (e) Annually, by September 30, the Treasurer shall render a financial report on the receipts, disbursements, and earnings of the Fund for the preceding fiscal year to the Secretary of Administration and the individuals identified in subsection 2905(d) of this title.

    (f) All balances in the Fund at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward and used only for the purposes set forth in this section. Earnings of the Fund that are not withdrawn pursuant to this section shall remain in the Fund.

    (g) The University of Vermont, the Vermont State Colleges, and the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation shall review expenditures made from the Fund and evaluate the impact of the expenditures on higher education in Vermont, and report this information to the House and Senate Committees on Education each year in January. (Added 1999, No. 27, § 1; amended 2001, No. 58, § 1; 2003, No. 122 (Adj. Sess.), § 294d; 2005, No. 71, § 273; 2009, No. 133 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2011, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 15, eff. May 14, 2012; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 191, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)

  • § 2886. Repealed. 2009, No. 133 (Adj. Sess.), § 4.

  • § 2887. The Next Generation Initiative Fund

    (a) A Next Generation Initiative Fund is established in the Office of the State Treasurer to comprise appropriations made by the General Assembly and grants, donations, or contributions from any other sources. The Fund shall be administered pursuant to 32 V.S.A. chapter 7, subchapter 5, except that interest earned on the Fund and any remaining balance shall be retained in the Fund.

    (b) Annually, the General Assembly shall appropriate monies in the Next Generation Initiative Fund for programs that encourage Vermonters to live and work in Vermont.

    (c) [Repealed.]  (Added 2005, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 31, 2006; amended 2009, No. 3 (Sp. Sess.), § 11b, eff. June 10, 2009; 2011, No. 162 (Adj. Sess.), § E.400.)

  • § 2888. Vermont Strong Scholars Initiative

    (a) Creation.

    (1) There is created a postsecondary loan forgiveness initiative designed to forgive a portion of Vermont Student Assistance Corporation loans of students employed in occupations identified as important to Vermont's economy and to build opportunities for students to gain work experience with Vermont employers.

    (2) The initiative shall be known as the Vermont Strong Scholars Initiative and is designed to:

    (A) encourage students to:

    (i) consider occupations that are critical to the Vermont economy;

    (ii) enroll and remain enrolled in a Vermont postsecondary institution; and

    (iii) live and work in Vermont upon graduation;

    (B) reduce student loan debt for postsecondary degrees involving a course of study related to, and resulting in, employment in target occupations; and

    (C) support a steady stream of qualified talent for Vermont's employers.

    (b) Vermont Strong Loan Forgiveness Program.

    (1) Occupations; projections.

    (A) Annually, on or before November 15, the Secretary of Commerce and Community Development and the Commissioner of Labor, in consultation with the Vermont State Colleges, the University of Vermont, the Association of Vermont Independent Colleges, the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, the Secretary of Human Services, and the Secretary of Education, shall identify occupations, projecting at least four years into the future, that are or will be critical to the Vermont economy.

    (B) Based upon the identified occupations and the number of students anticipated to qualify for loan forgiveness under this section, the Secretary of Commerce and Community Development shall annually provide the General Assembly with the estimated cost of the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation's loan forgiveness awards under the Loan Forgiveness Program during the then-current fiscal year and each of the four following fiscal years.

    (2) Eligibility. A graduate of a public or private Vermont postsecondary institution shall be eligible for forgiveness of a portion of his or her Vermont Student Assistance Corporation postsecondary education loans under this section if he or she:

    (A) was a Vermont resident, as defined in subdivision 2822(7) of this title, at the time he or she was graduated;

    (B) enrolled in his or her first year of study at a postsecondary institution on or after July 1, 2015 and completed an associate's degree within three years, or a bachelor's degree within six years of his or her enrollment date;

    (C) becomes employed on a full-time basis in Vermont within 12 months of graduation in an occupation identified by the Secretary and Commissioner under subdivision (1) of this subsection;

    (D) remains employed on a full-time basis in Vermont throughout the period of loan forgiveness in an occupation identified by the Secretary and Commissioner under subdivision (1) of this subsection; and

    (E) remains a Vermont resident throughout the period of loan forgiveness.

    (3) Loan forgiveness. An eligible individual shall have a portion of his or her Vermont Student Assistance Corporation loan forgiven as follows:

    (A) for an individual awarded an associate's degree, in an amount equal to the comprehensive in-state tuition rate for 15 credits at the Vermont State Colleges during the individual's final semester of enrollment, to be prorated over the three years following graduation;

    (B) for an individual awarded a bachelor's degree, in an amount equal to the comprehensive in-state tuition rate for 30 credits at the Vermont State Colleges during the individual's final year of enrollment, to be prorated over the five years following graduation;

    (C) loan forgiveness may be awarded on a prorated basis to an otherwise eligible Vermont resident who transfers to a Vermont postsecondary institution and graduates after July 1, 2017, with an associate's degree or after July 1, 2019, with a bachelor's degree.

    (4) Management.

    (A) The Secretary of Commerce and Community Development shall develop all organizational details of the Loan Forgiveness Program consistent with the purposes and requirements of this section.

    (B) The Secretary shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation for management of the Loan Forgiveness Program.

    (C) The Secretary may adopt rules pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 necessary to implement the Program.

    (c) Repealed.]

    (d) Funding.

    (1) Loan forgiveness; State funding.

    (A) There is created a special fund to be known as the Vermont Strong Scholars Fund pursuant to 32 V.S.A. chapter 7, subchapter 5, which shall be used and administered by the Secretary of Commerce and Community Development solely for the purposes of loan forgiveness pursuant to this section.

    (B) The Fund shall consist of sums to be identified by the Secretary from any source accepted for the benefit of the Fund and interest earned from the investment of Fund balances.

    (C) Any interest earned and any remaining balance at the end of the fiscal year shall be carried forward in the Fund.

    (D) The availability and payment of loan forgiveness awards under this chapter is subject to State funding available for the awards.

    (2) Loan forgiveness; Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation shall have the authority to grant loan forgiveness pursuant to this section by using the private loan forgiveness capacity associated with bonds issued by the Corporation to raise funds for private loans that are eligible for forgiveness under this section, if available. (Added 2013, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 47; amended 2015, No. 51, § C.2, eff. June 3, 2015.)