§18C-4-4. Renewal conditions; noncompliance; deferral; excusal.

(a) The recipient of an Underwood-Smith Teaching Scholars award is eligible for scholarship renewal only during those periods when the recipient meets the following conditions:

(1) Is enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited institution of higher education in this state;

(2) Is pursuing a program of study leading to teacher certification in a critical teacher shortage field at the elementary, middle or secondary level;

(3) Is maintaining satisfactory progress as determined by the institution of higher education the recipient is attending;

(4) Is maintaining a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale; and   

(5) Is complying with such other standards as the commission may establish by rule.

(b) Recipients found to be in noncompliance with the agreement entered into under §18C-4-3 of this code shall be required to repay the amount of the scholarship awards received, plus interest, and, where applicable, reasonable collection fees, on a schedule and at a rate of interest prescribed in the program guidelines. Guidelines also shall provide for proration of the amount to be repaid by a recipient who teaches for part of the period required under §18C-4-3(a) of this code and for appeal procedures under which a recipient may appeal any determination of noncompliance.

(c) A recipient is not in violation of the agreement entered into under §18C-4-3 of this code during any period in which the recipient is meeting any of the following conditions:

(1) Pursuing a full-time course of study at an accredited institution of higher education;

(2) Serving, not in excess of four years, as a member of the armed services of the United States;

(3) Satisfying the provisions of any repayment exemptions that may be prescribed by the commission by rule; or

(4) Failing to comply with the terms of the agreement due to death or permanent or temporary disability as established by sworn affidavit of a qualified physician.

(d) The rules adopted by the commission may provide guidelines under which the Vice Chancellor for Administration may extend the time period for beginning or fulfilling the teaching obligation if extenuating circumstances exist.