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Email: Chapter 18C, Article 7, Section 5

§18C-7-5. Powers and duties of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission regarding the PROMISE Scholarship.

(a) Powers of commission. — In addition to the powers granted by any other provision of this code, the commission has the powers necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes and provisions of this article including, but not limited to, the following express powers:

(1) To promulgate legislative rules in accordance with the provisions of article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to effectuate the purposes of this article;

(2) To invest any of the funds of the West Virginia PROMISE Scholarship Fund established in section seven of this article with the West Virginia Investment Management Board in accordance with the provisions of article six, chapter twelve of this code. Any investments made pursuant to this article shall be made with the care, skill, prudence and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent person acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in conducting an enterprise of a like character and with like aims. Fiduciaries shall diversify plan investments to the extent permitted by law to minimize the risk of large losses, unless under the circumstances it is clearly prudent not to do so;

(3) To execute contracts and other necessary instruments;

(4) To impose reasonable requirements for residency for students applying for the PROMISE scholarship. Except as provided in section four, article one of this chapter, a student shall have met the following requirements to be eligible:

(A) Completed at least one half of the credits required for high school graduation in a public or private high school in this state; or

(B) Received instruction in the home or other approved place pursuant to subsection (c), section one, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code for the two years immediately preceding application;

(C) This subsection does not establish residency requirements for matriculation or fee payment purposes at state institutions of higher education;

(5) To contract for necessary goods and services, to employ necessary personnel and to engage the services of private persons for administrative and technical assistance in carrying out the responsibilities of the scholarship program. Any services provided or secured to implement or administer the provisions of this section remain under the direction and authority of the Vice Chancellor for Administration;

(6) To solicit and accept gifts, including bequests or other testamentary gifts made by will, trust or other disposition, grants, loans and other aid from any source and to participate in any federal, state or local governmental programs in carrying out the purposes of this article;

(7) To define the terms and conditions under which scholarships are awarded with the minimum requirements being set forth in section six of this article; and

(8) To establish other policies, procedures and criteria necessary to implement and administer the provisions of this article.

(b) Duties of commission. — In addition to any duty required by any other provision of this code, the commission has the following responsibilities:

(1) To operate the program in a fiscally responsible manner and within the limits of available funds;

(2) To operate the program as a merit-based program;

(3) To adjust academic eligibility requirements should projections indicate that available funds will not be sufficient to cover future costs; and

(4) To maintain contact with graduates who have received PROMISE scholarships and to provide a written statement of intent to recipients who are selected to receive a PROMISE scholarship notifying them that acceptance of the scholarship entails a responsibility to supply the following:

(A) Information requested by the commission to determine the number and percentage of recipients who shall:

(i) Continue to live in West Virginia after graduation;

(ii) Obtain employment in West Virginia after graduation; and

(iii) Enroll in post-graduate education programs;

(B) For PROMISE scholars who enroll in post-graduate education programs, the name of the state in which each post-graduate institution is located; and

(C) Any other relevant information the commission reasonably requests to implement the provisions of this subdivision.