o In the first year of the biennium, allocates $55 million for public colleges and universities who voluntarily freeze in-state tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year.
o In the second year of the biennium, sets aside $25 million in supplemental support for colleges and universities who elect to freeze tuition the previous year.
o Tasks the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia with the development of a plan to implement an institutional survey on costs aggregated by academic discipline to enable better cost containment and better return on state investments at Virginia’s public institutions.
o Authorizes SCHEV to conduct a review of financial aid awarding practices and tuition discounting strategies at public colleges and universities, which will allow a greater understand of their effectiveness and effect on affordability.
o Allocates $300,000 for a review of higher education costs, funding needs, and appropriations in Virginia. The study will review the current funding model for higher education and provide recommendations on updating or replacing the funding model for greater efficiency, effectiveness and alignment with targeted outcomes and goals.
o Ensures that all members of Boards of Visitors—not just newly appointed members—are up-to-date on higher education best practices, requiring biannual training for existing board members.
o Requires that students and concerned citizens are afforded adequate notice of opportunities to address governing boards on proposed tuition and fee rates by requiring institution to give 10-days’ public notice of the date, time, and location of the public comment period.
o To understand the connection between private educational foundations and public benefit, increase foundation transparency by requiring reporting on expenditures in broad categories.
o Requires higher education foundations to disclosure donor identify if their pledge or donation imposes terms or conditions directed at academic decision-making.
o Requires any provider of private student loans to provide student loan advising information to a student prior to issuing a loan to any student in the Commonwealth.