2020 Virginia General Assembly
Legislative Outcomes - College Affordability

2020 General Assembly-passed Legislation:

1. HB 30 –Budget Bill

Item 262.50 #1c – Fund and Freeze Tuition: Part 2

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.

Item 152 #4c – Statewide Survey Plan: Higher Ed Costs by Academic Discipline

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.

Item 152 #5c – Review Financial Aid Award Practices and Tuition Discounting

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.

Item 152 #9c – SCHEV- Higher Education Cost Study

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.

2. HB 611 (Miyares)/SB 897 (DeSteph) – Public institutions of higher education; governing boards;educational programs. 

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.

3. HB 715 (Reid) – Governing boards of public institutions of higher education;increases in undergraduate tuition or mandatory fees; notice.

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.

4. HB 1223 (Miyares) – Public institutions of higher education; foundations; annual reporting requirements. 

o  To understand the connection between private educational foundations and public benefit, increase foundation transparency by requiring reporting on expenditures in broad categories.

5. HB 510 (Bulova) – FOIA / SB 140 (Stuart) – Virginia Freedom of Information Act; public institutions of higher education; information related to pledges and donations.

o  Requires higher education foundations to disclosure donor identify if their pledge or donation imposes terms or conditions directed at academic decision-making.

6. HB 743 (Bulova) – Private student loan information

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.