July 1, 2020
Virginia Legislative Update: Sine Die Edition!

If we stick together and listen to guidance, we’re going to get through this public health crisis.

And when we do, thanks to the work of the Virginia General Assembly in the recently completed legislative session, Virginians will benefit from policy reforms that will make our higher education system better and stronger than ever before.

After a standoff over the House-proposed “affordability sequel," the Senate and the House finally reached a deal last week to incentivize public colleges and universities to hold the line on in-state tuition for the second year in a row in the state budget.

For Virginia students and families who’ve faced years of rising college costs, this decision provides welcome relief!

Partners was proud to support this effort along with several other pieces of legislation,summarized below, to promote greater consumer affordability, financial transparency, and public accountability in Virginia higher education.

These successes could not have been possible without the work of lawmakers who were true champions of these issues.

2020 KEY POLICY CHANGES

1. Fund and Freeze - The Sequel: The General Assembly allocated an additional $55 million for public colleges and universities who agree to freeze in-state tuition for the coming year.

2. The State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV) will conduct the following reviews/studies:

3. University and college foundations will be required to report on their expenditures by broad category, allowing for greater transparency in foundation finances.

4. University and college foundations will be required to disclose donor identity if their pledge or donation imposes terms or conditions directed at academic decision-making.

5. College governing boards will be required to provide students and the public a 10-day advance notice of public comment periods prior to tuition increases, to promote greater and more meaningful public participation.

6. College governing boards will now receive ongoing (biennial) training, ensuring they benefit from the latest best practices and current data in higher education to help them make informed decisions on behalf of students and families. 

7. Providers of private student loans will provide student loan advising information to a student prior to issuing a loan to any student in the Commonwealth, allowing for better informed student borrowing.

Click HERE for a detailed summary.