Free tuition bill for community colleges heads to W.Va. gov

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A bill that would allow West Virginia residents to attend community and technical colleges for free has been sent to the governor.

The state Senate voted 33-0 Thursday to concur with House changes to the bill.

The bill would authorize tuition grants to residents at least 18 years old who have completed a secondary program. Grants would be limited to courses of study that “satisfy a workforce need as determined by the Department of Commerce.”

It would require passing a drug test each semester, maintaining a 2.0 grade-point average, taking at least six credit hours a semester and performing at least eight hours of community service.

Recipients would have to repay grants if they don’t live in West Virginia for two years after getting their degree or certificate.

Seventeen other states offer similar programs.

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