Utah Department of Administrative Services Division of Administrative Rules

File No. 34441

This rule was published in the March 1, 2011, issue (Vol. 2011, No. 5) of the Utah State Bulletin.


Regents (Board Of), Administration

Rule R765-608

Utah Engineering and Computer Science Loan Forgiveness Program

Notice of Proposed Rule

(Amendment)

DAR File No.: 34441
Filed: 02/15/2011 03:00:57 PM

RULE ANALYSIS

Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

Changes to this program by the state legislature require this amendment to the rule. The 2009 Utah State Legislature General Session passed a bill (S.B. 105) which changed the Engineering and Computer Science Loan Forgiveness Program to a scholarship program. All references within the rule to loan forgiveness were affected. (DAR NOTE: S.B. 105 (2009) is found at Chapter 210, Laws of Utah 2009, and was effective 05/12/2009.)

Summary of the rule or change:

Change is needed to the title and content of this rule to eliminate references to loan forgiveness and to reflect scholarship information for Utah higher education students majoring in engineering, computer science, and related technology degree programs at Utah System of Higher Education campuses.

State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Section 53B-6-105.7

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

This rule change is required to conform with established state budgets and as such does not present additional cost or savings to state budgets.

local governments:

There is no affect to local governments or their budgets as a result of these rule changes because this rule only applies to a scholarship program for college and university students. No services nor involvement by local government is required, nor will it be requested. Local governments will not be solicited for funds to provide the possible scholarship awards to potential recipients. There will be no direct savings to local government budgets either as the recipients of any scholarship monies will be using that money to pay for tuition at a public institution. Therefore, there will be no costs nor savings for any local government entity.

small businesses:

There is no affect nor connection to any small business as a result of this rule and these proposed changes. Since this rule pertains to a state-sponsored scholarship program no small businesses will asked to donate to any scholarship fund. Thus, there will be no costs to small businesses. There will be no direct savings to small business budgets either as the recipients of any scholarship monies will be using that money to pay for tuition at a public institution. It is possible that a future recipient of this scholarship could be hired by a Utah small business and become a valued asset to that company. Such possibilities could then prove very beneficial to the bottom line budget of a small business and not a disadvantage (cost) to the business. However, this rule change does not directly affect those issues.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

The result of the changes to this rule may provide funds to individuals for up-front tuition payments eliminating possible needs to borrow money for tuition for such individuals. Funds are disbursed by the separate institutions to qualifying students.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

The people affected by this rule will not have any compliance costs because there is no charge to apply for the engineering and computer science scholarship. Instead of any cost to affected persons there is a benefit of a reduction in tuition expenses at the associated public college or university where the scholarship will be utilized. This rule requires no associated costs for compliance due to the nature of tuition scholarships and those individuals who receive them and those who do not. Scholarships are a gift and benefit.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

This rule enables the intent of Section 53B-6-105.7 to provide incentive for individuals who receive training in the fields of engineering, computer science, and related technologies to remain in Utah after graduation from a degree program and utilize their education to advance the intellectual and economic welfare of the state. The fiscal impact to potential employers of such graduates and related businesses would thus be positive.

William Sederburg, Commissioner

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:

Regents (Board Of)
Administration
60 SOUTH 400 WEST
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84101-1284

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Ronell Crossley at the above address, by phone at 801-321-7291, by FAX at 801-321-7299, or by Internet E-mail at rcrossley@utahsbr.edu

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:

03/31/2011

This rule may become effective on:

04/08/2011

Authorized by:

William Sederburg, Commissioner

RULE TEXT

R765. Regents (Board of), Administration.

R765-608. Utah Engineering and Computer Science [Loan Forgiveness]Scholarship Program.

R765-608-1. Purpose.

To provide [Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority ("UHEAA")] policy and procedures for [implementing]administering the Utah Engineering and Computer Science [Loan Forgiveness] Program ("[UECLP]UECSP" or "program")[, UCA 53B-6, Section 105.7, enacted in S.B. 61 by the 2001 General Session of the Utah Legislature].

 

R765-608-2. References.

2.1. Utah Code. Title 53B, [Utah System of Higher Education,] Chapter 6, Section 105.7[.], Initiative student scholarship program.

2.2. State Board of Regents Policy [R610]R601, Board of Directors of the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority.

2.3 State Board of Regents Policy R608, Utah Engineering and Computer Science Scholarship Program.

 

R765-608-3. Effective Date.

These policies and procedures are effective September 1, 2001.

 

R765-608-4. Definitions.

4.1. Eligible Student - A student who is enrolled on at least a half-time basis in a Qualifying Institution in a Qualifying Program, in good standing, and maintaining satisfactory academic progress as defined by the institution.

4.2. Qualifying Institution - A college or university of the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) which offers one or more Qualifying Programs.

4.3. Qualifying Program - An accredited engineering, computer science, or related technology degree program. Related technology degree programs shall be limited to those certified by the Commissioner of Higher Education, in accordance with such criteria as may be established pursuant to UCA 53B-6-105.

4.4. Recipient - A person who declares intent to complete a qualifying program and who receives a scholarship award.

4.5. Technology Initiative Advisory Board - or the Advisory Board is the committee whose members are appointed by the heads of all three branches of government; the majority of members are appointed by the governor.

4.6. USHE - the Utah System of Higher Education, which includes the University of Utah, Utah State University, Weber State University, Utah Valley University, Southern Utah University, Dixie State College, Snow College, College of Eastern Utah, Salt Lake Community College.

 

R765-608-[4]5. Policy.

[4]5.1. Program Description - [UECLP]UECSP is a [student loan forgiveness] program authorized as part of the higher education Engineering and Computer Science Initiative established with an effective date of July 1, 2001. UCA 53B-6-105.7 provides for establishment of the program "to recruit and train engineering, computer science, and related technology students to assist in providing for and advancing the intellectual and economic welfare of the state," and authorizes the State Board of Regents to provide by rule for the overall administration of the program[, consistent with the general student loan provisions in Title 53B and policy guidelines contained in the Section].

[4]5.2. Program Administration - [The Board of Regents has delegated to the UHEAA Board of Directors the authority to govern UECLP on behalf of the Board of Regents. The program is administered by the Associate Commissioner for Student Financial Aid as Executive Director of UHEAA, reporting to the Commissioner of Higher Education.]Staff to the Regents will administer the program including funding distribution. The Technology Initiative Advisory Board assists and makes recommendations to the State Board of Regents.

[4]5.3. Program Design - [The program utilizes UHEAA-guaranteed Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) Stafford Student Loans and Federal Perkins Student Loans as the vehicle for providing UECLP loan forgiveness. A students enrolled at a Qualifying Institution in a Qualifying Program applies to UHEAA, with an endorsement from the dean of the school or college in which enrolled, for a Certificate for Student Loan Forgiveness which guarantees that upon completion of the requirements for loan forgiveness the Recipient will receive a direct credit for reduction of the outstanding principal balance(s) of the Recipient's outstanding Stafford or Perkins Student Loan(s). The student applies for and receives the Stafford and/or Perkins Student Loans through regular application and award procedures. Upon completion of the Qualifying Program, and Qualifying Employment, the Recipient submits an Application for Student Loan Forgiveness to UHEAA, UHEAA verifies the Recipient's qualification and the loan forgiveness amount for which the Recipient qualifies, and promptly processes the payment of outstanding principal on the Recipient's student loan(s). If the remaining principal balance on the Recipient's student loans is less than the forgiveness amount for which the Recipient qualifies, UHEAA will pay any amount above the outstanding balance directly to the Recipient, up to the amount of Stafford or Perkins Student Loan principal actually borrowed by the Recipient while enrolled in the Qualifying Program. The loan forgiveness amount for which the Recipient qualifies will include the amount of Tuition and Fees, as defined in section 4.4.9, which is applicable to the academic year for which the Application for Student Loan Forgiveness is submitted, plus the portion of the Recipient's loan interest accrued or paid which is applicable to the principal amount to be paid on the Recipient's behalf.]The Technology Initiative Advisory Board shall make recommendations by June 1 of each year to the State Board of Regents on the allocation and distribution of monies from the program fund. These funds are to be used for degree programs in the areas of engineering, computer science, and related technology programs. The distribution of these funds to the institutions is based on a formula which shall be developed by the Technology Initiative Advisory Board based on several components:

5.3.1 the number of graduates from the previous year,

5.3.2 the number and level of degrees offered, and

5.3.3 the program length of the degree offered at each institution.

5.4 Recipients' Post-Graduation Employment. It is the intent of the program that recipients of the UECSP funding will work in the state of Utah, in a field requiring the use of their degree, after graduating from a qualifying program.

5.5 Cancellation Policy. A scholarship may be cancelled at any time by the institution of attendance, if the student fails to make reasonable progress towards obtaining the degree or there appears to be a reasonable certainty that the student does not intend to work in the state upon graduation.

[ 4.4. Definitions -

4.4.1. Qualifying Institution - A college or university of the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) which offers one or more Qualifying Programs.

4.4.2. Qualifying Program - An accredited engineering, computer science, or related technology baccalaureate degree program.

4.4.2.1. Related technology baccalaureate degree programs shall be limited to those certified by the Commissioner of Higher Education, in accordance with such criteria as may be established pursuant to UCA 53B-6-105.7.

4.4.3. Eligible Student - A student who is enrolled on at least a half-time basis in a Qualifying Institution in a Qualifying Program, in good standing, and maintaining satisfactory academic progress as defined by the institution.

4.4.4. Recipient - A person who applies for and receives a UECLP Certificate for Student Loan Forgiveness from UHEAA.

4.4.5. Certificate for Student Loan Forgiveness - A certificate issued by UHEAA to an Eligible Student, which guarantees forgiveness of student loan principal plus related loan interest paid by the Recipient, up to the amount of Tuition and Fees paid for a specified number of years of enrollment in a Qualifying Program for up to a specified number of years of Qualifying Employment.

4.4.6. Stafford Student Loan - A FFELP Stafford student loan, either subsidized or unsubsidized, guaranteed by UHEAA.

4.4.6.1. A subsidized Stafford Student Loan is certified by the student's institution on the basis of financial need, and qualifies for payment of interest by the U.S. Secretary of Education on the student's behalf while the student is enrolled at least half-time and during a six-month grace period after the student graduates or ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.

4.4.6.2. An unsubsidized Stafford Student Loan is certified by the student's institution either as needed in addition to the full subsidized loan amount, or for a student who does not qualify on the basis of financial need. The recipient of an unsubsidized Stafford Student Loan is responsible for payment of interest accruing from the date of disbursement of the loan, but may choose to have the interest deferred until the loan enters repayment (at the end of the grace period), at which time the interest is capitalized and added to the outstanding principal. The interest on an unsubsidized Stafford Student Loan is at the same favorable rates as determined annually according to statute for a subsidized Stafford Student Loan.

4.4.6.3. A student is required to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to establish eligibility for either a subsidized or an unsubsidized Stafford Student Loan, but is entitled without limitation to receive the loan, up to statutorily-specified loan amounts, if eligible.

4.4.7. Perkins Student Loan - A Federal Perkins student loan awarded by the student's institution. Availability of Perkins Student Loans is limited, based on available funds, but a Perkins Student Loan may carry a more favorable interest rate than a Stafford Student Loan. Interest is not charged on a Perkins Student Loan while the borrower is enrolled at least half time and during the applicable grace period thereafter. A student is required to file a FAFSA to establish eligibility for a Perkins Student Loan, but might not receive the loan even if eligible, due to limited availability.

4.4.8. Year of Qualifying Employment - Full-time employment within Utah, for a full 12-month period, in a position requiring the baccalaureate degree, in engineering or in the field of computer science or in a related technology field. Provided, however, that, if a Recipient's Qualifying Employment is as a public school teacher or USHE faculty member, the annual school year or academic year contract length shall qualify as a Year of Qualifying Employment.

4.4.8.1. For purposes of this definition, employment in the fields of engineering or computer science or in a related technology field must reasonably be demonstrated to utilize skills and knowledge required for an applicable Qualifying Program.

4.4.9. Tuition and Fees - Tuition and general fees applicable to the Qualifying Program, for the institution in which the recipient is enrolled, for a full-time-equivalent (FTE) student, as defined in annual tuition and fee schedules approved by the State Board of Regents.

4.5. Application for a Certificate for Student Loan Forgiveness - An Eligible Student may apply for a Certificate for Student Loan Forgiveness at any time during an academic year in which enrolled in a Qualifying Program. The application may be for the year in which currently enrolled and subsequent years, except that it may not include years prior to the academic year during which the application is submitted and the total number of years covered by the application may not exceed five.

4.5.1 The application shall include a declaration of intent to complete the Qualified Program in which enrolled, or an equivalent Qualifying Program, and to work within Utah in Qualifying Employment for a period of four years after graduation.

4.6. Application for Student Loan Forgiveness - A Recipient may apply for forgiveness of the amount of one year of Tuition and Fees paid, as a reduction in outstanding loan principal or as a direct payment as provided for in 4.3, after each completed Year of Qualifying Employment covered by the Certificate for Loan Forgiveness, subject to the following limitation:

4.6.1. The Certificate for Student Loan Forgiveness shall provide that its guarantee, and the Recipient's eligibility to submit an Application for Student Loan Forgiveness, shall expire at the end of the 72nd month ( six years) after the Recipient's date of graduation with the baccalaureate degree. Provided, however, that a period of full-time enrollment in a graduate degree program related to the Recipient's Qualifying Program shall not be counted as part of the 72 months following the Recipient's graduation with the baccalaureate degree.

4.7. Eligibility for UHEAA Borrower Benefits - Regardless of whether or not the Recipient qualifies for and receives forgiveness of any part of the principal on a Stafford Student Loan, the Recipient will remain eligible for all forbearances, deferments, and other statutory privileges under the FFELP, and also shall remain eligible for all applicable principal reductions and interest rate reductions under UHEAA's borrower benefit programs. A Recipient who does qualify for and receive forgiveness of principal on a Stafford Student Loan under UECLP also shall remain eligible for all applicable principal reductions and interest rate reductions under UHEAA's borrower benefit programs.

4.8 Limited Availability and Allocation Principles - Funding for UECLP is dependent on annual legislative appropriations, and the ability to underwrite Certificates for Student Loan Forgiveness is limited. The Program Administrator shall establish an application and award calendar annually after the amount available for new awards is determined. Selection criteria established as part of the annual calendar shall include an initial tentative allocation by Qualifying Institutions proportionate to the number of engineering and computer science baccalaureate degrees awarded by each institution in the most recent academic year for which information is available, except that a minimum amount of $10,000 or five percent of the amount available, whichever is the lesser, shall be established for each Qualifying Institution. The President of each Qualifying Institution electing to participate in the program shall designate an individual to administer the program for the institution, and an alternate to administer the program in the absence of the designated administrator. Each institution shall establish criteria for the selection of nominees each academic year, in priority order from persons submitting an Application for Certificate for Student Loan forgiveness, and provision for an independent internal appeal of adverse decisions by the institution's program administrator. The institution's program administrator shall submit a copy of its selection criteria and appeal procedure for acceptance by UHEAA. Selection of Recipients from applicants certified by a Qualifying Institution shall take into account the priority order of nominations from the institution, the institution's allocation for awards from available funds, and reasonable actuarial projections regarding the percentage of recipients of certificates who will qualify for and receive the payments of principal and interest guaranteed by certificates awarded.]

 

R765-608-6. Funds.

6.1. Distribution of Funds. Scholarship funds will be distributed annually to the institutions for disbursement to the awarded students.

6.2. Reporting of Funds. Institutions will report annually on the performance of the funds at the fiscal year's end. These reporting measures may include, but are not limited to the following:

6.2.1. the number of awards given,

6.2.2. the amount of the award,

6.2.3. the recipients' completion of course work,

6.2.4. the recipients' anticipated graduation date, and

6.2.5. the program in which the recipient is enrolled.

 

KEY: higher education, [student loans]scholarships

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [August 15, 2002]2011

Notice of Continuation: July 13, 2006

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 53B-6

 


Additional Information

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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Ronell Crossley at the above address, by phone at 801-321-7291, by FAX at 801-321-7299, or by Internet E-mail at rcrossley@utahsbr.edu.