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S.F. No. 2214 - Higher Education Finance and Policy Omnibus (Conference Committee Report)
 
Author: Senator Michelle L. Fischbach
 
Prepared By: Priyanka Premo, Senate Counsel (651/296-3914)
Andrew J. Erickson, Senate Fiscal Analyst (651/296-4855)
 
Date: May 10, 2017



 

S.F. 2214 is the higher education omnibus bill. Article 1 provides appropriations to the Office of Higher Education, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the University of Minnesota, and other related programs. Article 2 makes several policy changes, including modifying various state grant calculation parameters and requiring additional reports from both the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Article 3 makes policy changes to the Office of Higher Education.

Article 1. Higher Education Appropriations

See budget tracking spreadsheet for appropriation changes; only language and program changes are described here.

Section 1. Appropriation. Boilerplate appropriation language for the omnibus bill.

Section 2. Minnesota Office of Higher Education.

Subd. 20. Administrative withholding allowance for spinal cord/traumatic brain injury research grants reduced to 2%.

Subd. 21. Administrative withholding allowance for summer academic enrichment programs reduced to 2%.

Subd. 22. Administrative withholding allowance for dual training competency grants reduced to 2%.

Subd. 26. Provides funding for a new campus sexual violence prevention and response coordinator position at OHE.

Subd. 29. Provides grant money for the commissioner of OHE to provide to schools with demonstrable homeless populations and to students in certain emergency circumstances.

Subd. 30. Provides funding for the modified Grants to Teacher Candidates program under article 2, section 10.

Subd. 33. Provides funding for the new agricultural educators loan forgiveness program under article 2, section 12.

Subd. 34. Provides funding for the new aviation degree loan forgiveness program under article 2, section 11.

Subd. 35. Provides funding for the new program for grants to students with intellectual and developmental disabilities under article 2, section 7.

Subd. 36. Provides funding for a new grant to the Loan Repayment Assistance Program of Minnesota.

Subd. 37. Provides funding for a new grant to Minnesota Life College.

Subds. 39 and 40. Allows unused money in the first year to be carried forward to the second year, and to allow the commissioner to transfer surplus appropriations for certain financial aid programs among those programs as needed.

Section 3. Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Subd. 3. Operations and Maintenance.

Paragraph (a). Provides aid that is not subject to Minnesota State’s allocation process to non-metro two-year campuses.

Paragraph (b).  Freezes tuition in 2017-18 and reduces tuition by 1% in 2018-19 at system colleges. Freezes tuition at the 2017-18 rate in 2018-19 at system universities.

Paragraph (c). Requests the Board of Trustees to help close the attainment gap by improving retention and completion rates among students of color.

Paragraph (d). Provides funding for the workforce development scholarships under article 2, section 16.

Paragraph (i). Provides funding for Minnesota State’s requested Integrated Student Record System.

Paragraph (i). Provides funding for the development of educational materials with HealthForce Minnesota and requires a report on the use of funds.

Section 4. Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota.

Subd. 2. Operations and Maintenance. The totals include an adjustment to account for a law change made in article 2, section 22.

Paragraph (d). Provides funding for the Board of Regents to develop and implement an academic program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities requested in article 2, section 17.

Paragraph (e). Provides funding for tuition waivers under Minnesota Statutes, section 137.16.

Subd. 4. Special Appropriations.

Paragraph (d). Provides additional funding in the system special appropriation for the Natural Resources Research Institute.

Article 2. Higher Education Policy

Section 1. Subd. 1. General. Encourages MnState and the University to seek fiscal balance in contract negotiations with collective bargaining units.

Section 2. Subd. 7. Reports. Requires the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities systems to include in their biennial budget proposals to the legislature information about work performed by any consultant who is not an employee of the system for which the system paid more than $500,000. The report must provide the name of the consultant, the total cost incurred, a description of the work completed, and a description of the reasons for using an outside consultant.

Requires both the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to provide aggregate data in their biennial budget proposals related to student demographics, student enrollment history, student debt history, student academics, human resources, facilities, and administrative costs.

Requires both the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to provide, in their biennial budget proposal, to include a full explanation of all material changes when compared to the prior fiscal year.

Section 3. Mandatory student activity fees prohibited. Prohibits MnState from imposing on students any mandatory fee funding student programs, activities, or groups. This prohibition does not extend to mandatory fees that fund instructional, academic, administrative, or health services. The university is requested to adopt policies implementing the section. If it does not, net revenue from any prohibited fee may be deducted from the university’s base appropriation in the first year of the next biennium.

Section 4. Information to pregnant students and student parents. Requires all public and regionally-accredited private colleges and universities to provide to student parents and pregnant students a fact sheet including the student’s legal rights and a list of resources available to the student.

Section 5. Developmental education reporting. Requires the commissioner of higher education to publish on its Web site data related to the rates of supplemental education course usage by graduates of Minnesota high school. Requires the data to be disaggregated by race, ethnicity, free or reduced lunch eligibility, and age.

Section 6. Assigned family responsibility. Reduces by four percentage points the assigned family responsibility for dependent students, independent students with children, and independent students without children.

Section 7. Grants for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Establishes a grant program with OHE for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Grants through the program would be equal to the student’s tuition and fees, minus any Pell and state grants the student receives. To be eligible for a grant through the program, a student must meet the eligibility requirement for the state grant program, be enrolled in a postsecondary institution eligible for the state grant program, have an intellectual disability, and be enrolled in a comprehensive transition and postsecondary (CTP) program. The bill defines “intellectual disability” and “comprehensive transition and postsecondary” program based upon the definitions in federal regulations.

Section 8. Subd. 2. Eligible students. Expands eligibility for child care grants to students enrolled full time for less than ten months. Current law limits eligibility to those enrolled for less than eight months.

Section 9. Amount and length of grants. Increases cap for child care grants from $2,800 to $3,000.  

Section 10. Teacher candidate grants. Expands eligibility to teacher candidates belonging to underrepresented racial or ethnic groups.

Subd. 1. Establishment. Replaces “high needs subject area or region” with the term “shortage area.” Defines “shortage area” as a license field or economic development region within Minnesota which has been identified, by the Department of Education, as an area in need of teachers. Extends grants to teacher candidates who belong to an underrepresented racial or ethnic minority.

Subd. 2. Eligibility. Expands eligibility to teacher candidates who belong to an underrepresented racial or ethnic group. Requires teacher candidates to meet satisfactory academic progress.

Subd. 3. Administration; repayment. Requires repayment from students who do not complete their student teaching program or who leave Minnesota to teach in another state during the first year after student teaching. Caps the stipend amount at $7,500. The commissioner must consider financial need in determining the stipend amount. The percentage of total awards reserved for teacher candidates belonging to an underrepresented racial or ethnic group must be equal to or greater than the percentage of students belonging to underrepresented racial or ethnic groups.

Section 11. Aviation degree loan forgiveness program. Establishes a loan forgiveness program at OHE for aircraft technicians and pilots who complete postsecondary degrees in Minnesota

Subd. 1. Definitions. Defines terms for purposes of this program.

Subd. 2. Creation of account. Establishes an aviation degree loan forgiveness program account. Requires the commissioner to use funds from the account to administer the program. Stipulates that appropriations to the account do not cancel.

Subd. 3. Eligibility. Establishes eligibility requirements for the program. To qualify, an individual must be a qualified pilot with qualified education loans and submit an application to OHE. Requires applicants to agree to a service obligation in accordance with subdivision 4.

Subd. 4. Service obligation. Requires a participant to verify that the participant is employed in a position that fulfills the service obligation. Requires the commissioner any amounts paid to a participant who does not fulfill the service requirement.

Subd. 5. Loan forgiveness. Permits the commissioner to select eligible applicants within the limits of available funding. Specifies the amount of loan forgiveness. Prohibits an individual from receiving loan forgiveness through the program more than five times. Establishes a process for disbursing awards directly to recipients. Requires a recipient to prove that the award amount was applied to the individual’s qualified education loans.

Subd. 6. Rules. Requires OHE to adopt rules governing the program.

Section 12. Agricultural education loan forgiveness program. Establishes a loan forgiveness program with OHE for agricultural educators.

Subd. 1. Definitions. Defines terms for the purposes of the section

Subd. 2. Account; appropriation. Establishes an account for the program in the special revenue fund. Appropriates money in the account to OHE.

Subd. 3. Eligibility. Establishes eligibility criteria. To qualify for the program, an individual must be a qualified teacher with qualified education loans, and must apply in the form and manner specified by OHE. Requires applicants to agree to a service obligation in accordance with subdivision 4.

Subd. 4. Service obligation. Requires a participant to verify that the participant is employed in a position that fulfills the service obligation. Requires the commissioner any amounts paid to a participant who does not fulfill the service requirement.

Subd. 5. Loan forgiveness. (a) Authorizes OHE to select eligible applicants, within the limits of available funding. Stipulates that applicants must secure their own qualified loans. (b) Requires OHE to make annual disbursements to a participant of $3,000 for each year the participant meets the eligibility requirements. If the participant’s loan balance is less than $3,000, the disbursement is limited to the loan balance. Limits an individual to receiving five awards. (c) Requires an award recipient to verify that the award was applied towards a qualified education loan.

Section 13. Regionally accredited institutions in Minnesota. Exempts regionally accredited degree-granting postsecondary institutions from certain OHE requirements. The requirements relate to approval of majors, minors, concentrations, specializations, areas of emphasis, curriculum or courses, locations, and fees. Requires the covered institution to notify the commissioner annually when they perform the actions covered by the exemption. Requires a regionally accredited degree-granting postsecondary institution to notify the commissioner within 60 days of closing.

Section 14. Private institutions; adjudication of fraud or misrepresentation. Current law prohibits OHE from providing registration, degree approval, or name approval to a private, degree-granting postsecondary institution if there is a criminal, civil, or administrative adjudication of fraud or misrepresentation against the school. This section removes this prohibition and instead gives OHE the discretion to revoke or deny an application for registration, degree approval, or name approval if the school received an adjudication of fraud or misrepresentation. Permits the commissioner to revoke degree approval for an academic program rather than the school if the adjudication of fraud or misrepresentation was related to an academic program.

Section 15. Membership. Adds two members to the existing 12-member advisory council for the Spinal Cord and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Program. The two new members must be a veteran with a traumatic brain injury and a representative of Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. Both new board positions are created by splitting two existing council positions into two parts.

Section 16. Workforce Development Scholarships. Establishes a scholarship program administered by MnState to incentivize students to enter high-demand occupations.

Subd. 1. Program established. Establishes the scholarship program at MnState.

Subd. 2. Scholarship awards. Scholarships shall be for $2,500, distributed evenly over two academic terms.

Subd. 3. Program eligibility. To qualify for a scholarship a student must: qualify for resident tuition; take at least nine credits at a state college; and study either: advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care services, or information technology.

Subd. 4. Renewal; cap. A student may receive the scholarship more than once, but an individual’s total lifetime award may not exceed $5,000.

Subd. 5. Administration. Requires MnState to establish an application process for the program. Preference may be given based on financial need.

Subd. 6. Report required. Imposes an annual reporting requirement on the status of the program.

Section 17. Program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Requests the University of Minnesota-Morris to offer a program for students with IDDs.

Section 18. Fetal tissue research. Imposes requirements on the University of Minnesota regarding research involving fetal tissue.

            Subd 1. Definitions. Defines terms for purposes of this section.

Subd. 2. Approval by the Fetal Tissue Research Committee. Requires researchers to obtain approval from the FTR before conducting research using fetal tissue.

Subd. 3. Legislative report. Requires the university to submit a report to the legislature.

Subd. 4. Education on the compliance to applicable laws and policies. Requests the university to provide education programs to those engaged in fetal tissue research.

Section 19 & 20. Licensure exemptions. Exempts the following from licensure requirements:

  1. Psychology professors teaching at accredited institutions who do not provide direct clinical services and receive appropriate oversight from the institution; and
  2. Psychology students who are practicing under supervision.

Section 21. County scholarship program. Authorizes counties to establish a county scholarship program funded by any unencumbered mineral royalties or any law imposing a tax upon severed mineral values. Scholarships must be used at a two-year MNSCU institution located within the county funding the scholarship. The scholarship applicant must be a county resident at the time of the applicant’s high school graduation. The county will establish procedures for applying and distributing the scholarship and any additional eligibility criteria.

Section 22. University of Minnesota base adjustment. This is an adjustment to the University of Minnesota base from fiscal years 2018 to 2041. The original adjustment was made as an estimate to repay the University for bonds sold under its authority; this adjustment is to recapture the excess appropriation now that the actual payment amounts are known.

Section 23. Developmental education reform. Requests that Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees to create a system-wide plan to reform their developmental education offerings. The plan must, at a minimum, do the following: (1) focus on placing fewer students into developmental education courses; (2) shorten the duration of time students spend in developmental education courses; (3) lower the cost of developmental education courses; and (4) identify best practices for delivering developmental education courses. The plan must be submitted to the legislature by February 15, 2018 and implemented by the start of the 2020-2021 academic term.

Section 24. Greater Minnesota outreach and recruitment. Requests that the University of Minnesota to develop an outreach and recruitment plan for students from greater Minnesota. Greater Minnesota means any area in Minnesota other than Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, Scott, Washington, Carver, and Dakota counties. The plan must be submitted to the legislature by February 15, 2018.

Section 25. Legislative auditor review of fetal tissue research at the University of Minnesota. Requests the Legislative Auditor to perform a comprehensive review of fetal tissue research activities at the University.

Section 26. State grant report. Requires the commissioner of higher education to report to the legislature on the amount of funding necessary for the State Grant Program to fully meet the financial aid needs of lower- and middle-income Minnesota college students based upon the program’s shared responsibility design.

Section 27. University of Minnesota tuition. Encourages the university to adopt a tuition schedule for the Twin Cities campus in relation to tuition at public Big Ten universities.

Section 28. Living and miscellaneous expense allowance. Sets in law the allowance for LME at $9,320, the amount set by OHE for FY17 using its authority to temporarily raise the LME to use surplus state grant funds.

Section 29. Ongoing appropriation. Clarifies that any funds appropriated under Laws 2016, chapter 189, article 25, section 62, subdivision 11 for grants to teachers in shortage areas and carried forward to the FY18-19 biennium may be used for any of the purposes authorized under the amended version of the program.

Article 3. Office of Higher Education Agency Policy

Section 1. Subd. 1a. Sexual assault definition. Updates the definition of sexual assault in the state’s campus sexual assault law to reflect a change in federal law. The previous definition defined sexual assault as “forcible sex offenses.” This term no longer exists in federal law. The bill defines sexual assault as “rape, sex offenses-fondling, sex offenses-incest, or sex offenses-statutory rape.”

Section 2. Institution eligibility requirements. Amends the eligibility requirement for state financial aid programs. Removes eligibility for so-called “short programs” that are shorter than 300 hours and are not eligible for Pell Grants. Requires institutions to maintain adequate administrative and financial standards and compliance with state statutes, rules, and administrative policies related to financial aid programs.

Section 3. Loan forgiveness. Permits individuals participating in the Large Animal Veterinarian Loan Forgiveness Program to provide “a confirmation of practice” form to prove that they are fulfilling their service requirement for the program. Current law requires an affidavit.

Section 4. Defines “entity” for the purposes of state laws governing the registration of degree-granting private postsecondary institutions.

Section 5. Additional security. Amends an existing law requiring certain degree-granting schools to provide a surety bond if they have been notified by the United States Department of Education that they have fallen below minimum financial standards. Requires new schools that have been granted conditional approval for degrees while applying for accreditation to also provide a surety bond.

Permits schools to instead provide an irrevocable letter of credit in lieu of a bond.

Stipulates how the additional security will be used in the event of a school closure. The security bonds must first be used to destroy private educational data, and second to reimburse tuition and fee costs to certain students. Describes which students will receive priority for refunds.

Section 6. Accreditation; requirement. Requires that a private, degree-granting institution have both institutional accreditation and programmatic accreditation. Current law only requires the school be accredited.

Prohibits a school from offering a degree unless the program has institutional accreditation by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for eligibility to participate in federal financial aid. Requires a program undergoing program accreditation to inform OHE of any site visits and provide the staff the opportunity to attend the visits, excluding exit interviews.

Section 7. Criteria for approval. Requires private, degree-granting institutions to use accounting principles according to the type of school.

Section 8. Conditional approval. Amends OHE’s existing authority to grant degree-granting schools conditional approval.

Permits OHE to grant a one-year conditional approval, for up to five years, for the following reasons:

  • To allow a new school to apply for accreditation.
  • To allow a registered school to apply for accreditation if the school’s accrediting agency is no longer recognized by the United States Department of Education.
  • To allow a registered school to change to a different accrediting agency.

Section 9. Exemptions.

Subd. 1. Application. Requires a school that applies for an exemption from registration requirements for private, degree-seeking schools to apply to OHE. Stipulates that an exemption expires two years from the date of approval, or until a school adds a new program that makes a modification equal to 25 percent of an existing program. Requires a school that reapplies for an exemption to submit its application 90 days before the current exemption expires.

Subd. 3a. Tuition-free educational courses. Amends an existing exemption provided under current law to schools offering tuition-free courses to students in Minnesota. That exemption is targeted towards massive open online courses (MOOCs). Under current law, the exemption is provided to students who offer tuition-free courses to students in Minnesota. The bill limits the exemption to schools that do not charge tuition fees, or other charges to any student.

Section 10. Application. Requires schools seeking a religious exemption from registration requirements to apply to OHE. Stipulates that exemptions expire two years from the date of approval or when a school ads a new program that makes a modification equal to 25 percent of an existing program. Requires a school that reapplies for an exemption to submit its application 90 days before the current exemption expires.

Section 11. Registration representations. Clarifies the language of an existing disclosure requirement for private, degree-granting institutions.

Section 12. Student complaints. Permits OHE to investigate and resolve student complaints at private degree-granting institutions.

Subd. 1. Authority. Grants OHE the authority to review and take action on student complaints.

Subd. 2. Complaint. Requires complaints be in writing, be signed by a student, and state how the school violated state laws governing private degree-granting institutions. Limits student complaints to those that occurred in the previous six years from the date the concern should have been discovered with reasonable effort and after utilizing the school’s internal complaint process. Allows complaints related to fraud or misrepresentation even if the student has not used the school’s internal complaint process. Prohibits OHE from investigating grade disputes, student conduct proceedings, disability accommodation request, and discrimination claims.

Subd. 3. Investigation. Requires OHE to investigate complaints that are within its authority. Requires OHE to notify schools of alleged violations and the process of the investigation. Requires schools to respond to alleged violations and provide documentation to OHE. Requires complaints to be filed after utilizing the school’s internal complaint process, except in cases of fraud and misrepresentation. Prohibits OHE from investigating complaints related to grade disputes, student conduct proceedings, disability accommodation requests, or discrimination claims.

Subd. 4. Penalties. Permits OHE to require remedial action and assign penalties. OHE’s existing authority allows it to assign a fine for each day’s failure to comply with existing laws of up to $500 per day per violation. Permitted remedial actions include notifying students of violations, adjustments to school policies and procedures, and tuition or fee refunds to impacted students.

Subd. 5. Contested case hearing. Provides for an appeals procedure. Allows the prevailing party to recover costs, disbursements, and reasonable attorney fees.

Section 13. Records. Current law requires private postsecondary institutions that do not have a binding agreement with OHE to preserve student records to provide a surety bond to cover the cost of record retrieval, recovery, and storage. The bill permits schools to file an irrevocable letter of credit issued by a financial institution in lieu of a surety bond.

Sections 14 to 18. Defines “compliance audit,” “entity,” “higher-level entity,” “audited financial statements,” and “review-level engagement” for the purposes of state laws governing the registration of private career schools (non-degree granting private schools).

Section 19. Application. Requires schools applying for licensure to provide financial documents to OHE. Removes a reference to the surety bond maximum amended in section 25.

Section 20. Bond. Current law requires private career schools to file with OHE a corporate surety bond, equal to 10 percent of the preceding year’s income from student tuition, fees and other required institutional charges. Under current law, the largest bond a school would be required to file is $250,000; the bill removes that cap.

Under current law, certain schools that are licensed by another state agency or board as well as OHE are only required to provide a bond of $10,000. The bill removes this lower bond amount for schools licensed exclusively in order to permit in the State Grant or SELF Loan programs.

Removes a mandate on the commissioner to deny, suspend, or revoke a private career school’s license if the school does not post and maintain a surety bond. Replaces the mandate with permissive language.

Section 21. Permanent records. Current law requires private career schools that do not have a binding agreement with OHE to preserve student records to provide a surety bond to cover the cost of record retrieval, recovery, and storage. The bill permits schools to file an irrevocable letter of credit issued by a financial institution in lieu of a surety bond.

Section 22. Private career schools licensed by another state agency or board. Makes a conforming change due to changes made in section 24. Requires a school that participates in state financial aid programs to comply with the existing policy on refunds, even if the school is licensed by another state agency or board.

Section 23 to 25. Requires a contract or enrollment agreement used by a private career school to include the email address or phone number that a student may contact in order to cancel the contract or sale.

Section 26. False statements. Regulates the advertising of private career schools. Requires that, other than opinion-based statements or puffery, advertising claims be evidence-based and based on current conditions. Forbids guaranteeing employment or implying such a guarantee.

Forbids schools from advertising in a way that implies earnings greater than the prevailing wage for entry-level employees in the relevant field of study and geographic area, unless such claims are based upon verifiable wage information from graduates.

Requires schools to substantiate placement statistics used in advertising with school records. Forbids several specific practices related to the reporting of placement statistics.

Prohibits schools from using endorsements by students without their consent and without an offer of compensation. Requires endorsements to portray current conditions.

Prohibits schools from advertising accreditation that is not recognized by the United States Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, unless authorized by OHE. Permits OHE to approve advertising certain accreditations if they are industry-specific. Permits OHE to pre-approve advertisement of accreditors other than the Department of Education and Council on Higher Education Accreditation.

Prohibits the following advertising techniques:

  • Using financial aid as a primary incentive in advertisement, promotion, or recruitment.
  • Using the words “wanted,” “help wanted,” or “trainee” in the headline or body of an advertisement.
  • Advertising under the “help wanted” or “employment” classification.
  • Falsely claiming that the school is conducting a talent hunt, contest, or similar test.

Permits the commissioner to require a school to publish a retraction of a misleading or deceptive claim. To the extent reasonable, the retraction must be published in the same manner as the original claim.

Section 27. Student complaints. Permits OHE to investigate and resolve student complaints at private career schools.

Subd. 1. Authority. Grants OHE the authority to review and take action on student complaints.

Subd. 2. Complaint. Requires complaints be in writing, be signed by a student, and state how the school violated state laws governing private career schools. Limits student complaints to those that occurred in the previous six years from the date the concern should have been discovered with reasonable effort. Requires complaints to be filed after utilizing the school’s internal complaint process, except in cases of fraud and misrepresentation. Prohibits OHE from investigating complaints related to grade disputes, student conduct proceedings, disability accommodation requests, or discrimination claims.

Subd. 3. Investigation. Requires OHE to investigate complaints that are within its authority. Requires OHE to notify schools of alleged violations and the process of the investigation. Requires schools to respond to alleged violations and provide documentation to OHE.

Subd. 4. Penalties. Permits OHE to require remedial action and assign penalties. OHE’s existing authority allows it to assign a fine for each day’s failure to comply with existing laws of up to $500 per day per violation. Permitted remedial actions include notifying students of violations, adjustments to school policies and procedures, and tuition or fee refunds to impacted students.

Section 28. Inspection. Permits OHE to require a private career school or an applicant for licensure to submit audited financial statements.

Section 29. Exemptions. Requires schools seeking an exemption from licensure requirements to apply to OHE. Stipulates that exemptions expire two years from the date of approval or when a school adds a new program that makes a modification equal to 25 percent of an existing program. Requires a school that reapplies for an exemption to submit its application 90 days before the current exemption expires.

Modifies an existing exemption for private career schools providing distance education. Removes the exemption if the schools include internships, externships, or clinical placements for residents of Minnesota.

Section 30. Application. Requires schools seeking a religious exemption from licensure requirements to apply to OHE. Stipulates that exemptions expire two years from the date of approval or when a school ads a new program that makes a modification equal to 25 percent of an existing program. Requires a school that reapplies for an exemption to submit its application 90 days before the current exemption expires.

Section 31. Credit load. Amends the MnSCU Occupational Scholarship Program credit load requirements. Stipulates that in order to qualify for a grant, by the end of the academic year—including the summer term—a grantee must have completed the lesser of 30 program credits or the number of credits the student’s program is scheduled for. 

 
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