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Provisions of the HEOA

Higher Education Funding Policy

Revenues shall be appropriated to each institution from the state general fund and/or funds other than state general funds in each fiscal year for:

  1. Basic operations and instruction
  2. Each Virginia undergraduate student enrolled at the institution
  3. Need-based financial aid
  4. Support for targeted financial incentives that encourage and reward progress toward the HEOA policy objectives

Calculation of State Share of Basic Operations and Instruction

Basic operations and instructional funding for each fiscal year will be calculated as the total of (i) the institution's cost of education for the total enrollment of students who attend the institution during the fiscal year, (ii) the amount required to reach the faculty salary goal of the 60th percentile of the institution's peer institutions, and (iii) other funding for education and general services. The Commonwealth will provide 67 percent of the projected basic operations and instructional costs from state general funds and 33 percent will be generated from sources other than the state general fund.

Per Student Enrollment-based Funding

In order to incentivize enrollment growth of Virginia undergraduate students and to achieve the increased degree conferral objectives, a per student amount will be appropriated to institutions that will follow each student to the institution in which s/he enrolls.

Need-based Financial Aid

Each institution must include in its six-year plan a commitment to a student financial aid program that provides assistance to students from both low-income and middle-income families, based on information and recommendations from the review of federal and state financial aid programs and institutional practices.

Targeted Economic and Innovation Incentives

Economic and innovation incentives that may be appropriated to achieve the purposes of the HEOA include:

    • Increased enrollment of Virginia students
    • Increased degree completion in a timely or expedited manner
    • Increased degree completion for Virginia residents who have partial credit for a degree
    • Improved retention and graduation rates
    • Increased degree production in the STEM-H fields and other high-need areas
    • Increase research, including regional and public-private collaboration
    • Reduced institutional cost through optimal year-round utilization of resources and other efficiency reforms
    • Technology-enhanced instruction (e.g., course redesign, online instruction, resource sharing among institutions)
    • Enhanced community college transfer programs and other enhanced degree path programs

Tuition and Fees

Reaffirms the authority of the Board of Visitors at each institution to set tuition and fees. Provides that an institution will forgo new state funding above the general funds received during the 2011-12 fiscal year and will be obligated to increase financial aid for low-income and middle-income students if the tuition and fees collected from Virginia students exceed the total cost of educating in-state students (difference between the total cost of education for all students and the cost of education for out-of-state students).

Institutional Six-Year Plans

The HEOA provides that each institution submit a six-year plan in odd years (and update the plan in even years) addressing the institution's academic, financial, and enrollment plans and shall include:

  • A financial plan reflecting the anticipated level of general fund, tuition, and other non-general fund support for each biennium
  • Plans for providing financial aid to low-income and middle-income students to mitigate the impact of tuition and fees increases
  • Degree conferral targets for in-state undergraduate students
  • Plans for optimal year-round use of facilities and instructional resources
  • Plans for developing instructional resource-sharing programs with other institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth
  • Identification of new programs or initiatives including quality improvements and institution-specific funding based on state policies or institutional policies

To view the U.Va.'s 2012-18 Six-Year Plan, click here.

STEM Public/Private Partnerships

In an effort to increase degrees in high-demands fields (e.g., STEM-H), the HEOA authorizes Secretaries of Education and Finance to form a public-private partnership with various members of the private sector, scientific community, academic community, and state and local government officials to develop and implement strategies to address priorities including:

  • Determining the need for additional high-demand degree enrollment, capacity, and resources at public and private institutions of higher education
  • Incentivizing greater coordination and collaboration in K-12 STEM and other high-demand degree initiatives
  • Identifying best practices in STEM-H instruction and leveraging those practices to promote STEM-H education in the K-12 system and higher education
  • Enhancing teacher education and professional development in STEM disciplines
  • Strengthening mathematics readiness in secondary schools
  • Providing financial incentives to increase STEM-H enrollment and degree completion in public and private colleges and universities
  • Assisting institutions in acquiring STEM-related facilities and equipment
  • Providing STEM-H incentives for early pathway programs and in the community college transfer grant program
  • Assessing degree programs using economic opportunity metrics (e.g., marketplace demand, earning potential, employer satisfaction) and other indicators of the historical and projected economic value and impact of degrees
  • Aligning higher education efforts with marketplace demands
  • Identifying other factors to increase the number of students completing degrees in STEM-H and other high-demand fields

Higher Education Advisory Committee

The HEOA establishes the Higher Education Advisory Committee (HEOC) to provide advice and make recommendations regarding the role of higher education in the Commonwealth. For more information about the Higher Education Advisory Committee, please click here.