Senator Mark Herring’s (D-Loudoun & Fairfax) legislation to protect Virginia’s Tuition Assistance Grant Program (TAG) passed the General Assembly today with wide bi-partisan support.
The TAG program was authorized as an amendment to the Virginia Constitution in 1974 and since its inception has been interpreted to mean that only students attending Virginia private institutions of higher education are eligible to receive the grants. Currently, over 22,000 Virginia students attending institutions are awarded TAG grants each year. Recently, this historically understood interpretation has come under attack, leaving the TAG program vulnerable to applications by out-of-state institutions with satellite or branch campuses located in Virginia.
The bill clarifies the current TAG program eligibility requirements in order to ensure that Virginia tax dollars are awarded to Virginia students attending Virginia private colleges and universities.
“All Virginians can take great pride in our system of public and private colleges and universities,” Herring stated. “Strategic investments in higher education, such as the Tuition Assistance Grant program, not only help Virginia students achieve their dreams of attaining a graduate or undergraduate degree at one of Virginia’s private colleges or universities, they help strengthen our economy by making sure our workforce is fully prepared and can successfully compete in the global economy.”