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Va. Higher Education Act Awaits Governor's Approval

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Lawmakers say the bill is a roadmap to prevent tuition spikes and enable an additional 100,000 degrees for in-state students.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act seeks to reverse years of declining state investments to help more Virginians earn college degrees. Its new funding model framework requires six-year college plans and incentivizes innovation.

A chief sponsor of the bill, Del. Kirk Cox, says institutions will be rewarded for such reforms as enrolling more Virginia students.

"The state tries to do better on funding what the true cost of education is, universities do a better job of reform and innovation," he says.

Cox said the plan also creates a new state panel.

"[The panel] is made up of five members of the legislative and executive branches and five college presidents. And so that advisory committee is going to develop a lot of the criteria that's going to be the template for all of this," he says.

Many Virginia colleges say they are now preparing to add more slots for in-state students.

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Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Dec. 1, 2015

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