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2022 Statewide Operating and Policy Budget Recommendations for Higher Education in Virginia

FY 2022 Budget and Policy Recommendations for Higher Education in Virginia

The State Council of Higher Education, in its coordinating role of higher education in Virginia, annually provides budget and policy recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly. The following report provides operating and financial aid budget and policy recommendations for FY 2022.

Overview and Summary

The 2020 General Assembly adjourned its regular session by providing over $390 million in additional general fund support for Virginia higher education institutions in the 2020-22 biennium. In order to address the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on state revenues, you and the General Assembly agreed to unallot nearly all new spending in the state budget for the 2020-22 biennium in March. In additional federal CARES Act funding and the financial support provided by the Governor and General Assembly, Virginia institutions were able to continue to provide instruction and support to their students.

While these efforts provided significant support to higher education, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia is concerned that if additional funds are not provided in FY 2022, the most vulnerable students – those who are minority race, low-income and first-generation – will experience the greatest loss. As a result, equity gaps in educational attainment could grow wider.

At the Council’s October meeting, members approved recommendations that focus on options to reallot funds for FY 2022 in three priority areas should revenue estimates for FY 2022 allow for additional appropriations.

SCHEV estimates that about $136 million in funds for FY 2022 remain unallotted. If funds are available the Council recommends an incremental approach to allocating these funds based on the following priority areas:

Priority 1: Hold students harmless by continuing financial aid funding and increasing access and outreach. Budget recommendations were $20,803,200.
Priority 2: Increase support and aid for the most vulnerable populations and help individuals get back to work. Budget recommendations were $62,630,840.
Priority 3: Use remaining funding to support new initiatives, grow specialized programs and support affordability. Budget recommendations were $53,175,213.

The table below provides a summary of these priority amounts.

Budget Considerations FY 2022

In addition to the above budget recommendations, the Council made the following policy recommendations to consider. These initiatives align with efforts to improve equity, affordability and support transformation.

  • Improve labor market and education alignment
  • Enhance pre-K-12 and equity alignment
  • processes
  • Consider state need-based aid for high school graduates who quality for in-state tuition through recent legislation
  • Increase access to broadband and computer technology

The full report provides additional details regarding each of the budget and policy recommendations for FY 2022.

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