West Virginia Senate Votes to Provide Free Technical College

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia’s Senate has voted unanimously to provide free community and technical college for residents in fields where state officials determine workers are needed.

Once skeptical senators say they were swayed by conditions intended to create pathways to jobs here as tradesmen.

It would authorize tuition grants to West Virginians at least 18 years old who have completed a secondary program from a public, private or home school.

It would require maintaining a 2.0 grade point average, taking at least six credit hours a semester, passing a drug test each semester and performing eight hours of community service.

Recipients would have to repay grants if they don’t live in West Virginia for two years after getting their degree or certificate.

The Justice administration estimates the first-year cost at $8 million.