by Casey Argabrite
As a freshman year at Parkersburg High School, you get to attend a fun orientation about the next four years of your high school education and how important your four years will be. The speaker says “Count by threes and people who are ones and twos please stand up, threes remain sitting.’ The speaker then explains one out of every three students will drop out and not receive a high school diploma. Looking over the room, it is sometimes hard to imagine that so many people left behind.
The West Virginia State Senate passed a bill trying to fix the odds, and even further promote citizens of the mountain state to achieve higher education.
According to the West Virginia State Senate website: A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding there to two new sections, designated §18B-14-3 and §18B-14-4, all relating to increasing higher education student success; requiring that course catalogs include certain information relating to employment, compensation, in-state employment and student success rate; providing exception to requirement; requiring the Higher Education Policy Commission and Council for Community and Technical College Education to implement rules; creating a voluntary college completion incentive program whereby an institution of higher education accepts less state funding in return for certain incentive bonuses relating to student graduation and employment of graduates; and creating a tax credit for West Virginia resident students successfully completing certain courses of study.
The idea of being paid to go to school is a well thought of idea among students. Students claim they would try harder if they got paid. Money might be a solution to bolster graduations rates.
The website also states: Introduced SB 653 2016R286 the institution awarding the degree shall be entitled to an incentive bonus of $1,000; For each West Virginia resident student completing a post-graduate, master or doctoral degree and finding full-time employment within twelve months in the State of West Virginia, in their area of study, the institution awarding the degree shall be entitled to an incentive bonus of $1,000. To encourage and reward our students, West Virginia resident students successfully completing a course of study that results in a two-year, four-year or post-graduate degree, who continue to reside in West Virginia, are entitled to claim a nonrefundable, nontransferable tax credit of $2,000. This tax credit may be carried forward for a period not to exceed ten years. Students may receive only one credit each for a two-year degree, a four-year degree or a post-graduate degree with a cumulative lifetime cap of $6,000.
So, if you complete your master or doctoral degree, and find work within twelve months you will receive a 1000-dollar entitlement, also students who are in a two to four year degree and remain living in West Virginia get a 2000-dollar tax credit.
This bill may be a response to W.Va. having one of the lowest amounts of college graduates per capita. Congressmen introduce this bill as the U.S. Census Bureau reports only 11.7% of people in W.Va. have a college degree between ages of 25 to 64.