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§ 7203. Postsecondary educational gratuity program

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 24 P.S. EducationEffective: September 11, 2001

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 24 P.S. Education
Chapter 48. Police Officer, Firefighter, Correction Employee and National Guard Member Child Beneficiary Education Act
Effective: September 11, 2001
24 P.S. § 7203
§ 7203. Postsecondary educational gratuity program
(a) Establishment.--There is hereby established the Postsecondary Educational Gratuity Program for children of police officers, firefighters, correction employees, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs and National Guard members and certain other individuals who are on Federal or State active military duty who are residents of this Commonwealth who are killed while acting in the performance of their duties.
(b) Eligibility.--
(1) Police officers shall be deemed to have been killed in the performance of their duties if death results from job-related injuries sustained or inflicted while performing any of the following:
(i) Answering an emergency call.
(ii) Conducting interrogations of crime suspects or interrogations pursuant to a response to an emergency call.
(iii) Conducting vehicle stops for traffic violations.
(iv) Actively responding to requests for assistance from the public.
(v) Maintaining order and security at the scene of an emergency.
(2) Firefighters shall be deemed to have been killed in the performance of their duties if death results from job-related injuries sustained or inflicted while performing any of the following:
(i) Being present at the scene of a fire or going to and from a fire. In the case of volunteer firefighters, going to and from a fire shall include traveling from and directly returning to the firefighter's home, place of business or other location where the firefighter was when the fire call or alarm was received for a fire which the firefighter's volunteer fire company attended.
(ii) Answering an emergency call.
(iii) Maintaining order and security at the scene of an emergency.
(3) A member of the National Guard shall be deemed to have been killed in the performance of his or her duties if his or her death results from performance of a duty required by his or her orders or commander while in an official duty status authorized under Federal or State law.
(4) Correction employees shall be deemed to have been killed in the performance of their duties if death results from job-related injuries sustained or inflicted while maintaining order and security or otherwise carrying out their duties at a correctional facility.
(4.1) Sheriffs and deputy sheriffs shall be deemed to have been killed in the performance of their duties if death results from job-related injuries sustained or inflicted while maintaining order and security or otherwise carrying out their duties as a sheriff or deputy sheriff.
(4.2) An individual who is on Federal or State active military duty who is a resident of this Commonwealth shall be deemed to have been killed in the performance of duty if death results from performance of a duty required by his or her orders or commander while in an official duty status.
(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, deaths which occur as the direct and proximate result of preexisting physical conditions, diseases or illnesses shall be excluded from eligibility under this section.
(6) Any child of a police officer, firefighter, correction employee, sheriff, deputy sheriff or National Guard member killed in the performance of his or her duties shall be eligible for an educational gratuity provided the child is 25 years of age or younger at the time of application for participation in this program, meets all admission requirements of the community college or State-owned or State-related institution to which application is made and is enrolled as a full-time student at a community college or a State-owned or State-related institution.
(7) A child who is 25 years of age or younger at the time of the child's application for participation in this program and who meets all other eligibility requirements may receive an educational gratuity for up to five years provided the child otherwise continues to be eligible for participation.
(c) Scope of benefit.--
(1) The benefit available under this section shall be provided only for full-time students who are pursuing undergraduate studies leading to an associate degree or a baccalaureate degree.
(2) A child becomes eligible for this benefit after he or she has applied for available scholarships and Federal and State grants to cover tuition and room and board costs. The child must provide a record of application for such financial aid to the community college or State-owned or State-related institution to which he or she is applying.
(3) A community college or a State-owned or State-related institution shall waive all remaining tuition and room and board charges (total tuition, room and board and fees minus awarded scholarships and Federal and State grants) for an eligible child during the time the child is enrolled as a full-time student provided the child meets all requirements for admission to the community college or State-owned or State-related institution and during the child's enrollment complies with all requirements of the institution for continued attendance and award of an associate degree or a baccalaureate degree.
(d) Administration.--
(1) Copies of all police officer and firefighter death certifications received by the Department of General Services under the act of June 24, 1976 (P.L. 424, No. 101),1 referred to as the Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Benefits Act, shall be provided by the Department of General Services to PHEAA within 20 days of their receipt.
(2) Written notification of the death of any correction employee killed in the performance of his or her duties shall be submitted to PHEAA by the Secretary of Corrections within 20 days of the death of the employee.
(2.1) Written notification of the death of any sheriff or deputy sheriff killed in the performance of his or her duties shall be submitted to PHEAA by the county commissioners of the county in which the sheriff was elected or deputy sheriff was employed within 20 days of the death of the employee.
(3) Written notification of the death of any member of the National Guard or other individual who is on Federal or State active military duty who is a resident of this Commonwealth killed in the performance of his or her duties shall be submitted to PHEAA by the Adjutant General of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs within 20 days of the death of the National Guard member.
(4) Applications for an educational gratuity shall be submitted to PHEAA by the child or the surviving parent or guardian of the child, together with a certified copy of the child's birth certificate or adoption record or other documentation of birth or adoption acceptable to PHEAA. The application shall include a copy of the child's letter of acceptance at a community college or a State-owned or State-related institution. If no death certification has been received from the Department of General Services, Secretary of Corrections or Adjutant General of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, PHEAA may elect to accept other documentation certifying that the child's parent was a police officer, firefighter, correction employee or National Guard member killed during the performance of his or her duties.
(5) Within 30 days of receipt of a completed application, PHEAA shall send written notice to the child and the community college or State-owned or State- related institution of the child's eligibility or noneligibility for participation in this program. If the child is determined not to be eligible for an educational gratuity, the notice shall include the reason or reasons for such determination and an indication that an appeal of PHEAA's determination may be made pursuant to 2 Pa.C.S. (relating to administrative law and procedure).
(6) Upon receipt of notification of the child's eligibility from PHEAA, a community college or a State-owned or State-related institution is prohibited from charging the child or the child's parent or guardian any tuition fee or room and board charge. If moneys have been received by the community college or the State-owned or State-related institution for these purposes, those moneys must be refunded in full within 30 days of receipt by the community college or the State-owned or State-related institution of the notice of the child's eligibility.
(7) Each community college or State-owned or State-related institution at which an eligible child is enrolled shall notify PHEAA upon the child's graduation or when the child is no longer enrolled at the community college or State-owned or State-related institution.

Credits

1998, Dec. 16, P.L. 980, No. 129, § 3, imd. effective. Amended 2004, Nov. 30, P.L. 1663, No. 210, § 1, retroactive effective Sept. 11, 2001.

Footnotes

53 P.S. § 891 et seq.
24 P.S. § 7203, PA ST 24 P.S. § 7203
Current through 2022 Regular Session Act 30. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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