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(a)(1) Each school licensed under this subchapter shall pay annually a fee to be set by the Division of Higher Education in consultation with the State Board of Private Career Education.
(2) The fee shall be set at the amount the division deems necessary to establish a fund and to maintain the fund as necessary.
(3) For a renewing school, the fee shall be based on the enrollment of Arkansas residents in the preceding twelve (12) months of July 1 through June 30.
(4)(A) For an original license, the fee shall be a percentage as determined by the division of the sum of the tuitions for each program offered.
(B) Additionally, during the first twelve (12) months of licensure, the same percentage shall be paid to the fund on additional new programs of study.
(b) The fee will be deposited into a trust fund in the State Treasury to be called the “Private Career School Student Protection Trust Fund”.
(c)(1) Regardless of the balance in the fund, a fee, as set by the division, will be assessed newly licensed schools.
(2) Newly licensed schools shall pay for a number of years equal to the number of years paid by schools licensed on September 1, 1989.
(d)(1) The assets of the fund may be invested and reinvested as the division may determine.
(2) Any interest income or dividends from the investment of the fund shall be credited to the fund.
(e) The division may use any amounts in the fund, including accumulated interest, to:
(1) Pay claims filed by students not to exceed a total of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for all students of the school when a school becomes insolvent or ceases to operate without offering a complete program of study;
(2) Pay expenses incurred by a school not to exceed a total of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) that are directly related to educating a student placed in the school under this subchapter, including the applicable tuition for the period of time for which the student has paid tuition;
(3) Pay expenses directly associated with the storage and maintenance of academic and financial aid records of those students adversely affected by school closings; and
(4)(A) Pay administrative costs due to school closings, including without limitation:
(i) Travel expenses; and
(ii) The employment of temporary personnel to assist with transport and organization of student records.
(B) Provided further, that reimbursement for the expenses incurred in subdivision (e)(4)(A) of this section shall not exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) per school closing.
(f) Any amounts in the fund above two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000) may be used with the approval of the Director of the Division of Higher Education to:
(1) Fund educational seminars and other forms of educational projects for the use and benefit of licensed school administrators, faculty, staff, or admissions representatives;
(2) Provide for travel expenses and registration fees to send staff or board members to accrediting meetings, seminars, or meetings relating to the school sector;
(3) Provide staff assistance; or
(4)(A) Fund student scholarships as provided for by the Higher Education Grants Fund Account.
(B) Priority of funding scholarships under subdivision (f)(4)(A) of this section shall be given to the funding of veterinary medicine student loans at the College of Veterinary Medicine of Mississippi State University.
(g)(1) If a school closes, the division shall attempt to place each student of the school in another school.
(2) If the student cannot be placed in another school, the student's tuition for which education has not been received may be refunded on a prorated basis in the manner prescribed by the division.
(3) If another school assumes responsibility for the closed school's students with no significant changes in the quality of training, a student is not entitled to a refund under this section.
(4) Attorney’s fees, court costs, or damages may not be paid from the fund.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Arkansas Code Title 6. Education § 6-51-607. Private Career School Student Protection Trust Fund - last updated January 01, 2020 | https://codes.findlaw.com/ar/title-6-education/ar-code-sect-6-51-607/
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