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Chapter 804: Educational Assistance Programs

Section 804.01:  Post Secondary Educational Programs 

  1. The Cuyahoga County Educational Assistance Program is hereby established to promote access to postsecondary education, including vocational, job training and retraining opportunities, in order to increase the number of skilled workers in Cuyahoga County's workforce, encourage completion of college degrees and program certification among Cuyahoga County residents, and enhance economic development opportunities for the region.
  2. Component One-Job Training/Retraining Program
    1. Component One of the Cuyahoga County Educational Assistance Program provides financial assistance for Cuyahoga County residents seeking a postsecondary degree and/or program certification that will lead to gainful employment or career advancement.
    2. Component One scholarships are open to all Cuyahoga County residents who satisfy one of the following criteria:
      1. They enroll in a degree or certification program in a field designated as "in demand" by the City of Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Workforce Investment Board; or
      2. They enroll in a degree or certification program in a non-demand field that has a commitment from an employer to hire or promote; or
      3. They are within twelve (12) credit hours from completing an associate, bachelor, or master degree in any field at an approved postsecondary institution; or
      4. They enroll in a class to satifsy continuing educational credit obligations associated with professional licensing.
    3. Individual scholarships will be awarded up to a maximum of $5,000.00
    4. The County Council shall annually designated an amount of the budgeted funds for Component One.
    5. Public and private postsecondary educational program providers are eligible to participate in Component One who satify both of the following criteria:
      1. They are approved by Employment Connection; and
      2. They are either accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (the Higher Learning Commission), or registered with the Ohio State Board of Career College and Schools.
    6. The Program will be administered by Employment Connection, a collaborative workforce system of the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. They County shall determine annually the administrative fee for program administration.  The program administrator has the following responsibilities:
      1. Provide a policies and procedures manual to the County Council prior to implementation of Component One; and notify the Council of all changes, additions or deletions from the manual; and
      2. Create an application and other relevant materials for review by the County Council prior to implementation of Component One; and
      3. Accept, review and make recommendations for approval of scholarships; and
      4. Monitor the performance of the educational program providers on an on-going basis, considering, among other factors, training program completion rate and training-related job placements or advancements; and
      5. Provide quarterly updates to the County Council to include 1) the number and monetary amount of scholarships awarded; 2) the geographic distribution of the awardees; 3) the distribution of income levels of the awardees; 4) the fields, degrees or certifications being pursued by the awardess; 5) the number of new job placements or career advancements among awardees during the time period; 6) a listing of participating employers; and 7) any problems, or signifcant accomplishments of which the Council should be aware.
    7. Restrictions.  The following restrictions apply to Component One of the Program:
      1. When applicable, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  He/she must demonstrate unmet financial need after all federal, state, institutional or other grant and scholarship aid has been applied to the cost of attendance.  County dollars will be awarded as “last dollars in” to reduce remaining unmet financial need.

      2. Scholarship awardees must complete their program, degree or certification within 18 months of receiving an award from Component One.

      3. The Program administrator may give priority to awarding scholarships based on financial need according to its established criteria.

      4. The Program administrator reserves the right to recoup funds from an awardee who fails to complete his/her intended program, degree or certification within the required time period.

  3. Component Two – Post-Secondary College or University Scholarship Program 
    1. Component Two of the Cuyahoga County Educational Assistance Program provides financial assistance for Cuyahoga County residents seeking a postsecondary college or university degree at institutions located within Cuyahoga County.
    2. Individual one (1) year renewable scholarships will be awarded up to an initial maximum of $1,500.00.  If allocated and awarded funds are unexpended due to the ineligibility of a scholarship recipient, the administrator of the Program may use such funds to supplement the next amount of budgeted funds annually designated by County Council for Component Two.

    3. The County Council shall annually designate an amount of the budgeted funds for Component Two.

    4. Initial Eligibility.  Cuyahoga County residents who satisfy all of the following criteria are eligible for Component One scholarships:

      1. They are a graduating high school senior attending one of the high schools served by College Now; and

      2. They have not otherwise been awarded College Now funding; and

      3. They complete the College Now scholarship application; and

      4. They plan to attend a two or four-year college or university; and

      5. They have a GPA of at least 2.5; and

      6. They achieve either a score of 18 or higher on the ACT, or a score of 860 or higher on the critical reading and math test of the SAT; and

      7. They meet College Now’s income criteria (Pell eligibility).

    5. Eligibility for Scholarship Renewal.  The Program administrator shall determine when scholarships are eligible for renewal.

    6. The Program will be administered by College Now Greater Cleveland, a nonprofit organization providing comprehensive college-access services.  The County shall determine annually the administrative fee for program administration. The Program administrator has all of the following responsibilities:

        1. Select scholarship recipients based on the criteria provided in this section; and

        2. Verify continuing eligibility as scholarship recipients progress through their degree program; and

        3. Administer all award payments with postsecondary education institutions; and

        4. Provide all retention services, including mentoring, for all scholarship recipients; and

        5. Report to the Cuyahoga County Council on an annual basis on 1) the number and monetary amount of scholarships awarded, 2) the geographic distribution of the awardees (city of residence and high school attended), 3) a list of postsecondary institutions attended by the scholarship recipients, 4) retention and graduation rates of scholarship recipients, and 5) any highlights or problems of which the Council should be aware.

  4. The Cuyahoga County Council hereby authorizes an alternative procurement process for components of the Cuyahoga County Educational Assistance Program.

(Ordinance Nos. O2014-0007, Enacted 4/22/2014, Effective 4/23/2014; O2013-0011, Enacted 6/11/2013, Effective 6/13/2013; O2012-0007, Enacted 7/10/2012, Effective 7/12/2012 )

Section 804.02:  Cuyahoga County College Savings Account Program

  1. An “eligible student,” as used in Section 804.02 of the Cuyahoga County Code, is a resident of Cuyahoga County who was enrolled as a kindergarten student in Cuyahoga County as of the censuses occurring on October 31, 2013 or October 31, 2014, and who has not opted-out of the College Savings Account Program enacted pursuant to Ordinance No. O2012-0036.
  2. All accounts opened for eligible students shall be closed and the funds deposited by the County shall be returned to the County’s General Fund no later than July 31, 2016, except as otherwise provided herein:
    1. A parent or guardian of an eligible student may request, on or before December 31, 2015, that the County transfer all funds deposited, or scheduled to be deposited in a college savings account maintained by the County to an eligible college savings account created consistent with Chapter 3334 of the Ohio Revised Code and Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. 
    2. Any non-County funds deposited into existing college savings accounts maintained by the County as of the close of business on December 31, 2015 shall be returned to the parent or guardian of the eligible students for which each account was created.
  3. Section 804.02 of this Code shall be repealed in its entirety effective December 31, 2016.
(Ordinance Nos. O2015-0008, Enacted 6/9/2015, Effective 6/10/2015; O2012-0036, Enacted 4/23/2013, Effective 4/25/2013 )