Text: S.2164 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (10/15/2007)


110th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 2164


To establish a Science and Technology Scholarship Program to award scholarships to recruit and prepare students for careers in the National Weather Service and in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration marine research, atmospheric research, and satellite programs and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

October 15, 2007

Mr. Inhofe (for himself and Mr. Cochran) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation


A BILL

To establish a Science and Technology Scholarship Program to award scholarships to recruit and prepare students for careers in the National Weather Service and in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration marine research, atmospheric research, and satellite programs and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “NOAA Scholarship Act of 2007”.

SEC. 2. Science and technology scholarship program.

(a) Establishment of program.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator is authorized to establish a Science and Technology Scholarship Program to award scholarships to individuals to recruit and prepare students for careers in the National Weather Service and in Administration marine research, atmospheric research, and satellite programs.

(2) COMPETITIVE PROCESS.—Individuals shall be selected to receive scholarships under the scholarship program through a competitive process primarily on the basis of academic merit, with consideration given to financial need and the goal of promoting the participation of individuals described in section 33 or 34 of the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885a or 1885b) in the scholarship program.

(3) SERVICE AGREEMENTS.—To carry out the scholarship program, the Administrator shall enter into contractual agreements with individuals selected under paragraph (2) under which the individuals agree to serve as full-time employees of the Administration, for the period described in subsection (f)(1), in positions needed by the Administration in fields described in paragraph (1) and for which the individuals are qualified, in exchange for receiving a scholarship.

(b) Scholarship eligibility.—In order to be eligible to participate in the scholarship program, an individual shall—

(1) be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a full-time student at an institution of higher education in an academic program or field of study described in the list made available under subsection (d);

(2) be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States; and

(3) at the time of the initial scholarship award, not be an employee (as that term is defined in section 2105 of title 5, United States Code) of the United States.

(c) Application required.—An individual seeking a scholarship under the scholarship program shall submit an application to the Administrator at such time, in such manner, and containing such information, agreements, or assurances as the Administrator may require to carry out this section.

(d) Eligible academic programs.—The Administrator shall make publicly available a list of academic programs and fields of study for which scholarships may be utilized in fields described in subsection (a)(1), and shall update the list as necessary.

(e) Scholarship requirement.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator may provide a scholarship under the scholarship program for an academic year if the individual applying for the scholarship has submitted to the Administrator, as part of the application required under subsection (c), a proposed academic program leading to a degree in a program or field of study on the list made available under subsection (d).

(2) DURATION OF ELIGIBILITY.—An individual may not receive a scholarship under the scholarship program for more than 4 academic years, unless the Administrator grants a waiver.

(3) SCHOLARSHIP AMOUNT.—The dollar amount of a scholarship under the scholarship program for an academic year shall be determined under regulations issued by the Administrator, but may not exceed the cost of attendance, as described in paragraph (4).

(4) AUTHORIZED USES.—A scholarship provided under the scholarship program may be expended for tuition, fees, and other authorized expenses as established by the Administrator by regulation.

(5) CONTRACTS REGARDING DIRECT PAYMENTS TO INSTITUTIONS.—The Administrator may enter into a contractual agreement with an institution of higher education under which the amounts provided for a scholarship under this section for tuition, fees, and other authorized expenses are paid directly to the institution with respect to which the scholarship is provided.

(f) Period of obligated service.—

(1) DURATION OF SERVICE.—Except as provided in subsection (h)(2), the period of service for which an individual shall be obligated to serve as an employee of the Administration shall be 24 months for each academic year for which a scholarship under the scholarship program is provided.

(2) SCHEDULE FOR SERVICE.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), obligated service under paragraph (1) shall begin not later than 60 days after the individual obtains the educational degree for which the scholarship was provided.

(B) DEFERRAL.—The Administrator may defer the obligation of an individual to provide a period of service under paragraph (1) if the Administrator determines that such a deferral is appropriate. The Administrator shall prescribe the terms and conditions under which a service obligation may be deferred through regulation.

(g) Penalties for breach of scholarship agreement.—

(1) FAILURE TO COMPLETE ACADEMIC TRAINING.—Scholarship recipients who fail to maintain a high level of academic standing, as defined by the Administrator by regulation, who are dismissed from their educational institutions for disciplinary reasons, or who voluntarily terminate academic training before graduation from the educational program for which the scholarship was awarded, shall be in breach of their contractual agreement and, in lieu of any service obligation arising under such agreement, shall be liable to the United States for repayment not later than 1 year after the date of default of all scholarship funds paid to them and to the institution of higher education on their behalf under the agreement, except as provided in subsection (h)(2). The repayment period may be extended by the Administrator when determined to be necessary, as established by regulation.

(2) FAILURE TO BEGIN OR COMPLETE THE SERVICE OBLIGATION OR MEET THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF DEFERMENT.—Except as provided in subsection (h), an individual who receives a scholarship under the scholarship program and who, for any reason, fails to begin or complete a service obligation under this section after completion of academic training, or fails to comply with the terms and conditions of deferment established by the Administrator pursuant to subsection (f)(2)(B), shall be in breach of the contractual agreement. Such an individual shall be liable to the United States for an amount equal to—

(A) the total amount received by the individual under the scholarship program; plus

(B) the amount of interest that would have been earned on such amount, at the maximum legal prevailing rate as determined by the Treasurer of the United States, during the period between the date the amount was awarded to the individual and the date of the breach of the agreement.

(h) Waiver or suspension of obligation.—

(1) DEATH OF INDIVIDUAL.—Any obligation of an individual incurred under the scholarship program (or a contractual agreement thereunder) for service or payment shall be canceled upon the death of the individual.

(2) IMPOSSIBILITY OR EXTREME HARDSHIP.—The Administrator shall by regulation provide for the partial or total waiver or suspension of any obligation of service or payment incurred by an individual under the scholarship program (or a contractual agreement thereunder) whenever compliance by the individual is impossible or would involve extreme hardship to the individual, or if enforcement of such obligation with respect to the individual would be contrary to the best interests of the United States.

SEC. 3. Definitions.

In this Act:

(a) Administration.—The term “Administration” means the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

(b) Administrator.—The term “Administrator” means the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere of the Department of Commerce.

(c) Cost of attendance.—The term “cost of attendance” has the meaning given that term in section 472 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1087ll).

(d) Institution of higher education.—The term “institution of higher education” has the meaning given that term in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)).

(e) Scholarship program.—The term “scholarship program” means the Science and Technology Scholarship Program established under section 2(a).


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