A. Each public institution of higher education shall establish an appeals process for those students who are aggrieved by decisions regarding eligibility for in-state or reduced rate tuition charges pursuant to this chapter. The Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) shall not apply to these administrative reviews.
B. Each appeals process shall include an initial determination, an intermediate review of the initial determination, and a final administrative review. The final administrative decision shall be in writing. A copy of this decision shall be sent to the student. Either the intermediate review or the final administrative review shall be conducted by an appeals committee consisting of an odd number of members. No individual who serves at one level of this appeals process is eligible to serve at any other level of this appeals process. All such due process procedures shall be in writing and shall include time limitations in order to provide for orderly and timely resolutions of all disputes.
C. Any party aggrieved by a final administrative decision has the right to review in the circuit court for the jurisdiction in which the relevant institution is located. A petition for review of the final administrative decision shall be filed within 30 days of receiving the written decision. In any such action, the institution shall forward the record to the court, whose function is only to determine whether the decision reached by the institution could reasonably be said, on the basis of the record, not to be arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise contrary to law.
D. To ensure the application of uniform criteria in administering this section and determining eligibility for in-state tuition charges, the Council shall issue and revise domicile guidelines to be incorporated by all public institutions of higher education in their admissions applications. Such guidelines are not subject to the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.). The Council shall consult with the Office of the Attorney General and provide opportunity for public comment prior to issuing any such guidelines.
E. An advisory committee composed of at least 10 representatives of public institutions of higher education and private institutions of higher education shall be appointed by the Council each year to cooperate with the Council in developing the guidelines for determining eligibility or revisions of such guidelines.
1996, cc. 931, 981, § 23-7.4:3; 2016, c. 588.