The money is a "recruitment incentive" though: students must complete service obligations or pay back the entire award amount received.
The obligations include working for two years in underserved, rural areas for some fields of study. Similar commitments are required of every student who receives the assistance. More information about both programs is available from the commission.
The money most certainly comes with strings attached, but Hill and other education officials believe it is a worthwhile incentive for students to thrive in and help West Virginia. When these programs show some success, Hill also think state lawmakers should consider expanding or creating similar programs for other areas of need.
"I think that is a positive thing," Hill said. "If we can find resources to apply to some of these critical need areas, it's going to provide an additional incentive for student who might not have looked at that situation, and build support for communities all across the state."
Last legislative session at least two measures were presented that addressed providing incentives for students who remain in West Virginia. Both were discussed but did not become law.