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R613, Public Safety Officer Career Advancement Reimbursement Program (PSOCAR)

R613-1. Purpose: PSOCAR is a state-funded tuition reimbursement program for certified peace officers enrolled in criminal justice related programs at a credit-granting institution in the Utah System of Higher Education or the Utah System of Technical Colleges (“Institution”).

R613-2. References

2.1. Utah Code §53B-1-102.

2.2. Utah Code §53B-8-112-13.

2.3. Utah Code §63G-4-202.

R613-3. Application Process

3.1. Qualified applicants may be reimbursed up to half the cost of tuition and fees with a maximum of $5,000 per year, subject to funding. If the total applicant awards exceed available funding in any given year, the Board will reduce reimbursement amounts evenly across all qualified applicants, provided that the minimum amounts designated by statute for particular rural counties are first met. A student may participate in PSOCAR for a maximum of eight academic years.

3.2. To qualify, applicants must be:

3.2.1. a certified peace officer, currently employed by a law enforcement agency in Utah;

3.2.2. employed by a law enforcement agency in Utah as a certified peace officer for three consecutive years prior to the completion of the academic year for which he or she is seeking reimbursement;

3.2.3. seeking a post-secondary degree in the area of criminal justice from a credit-granting institution in the Utah System of Higher Education or the Utah System of Technical Colleges; and

3.2.4. employed by a law enforcement agency in Utah as a certified peace officer for one additional year after the completion of that academic year.

3.3. Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority (“UHEAA”) will create and provide an application form (“PSOCAR Application”) for use of qualifying students and the Institution where they are attending. The application will be available at the Utah Board of Higher Education website,  Applicants must complete the entire application and include all required documentation and certifications including,

3.3.1. Employer certification from an authorized representative of each employer for the four year period and

3.3.2. A copy of the tuition payment receipt(s) and transcript(s) with final grades for the enrollment period.

 3.4. In order to participate in the PSOCAR, a student must submit a completed PSOCAR Application to the Institution where he or she is attending by the application deadline set forth in R613-4. The application may be submitted by email, fax, post mail, or hand delivery.

3.5. Eligible Institutions will establish a process for receiving and reviewing PSOCAR Applications. After receiving an application, the Institution will make a preliminary determination as to whether the student qualifies for tuition reimbursement under PSOCAR. The Institution will then forward the application with an explanation of its determination to UHEAA. Institutions will forward all applications to UHEAA no later than 15 days after the application deadline. UHEAA will then make the final determination of each applicant’s eligibility and make the awards as appropriate, subject to funding.

R613-4. Application Deadlines

4.1. The 2017 application will allow for reimbursement to criminal justice students who were enrolled during the 2015-2016 academic year, defined as July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, who meet program requirements.  Application deadlines for subsequent years will retain similar time frames, adjusted for the next year.

4.2. For the first year of the program, qualified applicants may submit applications beginning July 1, 2017, after the post-enrollment work component is complete.  Applicants for subsequent years may begin submitting applications July 1 of the year in which they are applying.

4.3. 2017 applications are due by November 1, 2017 to be considered for reimbursement.

Applications must be postmarked or received by the criminal justice department at the Institution by the application deadline in order to be considered.  The deadline for subsequent years’ applications will be September 1st.  The postmark or received by requirements remain the same.

R613-5. Appeals Process

5.1. Applicants who wish to appeal a reimbursement decision may do so, in writing to the Commissioner of Higher Education or designee.  The applicant’s appeal shall be postmarked within 30 days from the date on which the reimbursement decision was made by UHEAA.

5.2. Applicants shall include all relevant arguments and documentation in their written appeals.

5.3. The Commissioner of Higher Education or designee shall review the appeal and issue a written decision in accordance with the Utah Administrative Procedures Act. The Commissioner’s decision is the final agency action and is subject to judicial review under Part 4 of the Utah Administrative Procedures Act.

5.4. Appeals proceedings under this section are designated as informal pursuant to Utah Code §63G-4-202.

Approved May 19, 2017, amended January 19, 2018