13B.08.03.11

.11 Service Obligation Deferment.

A. A recipient may request that their service obligation be deferred during the time that the recipient is:

(1) Enrolled in a full-time (12 or more credits per semester) or part-time (6—11 credits per semester) undergraduate course of study;

(2) Enrolled in a full-time (9 or more credits per semester) or part-time (6—8 credits per semester) graduate course of study at an institution of higher education in a degree granting program;

(3) On a temporary leave of absence from required employment as a career or volunteer firefighter or ambulance or rescue squad member approved by the employer for a period not to exceed 12 months;

(4) Temporarily disabled in a manner that substantially impairs the recipientís ability to perform the service obligation, for a period not to exceed 3 years;

(5) Unable to secure employment for a period not to exceed 12 months because they must care for a spouse or child who is disabled;

(6) Assigned military duty outside of the State, not to exceed 3 years without filing an appeal; or

(7) Married to a spouse assigned military duty outside of the State, not to exceed 3 years without filing an appeal.

B. A recipientís deferment request shall include satisfactory supporting documentation. Such documentation shall consist of the following, as appropriate:

(1) Certification by the office of the registrar that the recipient has returned to a full-time or part-time course of study at an eligible institution of higher education;

(2) Certification by the employer that the recipient is on an approved temporary leave of absence;

(3) A sworn affidavit by a qualified physician that the recipient is temporarily disabled in a manner that substantially impairs the recipientís ability to perform the service obligation;

(4) A sworn affidavit by a qualified physician that the recipient is unable to find employment because they must care for a spouse or child who is disabled;

(5) A certified statement including a list of possible eligible employers, with their addresses and telephone numbers, to which application has been made if the recipient has been unable to find full-time employment as required as a career or volunteer firefighter or ambulance or rescue squad member; or

(6) A copy of military orders.

C. The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) shall review all documentation and determine if the deferment conditions have been met and, if so, determine the deferment period.

D. Before a deferment based on an inability to find employment or volunteer service is granted, OSFA shall review the recipientís documentation and other available information and determine if the recipient has sought employment aggressively in all regions of the State in which opportunities exist.

E. A recipient need not make scholarship repayments and interest does not accrue during the period of an approved deferment.

F. The OSFA shall, on a case-by-case basis, review an appeal from a recipient assigned military duty outside the State, or from a recipient married to an individual assigned military duty outside the State, that exceeds the 3-year deferral limit. An appeal must be in writing and include a copy of the military orders.