(a) Statement of purpose
It is the purpose of this section to encourage the establishment of partnerships between State governments, universities, community colleges, and businesses to support scholarships for talented socially and economically disadvantaged students from eligible countries in the Caribbean and Central America to study in the United States in order to–
(1) improve the diversity and quality of educational opportunities for such students;
(2) assist the development efforts of eligible countries by providing training and educational assistance to persons who can help address the social and economic needs of these countries;
(3) expand opportunities for cross-cultural studies and exchanges and improve the exchange of understanding and principles of democracy;
(4) promote positive and productive relationships between the United States and its neighbor countries in the Caribbean and Central American regions;
(5) give added visibility and focus to the “scholarship diplomacy” efforts of the United States Government by leveraging the monies available for this purpose through the development of partnerships among Federal, State, and local governments and the business and academic communities; and
(6) promote community involvement with the scholarship program as a tool for broadening and strengthening the “American experience” for foreign students.
(b) Establishment of scholarship program
The Administrator of the Agency for International Development shall establish and administer a program of scholarship assistance, in cooperation with State governments, universities, community colleges, and businesses, to provide scholarships to enable socially and economically disadvantaged students from eligible countries in the Caribbean and Central America to study in the United States.
(c) Grants to States
In carrying out this section, the Administrator may make grants to States to provide scholarship assistance for undergraduate degree programs and for training programs of one year or longer in study areas related to the critical development needs of the students’ respective countries.
(d) Agreement with States
The Administrator and each participating State shall agree on a program regarding the educational opportunities available within the State, the selection and assignment of scholarship recipients, and related issues. To the maximum extent practicable, each State shall be given flexibility in designing its program.
(e) Federal share
The Federal share for each year for which a State receives payments under this section shall be not less than 50 percent.
(f) Non-Federal share
The non-Federal share of payments under this section may be in cash, including the waiver of tuition or the offering of in-State tuition or housing waivers or subsidies, or in-kind fairly evaluated, including the provision of books or supplies.
(g) Forgiveness of scholarship assistance
The obligation of any recipient to reimburse any entity for any or all scholarship assistance provided under this section shall be forgiven upon the recipient’s prompt return to his or her country of domicile for a period which is at least one year longer than the period spent studying in the United States with scholarship assistance.(h) Private sector participationTo the maximum extent practicable, each participating State shall enlist the assistance of the private sector to enable the State to meet the non-Federal share of payments under this section. Wherever appropriate, each participating State shall encourage the private sector to offer internships or other opportunities consistent with the purposes of this section to students receiving scholarships under this section.(i) FundingAny funds used in carrying out this section shall be derived from funds allocated for Latin American and Caribbean regional programs under chapter 4 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2346 and following; relating to the economic support fund).(j) DefinitionsAs used in this section–(1) The term “eligible country” means any country–(A) which is receiving assistance under chapter 1 of part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151 and following; relating to development assistance) or chapter 4 of part II of that Act (22 U.S.C. 2346 and following; relating to the economic support fund); and(B) which is designated by the President as a beneficiary country pursuant to the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act [19 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.].
(2) The term “State” means each of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.