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.
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.
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.
The Federal share for each year for which a State receives payments under this section shall be not less than 50 percent.
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.
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.
To 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.