A proposal approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia would allow community college students to complete their four-year university degree at two-year college prices.

The council on Tuesday backed a recommendation from the Virginia Community College System.

The proposal would expand an existing grant program to cover the difference between two-year tuition with that of a public four-year school.

Students transferring to a private, nonprofit school would receive an award equal to the average charge of public institutions.

The proposal is estimated to cost an additional $8.8 million in the 2015 fiscal year and $10 million the following year.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports ( that the recommendation will be forwarded to Gov. Bob McDonnell, who will introduce his budget to the General Assembly in December.