28B.118.005  <<  28B.118.010 >>   28B.118.020

Program design and student eligibility.

*** CHANGE IN 2019 *** (SEE 2158-S2.SL) ***
*** CHANGE IN 2019 *** (SEE 1311-S2.SL) ***
The office of student financial assistance shall design the Washington college bound scholarship program in accordance with this section and in alignment with the state need grant program in chapter 28B.92 RCW unless otherwise provided in this section.
(1) "Eligible students" are those students who:
(a) Qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. If a student qualifies in the seventh grade, the student remains eligible even if the student does not receive free or reduced-price lunches thereafter;
(b) Are dependent pursuant to chapter 13.34 RCW and:
(i) In grade seven through twelve; or
(ii) Are between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one and have not graduated from high school; or
(c) Were dependent pursuant to chapter 13.34 RCW and were adopted between the ages of fourteen and eighteen with a negotiated adoption agreement that includes continued eligibility for the Washington state college bound scholarship program pursuant to RCW 74.13A.025.
(2) Eligible students and the students' parents or guardians shall be notified of the student's eligibility for the Washington college bound scholarship program beginning in the student's seventh grade year. Students and the students' parents or guardians shall also be notified of the requirements for award of the scholarship.
(3)(a) To be eligible for a Washington college bound scholarship, a student eligible under subsection (1)(a) of this section must sign a pledge during seventh or eighth grade that includes a commitment to graduate from high school with at least a C average and with no felony convictions. The pledge must be witnessed by a parent or guardian and forwarded to the office of student financial assistance by mail or electronically, as indicated on the pledge form.
(b)(i) Beginning in the 2018-19 academic year, the office of student financial assistance shall make multiple attempts to secure the signature of the student's parent or guardian for the purpose of witnessing the pledge.
(ii) If the signature of the student's parent or guardian is not obtained, the office of student financial assistance may partner with the school counselor or administrator to secure the parent's or guardian's signature to witness the pledge. The school counselor or administrator shall make multiple attempts via all phone numbers, email addresses, and mailing addresses on record to secure the parent's or guardian's signature. All attempts to contact the parent or guardian must be documented and maintained in the student's official file.
(iii) If a parent's or guardian's signature is still not obtained, the school counselor or administrator shall indicate to the office of student financial assistance the nature of the unsuccessful efforts to contact the student's parent or guardian and the reasons the signature is not available. Then the school counselor or administrator may witness the pledge unless the parent or guardian has indicated that he or she does not wish for the student to participate in the program.
(c) A student eligible under subsection (1)(b) of this section shall be automatically enrolled, with no action necessary by the student or the student's family, and the enrollment form must be forwarded by the department of social and health services to the office of student financial assistance by mail or electronically, as indicated on the form.
(4)(a) Scholarships shall be awarded to eligible students graduating from public high schools, approved private high schools under chapter 28A.195 RCW, or who received home-based instruction under chapter 28A.200 RCW.
(b)(i) To receive the Washington college bound scholarship, a student must graduate with at least a "C" average from a public high school or an approved private high school under chapter 28A.195 RCW in Washington or have received home-based instruction under chapter 28A.200 RCW, must have no felony convictions, and must be a resident student as defined in RCW 28B.15.012(2) (a) through (e). A student who is eligible to receive the Washington college bound scholarship because the student is a resident student under RCW 28B.15.012(2)(e) must provide the institution, as defined in RCW 28B.15.012, an affidavit indicating that the individual will file an application to become a permanent resident at the earliest opportunity the individual is eligible to do so and a willingness to engage in any other activities necessary to acquire citizenship, including but not limited to citizenship or civics review courses.
(ii) For eligible children as defined in subsection (1)(b) and (c) of this section, to receive the Washington college bound scholarship, a student must have received a high school equivalency certificate as provided in RCW 28B.50.536 or have graduated with at least a "C" average from a public high school or an approved private high school under chapter 28A.195 RCW in Washington or have received home-based instruction under chapter 28A.200 RCW, must have no felony convictions, and must be a resident student as defined in RCW 28B.15.012(2) (a) through (e).
For a student who does not meet the "C" average requirement, and who completes fewer than two quarters in the running start program, under chapter 28A.600 RCW, the student's first quarter of running start course grades must be excluded from the student's overall grade point average for purposes of determining their eligibility to receive the scholarship.
(5) A student's family income will be assessed upon graduation before awarding the scholarship.
(6) If at graduation from high school the student's family income does not exceed sixty-five percent of the state median family income, scholarship award amounts shall be as provided in this section.
(a) For students attending two or four-year institutions of higher education as defined in RCW 28B.10.016, the value of the award shall be (i) the difference between the student's tuition and required fees, less the value of any state-funded grant, scholarship, or waiver assistance the student receives; (ii) plus five hundred dollars for books and materials.
(b) For students attending private four-year institutions of higher education in Washington, the award amount shall be the representative average of awards granted to students in public research universities in Washington or the representative average of awards granted to students in public research universities in Washington in the 2014-15 academic year, whichever is greater.
(c) For students attending private vocational schools in Washington, the award amount shall be the representative average of awards granted to students in public community and technical colleges in Washington or the representative average of awards granted to students in public community and technical colleges in Washington in the 2014-15 academic year, whichever is greater.
(7) Recipients may receive no more than four full-time years' worth of scholarship awards.
(8) Institutions of higher education shall award the student all need-based and merit-based financial aid for which the student would otherwise qualify. The Washington college bound scholarship is intended to replace unmet need, loans, and, at the student's option, work-study award before any other grants or scholarships are reduced.
(9) The first scholarships shall be awarded to students graduating in 2012.
(10) The state of Washington retains legal ownership of tuition units awarded as scholarships under this chapter until the tuition units are redeemed. These tuition units shall remain separately held from any tuition units owned under chapter 28B.95 RCW by a Washington college bound scholarship recipient.
(11) The scholarship award must be used within five years of receipt. Any unused scholarship tuition units revert to the Washington college bound scholarship account.
(12) Should the recipient terminate his or her enrollment for any reason during the academic year, the unused portion of the scholarship tuition units shall revert to the Washington college bound scholarship account.

NOTES:

Reviser's note: This section was amended by 2018 c 12 § 1 and by 2018 c 204 § 1, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1).
ConstructionCompetitive procurement process and contract provisionsConflict with federal requirements and Indian Child Welfare Act of 19782017 3rd sp.s. c 20: See notes following RCW 74.13.270.
Short title2015 3rd sp.s. c 36: See note following RCW 28B.15.031.
Findings2015 c 244: "The legislature finds that the college bound scholarship program has demonstrated that an early promise of financial aid results in increased high school graduation rates for low-income students. The promise of state financial aid to students from low-income families who work to graduate with sufficient grades and no felony convictions provides them with a path toward greater educational attainment and upward mobility. The scholarship program has the potential to move Washington toward its long-term goal of a better trained and educated workforce. Among the first two cohorts, college bound enrollees were fifteen percent and nineteen percent more likely to graduate from high school in 2012 and 2013 compared to low-income peers who were not part of the program.
The legislature also finds that a comprehensive review of the college bound scholarship program in 2014 resulted in unanimous recommendations to improve and enhance certain components of the program, including data collection, outreach, and program outcomes." [ 2015 c 244 § 1.]
Effective date2012 c 229 §§ 101, 117, 401, 402, 501 through 594, 601 through 609, 701 through 708, 801 through 821, 902, and 904: See note following RCW 28B.77.005.
Legislative recommendation2012 c 163: "The legislature strongly recommends that the entities with which the department of social and health services contracts or collaborates to provide educational support services and educational outcomes for students who are dependent under chapter 13.34 RCW and the private agency under contract with the *higher education coordinating board or its successor to perform outreach for the passport to college promise program under chapter 28B.117 RCW and the college bound scholarship program under chapter 28B.118 RCW explore models for harnessing technology to keep in constant touch with the students they serve and keep these students engaged." [ 2012 c 163 § 12.]
*Reviser's note: The higher education coordinating board was abolished by 2011 1st sp.s. c 11 § 301, effective July 1, 2012.
FindingsEffective date2012 c 163: See notes following RCW 28B.117.010.
Effective date2011 1st sp.s. c 11 §§ 101-103, 106-202, 204-244, and 301: See note following RCW 28B.76.020.
Intent2011 1st sp.s. c 11: See note following RCW 28B.76.020.
Findings2008 c 321: See note following RCW 28A.655.061.
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