HB 1278

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As Reported by Senate Committee On:

Higher Education & Workforce Development, April 2, 2019

Title: An act relating to room and board for college bound scholarship students.

Brief Description: Concerning room and board for college bound scholarship students.

Sponsors: Representatives Hudgins, Valdez, Sells, Bergquist, Appleton, Slatter, Wylie, Santos and Doglio.

Brief History: Passed House: 3/06/19, 59-37.

Committee Activity: Higher Education & Workforce Development: 3/19/19, 4/02/19 [DP-WM, w/oRec].

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Requires the public higher education institutions that offer on-campus housing options to provide a waiver for one year of on-campus housing, on a space available basis, to first-year College Bound Scholarship students who are homeless.


Majority Report: Do pass and be referred to Committee on Ways & Means.

Signed by Senators Palumbo, Chair; Randall, Vice Chair; Liias and Wellman.

Minority Report: That it be referred without recommendation.

Signed by Senators Holy, Ranking Member; Brown.

Staff: Alicia Kinne-Clawson (786-7407)

Background: College Bound Scholarship Program. The College Bound Scholarship (CBS) program was established in 2007 to provide guaranteed four-year tuition to students from low-income families. The first CBS awards were granted to the graduating high school class of 2012. Eligible students for the CBS include those who:

In the seventh-grade, students become eligible for the CBS and are notified of their eligibility and the requirements for award of the scholarship. To be eligible to receive the CBS, a student must sign a pledge during the seventh- or eighth-grade that includes a commitment to graduate from high school with at least a C average and no felony convictions.

To receive the CBS, the student must graduate high school having fulfilled the CBS pledge requirements. Upon graduation, the student's family income will be assessed, and if it does not exceed 65 percent of the state median family income, the student will receive a scholarship.

CBS recipients attending public two-year or four-year higher education institutions receive an award to cover the cost of tuition and fees, minus any state-funded grant, scholarship, or waiver assistance, plus $500 for books and materials. CBS recipients attending private institutions receive an award based on the average award students at the corresponding public institution would receive. The student must maintain satisfactory academic progress and may not receive the scholarship for more than four full-time years.

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act. The federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act) requires local school districts to identify homeless students and provide them with support. Under the McKinney-Vento Act homeless children are defined as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence." The McKinney-Vento Act provides examples of children who would fall under this definition, including children and youth who are:

Summary of Bill: Public higher education institutions that offer on-campus housing options must provide a one-year waiver for on-campus housing to eligible students on a space available basis.

Eligible students are first-year CBS recipients who, upon graduation from high school, are considered homeless under the McKinney-Vento Act. The student must inform the institution of their eligibility for the waiver when accepting admittance for the fall term in order to receive the waiver.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: Western is consistently full in all residence halls, especially at the beginning of the academic year. We think this bill is a big step forward for students who are falling through the cracks and these are students we should be helping. We would love to see state funds going towards helping institutions recoup these costs. The one-year buffer in this bill will help students establish stability for future years.

OTHER: Our colleges and universities care deeply about students experiencing homelessness. When available, our colleges provide supports to students that may include campus housing, medical care, counseling services, food, or emergency grants. Our concern with this bill is that it regulates a stand alone, self-supporting enterprise of campus housing. No state funds go towards constructing or maintaining campus housing and we are concerned that any shifts in this model may jeopardize the sustainability of it.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Henry Pollet, Associated Students of Western Washington University.

OTHER: Cody Eccles, Council of Presidents.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.