Date of Adoption: March 30, 2000.
Purpose: Implements the Washington promise scholarship program as authorized by the 1999 - 2000 Biennial Budget Act, section 611(6), chapter 309, Laws of 1999.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: New rules chapter 250-80 WAC.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 28B.80 RCW and section 611(6), chapter 309, Laws of 1999.
Adopted under notice filed as WSR 00-01-181 on December 22, 1999.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 10, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0. Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.
March 31, 2000
WASHINGTON PROMISE SCHOLARSHIP RULES
The Washington promise scholarship program recognizes and encourages the aspiration for superior academic achievement of high school students who attend and graduate from Washington high schools. The program offers a two-year scholarship for eligible students that may be used at any accredited institution within the borders of the state.
(1) "Board" means the higher education coordinating board.
(2) "OSPI" means the office of the superintendent of public instruction.
(3) "High school" means a secondary institution in Washington state identified by the office of the superintendent of public instruction as qualified to confer high school diplomas to a graduating senior class.
(4) "Parent(s)" mean the biological or adoptive parent of the student applicant and the spouse of a biological or adoptive parent. In cases of divorce or separation the parent for purposes of reporting income and family size is the biological or adoptive parent who provided more than one-half of the applicant's support in the previous twelve months. The term parent does not include either foster parents or legal guardians.
(5) "Family size" is the number of people for whom the applicant's parent(s) provided more than one-half of the support in the previous twelve months.
(6) "Income," in most cases means the applicant parent's adjusted gross income (AGI) as reported on the previous calendar year's federal tax return. For the independent student, income means the student's adjusted gross income as reported on the previous calendar year's federal tax return.
(7) "Independent student" means a student whose biological parents are both deceased and there is no adoptive parent, or the student is a "ward of the court," or the student has been legally emancipated by court order. The board may also recognize a student as independent due to exceptional circumstances as recognized by the appeal committee.
(8) "Appeals committee" means a committee convened by the board to review petitions and requests by students for consideration of individual exceptional circumstances.
(9) "Median family income (MFI)" means the median income for the state of Washington, by family size, as compiled by the federal Bureau of the Census and reported annually in the Federal Register.
(10) "Income cutoff" means one hundred thirty-five percent of the median family income.
(11) "Academic year" means the fall, winter, and spring quarters or the fall and spring semesters between July 1st and June 30th.
(12) "Eligible student" means a person who:
(a) Graduates from a public or private high school located in the state of Washington; and
(b) Is in the top ten percent of his or her 1999 graduating class; or
(c) Is in the top fifteen percent of his or her 2000 graduating class; and
(d) Has a family income less than one hundred thirty-five percent of the state's median; and
(e) Enrolls at least half time in an eligible postsecondary institution in the state of Washington; and
(f) Is not pursuing a degree in theology.
(13) "Eligible postsecondary institution" means:
(a) A public institution authorized by the Washington legislature and receiving operating support through the state general fund; or
(b) A postsecondary institution, whose campus or branch campus is physically located in the state of Washington, and who is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body. The recognized accrediting bodies are:
(i) The Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges or a similar regional accrediting body as determined by the board;
(ii) The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools;
(iii) The Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training;
(iv) The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology;
(v) The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools;
(vi) The National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences; and
Agrees to administer the program in accordance with the applicable rules and program guidelines.
(14) "Authorized use period" means the period of time the eligible student has to complete using his or her scholarship. The board will determine the authorized use period for each class of graduating high school seniors.
(1) The eligible student will make application directly to the board.
(2) The completed application will include a data sheet, signed certification statement, a copy of the parent's previous calendar year's federal tax return for the purpose of verifying the income, and any other documentation requested by the board in response to missing, incomplete, or unclear information. Student income information will be accepted, in lieu of parental information, when the board recognizes the applicant as being an independent student.
(3) The board will treat all applications in a confidential manner.
(4) Applications will be made available through several means including:
(a) Mailings to public and private high school principals in the state;
(b) Posting on the HECB website (HTTP://WWW.HECB.WA.GOV/);
(c) Direct mailing to students.
(5) The board will annually set a deadline for the receipt of applications from that year's eligible graduating high school seniors and the deadline for renewal applications from eligible students having graduated in prior years.
(6) Applications must be received by the deadline for each graduating class of high school seniors to be considered for payment at any time during the authorized use period.
(1) Recipients include all eligible students who have completed applications prior to the annual deadline, who are verified as having finished in the top ten percent of their senior graduating high school class, and who enroll in an eligible school.
(2) The student who is determined eligible for the first year of scholarship benefits is also presumed eligible for the second year's benefits. The student will not need to provide income information after once establishing his or her eligibility.
(3) Students not meeting the eligibly requirements for the first year of scholarship benefits may reapply for the second year of benefits.
(4) Eligibility determinations made by the appeals committee are final.
(1) The maximum annual authorized award shall not exceed the representative average annual tuition and fees for resident students attending the state's community and technical colleges, as determined by the board.
(2) The actual authorized annual award for each recipient shall be the annual appropriation, as determined by the board to be available for grants, evenly prorated among the eligible students.
(1) Eligible students must enroll on at least a half-time status in order to receive a scholarship disbursement.
(2) Grants to students will be disbursed in equal payments, once per term, across the three quarter or two semester academic year.
(3) State of Washington public colleges and universities may request payment for funds up to the limit of the per term award for each enrolled eligible student. The state public college or university may apply the proceeds of the scholarship to any outstanding debt owed by the student to the institution. The institution must disburse any remainder directly to the eligible student.
(4) Nonstate institutions may request that checks be written to eligible students attending their schools. The board will write individual warrants payable to each eligible student and delivered to the school for disbursement.
(5) The independent university and the private vocational school must disburse the warrant once the student's half-time or greater enrollment has been verified. The school may not withhold or delay disbursement for any reason other than for less than half-time enrollment. The school has thirty days to either disburse the warrant or return it to the board.
(1) Eligible students may renew their award for the second year's benefits, subject to the availability of funding.
(2) The deadline for the return of renewal applications will be set annually by the board.
(3) The board will determine the maximum number of years each class of graduating high school seniors has to complete usage of the scholarship.
(4) For the graduating classes of 1999 and 2000, the authorized use period is limited to two consecutive years following graduation. Students who were not eligible for the first year of benefits, or who did not use the first year of benefits, may reapply for the second year benefits, but may not renew for a third year.
(5) Receipt of the scholarship is dependent upon the availability of funding.
(1) The board will set an annual deadline for the receipt of appeals.
(2) Appeals must be submitted to the board in writing before the application deadline.
(3) The board may use its judgment to except individual students from a program rule or rules based on substantial documented mitigating circumstances.
(1) The Washington promise scholarship account is established in the custody of the state treasurer for the purpose of administering the Washington promise scholarship program.
(2) The annual allotment is to be deposited into the account for the purpose of making commitments to students for future scholarship payments, disbursements of the scholarship awards, and for the administrative expenses of the program, as limited by the board's biennial budget provisos.
(3) All moneys not claimed by students, the refund of tuition and fees, and contributions from nonstate sources are to be deposited into the account and used for future payments.
(1) The higher education coordinating board shall administer the program. The board shall be responsible for:
(a) Collection of student applications;
(b) Determination of student eligibility;
(c) Determination of the eligibility of postsecondary institutions within Washington;
(d) Adjudication of all appeals;
(e) Disbursement of awards; and
(f) Maintenance of records.
(2) The OSPI shall be responsible for:
(a) Certifying the list of qualified high schools in the state of Washington;
(b) Providing guidance to high schools as to how the top ten percent or fifteen percent of each senior graduating class shall be determined;
(c) Specifying the number of students per high school that may be named as comprising the top ten percent or top fifteen percent of the graduating class;
(d) The collection and compilation of the list from each high school of the top ten percent or top fifteen percent of each graduating high school class; and
(e) The delivery of that list to the board.