WSR 06-09-088

PROPOSED RULES

HIGHER EDUCATION

COORDINATING BOARD

[ Filed April 19, 2006, 8:03 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 06-06-036.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Chapter 250-20 WAC, State need grant (SNG).

Purpose: Permit the SNG award amount to recognize the higher tuition rate charged to students engaged in the community college applied baccalaureate degree program.

Add a definition of "less-than-halftime" pilot project as authorized in chapter 229, Laws of 2005.

Add former foster youth to the definition of eligible student.

Make technical changes and corrections.

Hearing Location(s): Higher Education Coordinating Board, 917 Lakeridge Way, 3rd Floor Conference Room, Olympia, WA 98502, on May 23, 2006, at 9:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: July 27, 2006.

Submit Written Comments to: Julie Japhet, 917 Lakeridge Way, P.O. Box 43430, Olympia, WA 98504-3430, e-mail juliej@hecb.wa.gov, fax (360) 704-6250.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Karola Longoria by May 9, 2006, (360) 753-7850.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: To amend program rules to match the revised statute that now places a priority on serving former foster youth; to add definition of "less-than-halftime" pilot project, authorized in chapter 229, Laws of 2005; permit SNG award amount to recognize the higher rate charged for applied baccalaureate degree programs at community colleges; and clarify provisions.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: HB 1345 enacted into law in 2005. The proposed rules change would allow students participating in the pilot program to receive grant while enrolled in only four or five credits.

E2SHB enacted in 2005. The change would allow the SNG award for community college students enrolled in applied bachelor's programs to equal the SNG award for student enrolled at the public comprehensive universities.

SHB 1079 enacted in 2005. The change would make former foster youth a priority for SNG awards.

Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 28B.92 RCW.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Higher education coordinating board, public.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Julie Japhet, 917 Lakeridge Way, Olympia, WA 98502, (360) 753-7840.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposed rule affects student participation in the SNG program. The rule does not affect small business in Washington.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. The higher education coordinating board is not named in the RCW.

April 18, 2006

John Klacik, Director

Student Financial Assistance

OTS-8787.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-16-015, filed 7/23/99, effective 8/23/99)

WAC 250-20-011   Student eligibility.   For a student to be eligible for a state need grant he or she must:

(1) Be a "needy student" as determined by the higher education coordinating board in accordance with RCW 28B.10.802. These students must also meet the "income cutoff," be a "former foster youth" or be a "disadvantaged student" ((who has completed a board approved program designed to promote early awareness of, and aspiration to, higher education)).

(2) Be a resident of the state of Washington in accordance with RCW 28B.15.012 (2)(a) through (d).

(3) Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as an undergraduate student at a participating postsecondary institution or be a student under an established program designed to qualify him or her for enrollment as a full-time student at a postsecondary institution in the state of Washington.

(a) For purposes of need grant eligibility, the student must be enrolled, at time of disbursement, in a course load of at least six credits per quarter or semester or, in the case of institutions which do not use credit hours, in a program of at least six hundred clock hours requiring at least twelve clock hours of instruction per week.

(b) A student enrolled less than half time may not receive this grant for the term in question (except as specified in WAC 250-20-021 less-than-half-time pilot project), but is eligible for reinstatement or reapplication for a grant upon return to at least a half-time status. Correspondence courses may not comprise more than one-half of the student's minimum credit load for which aid is being considered.

(c) Have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Equivalent standards include a general education development certificate, a certificate of completion of a home study program recognized by the student's home state. For a student without a high school diploma or its equivalent, he or she must pass a federally recognized ability-to-benefit test as is required for the receipt of federal student aid.

(4) Maintain satisfactory progress as defined in WAC 250-20-021(19).

(5) Not be pursuing a degree in theology.

(6) Not have received a state need grant for more than the equivalent of ten full-time semesters or fifteen full-time quarters or equivalent combination of these two, nor exceed one hundred twenty-five percent of the published length of time of the student's program. A student may not start a new associate degree program as a state need grant recipient until at least five years have elapsed since earning an associate degree as a need grant recipient, except that a student may earn two associate degrees concurrently. A student shall be deemed to have received an associate degree as a state need grant recipient if the student received state need grant payments in more than three quarters, two semesters, or equivalent clock hours while pursuing an associate((s)) degree. Upon receipt of a bachelor's degree or its foreign equivalent, a student is no longer eligible.

(7) Have ((made a bona fide application)) submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to receive consideration for a Pell grant.

(8) Certify that he or she does not owe a refund on a state need grant, a Federal Pell Grant or a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and is not in default on a loan made, insured, or guaranteed under the Federal Family Education Loan Program, the Federal Perkins Loan Program, or the Federal Direct Student Loan Program.

[Statutory Authority: 2813.80 [Chapter 28B.80 RCW]. 99-16-015, 250-20-011, filed 7/23/99, effective 8/23/99. Statutory Authority: Chapter 28B.80 RCW. 95-17-045, 250-20-011, filed 8/11/95, effective 9/11/95; 95-10-007, 250-20-011, filed 4/24/95, effective 5/25/95; 93-08-010, 250-20-011, filed 3/25/93, effective 4/25/93. Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.10.800 - [28B.10.]822. 90-04-067, 250-20-011, filed 2/5/90, effective 7/1/90. Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.10.806. 87-16-046 (Order 2/87, Resolution No. 87-59), 250-20-011, filed 7/29/87. Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.10.822. 82-15-058 (Order 9-82, Resolution No. 82-52), 250-20-011, filed 7/20/82. Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.10.806. 80-12-028 (Order 5-80, Resolution No. 82-4), 250-20-011, filed 8/28/80; 80-05-025 (Order 3-80, Resolution No. 80-56), 250-20-011, filed 4/14/80; 79-11-031 (Order 11-79, Resolution No. 80-18), 250-20-011, filed 10/11/79; 79-07-021 (Order 5-79, Resolution No. 79-33), 250-20-011, filed 6/15/79; Order 2-77, 250-20-011, filed 4/13/77; Order 3-75, 250-20-011, filed 4/25/75; Order 1-75, 250-20-011, filed 3/7/75; Order 1-74, 250-20-011, filed 4/9/74; Order 1-73, 250-20-011, filed 7/2/73.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 95-17-045, filed 8/11/95, effective 9/11/95)

WAC 250-20-013   Institutional eligibility.   (1) For an otherwise eligible student to receive a state need grant, he or she must be enrolled in an eligible program at a postsecondary institution approved by the higher education coordinating board for participation in the state need grant program (except as specified in WAC 250-20-021 less-than-half-time pilot project). To be eligible to participate, a postsecondary institution must:

(a) Be a public university, college, community college, or vocational-technical institute operated by the state of Washington, or any political subdivision thereof, or any other university, college, school or institute in the state of Washington offering instruction beyond the high school level with full institutional accreditation by an accrediting association recognized by rule of the board.

(b) Participate in the federal Title IV student financial aid programs, including, at a minimum, the Federal Pell Grant program.

(2) In addition, a for-profit institution must:

(a) Be certified for participation in the federal Title IV student financial aid programs. A for-profit institution that is provisionally certified for participation in the federal Title IV student financial aid programs due to its failure to meet the factors of administrative capability or financial responsibility as stated in federal regulations, or whose participation has been limited or suspended, is not eligible to participate in the state need grant program until its full eligibility has been reinstated.

(b) Demonstrate to the satisfaction of the board that it is capable of properly administering the state need grant program. In making a determination of administrative capability, the board will consider such factors as the adequacy of staffing levels, staff training and experience in administering student financial aid programs, standards of administrative capability specified for purposes of federal Title IV program eligibility, its student withdrawal rate, its federal student loan cohort default rate, and such other factors as are reasonable. In determining the administrative capability of participating institutions, the board will also consider the institution's compliance with state need grant program regulations and guidelines.

(c) Demonstrate to the satisfaction of the board that it has the financial resources to provide the services described in its official publications and statements, provide the administrative resources necessary to comply with program requirements, and that it meets the financial responsibility standards for participation in the federal Title IV programs.

(d) Renew its eligibility each year under these standards.

(3) Nothing in this section shall prevent the board, in the exercise of its sound discretion, from denying eligibility or terminating the participation of an institution which the board determines is unable to properly administer the program or to provide advertised services to its students.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 28B.80 RCW. 95-17-045, 250-20-013, filed 8/11/95, effective 9/11/95.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-24-041, filed 12/2/02, effective 1/2/03)

WAC 250-20-021   Program definitions.   (1) The term "needy student" shall mean a post-high school student of an institution of postsecondary education who demonstrates to the higher education coordinating board the financial inability, either parental, familial, or personal, to bear the total cost of education for any semester or quarter. The determination of need shall be made in accordance with federal needs analysis formulas and provisions as recognized and modified by the board.

(2) The term "disadvantaged student" shall mean a student who by reasons of adverse cultural, educational, environmental, experiential, or familial circumstance is unlikely to aspire to, or enroll in, higher education. Generally, this shall mean a dependent student whose parents have not attained a college education and/or whose family income is substantially below the state's median or has participated in a means tested early awareness program designed to qualify him or her for enrollment as a full-time student at a postsecondary institution in the state of Washington.

(3) The term "postsecondary institution" shall mean:

(a) Any public university, college, community college, or vocational-technical institute operated by the state of Washington political subdivision thereof, or any other university, college, school or institute in the state of Washington offering instruction beyond the high school level which is a member institution of an approved accrediting association.

(b) If such institution agrees to participate in the program in accordance with all applicable rules and regulations.

(c) Any institution, branch, extension or facility operating within the state of Washington which is affiliated with an institution operating in another state must be a separately accredited member institution of an approved accrediting association.

(d) The separate accreditation requirement is waived for branch campuses of out-of-state institutions if the branch campus:

(i) Is eligible to participate in federal student aid programs; and

(ii) Has operated as a nonprofit college or university delivering on-site classroom instruction for a minimum of twenty consecutive years within the state of Washington; and

(iii) Has an annual enrollment of at least seven hundred full-time equivalent students.

(4) The term "approved accrediting association" shall mean the following organizations:

(a) Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges;

(b) Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education;

(c) New England Association of Schools and Colleges;

(d) North Central Association of Colleges and Schools;

(e) Southern Association of Colleges and Schools;

(f) Western Association of Schools and Colleges;

(g) Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools;

(h) Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training;

(i) Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology;

(j) Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools;

(k) National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences.

(5) "Washington resident" shall be defined as an individual who satisfies the requirements of RCW 28B.15.012 (2)(a) through (d) and board-adopted rules and regulations pertaining to the determination of residency.

(6) "Dependent student" shall mean any post-high school student who does not qualify as an independent student in accordance with WAC 250-20-021(6).

(7) "Independent student" shall mean any student who qualifies as an independent student for the receipt of federal aid. These qualifications include a student who has either:

(a) Reached his or her twenty-fourth birthday before January 1st of the aid year; or((,))

(b) Is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces; or((,))

(c) Is an orphan or ward of the court; or((,))

(d) Has legal dependents other than a spouse; or((,))

(e) Is a married student or a graduate/professional student; or((,))

(f) Is determined to be independent for the receipt of federal aid on the basis of the professional judgment of the aid administrator.

(8) Definitions of "undergraduate students" will be in accord with definitions adopted for institutional use by the board.

(9) "Student budgets" ((shall)) are determined by institutions and approved by the board. The student budget consists of that amount required to support an individual as a student for nine months and may take into consideration cost factors for maintaining the student's dependents. This should be the amount used to calculate the student's total need for all state and federal funds.

(10) "State need grant cost-of-attendance" is the standard student cost per sector, as developed by the board.

(a) The costs-of-attendance for each sector are calculated by adding together a standard maintenance allowance for books, room, board, transportation and personal items, for all undergraduate students statewide as developed by the Washington Financial Aid Association, and the sector's regular tuition and fees for full-time, resident, undergraduate students.

(b) In no case may the costs-of-attendance exceed the statutory ceiling established by RCW ((28B.10.808)) 28B.92.060(4). The ceiling is calculated by adding together the same standard maintenance allowance used in determining the state need grant cost-of-attendance, plus the regular tuition and fees charged for a full-time resident undergraduate student at a research university, plus the current average state appropriation per student for operating expenses in all public institutions.

(c) For example, in the 1992-93 academic year, the value of the statutory ceiling is $13,783. This value is composed of the Washington Financial Aid Association's maintenance budget of $6,964, plus the regular tuition and fees charged for a resident undergraduate student at a research university of $2,274, plus the current average state appropriation per student for operating expenses in all public institutions of $4,545.

(d) The value of each element used in the construction of the statutory ceiling will be updated annually.

(e) The higher education coordinating board will consult with appropriate advisory committees and the representative association of student financial aid administrators, to annually review and adjust the costs-of-attendance. The costs-of-attendance for each sector will be published concurrent with annual guidelines for program administration.

(11) "Family income" is the student's family income for the calendar year prior to the academic year for which aid is being requested.

(a) Income means adjusted gross income and nontaxable income as reported on the federally prescribed application for federal student aid.

(b) For the dependent student family income means parental income.

(c) For the independent student family income means the income of the student and any other adult, if any, reported as part of the student's family.

(d) The institutional aid administrator may adjust the family's income up or down to more accurately reflect the family's financial situation during the academic year. When such adjustments are made they shall be consistent with guidelines for making changes to determine federal student aid eligibility.

(12) "Income cutoff" means the amount of family income below which a student is determined to be eligible for the state need grant.

(a) The cutoff shall be expressed as a percent of the state's median family income. The exact point of cutoff shall be determined each year by the board based on available funding.

(b) The board will endeavor to award students, in order, from the lowest income to the highest income, within the limits of available funding.

(c) At the discretion of the institution's aid administrator, a student who is eligible for a state need grant in a given academic year may be deemed eligible for the ensuing academic year if his or her family income increases by no more than three percent, even if the stated median family income cutoff for grant eligibility is lower than that amount.

(13) "Median family income" is the median income for Washington state, adjusted by family size and reported annually in the federal register.

(14) "Base grant" is the state need grant award for each sector before the addition of a dependent care allowance. The base grant per student will be no less than the published base grant in 1998-1999. The base grant may be further adjusted according to the student's family income level and rate of enrollment as described in WAC 250-20-041.

For certain students who have completed board approved early awareness and preparation programs such as ((the Washington National Early Intervention Scholarship Program, its successor program)), GEAR-UP or a Trio program, the base grant will be an amount fixed annually by the board. Generally the base grant, in these cases, will be no less than the current value of the federal PELL grant program.

(15) "Dependent care allowance" is a flat grant amount, to be determined by the board, which is in addition to the eligible student's base grant.

(a) The allowance is awarded to those students who have dependents in need of care. The dependent must be someone (other than a spouse) living with the student.

(b) Care must be that assistance provided to the dependent by someone outside of the student's household and not paid by another agency.

(c) Eligible grant recipients must document their need for the dependent care allowance.

(16) "State need grant award" is the base grant adjusted according to level of family income, plus a dependent care allowance, if applicable.

(17) "Academic year" is that period of time between July 1 and the following June 30 during which a full-time student would normally be expected to complete the equivalent of two semesters or three quarters of instruction.

(18) "Clock hours" means a period of time which is the equivalent of either:

(a) A 50 to 60 minute class, lecture, or recitation((,)); or

(b) A 50 to 60 minute period of faculty-supervised laboratory shop training or internship.

(19) "Gift equity packaging policy" is the institution's policy for assigning gift aid to all needy, eligible students.

(20) "Satisfactory progress" is the student's successful completion of a minimum number of credit or clock hours for each term in which the grant was received. Each school's policy for measuring progress of state need grant recipients must define satisfactory as the student's completion of the minimum number of credit or clock hours for which the aid was disbursed.

(a) The minimum satisfactory progress standard for full-time students is twelve credits per term or 300 clock hours per term. Satisfactory progress for three-quarter time students is nine credits per term or 225 clock hours per term. Satisfactory progress for half-time students is six credits per term or 150 clock hours per term.

(b) Each school's policy must deny further disbursements of the need grant at the conclusion of any term in which he or she fails to complete at least one-half of the minimum number of credits or clock hours for which the aid was disbursed or otherwise fails to fulfill the conditions of the institution's satisfactory progress policy.

(c) The school may make disbursements to a student who is in a probationary status. "Probation" is defined as completion of at least one-half, but less than all of the minimum number of credits for which the aid was calculated and disbursed. The school must have a probation policy, approved by the board, which limits the number of terms in which a student may receive the need grant while in a probationary status.

(d) The school's aid administrator may at any time, using professional judgment exercised on a case-by-case basis, reinstate a student back into a satisfactory progress status, in response to an individual student's extenuating circumstances.

(21) The term "full institutional accreditation" shall mean the status of public recognition that an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education grants to an educational institution that meets the agency's established standards and requirements. Institutional accreditation applies to the entire institution, indicating that each of an institution's parts is contributing to the achievement of the institution's objectives.

(22) The term "eligible program" for a public or private nonprofit educational institution, shall mean an associate or baccalaureate degree program; at least a two-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor's degree, or at least a one-year educational program that leads to a degree or certificate and prepares the student for gainful employment in a recognized occupation. The term "eligible program" for a for-profit or a postsecondary vocational institution shall mean a program which provides at least a 15-week undergraduate program of 600 clock hours, 16 semester hours, or 24 quarter hours. The program may admit students without an associate degree or equivalent. The term "eligible program" for a for-profit or a postsecondary vocational institution may also be a program that provides at least a 10-week program of 300 clock hours, 8 semester hours, or 12 quarter hours. A program in this category must be an undergraduate program that admits only students with an associate degree or equivalent. To be an "eligible program," a program must be encompassed within the institution's accreditation and be an eligible program for purposes of the federal Title IV student financial aid programs.

(23) The three "public sectors of higher education" are the research universities, comprehensive universities, and the community and technical colleges.

(24) A "for-profit institution" is a postsecondary educational institution other than a public or private nonprofit institution which provides training for gainful employment in a recognized profession.

(25) A "postsecondary vocational institution" is a public or private nonprofit institution which provides training for gainful employment in a recognized profession.

(26) The "less-than-half-time pilot project" is defined as follows:

(a) The pilot project is authorized for 2005-2007 in chapter 299, Laws of 2005 and is meant to test the feasibility of providing state need grant awards to students who enroll in four or five credits.

(b) The board shall select up to ten schools to participate in the pilot project.

(c) All rules and guidelines that govern student and school participation in the state need grant program shall apply to pilot project except the following:

(i) The student may enroll for four or five credits per term.

(ii) The grant award is equal to one-quarter of the regular base grant amount.

(iii) Students otherwise enrolled in credit bearing coursework may receive the grant for up to one academic year before being accepted into a program that leads to a degree or certificate.

(27) The term "former foster youth" means a person who is at least eighteen years of age, but no more than twenty-four years of age, who was a dependent of the department of social and health services at the time he or she attained the age of eighteen.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 28B.80 RCW and RCW 28B.10.822. 02-24-041, 250-20-021, filed 12/2/02, effective 1/2/03. Statutory Authority: 2813.80 [Chapter 28B.80 RCW]. 99-16-015, 250-20-021, filed 7/23/99, effective 8/23/99. Statutory Authority: Chapter 28B.80 RCW. 96-18-024, 250-20-021, filed 8/27/96, effective 9/27/96; 96-04-019, 250-20-021, filed 1/30/96, effective 3/1/96; 95-17-045, 250-20-021, filed 8/11/95, effective 9/11/95; 95-10-007, 250-20-021, filed 4/24/95, effective 5/25/95; 93-08-010, 250-20-021, filed 3/25/93, effective 4/25/93. Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.10.800 through 28B.10.822. 92-11-022, 250-20-021, filed 5/13/92, effective 6/13/92; 90-04-067, 250-20-021, filed 2/5/90, effective 7/1/90. Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.10.806. 88-10-001 (Order 2/88, Resolution No. 88-11), 250-20-021, filed 4/21/88; 87-16-046 (Order 2/87, Resolution No. 87-59), 250-20-021, filed 7/29/87; 86-12-077 (Order 5/86), 250-20-021, filed 6/4/86. Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.10.822. 82-15-058 (Order 9-82, Resolution No. 82-52), 250-20-021, filed 7/20/82. Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.10.806. 81-13-038 (Order 2/81, Resolution No. 81-67), 250-20-021, filed 6/16/81; 80-05-025 (Order 3-80, Resolution No. 80-56), 250-20-021, filed 4/14/80; 79-11-031 (Order 11-79, Resolution No. 80-18), 250-20-021, filed 10/11/79; 79-07-021 (Order 5-79, Resolution No. 79-33), 250-20-021, filed 6/15/79; 78-05-063 (Order 2-78), 250-20-021, filed 4/27/78, effective 6/1/78; Order 2-77, 250-20-021, filed 4/13/77; Order 3-75, 250-20-021, filed 4/25/75; Order 1-75, 250-20-021, filed 3/7/75; Order 1-74, 250-20-021, filed 4/9/74; Order 1-73, 250-20-021, filed 7/2/73.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office