Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 09-16-029.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: College bound scholarship rules, chapter 250-84 WAC.
Hearing Location(s): Higher Education Coordinating Board, 917 Lakeridge Way S.E., Olympia, WA 98502, on April 27, 2010, at 1:00 p.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: July 15, 2010.
Submit Written Comments to: Beth Ahlstrom, 917 Lakeridge Way, P.O. Box 43430, e-mail email@example.com, fax (360) 704-6250, by June 18, 2010.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Kristin Ritter by June 13, 2010, (360) 753-7850.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: Rules are needed to clarify the college bound scholarship statute.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: The rules will address issues such as student eligibility, the application process, awarding of the scholarship, residency requirements, length of time the student may use the scholarship, and deadlines.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 28B.118.060.
Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 28B.118 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: Beth Ahlstrom, 917 Lakeridge Way, Olympia, WA 98502, (360) 596-4808; Implementation and Enforcement: John Klacik, 917 Lakeridge Way, Olympia, WA 98502, (360) 753-7850.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Does not affect small business in Washington.
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328.
March 24, 2010
COLLEGE BOUND SCHOLARSHIP RULES
"C average" means a 2.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
"FAFSA" means Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
"High school graduation" means students must graduate from a public high school, private high school approved under chapter 28A.195 RCW, or receive home based instruction under chapter 28A.200 RCW having met requirements to earn a high school diploma as defined in WAC 180-51-061 or 180-51-066 whichever is applicable.
"Legal guardian" means the person appointed by the court to take legal action on behalf of and be responsible for a minor.
"Median family income" means the median income for Washington state, adjusted by family size and reported annually in the federal register and used that year for the administration of the state need grant program.
"OSPI" means office of superintendent of public instruction.
"Tuition and fees" means tuition, building, operating, service and activity fees as are used for purposes of determining the state need grant award.
(a) Enrolled in the seventh and eighth grade in a public or private school as approved by chapter 28A.195 RCW or home school as defined by chapter 28A.200 RCW; and
(b) Meet the income eligibility as defined in subsection (2) of this section.
Eligible students enrolled in eighth grade in 2007-08 were granted a one-time extension to sign the pledge during the 2008-2009 school year as ninth graders.
(2) Seventh or eighth grade students are eligible to apply if one of these requirements are met:
(a) Family income falls within the monthly or annual standards set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for eligibility for participation in the free or reduced price lunch program (FRPL); or
(b) Student participates in the free or reduced price lunch program; or
(c) Family receives TANF benefits; or
(d) Student is a foster youth.
To determine eligibility in unusual circumstances, or for assistance in defining household size, foster youth status, and other criteria, the board will refer students and families to the district staff who oversee FRPL, and will refer to the USDA FRPL guidelines.
If a student qualifies in the application year, the information is not required to be updated throughout the middle and high school years. However, income will be verified using the FAFSA upon enrollment. See WAC 250-84-060, eligibility for receipt of scholarship.
(3) Eligible applications are considered complete when the signed pledge has been received by the board.
(a) A student must sign a pledge during seventh or eighth grade that commits them to:
(i) Graduate from high school with at least a C average.
(ii) No felony convictions.
(b) The section of the application that indicates eligibility must be completed.
(c) The pledge must be signed by a parent or legal guardian to attest the information is true and accurate.
(d) The signature page for the electronic application, or the signed paper application, must be received by the board.
(e) The deadline for the application is June 30th of the student's eighth grade year.
(i) Electronic applications must be received by June 30th and paper applications must be postmarked by June 30th.
(ii) Missing information for applications received on or before June 30th will be accepted before the student enters the ninth grade year.
Exceptions to the deadline will be made on a case-by-case basis by the board based on extenuating circumstances.
(1) The board shall develop and distribute to all schools with students enrolled in seventh or eighth grade, an application pledge form that can be completed and returned electronically or by mail by the student or the school to the board.
The board will provide K-12 partners, professional associations, and college access programs with program information annually.
(2) The role of OSPI is to notify elementary, middle, and junior high schools about the college bound scholarship program using methods in place for communicating with schools and school districts.
OSPI will encourage schools and districts to target communications to eligible students to the greatest extent possible. Methods may include, but are not limited to, personalized letters, integrating the application into student conferences, or holding sign-up events.
(3) The role of each school district is to notify students, parents, teachers, counselors, and principals about the Washington college bound scholarship program through existing channels.
Notification methods may include, but are not limited to, regular school district and building communications, on-line scholarship bulletins and announcements, notices posted on school walls and bulletin boards, information available in each counselor's office, and school or district scholarship information sessions.
(1) The board shall develop and implement a student application, selection, and notification process for scholarships.
(a) Collect authorization to release information from the student and parent(s)/legal guardian(s).
(b) Develop a web-based application tool and paper application annually.
(c) Notify applicants of missing information in a timely manner.
(d) Notify applicants of their status of complete application in a timely manner.
(e) Treat applications confidentially and hold in a secure environment.
(f) Provide complete applicants with information regarding the disbursement of the scholarship and contact information for the board.
(g) Require applicants to update their address and other contact information with the board.
(2) OSPI will work with the board to develop student tracking procedures.
The board and OSPI will share data regarding the progress of college bound scholarship students such as current school, grade level, grade point average, and expected graduation date on at least an annual basis through high school graduation, following agency protocols for data exchange and security.
(3) The board will track complete applicants and monitor progress toward graduation to determine compliance for awarding of scholarships.
(4) The board will share data and authorized student information from the application for program sign-up efforts and to provide support services to scholars who have already applied.
(a) The board will share information with schools and approved college access providers who will provide services to college bound scholarship students to support their academic success, if the proper release of information has been provided by the student and parent(s)/legal guardian(s).
(b) Aggregate data will be provided periodically and as requested to schools, districts, and partners to improve sign-up efforts.
(1) File a FAFSA (see priority consideration under WAC 250-84-070(1)).
(2) Enroll no later than the fall term of the following academic year as defined by the institution one year after high school graduation.
For example, students graduating by August 2012, have until fall 2013 to begin using the scholarship.
(a) Enroll at an institution participating in the state need grant program within the state of Washington (requirements outlined in WAC 250-20-013).
(b) Students who graduate early will be assumed to enroll with their senior year cohort. However, if they enroll early, the four-year scholarship will need to be used within five years of their initial enrollment date.
(c) Scholarships will not be disbursed prior to fall 2012.
(d) Students will be considered to have enrolled upon earning credit(s) for the term.
(3) Have an annual family income at or below sixty-five percent of the state's median family income as determined by the income reported on the FAFSA and verified by the institution the student is attending. See subsection (4) of this section.
(4) Receive the college bound scholarship for no more than four academic years within a five-year period.
(a) The four-year scholarship may be used during any term during the five-year period, even if enrollment is not continuous.
(b) The scholarship must be used within five academic years of August of the high school graduation year.
For example, students who graduate from high school in 2011-12 must begin enrollment by fall 2013, and have through spring of 2017 to receive the scholarship. However, students who begin enrollment in fall 2012 have until spring of 2016 to receive the scholarship.
(c) Each year the college bound award is limited to one academic year (three quarters, two semesters or equivalent) of payment.
(d) If students do not meet the income requirement in subsection (3) of this section in any year within the five-year period, they may still receive the scholarship for any year(s) they do meet the income requirement. Receipt of the four-year scholarship does not have to be continuous.
(5) Comply with the other eligibility criteria to receive the college bound scholarship as outlined for the state need grant program in WAC 250-20-011 including, but not limited to, requirements related to residency, undergraduate student status, academic program eligibility including the theology prohibition, enrollment level, satisfactory academic progress, and repayments.
The requirements for state need grant that do NOT apply to college bound scholarships are:
(a) The equivalent of five-year limitation under WAC 250-20-011(6) since the college bound scholarship is a four-year award.
(b) Allowable use of summer leading to four terms of payment under WAC 250-20-041(5) as the college bound scholarship award is limited to one academic year. (See subsection (4)(c) of this section.)
(2) The value of each college bound scholarship shall be determined by the board annually based on the amount of tuition and fees at public colleges and universities (as used for state need grant purposes) plus five hundred dollars, less the amount of state need grant the student qualifies for based on the student's MFI, and less any other state aid awarded.
(a) In order to receive the maximum state need grant for which the student qualifies, the student must meet the financial aid priority consideration deadline for the institution the student plans to attend.
(b) College bound scholarship awards will be prorated for part-time attendance as outlined in WAC 250-20-041 (4)(b).
Sector college bound scholarship award amounts (such as public research, regional and two-year, and private career and private four-year) shall follow base award amounts determined for the state need grant program.
(2) A student-by-student reconciliation will be completed each term and filed with the board at the end of each academic year.
(3) Recalculations as a result of awards in excess of tuition charges shall follow the tolerance outlined in state need grant rules or guidance.
(2) The board will review institutional administrative compliance as outlined in WAC 250-20-061.
Any student who has obtained a college bound scholarship through means of willfully false statement or failure to reveal any material fact affecting eligibility will be subject to applicable civil or criminal penalties and repayment.