(1) Recipients of the Washington scholars award or the Washington scholars-alternate award under RCW 28A.600.100
who choose to attend an independent college or university in this state, as defined in subsection (4) of this section, and recipients of the award named after June 30, 1994, who choose to attend a public college or university in the state may receive grants under this section if moneys are available. The office shall distribute grants to eligible students under this section from moneys appropriated for this purpose. The individual grants shall not exceed, on a yearly basis, the yearly, full-time, resident, undergraduate tuition and service and activities fees in effect at the state-funded research universities. Grants to recipients attending an independent institution shall be contingent upon the institution matching on at least a dollar-for-dollar basis, either with actual money or by a waiver of fees, the amount of the grant received by the student from the state. The office shall establish procedures, by rule, to disburse the awards as direct grants to the students.
(2) The office shall establish rules that provide for the annual awarding of grants, if moneys are available, to three Washington scholars per legislative district except for fiscal year 2007 when no more than two scholars per district shall be selected; and, if not used by an original recipient, to the Washington scholars-alternate from the same legislative district.
Beginning with scholars selected in the year 2000, if the recipients of grants fail to demonstrate in a timely manner that they will enroll in a Washington institution of higher education in the fall term of the academic year following the award of the grant or are deemed by the office to have withdrawn from college during the first academic year following the award, then the grant shall be considered relinquished. The office may then award any remaining grant amounts to the Washington scholars-alternate from the same legislative district if the grants are awarded within one calendar year of the recipient being named a Washington scholars-alternate. Washington scholars-alternates named as recipients of the grant must also demonstrate in a timely manner that they will enroll in a Washington institution of higher education during the next available term, as determined by the office. The office may accept appeals and grant waivers to the enrollment requirements of this section based on exceptional mitigating circumstances of individual grant recipients.
To maintain eligibility for the grants, recipients must maintain a minimum grade point average at the college or university equivalent to 3.30. Students shall be eligible to receive a maximum of twelve quarters or eight semesters of grants for undergraduate study and may transfer among in-state public and independent colleges and universities during that period and continue to receive the grant as provided under RCW 28B.76.665
. If the student's cumulative grade point average falls below 3.30 during the first three quarters or two semesters, that student may petition the office which shall have the authority to establish a probationary period until such time as the student's grade point average meets required standards.
(3) No grant shall be awarded to any student who is pursuing a degree in theology.
(4) As used in this section, "independent college or university" means a private, nonprofit educational institution, the main campus of which is permanently situated in the state, open to residents of the state, providing programs of education beyond the high school level leading at least to the baccalaureate degree, and accredited by the northwest association of schools and colleges as of June 9, 1988, and other institutions as may be developed that are approved by the office of financial management as meeting equivalent standards as those institutions accredited under this section.
(5) As used in this section, "public college or university" means an institution of higher education as defined in RCW 28B.10.016