The office of student financial assistance shall design the Washington college bound scholarship program in accordance with this section and in alignment with the Washington college grant program in chapter 28B.92
RCW unless otherwise provided in this section. The right of an eligible student to receive a college bound scholarship vest upon enrollment in the program that is earned by meeting the requirements of this section as it exists at the time of the student's enrollment under subsection (2) of this section.
(1) "Eligible students" are those students who:
(a) Qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.
(i) If a student qualifies in the seventh or eighth grade, the student remains eligible even if the student does not receive free or reduced-price lunches thereafter.
(ii) Beginning in the 2019-20 academic year, if a student qualifies for free or reduced-price lunches in the ninth grade and was previously ineligible during the seventh or eighth grade while he or she was a student in Washington, the student is eligible for the college bound scholarship program;
(b) Are dependent pursuant to chapter 13.34
(i) In grade seven through twelve; or
(ii) Are between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one and have not graduated from high school; or
(c) Were dependent pursuant to chapter 13.34
RCW and were adopted between the ages of fourteen and eighteen with a negotiated adoption agreement that includes continued eligibility for the Washington state college bound scholarship program pursuant to RCW 74.13A.025
(2)(a) Every eligible student shall be automatically enrolled by the office of student financial assistance, with no action necessary by the student, student's family, or student's guardians.
(b) Eligible students and the students' parents or guardians shall be notified of the student's enrollment in the Washington college bound scholarship program and the requirements for award of the scholarship by the office of student financial assistance. To the maximum extent practicable, an eligible student must acknowledge enrollment in the college bound scholarship program and receipt of the requirements for award of the scholarship.
(c) The office of the superintendent of public instruction and the department of children, youth, and families must provide the office of student financial assistance with a list of eligible students when requested. The office of student financial assistance must determine the most effective methods, including timing and frequency, to notify eligible students of enrollment in the Washington college bound scholarship program. The office of student financial assistance must take reasonable steps to ensure that eligible students acknowledge enrollment in the college bound scholarship program and receipt of the requirements for award of the scholarship. The office of student financial assistance shall also make available to every school district information, brochures, and posters to increase awareness and to enable school districts to notify eligible students directly or through school teachers, counselors, or school activities.
(3) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, an eligible student must:
(a) Graduate with at least a "C" average from a public high school under RCW 28A.150.010
, an approved private high school under chapter 28A.195
RCW in Washington, or have received home-based instruction under chapter 28A.200
(b) Have no felony convictions;
(c) Be a resident student as defined in RCW 28B.15.012
(2) (a) through (e); and
(d) Have a family income that does not exceed 65 percent of the state median family income at the time of high school graduation.
(4)(a) An eligible student who is a resident student under RCW 28B.15.012
(2)(e) must also provide the institution, as defined in RCW 28B.15.012
, an affidavit indicating that the individual will file an application to become a permanent resident at the earliest opportunity the individual is eligible to do so and a willingness to engage in any other activities necessary to acquire citizenship, including but not limited to citizenship or civics review courses.
(b) For eligible students as defined in subsection (1)(b) and (c) of this section, a student may also meet the requirement in subsection (3)(a) of this section by receiving a high school equivalency certificate as provided in RCW 28B.50.536
(c) For a student who does not meet the "C" average requirement, and who completes fewer than two quarters in the running start program, under chapter 28A.600
RCW, the student's first quarter of running start course grades must be excluded from the student's overall grade point average for purposes of determining if the requirement in subsection (3)(a) of this section is met.
(5)(a) For students attending two or four-year institutions of higher education as defined in RCW 28B.10.016
, the value of the award shall be (i) the difference between the student's tuition and required fees, less the value of any state-funded grant, scholarship, or waiver assistance the student receives; (ii) plus five hundred dollars for books and materials.
(b) For students attending private four-year institutions of higher education in Washington, the award amount shall be the representative average of awards granted to students in public research universities in Washington or the representative average of awards granted to students in public research universities in Washington in the 2014-15 academic year, whichever is greater.
(c) For students attending private vocational schools in Washington, the award amount shall be the representative average of awards granted to students in public community and technical colleges in Washington or the representative average of awards granted to students in public community and technical colleges in Washington in the 2014-15 academic year, whichever is greater.
(6) Eligible students must enroll no later than the fall term, as defined by the institution of higher education, one academic year following high school graduation. Eligible students may receive no more than four full-time years' worth of scholarship awards within a five-year period.
(7) Institutions of higher education shall award the student all need-based and merit-based financial aid for which the student would otherwise qualify. The Washington college bound scholarship is intended to replace unmet need, loans, and, at the student's option, work-study award before any other grants or scholarships are reduced.
(8) The first scholarships shall be awarded to students graduating in 2012.
(9) The eligible student has a property right in the award, but the state of Washington retains legal ownership of tuition units awarded as scholarships under this chapter until the tuition units are redeemed. These tuition units shall remain separately held from any tuition units owned under chapter 28B.95
RCW by a Washington college bound scholarship recipient.
(10) The scholarship award must be used within five years of receipt. Any unused scholarship tuition units revert to the Washington college bound scholarship account.
(11) Should the recipient terminate his or her enrollment for any reason during the academic year, the unused portion of the scholarship tuition units shall revert to the Washington college bound scholarship account.