Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Higher Education Committee

SB 5720

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Including stepchildren in tuition waivers for children of veterans and national guard members.

Sponsors: Senators Hewitt, Hobbs, Brandland and Shin.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Defines "child" to include a biological, adopted, or step child for purposes of the tuition waiver for children of eligible veterans and National Guard members who died or became permanently and totally disabled as a result of active service or who are missing in action or prisoners of war.

Hearing Date: 3/13/09

Staff: Cece Clynch (786-7195)


Public higher education institutions must waive all tuition and fees for the children and spouses of eligible veterans or National Guard members who died or are permanently and totally disabled as a result of serving in active military service or are missing in action or prisoners of war. To be eligible, a child must be a Washington domiciliary between the age of 17 and 26. A surviving spouse must be a Washington domiciliary, must not have remarried, and it must have been ten years or less since the loss.

The fees which must be waived include all assessments for costs incurred as a condition of a student's full participation in coursework and related activities. Students receiving the waivers may attend full- or part-time but, in no case, may the waivers exceed 200 quarter credits or the semester equivalent. A recipient's continued eligibility is subject to the school's satisfactory progress policy.

Tuition waivers for graduate students are encouraged but not required.

Every two years, the governing boards of institutions of higher education must report on the use of tuition waivers for veterans and National Guard members. The first report is due November 15, 2010.

Summary of Bill:

"Child," for purposes of this waiver, is defined to mean a biological child, adopted child, or stepchild.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on March 11, 2009.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.