SB 6523

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.

As Passed Senate, January 31, 2014

Title: An act relating to expanding higher education opportunities for certain students.

Brief Description: Expanding higher education opportunities for certain students.

Sponsors: Senators Bailey, Tom, Fain, Litzow, Hill, Dammeier, Kohl-Welles, McAuliffe, Pedersen, Billig, Ranker, Hatfield, Mullet, Hobbs, Liias, Fraser, Nelson, Conway, McCoy, Keiser, Chase, Hasegawa, Frockt, Rolfes, Cleveland, Darneille, Kline and Eide.

Brief History:

Committee Activity:

Passed Senate: 1/31/14, 35-10.

Staff: Kimberly Cushing (786-7421)

Background: Resident Student. Under Washington law, classification as a resident student qualifies an individual to receive in-state tuition rates at public institutions of higher education. There are 13 categories of resident student, including the following four:

Except as provided in certain sections of the resident student eligibility statute, persons who are not citizens of the United States are considered nonresident students for tuition purposes.

State Need Grant (SNG) Program. The SNG program assists low-income students by offsetting a portion of their higher education costs. Approximately 74,000 low-income recipients received SNG funds during the 2012-13 academic year. However, 32,000 students were unserved for one or more terms. The Legislature appropriated $605 million for the SNG program in the 2013-15 budget.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) Status. The United States Department of Homeland Security exercises prosecutorial discretion to not remove certain individuals, including those that are granted DACA status. Individuals may be granted DACA status for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and may be eligible for employment authorization. When requesting consideration of DACA from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, an individual must submit evidence, including support documents, showing that they met the following:

Federal and Other State Financial Aid Policies. Students without legal immigrant status are ineligible for federal financial aid. Three of the 16 states that allow undocumented students to receive in-state tuition rates also allow undocumented students to receive state financial aid: California, New Mexico, and Texas.

Summary of Bill: Students are eligible for SNG if they meet the category of resident student that includes any person who:

Additionally, students are eligible for SNG if they are granted DACA status, and:

The Act is known as the Real Hope Act.

Appropriation: $5 million

Fiscal Note: Available.

Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.