SB 6261

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 Reported by Senate Committee On:

Higher Education & Workforce Development, January 30, 2018

Title: An act relating to fully funding and expanding eligibility for the state need grant.

Brief Description: Modifying eligibility for state need grants. [Revised for 1st Substitute: Expanding eligibility for the state need grant.]

Sponsors: Senators Ranker, Wellman, Keiser, McCoy, Kuderer, Hasegawa, Hunt and Conway.

Brief History:

Committee Activity: Higher Education & Workforce Development: 1/23/18, 1/30/18 [DPS-WM, DNP, w/oRec].

Brief Summary of First Substitute Bill

  • Expands eligibility for the State Need Grant (SNG) to 100 percent of Median Family Income (MFI).


Majority Report: That Substitute Senate Bill No. 6261 be substituted therefor, and the substitute bill do pass and be referred to Committee on Ways & Means.

Signed by Senators Ranker, Chair; Palumbo, Vice Chair; Carlyle, Liias, Miloscia and Nelson.

Minority Report: Do not pass.

Signed by Senator Ericksen.

Minority Report: That it be referred without recommendation.

Signed by Senators Hawkins, Ranking Member; Short.

Staff: Alicia Kinne-Clawson (786-7407)

Background: The SNG is the state's largest financial aid program that provides a need-based grant award for students to attend a postsecondary institution. To be eligible for the program, a student must:

To receive a grant, the eligible student's family income must be less than 70 percent of the MFI. If the eligible student's family income falls below 50 percent of the state's MFI, the student is eligible to receive the maximum SNG award. If the student's family income is between 50 and 70 percent of the state's MFI, the award amount is prorated based on family income. In 2017-18 the state's 70 percent MFI cutoff amount for a family of four was $62,260.

The student may receive a grant award to attend any eligible postsecondary institution in the state. Currently, there are 66 postsecondary institutions that are authorized to participate in the SNG program. The SNG awards vary based on the type of institution a student chooses to attend.

Summary of Bill (First Substitute): Expands eligibility for the SNG from 70 percent MFI to 100 percent MFI.


Appropriation: $206,000,000.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.

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

Staff Summary of Public Testimony on Original Bill: The committee recommended a different version of the bill than what was heard. PRO: We are in strong support of this. We have 9900 student who are eligible for the state need grant at the University of Washington. One third of them are not receiving the SNG and are being covered by the university's funds. College affordability is a priority. The SNG is one of the most effective and efficient programs in the nation. This bill helps address some of the affordability challenges facing the middle class. This bill builds on Washington's tuition policy and helps with predictability.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Senator Kevin Ranker, Prime Sponsor; JoAnn Taricani, University of Washington Faculty Senate; Rachelle Sharpe, WSAC; Paul Francis, Council of Presidents; Ruben Flores, State Board for Community and Tech Colleges; Daniela Suarez, Community College Student Association; Ashleigh DeBuse, Associated Student Body President, SPSCC; Ernie Tao, Associated Students of the University of Washington; Harrison Devine, Associated Students of Saint Martin's University.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.