College Bound Scholarship.
The College Bound Scholarship (CBS) program was established in 2007 to provide guaranteed four-year tuition to students from low-income families. The first CBS awards were granted to the graduating high school class of 2012. Eligible students for the CBS include those who:
A student may also be eligible if they were a dependent who was adopted between the ages of 14 and 18 with a negotiated adoption agreement that includes continued eligibility in the CBS program.
Beginning in the seventh grade, eligible students are automatically enrolled in the CBS by the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC). Students and parents are notified of the student's eligibility and the scholarship's requirements. To receive the CBS, a student must graduate from high school with at least a C grade point average, have no felony convictions, and have a family income that does not exceed 65 percent of the state median family income.
The CBS recipients who attend public two-year or four-year institutions of higher education receive an award to cover the cost of tuition and fees, minus any state-funded grant, scholarship, or waiver assistance. The CBS recipient also receives $500 for books and materials. The student must maintain satisfactory academic progress and may not receive the scholarship for more than four full-time years.
All higher education institutions that participate in the CBS program are required to submit certain CBS data to the Education Research and Data Center (ERDC) annually for the purpose of analyzing and evaluating the effectiveness of the CBS program. The WSAC is also required to submit student unit record data for the CBS program to the ERDC.
For CBS eligible students enrolling in a postsecondary education institution for the first time beginning with the 2023-24 academic year, a C grade point average is required only for those students seeking direct admission to a public or private four-year institution of higher education.
Additional data points on grade point averages are added to the information that higher education institutions must submit to the ERDC. The ERDC must annually send the CBS data that is submitted by the higher education institutions to the WSAC beginning July 1, 2024. The WSAC must submit an annual legislative report on the CBS data beginning November 1, 2024.
(In support) The CBS has been around for over a decade. The CBS provided hope for students who thought they would not have a chance to go to college due to the cost. Knowing college could be paid for sparked some students to take high school more seriously. Over the years folks have looked for ways to increase opportunity to the CBS. There are students who would have otherwise been eligible for the CBS except they did not meet the C grade point average. This bill is a good step forward.
Washington has a postsecondary attainment goal of 70 percent of the state. Expanding access to the CBS helps serve the Latino community, where there have been drastic postsecondary enrollment declines. This leads to a less diverse workforce. Maybe it's one little push or one opportunity that makes a difference in enrollment.
(In support) The bill will provide more students access to financial aid. The goal is to keep students' dreams alive and to have the opportunity to succeed. The student might have struggled during their high school career, but this is just a little step to help support students. Approximately 700 students could be served by the bill. College Bound serves as an early commitment of state financial aid to students who are historically underserved and underrepresented. The bill expands eligibility within the community and technical college sector which could lead to more positive outcomes for students.