The Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) program was established in 2011 to provide scholarships to low- and middle-income resident students pursuing eligible high-demand baccalaureate degrees in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, health care, and to encourage scholarship recipients to work in the state upon completion of their degrees. The program was expanded in 2018 to provide awards to students in high-demand community and technical college programs as well as advanced degree programs.
The WSOS Board is staffed by a program administrator under contract with the board and the Washington Student Achievement Council. The program administrator is a private nonprofit. The WSOS is a private-public match program in which the state matches any private donations in order to fund the scholarships. The state match is capped at $50 million annually.
The WSOS Board is permitted to contract with more than one private nonprofit corporation. The board may also establish and contract with a private nonprofit corporation to operate as the program administrator to fulfill the duties required by the opportunity scholarship program.
The state match, up to a maximum of $50 million shall be provided annually and is no longer contingent on state tax collections exceeding fiscal year 2008 levels.
The state match requirements for both WSOS and the Rural Jobs program under WSOS are modified to require:
The state match for the WSOS program is no longer contingent on state tax collections exceeding fiscal year 2008 levels.
The committee recommended a different version of the bill than what was heard. No public hearing was held.