WSR 03-16-065

PROPOSED RULES

HIGHER EDUCATION

COORDINATING BOARD

[ Filed August 1, 2003, 3:33 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 03-13-075.

Title of Rule: Chapter 250-70 WAC, Educational opportunity grant.

Purpose: Passage of ESB 5676 results in the need to update rules. The major revisions include the inclusion of branch campuses as eligible institutions and making students from all Washington counties eligible.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 28B.240 and .370 [28B.80.240 and 28B.80.370] and 28B.101.030.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 28B.101.005 through [28B.101].040.

Summary: To incorporate changes from the program evaluation and ESB 5676 updating eligible counties, eligible institutions and deleting outdated references to existing demonstration project and existing unused capacity.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The passage of ESB 5676.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Betty Gebhardt, 917 Lakeridge Way, Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 753-7852.

Name of Proponent: Higher Education Coordinating Board, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: The proposed changes to the rules would make the program available to all Washington residents and would allow students to attend branch campuses. Making these changes means the program can be better publicized and more equitably used by all state citizens.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: All residents of the state can participate in the program, expands the definition to include other direct transfer degrees, extends eligibility to recipients who wish to enroll at a branch campus, expands recognition of accredited institutions to those approved by the board, the concept of "unused institutional capacity" is eliminated from the program, and removes the language referencing "demonstration project."

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Changes will not have an impact on small businesses.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption.

Hearing Location: Higher Education Coordinating Board, 3rd Floor Conference Room, 917 Lakeridge Way, Olympia, WA 98504-3430, on September 9, 2003, at 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Belma Villa by September 2, 2003, TDD (360) 753-7809 or (360) 753-7800.

Submit Written Comments to: Betty Gebhardt, Associate Director, Higher Education Coordinating Board, P.O. Box 43430, Olympia, WA 98504-3430, fax (360) 753-7808, by September 9, 2003.

Date of Intended Adoption: September 24, 2003.

August 1, 2003

Betty Gebhardt

Associate Director

OTS-6499.2


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 90-16-023, filed 7/20/90, effective 8/20/90)

WAC 250-70-010   Purpose.   Recognizing that Washington state experiences low participation rates at the upper-division level within postsecondary education, ((and further recognizing that the state intends to meet future educational demand, in part, through a system of branch campuses,)) the legislature has authorized ((the development of)) the educational opportunity grant program.

((Further, recognizing that there exists in some public and private higher education institutions unused enrollment capacity within existing educational programs and facilities, the educational opportunity grant program will test the premise that a supplemental grant of some significance will influence eligible placebound students to choose such institutions when transferring to or enrolling in baccalaureate study.))

The purpose of the educational opportunity grant program is to serve eligible placebound financially needy ((students)) Washington residents who have completed an associate of arts or associate of science degree, or ((its)) the equivalent, ((by)) enabling them to ((increase their participation)) participate in and ((completion of)) complete upper-division study at eligible institutions ((which have the capacity to accommodate such students within existing educational programs and facilities)) approved for participation by the higher education coordinating board.

((Believing that there will be a substantial saving to the state to maximize use of existing capacity within educational programs and facilities at both public and private institutions, the demonstration project will test the relationship between student financial aid and enrollment to improve understanding of how financial aid policy and the awarding of this grant affect otherwise placebound students in choosing higher education and selecting institutions.))

[Statutory Authority: 1990 c 288. 90-16-023, 250-70-010, filed 7/20/90, effective 8/20/90.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 90-16-023, filed 7/20/90, effective 8/20/90)

WAC 250-70-020   Program definitions.   (1) (("Branch campus service areas" shall mean:

(a) For the University of Washington Bothell-Woodinville branch, the service area consists of Snohomish County and King County.

(b) The University of Washington Tacoma branch service area includes Pierce County, the southern part of King County, and a portion of Kitsap County.

(c) The service area for the proposed Washington State University Spokane branch consists of Spokane County.

(d) The Washington State University Tri-Cities branch service area includes three counties: Benton, Franklin and Walla Walla.

(e) The Washington State University Southwest Washington branch service area is defined as Clark, Cowlitz, and Skamania counties.

(f) The Yakima education center service area includes Yakima County.

The board shall, in guidelines, further define these service areas.

(2) "Demonstration project" shall mean a reasonable period of time for testing the premise and expected outcomes of the program.

(3))) "Placebound" shall mean unable ((to relocate)) to complete a college program because of family or employment commitments, health concerns, monetary inability, or other similar factors.

(((4))) (2) "Placebound resident" shall mean a person ((whose residence is located in an area served by a branch campus)) who, because of family or employment commitments, health concerns, monetary need, or other similar factors, would be presumed unable to complete an upper-division course of study but for receipt of an educational opportunity grant. A placebound resident is one who may be influenced by the receipt of an enhanced student financial aid award to attend an eligible institution ((that has existing unused capacity rather than attend a branch campus established pursuant to chapter 28B.45 RCW)) approved for participation in the program by the higher education coordinating board.

(((5))) (3) "Demonstrated financial need" shall mean the difference between the budgetary cost to the student attending the institution of postsecondary education and the total applicant resources which the institutional financial aid officer determines can reasonably be expected to be available to the student for meeting such costs.

(((6))) (4) "Needy student" shall mean those students as defined in RCW 28B.10.802(3), and as otherwise defined by the board.

(((7))) (5) "Washington resident or resident student" shall mean an individual who at the time of application for an educational opportunity grant satisfies the requirements of RCW 28B.15.012 ((through 28B.15.013)) (2)(a) through (d) and board-adopted rules and regulations pertaining to the determination of state residency.

(((8))) (6) "Associate of arts or associate of science degree or the equivalent" shall mean coursework comparable to admission at the junior level or above by the enrolling institution.

(((9))) (7) "Upper division" shall mean baccalaureate coursework beyond an associate of arts degree or its equivalent.

(((10))) (8) "Award amount" shall mean an award amount up to $2,500 per academic year per student, prorated per term of attendance, paid periodically in equal installments, not to exceed the student's demonstrated financial need.

(((11))) (9) "Academic year" shall generally mean a nine-month period (three quarters or two semesters).

(10) "Board" shall mean the higher education coordinating board. When a duty or responsibility of the board is referenced in these regulations, the authority needed to discharge that responsibility lies with the executive director or his or her designee.

(((12) "Existing unused capacity" shall mean available capacity within existing educational programs and facilities as periodically and formally defined and approved by the board for purposes of statewide enrollment planning.))

[Statutory Authority: 1990 c 288. 90-16-023, 250-70-020, filed 7/20/90, effective 8/20/90.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 93-19-024, filed 9/3/93, effective 10/4/93)

WAC 250-70-030   Institutional eligibility.   To qualify as an eligible institution for purposes of this program an institution shall:

(((1) Be a public [university of four-year college operated by the state of Washington political subdivision thereof,] or [a] private baccalaureate institution of higher education in the state of Washington which is a member institution of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. Any institution, branch, extension or facility operating within the state of Washington which is affiliated with an institution operating in another state must be a separately accredited member institution of the above named accrediting association, and

(2) Be certified by the higher education coordinating board as having existing unused capacity to accommodate educational opportunity grant recipients within existing educational programs and facilities, excluding any branch campus or [education] [educational] program established under chapter 28B.45 RCW[, and].

(3))) (1) Be a public or private postsecondary educational institution in the state of Washington accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges; or a branch campus of a member institution accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or Western Association of Schools and Colleges that is eligible for federal student financial aid assistance, have operated as a nonprofit college or university delivering on-site classroom instruction for a minimum of twenty consecutive years in the state of Washington, and have an annual enrollment of at least seven hundred full-time equivalent students.

(2) Complete an agreement to participate ((and acknowledge)) acknowledging its responsibility to administer the educational opportunity grant program according to prescribed rules and regulations and guidelines, and otherwise give evidence of its eligibility, if necessary.

[Statutory Authority: Chapters 28B.80 and 28B.101 RCW. 93-19-024, 250-70-030, filed 9/3/93, effective 10/4/93. Statutory Authority: 1990 c 288. 90-16-023, 250-70-030, filed 7/20/90, effective 8/20/90.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 90-16-023, filed 7/20/90, effective 8/20/90)

WAC 250-70-040   Student eligibility.   A placebound student is eligible for an educational opportunity grant if the additional financial resource would alleviate the placebound condition by ((either)) allowing the student access to education at ((a local)) an eligible institution ((with existing unused capacity or allowing relocation to another institution with existing unused capacity)). For a student to be eligible for an educational opportunity grant he or she must:

(1) Be a "financially needy student" as determined by the higher education coordinating board in accordance with RCW 28B.10.802(3);

(2) Be a resident of the state of Washington;

(3) ((Be a resident of a branch campus service area;

(4))) Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment at least half time, with priority to full-time enrollment, as an upper-division undergraduate student at an eligible baccalaureate institution in the state of Washington ((approved by the higher education coordinating board as an eligible institution for purposes of this program));

(((5))) (4) Be a placebound resident;

(((6))) (5) Have completed an associate of arts or associate of science degree or ((its)) the equivalent ((at an institution other than the one selected for purposes of receiving this grant));

(((7))) (6) Not be required by the institution to be involved in a program that includes any religious worship, exercise or instruction ((or the pursuit of any degree in religious, seminarian, or theological academic studies));

(((8))) (7) Make satisfactory academic progress as determined by the institution; and

(((9))) (8) An otherwise eligible student may not ((use)) apply for this grant to ((attend a branch campus of a public university or to)) continue enrollment at an institution where he or she is presently attending.

[Statutory Authority: 1990 c 288. 90-16-023, 250-70-040, filed 7/20/90, effective 8/20/90.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 90-16-023, filed 7/20/90, effective 8/20/90)

WAC 250-70-050   Application procedure.   Placebound students shall ((annually)) initially apply directly to the higher education coordinating board and shall complete an application and other materials as provided and required by the board.

[Statutory Authority: 1990 c 288. 90-16-023, 250-70-050, filed 7/20/90, effective 8/20/90.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 90-16-023, filed 7/20/90, effective 8/20/90)

WAC 250-70-060   Recipient selection and award.   In selecting grant recipients, the board will give priority to those students who, but for this grant, evidence that they could not pursue a baccalaureate degree.

(1) Determination. The higher education coordinating board shall determine student eligibility and awards under this program. The board will ((appoint a policy)) convene as necessary an advisory committee to ((advise)) work with the board on matters of program policy and administration including, but not limited to: Award screening ((and)), selection criteria ((and)), administrative procedures, program publicity, and efforts to recruit placebound students. ((The board shall appoint a separate screening and selection committee.))

(2) Standards. Assuming program eligibility criteria are met, the following additional selection criteria, among others, may be employed ((by the selection committee)) in ranking candidates and awarding grants:

(a) Evidence that, but for this grant, a placebound student could not pursue baccalaureate study at an eligible institution of the student's choice;

(b) Evidence of financial hardship or significant educational debt; and

(c) ((A brief statement)) Information describing the student's educational goals and plans.

((Once named, recipients may elect to use the grant at any one of the board-certified eligible institutions.)) A student may ultimately choose an eligible institution different from that referenced in his or her application, provided the board and the receiving eligible institution can ((also)) verify student eligibility criteria such as placebound status, certification of enrollment in an eligible academic program, documented financial need and satisfactory academic progress status. To deliver an incentive for recipients, the institution agrees to package the grant as "self-help."

[Statutory Authority: 1990 c 288. 90-16-023, 250-70-060, filed 7/20/90, effective 8/20/90.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 90-16-023, filed 7/20/90, effective 8/20/90)

WAC 250-70-070   Grant amount disbursement limits.   Grant disbursement shall be made ((directly)) to the eligible enrolled student in equal amounts per term upon institutional verification of the student's enrollment in an eligible program, proof of financial need and satisfactory academic progress. The award amount shall not exceed $2,500 per academic year. The value of the grant shall be the same regardless of the institution selected. Students may be awarded grants for up to eight quarters (or equivalent) of study. Renewability will not be forfeited if a student stops out for a single term during the academic year. However, students who fail to attend for more than one regular academic term during the period of their award will be required to reapply for the grant. If they are reawarded, previous terms of enrollment during which they received the grant will count toward their total eligibility.

The educational opportunity grant, when combined with the state share of other state-appropriated student financial aid programs, shall not exceed an amount equal to the total maximum student expense budget at the public research institutions plus the current average state appropriation per student for operating expense in the public institutions.

[Statutory Authority: 1990 c 288. 90-16-023, 250-70-070, filed 7/20/90, effective 8/20/90.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 90-16-023, filed 7/20/90, effective 8/20/90)

WAC 250-70-080   Program administration.   (1) Administering agency. The higher education coordinating board shall administer the educational opportunity grant program. The staff of the board, under the direction of the executive director, will manage the administrative functions relative to the program and shall be authorized to enter into agreement with eligible institutions for participation in the program.

(2) Maintenance of effort. State funds provided under this program are not to be used to supplant federal, state or institutional grants which would otherwise be available to support the student's attendance.

(3) Reports. The higher education coordinating board will obtain periodic reports from institutions describing the number of educational opportunity grant recipients selecting that institution, the socio-economic profile of such recipients in attendance at each participating institution, and other information about the student's academic program pertinent to these rules.

(4) Oversight and appeals. If an institution fails to maintain eligibility for the program as defined in WAC ((250-70-030)) 250-70-020, or if the board determines that an institution has failed to comply with program rules and regulations or guidelines, the board may suspend, terminate, or place conditions upon the institution's participation in the program. Satisfactory resolution of a dispute will be attempted by board staff. If satisfactory resolution cannot be achieved by board staff, the institution initiating the appeal may request a hearing with the board, which shall take action on the appeal. Eligible applicants may request in writing a review of any adverse decision affecting them by requesting such review within 20 days of the adverse decision, addressed to the executive director of the higher education coordinating board. In both circumstances, the appeal shall be conducted consistent with the terms of the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 34.05 RCW.

[Statutory Authority: 1990 c 288. 90-16-023, 250-70-080, filed 7/20/90, effective 8/20/90.]

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