Formerly known as the “State Need Grant,” the new, nationally recognized Washington College Grant, makes education and training beyond high school affordable for students and their families. The revisions to the State Need Grant mean that more families are eligible and more programs and types of credentials are included.
Each day in schools, we see how students’ lives are made easier or harder due to circumstance. We also know how challenging it is for a teacher to move the needle on a student’s grades and goals if that student can’t see a better future ahead. The new Washington College Grant is one of the most generous state financial aid programs in the nation, giving more money to more students for more kinds of education after high school. From welding to nursing, from English to computer science – whether a one-year certificate or four-year college degree – the Washington College Grant can help students achieve their post-secondary educational goals.
The fact is, in order to compete in today’s increasingly competitive job market, students need some kind of education or training beyond high school. Washington is projected to have more than 740,000 job openings in the coming years. The Washington College Grant can provide an affordable pathway for kids in our community to get the skills they need in order to qualify and compete in the job market.
For 2019-20, eligible students have a household income that is less than 70 percent of the state’s median family income (MFI). Beginning in 2020-21, income eligibility will increase to 100 percent of MFI, with funding guaranteed for eligible students.
The program will also expand to provide support for apprenticeships. A full list of participating educational and technical programs can be found using the following link: ReadSetGrad
What does it cover?
The maximum award amount will cover full tuition at any in-state public college or university, including community or technical colleges, or provide a comparable amount toward tuition and other education-related costs at an approved private college or career training program. In the previous academic year, award amounts ranged from $2,500 to $10,500 covering tuition and other education-related costs!
Who is eligible?
Beginning in 2020-21, more low- and middle-income families will qualify. An eligible student from a family of four making around $50,000 or less per year would receive a full award. Partial grants are available for families making up to the state’s median family income, around $97,000 per year.
Amounts vary based on income, family size, and the school or program attended. Recipients must meet program requirements and attend an approved institution or program. Updated eligibility tables and award amounts for 2020-21 will be available in spring 2020.
How do students and their families apply?
There is no separate application for the Washington College Grant. Students should complete a state or federal financial aid application, which colleges will use to determine eligibility and make awards. Application processes for non-campus-based apprenticeship programs have not yet been established.
The Washington Student Achievement Council is a nine-member council supported by a cabinet-level state agency. By statute, the Council provides strategic planning, oversight, advocacy, and program administration to support increased student success and higher levels of educational attainment in Washington.
It’s never too early to plan ahead. It’s never too late to change your future. Get started now!
Interested high school students and/or their families can reach out to the DPHS counseling center for more information.