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College Bound

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The College Bound Scholarship

The College Bound Scholarship is an early commitment of state financial aid to eligible students who apply in middle school and meet the pledge requirements. The College Bound Scholarship covers average tuition at public college rates, some fees, and a small book allowance at over 60 colleges, universities, and technical schools in Washington. This page contains information for students, families, counselors, and anyone interested in the College Bound Scholarship.

Information for Students and Families

We've gathered the most important information about the College Bound Scholarship to share with our students and families in Washington State. View the tabs below to find out about applying, eligibility, the College Bound pledge, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
  • If you have questions, we have answers! We've compiled all of our most frequently asked questions into a single document for your use. This is especially useful for high school students getting ready to use the College Bound Scholarship.

Eligibility

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for the College Bound Scholarship, students must meet one of the following criteria:

  • During 7th or 8th grade*, the household income from all sources (taxable and nontaxable) is less than or equal to the amounts on the USDA Income Chart.
  • The student is in foster care or a dependent of the state.
  • The student’s family receives SNAP/Basic Food Assistance or TANF benefits.
2021 USDA Income Chart
 Household size  Annual Income Monthly Income  Weekly Income 
 2  $31,894  $2,658  $614
 3  $40,182  $3,349  $773
 4  $48,470  $4,040  $933
 5  $56,758  $4,730  $1,092
 6  $65,046  $5,421  $1,251
Each additional household member add  $8,288  $691  $160

*Some 9th grade students are eligible to apply for College Bound. If a student attended middle school in Washington but was ineligible for College Bound, they may be eligible to apply in 9th grade. Students or families should contact the College Bound office if they think they may be eligible.

Who is income-eligible to get College Bound?
  • In order to access College Bound, a family’s income must be at or below the amount in the chart for their household size.
  • This chart changes each year, and it is important that students apply for financial aid every year they plan to attend college.
2020-21 MFI Chart
 Household size Annual Income  
 1  $32,500
 2  $43,000
 3  $53,000
 4  $63,000
 5  $73,000
 6  $83,000
 7  $85,000
 8  $87,000

The Pledge

What is the College Bound Pledge?

As a part of the College Bound Scholarship sign-up process, students pledge to do the following:

  • Graduate from a Washington State high school or approved home school program with a cumulative 2.0 GPA or higher.
  • Have no felony convictions.
  • Apply for financial aid by completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) beginning their senior year.

Using the Scholarship

How will students get the scholarship?

To earn the College Bound Scholarship, students must do the following:

  • Fulfill the scholarship pledge requirements and meet state residency requirements.
  • Complete a financial aid application in their senior year of high school and each year they are in college and be determined as income-eligible.
  • Be accepted to and attend an eligible college.
  • Be in good standing at their college. This could be GPA or student code of conduct and is specific to each school.
Where can students use College Bound?
  • Students can use College Bound at over 60 schools across Washington.

 

Tools and Resources

Accessing the Scholarship
  • This handout provides an overview of the steps needed to receive the scholarship. Available in English and Spanish.
Financial Aid Calculator
  • This tool estimates what Washington College Grant and Pell Grant financial aid might look like for a student.
Otterbot Texting Service
  • Otterbot is a free texting service that can help College Bound seniors with the financial aid process. Otter sends reminders and can answer questions about financial aid 24/7!

Otter banner

 


Information for Middle School Counselors and Staff

The College Bound Scholarship program provides ample resources and guidance for counselors and practitioners working with College Bound Students. In addition to the resources on this page, school and non-profit organization staff can order free promotional materials to assist students and their families.

College Bound Online Portal

College Bound Online Portal

College Bound has an online portal called the Toolbox. The Toolbox allows school staff to track College Bound applications, update student information, and see which students have completed the FAFSA (high school access). Email us with your name, title, school, district and office phone number to request access to the secure portal.

Toolbox 
  • Log into the Portal, then select: Programs > College Bound > Toolbox.
  • College Bound Toolbox tour and overview video.

Digital and Print Resources

CBS Counselor Frequently Asked Questions (middle school)
  • Find answers to our most frequently asked questions in our FAQ’s.
Middle School Intro Flyers
Promotional Letter Template
  • School staff can customize this template to tell students and their families about the College Bound Scholarship. Available in English and Spanish.

Tutorials

Missing Information Letter (MIL) Tutorial
  • This video reviews how to complete a Missing Information Letter (MIL) to complete the College Bound Scholarship application.

Completion Rate Calculator

Completion Rate Calculator
  • This handout helps school staff learn how to determine their school’s College Bound sign-up completion rate.

Information for High School Counselors and Staff

School and non-profit organization staff can use the tools and resources below to inform students and their families about how to maintain eligibility, meet program requirements, and access the scholarship. Many resources are available in multiple languages.

Digital and Print Resources

High School Intro Flyers
  • This one-page printable PDF outlines the key information that students need to know to access the scholarship. Available in English and Spanish.
Accessing the Scholarship
  • This handout outlines the student, school and College Bound program roles and responsibilities. Available in English and Spanish.
College Bound Myths
  • This handout covers the common myths and facts about College Bound. Available in English.
Why College Bound?
  • This handout explains how College Bound works with the Washington College Grant. Available in English.
Washington College Grant
  • The Washington College Grant is a state financial aid program that provides more aid to more students than ever before. The handout provides an overview of the program, award amounts, and eligibility.

Web Resources

Video: Missing information tutorial
  • This video reviews how to complete a Missing Information Letter (MIL) to complete the College Bound Scholarship, which is crucial for counselors who support 9th grade eligible students.
Web: 12th Year Campaign
  • The 12th Year Campaign boosts college and financial aid application rates in Washington by helping those working with high school seniors and their families complete applications for college admissions and financial aid. Visit the website for more information.
Plan Your Future
  • Find more information and resources on our Plan Your Future page to support students planning for life after high school.

College Bound Online Portal

College Bound Online Portal

College Bound has an online portal called the Toolbox. The Toolbox allows school staff to track College Bound applications, update student information, and see which students have completed the FAFSA (high school access). Email us with your name, title, school, district and office phone number to request access to the secure portal.

Toolbox
  • Log in to the Portal, then select Programs > College Bound > Toolbox. 

  • College Bound Toolbox tour and overview video.

Partnerships, Legislative Statutes, and Reports

Foundation

RCW 28B.118 
The College Bound Scholarship is designed to inspire and encourage Washington middle school students from low-income families to prepare for and pursue postsecondary education. The early commitment of state funding for tuition is intended to alleviate the financial barriers preventing students from considering college as a possibility.

WAC 250-84
Outlines the program parameters, including student identification, eligibility, scholarship award amounts, and the roles of the Agency and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

Partner Support and Resources

Partner Support and Resources

The Washington College Access Network (WCAN) is the college access arm of the College Success Foundation, with the mission to increase postsecondary enrollment for all Washington State students particularly among students experiencing poverty, first-generation college-going students, and students of color. WCAN is a key partner in supporting College Bound outreach and regional support. The team assists in College Bound training, financial aid completion support, and college access efforts across the state. Visit their website to find regional contacts.

College Knowledge

This workbook walks students through how to plan and prepare for college. It is outlined by grade and subject area and available in multiple languages. Visit WCAN’s website to download these materials or the 12th Year Campaign site to order hard copies. 

Repledge Campaign

The Repledge Campaign is an event that schools may host for high school College Bound students to remind them of the College Bound Pledge. School staff should contact their WCAN College Bound Regional Officer for more information. Download Repledge Certificate Handout.

Program Brief

See the College Bound Program Brief for information about funding, partnerships, and student success. 

College Bound Report

College Bound Report (pending)

Statewide Map

In the Statewide College Bound Scholarship Sign-Up Map, users can view and sort College Bound sign-up rates. Rates can be viewed by region, Educational Service District (ESD), county, gold star awards, and school district. Gold Star districts and schools are those that had completion rates higher than the state rate and are indicated with gold stars on the map. 

For more information, please email collegebound@wsac.wa.gov