Media Highlights - Washington College Grant

Washington College Grant - Media Highlights

The following media highlights represent stories acknowledging the impact and importance of the new Washington College Grant program.

Completing the FAFSA can be a career-maker for Washington students (Seattle Times)

November 1, 2019—Washington students are missing out on free money. Millions of dollars in federal financial aid—including up to $50 million in Pell Grants in 2018—went unclaimed after eligible high school seniors didn’t fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (or FAFSA). Not only is that a miss for those students, but some worry that today’s low completion rates will translate into missed opportunities down the road. Keep reading

Apply for financial aid to access Washington College Grant and other state, federal aid (WSAC) 

September 30, 2019—October 1 marks the first day students can apply for financial aid to go to college in the 2020-21 school year. Next school year is also when the Washington College Grant will be fully funded. The grant will give more money to more students for more kinds of education and training after high school. Touted as one of the most generous and flexible programs in the country, it will help low- and middle-income people of all ages take their next step. The grant currently supports students pursuing certificates and degree programs. Beginning in 2020-21 it will also support people in registered apprenticeships. Keep reading

Washington's new higher education bill should make college more affordable (Inlander)

September 30, 2019When Gavin Pielow chose to go to Washington State University, he knew his parents couldn't afford to pay his tuition. Instead, he thought he'd qualify for state financial aid. But Pielow, who recently graduated from WSU, never saw that financial aid from the state. He was one of thousands of students who qualified for the Washington State Need Grant each year but was put on a waitlist as the program's funds ran dry. Keep reading.

Free college? Actually, some states are already offering it to students. (Washington Post)

June 25, 2019—Free college tuition proposals have multiplied in recent years, from promises in presidential campaigns to legislation at the state level. Two key questions relate to eligibility — which students and colleges qualify — and cost: how will we pay for it? Washington State recently became the latest to enact a free college tuition program, and both its policy design and its innovative funding source deserve national attention. Keep reading

Editorial: Too many grads leaving financial aid untouched (HeraldNet)

June 25, 2019—It’s not too late. But it’s getting close. High school graduates, whether they’re still working on “thank you” notes for graduation gifts from family and friends or already have them in the mail, may have one more task ahead that must be completed by Sunday night. About half of graduates in Washington state are about to leave much more money on the table than the $50 check from their aunt and uncle. Keep reading

Flexible Washington college grant focuses on needs of students (Spokesman Review)

June 23, 2019—For nearly a decade, we have made the case in these pages for full funding of Washington’s signature student aid program, the State Need Grant. In what we believe is one of the most important achievements of this most recent legislative session, the Legislature and governor have renamed and significantly expanded our state’s key student aid program. Keep reading

Sending more to college: The new promise of the Washington College Grant (The Daily)

June 6, 2019—Washington State has announced a new plan to send more students to college without the cost. The Legislature’s new two-year budget indicates a transformation for higher education funding across the state through the development of the Washington College Grant. Keep reading

Legislators tell of reduced college tuition program (Peninsula Daily News)

June 5, 2019—A need-based, free or reduced college-tuition program funded by a surcharge on high-skill businesses was lauded Tuesday at a Port Angeles Business Association meeting by three 24th District state legislators who voted for it. Keep reading.

'Gigantic expansion’ of Washington’s State Need Grant means free college for poorest students (Spokesman Review)

May 31, 2019—Paris Hines always rushes to fill out financial aid applications so she can cover tuition at Spokane Community College. “I always try to apply as fast as I can,” she said, “because if you wait for it, you might miss out.” Keep reading

A legislative session that invested in Olympic College (Kitsap Sun)

May 30, 2019—Recently, Gov. Jay Inslee signed historic legislation that will significantly increase access to higher education for residents of Kitsap County and the state of Washington. Starting in fall 2020, the Workforce Education Investment Act guarantees free tuition for families earning $50,000 or less per year, and provides partial assistance for families making up to the state’s median income for a family of four, which will be about $92,000. Keep reading

Could you go to college tuition-free in Washington? Here's how to find out (Seattle Times)

May 28, 2019—We asked readers to send us their questions about the new act, and received 45 responses. Below, we’re answering the most commonly asked questions. Keep reading

New Washington College Grant will also be available for students to use at private colleges (KNKX)

May 28, 2019—Washington lawmakers voted to make public college or university tuition free for students who come from families earning less than about $50,000 a year. That will become a guarantee starting in the 2020-21 school year. They also expanded eligibility for the grant, so students from families that earn up to about $90,000 will qualify for partial tuition assistance. Officials at private colleges and universities said it’s good news for them, too. Keep reading.

Experts say Washington's new higher ed bill is one of the smartest ways to make college more affordable (Inlander) 

May 23, 2019—When Gavin Pielow chose to go to Washington State University, he knew his parents couldn't afford to pay his tuition. Instead, he thought he'd qualify for state financial aid. Keep reading

More free tuition, less student debt ahead in Washington. Future Tacoma graduates can cheer that (The News Tribune)

May 21, 2019—Way to go, Class of 2019. College graduates from the Tacoma area ought to toss their mortarboards with joyful abandon as they enter the next phase of life with hard-earned degrees in hand. Keep reading

Inslee signs package of education bills, ushers in one of the most progressive education investments nationwide (Governor's Medium Blog)

May 21, 2019—Gov. Jay Inslee signed a major education bill Tuesday that establishes one of the most progressive higher education investments in the country. The Workforce Education Investment Act is a comprehensive package of major proposals that include two governor-priority policies. Keep reading.

Free college is coming for more low income students in Washington (KUOW)

May 21, 2019—Kim Malcolm talks with Michael Meotti about the Workforce Education Investment Act. Keep reading

More tuition, less student debt ahead in Washington (The News Tribune)

May 21, 2019The Legislature this year adopted a bold overhaul to the State Need Grant, a program for free or reduced tuition that’s been underfunded more than a decade, leaving thousands of eligible low-income applicants on the outside looking in. Keep reading

Changes to the state's college grant program has 'broad reach' for Cowlitz County (The Daily News, Longview)

May 19, 2019—After a 20-year break from school, Natalie Stricker wasn’t sure she could afford classes at Lower Columbia College when she enrolled in the pre-nursing program in April last year. But this mother of five was determined to build a better life for her and her children. Keep reading

What does a guarantee of free college tuition mean to Yakima? (Yakima Herald)

May 16, 2019—Opportunities for post-secondary students in the Yakima Valley could open up dramatically in 2020. Just how dramatically? Heritage University said at least 100 students could be added each year to its enrollment of about 750. Keep reading

The State of Washington's new financial aid approach hits the sweet spot (Forbes)

May 13, 2019—The state of Washington just passed one of the smartest financial aid packages in the country. Part of the Workforce Education Investment Act, a comprehensive higher education bill that also adds millions in operating funds for public colleges, the new program would enable as many as 110,000 low- and medium-income Washington residents to attend college for free or at least at significantly lower cost. Keep Reading.

Washington State moves toward free and reduced college tuition, with businesses footing the bill (New York Times)

May 8, 2019—Washington State lawmakers have taken a major step toward offering free or reduced college tuition using funds from businesses there, including Amazon and Microsoft, in a move that is being applauded by policy analysts for its innovation and reach. Keep reading.

Free college is coming for WA families making under $50K (Crosscut)

May 7, 2019—For years, Washington state has failed to fully fund its financial-aid program for low-income college students. This school year, about 18,000 people qualified for Washington’s State Need Grant, but didn’t get an award because of the program’s limited budget. That is now set to change. Not only did Washington lawmakers approve a plan to fully fund the college grant program, eliminating the wait list over the next two years, they’re expanding who qualifies — and making the awards guaranteed. Keep Reading.

110,000 Washington students a year will get money for college, many a free ride (Seattle Times)

May 5, 2019—Starting in 2020, more Washington residents will be able to attend college for less money. For many, it will be free. Keep Reading

Some Washington students will get free college tuition under approved bill (King5 News)

April 30, 2019—If your family of four makes less than $51,000 a year, you’re in line to receive free college tuition over the next few years. That was the result of the Workforce Education Investment Act, which lawmakers approved Sunday. The act makes some of Washington’s biggest companies invest in higher education in hopes of training up students to become tomorrow’s workers. Keep Reading