College Bound Scholarships
The Washington Student Achievement Council recently recognized schools and districts that signed up more than 72 percent of last year's eligible 8th grade students for the College Bound Scholarship. Over 230 middle schools and almost 100 school districts exceeded the statewide sign-up rate of 72 percent—a 2 percentage point increase over last year’s state sign-up rate—and will receive Gold Star Awards for their efforts. Spokane Public Schools signed up 87 percent of its eligible students.
Over 30,000 of last year’s eighth graders signed up for the College Bound Scholarship. Students who sign up for the scholarship graduate from high school and enroll in college at higher rates than their low-income peers. The first cohort of College Bound students graduated from high school in 2012. Since then, the four-year high school graduation rate for these students has consistently been similar to the statewide average, and over 10 percentage points higher than for low-income students who were eligible, but didn’t sign up.
This year, there are nearly 30,000 high school seniors across the state who signed up for College Bound in middle school. To access their scholarship and continue their education, these students must take the crucial step of applying for financial aid.
In Washington, there are two ways to apply for financial aid. U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens apply with the FAFSA. People who can't file the FAFSA due to immigration status can still apply for state aid with the WASFA, the Washington Application for State Financial Aid. Get more information about important steps for seniors at www.wsac.wa.gov/pathways.
To receive this early commitment of state funding, eligible students must sign up in middle school, by the end of their eighth grade year. In combination with other state aid, the scholarship covers tuition at public college rates, some fees, and a small book allowance. To receive the scholarship, students must enroll in an eligible college within one year of high school graduation.