The College Bound Scholarship program was instituted by the Washington State Legislature in 2007 to provide financial assistance to low-income students who want to achieve the dream of a college education. The scholarship is available to ALL 7th and 8th grade students who are eligible for the free and reduced price lunch (FRPL) program, are in foster care, or whose family’s income meets the guidelines. The deadline to sign up is June 30th of a students’ 8th grade year.
The scholarship is designed to inspire and encourage middle school students from low-income families to prepare for and pursue postsecondary education. Legislators believe that an early commitment of state funding for tuition may alleviate the financial barriers preventing students from considering college as a possibility. Beyond the income requirements, the criteria for eligibility are very straightforward.
- Graduate from a Washington high school or home school with a 2.0 GPA or higher.
- Be a good citizen and not be convicted of a felony.
- Apply to an eligible college and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in a timely manner.
Once a family applies for and receives their FAFSA award, the College Bound Scholarship is a commitment from the State of Washington to pay tuition, some fees, and a small book allowance. Foster youth in 7th to 12th grade, up to age 21, who have not graduated from high school, are automatically enrolled. They are considered to have a complete application for the College Bound Scholarship via a data exchange between the Washington Student Achievement Council and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). The first two cohorts, the Classes of 2012 and 2013, have graduated from high school and are attending college. Since the program’s inception, more than 150,000 students have applied for the program.
College Bound is one of only several state early commitment financial aid programs in the country. If your children are eligible, don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity! For additional information about the College Bound Scholarship visit the Washington Student Achievement Council website.