Bill Would Expand State Need Grant

An Ellensburg lawmaker has introduced a bill that could give as many as 500 more low-income college students the ability to qualify for Washington’s state need grant. But there’s a twist of how it would be funded. John Sattgast reports from Olympia.

Representative Matt Manweller is a professor at Central Washington University. He knows there are more low-income students who would qualify for the Washington’s State Need Grant, but can’t get it because there’s just not enough funds available.

His solution? Limit how much money goes to expensive private institutions.

MANWELLER: Under the current rules, if you choose to go to one of the more expensive private schools like Whitman or Gonzaga or Seattle University, you get a state need grant award equal to the most expensive college in the state of Washington.”

Under House Bill 1033, the award would be based on the lowest-priced four-year institutions.

MANWELLER: “We have a choice. We can give more money to the wealthiest kids who go to the most expensive colleges. Or we can give more money to the poorest kids who go to the least expensive colleges. I think we should consider doing the latter.”

Republican State Representative Matt Manweller. A hearing on the measure was held Tuesday in the House Higher Education Committee. John Sattgast, Olympia.